September 2010 Archives

'Churn, Ambivalence, Confusion' in Teacher Ed.?

Education professors continue to hold progressive beliefs, but also are warming up to changes like the Teach For America program and a tougher teacher-tenure bar, according to a national survey of teacher educators.


Must-Read Teacher News: N.J., TIF Evaluation, Recruitment

Postings have been a bit lean these days as I focus on a larger project about teachers' professional development. But my able colleagues have a lot of really important teacher news covered this week. Make sure to check them out. At Curriculum Matters, Erik Robelen reports on the Obama administration's goal of bringing 10,000 new teacher candidates into the profession to instruct in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, while Politics K-12's Alyson Klein writes about the U.S. Department of Education's larger teacher-recruitment initiative. Our new research reporter (and my longtime colleague) Sarah Sparks has really hit ...


UPDATED: Don't Count Alternative Certification Out Just Yet

What's the fallout from the recent ruling invalidating parts of the "highly qualified teacher" ruling?


Winners Announced in Teacher Incentive Fund Grant Contest

The U.S. Education Department announces 62 winners of its Teacher Incentive Fund grants.


Reaction Pours In to Performance-Pay Study

A rigorous experimental study of an incentive-pay program for teachers finds no effects on student achievement, an indication that teachers didn't change their practice in such a way as to cause student scores to rise. The study was explicitly designed to answer the question of whether monetary incentives alone can spur improvements to teaching. The answer, by this study at least, appears to be no. Read my full Education Week story for the details of the study, the findings, and how they fit within the body of experimental research on merit pay. But equally as important as the findings are ...


Too Much Leeway in Science Teacher Standards, NCTQ Alleges

The National Council on Teacher Quality contends that too many states lets secondary teachers earn general science endorsements rather than making them pass rigorous tests in biology, chemistry, or physics.


Could Value-Added Save Teachers' Jobs?

Might value-added measures that show teachers are helping students learn protect them from unwarranted dismissal?


The Elephant in the (Rubber) Room

Should teachers awaiting due-process hearings continue to collect salaries and benefits?


Details of D.C. Performance-Pay System Unveiled

Leaders in the District of Columbia today announced details of the performance-based-pay program enshrined in its recently inked contract. Under the system, deemed "IMPACTplus,"—a reference to the IMPACT teacher-evaluation system upon which the pay decisions will be made—teachers deemed "highly effective" stand to earn annual bonuses of up to $25,000. In addition to these one-off bonuses, teachers will have the opportunity to qualify for permanent base-pay raises as well. But given the district's hotly charged political environment, payouts under the new program could already be in jeopardy. The fate of the teacher-evaluation system and the performance-pay...


UPDATED: D.C. Mayor's Race Has Teacher Policy Implications

Next week's D.C. Mayoral primary has strong implications for the future of teacher policy in the Nation's Capital.


UPDATED: Effects of 'Mutual Consent' on Teacher Turnover, Distribution Probed

Over the long haul, mutual-consent teacher policies don't appear to improve the distribution of inexperienced teachers—or the levels of turnover in high-minority schools. That's the conclusion of a recent analysis by researchers at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. If you're new to this wonky area of school hiring, mutual consent is a policy in which both the teacher seeking a placement and the receiving school's principal (and sometimes other staff) must agree to the placement. It differs from voluntary transfers or forced placements that are based on seniority. D.C.; Rhode Island; Colorado;...


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