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Friday Reading List: Innovation Fund, Teacher Ed. Accountability, and the Education Wars

Many items pile up each week that I just don't have time to delve into in as much depth as I'd like. But they're the things that made me sit up and take note and will inform future coverage. So, without further ado, here is some of what I've been reading this week. Check these items out and let us all know what you make of them.

• Education Sector put out a report about measuring the effectiveness of teacher preparation. It argues that federal reporting requirements designed to get at this question have been undermined and that states are doing a lousy job monitoring their teacher education programs through other avenues like regional or national accreditation. The authors contend that several grant programs designed to subsidize teacher preparation, like the TEACH grants created in the 2008 budget reconciliation bill, don't seem to be doing such a great job.

• The American Federation of Teachers announces its 2011 priorities for its Innovation Fund. Some interesting teacher ideas here, including new criteria for tenure; innovations in teacher placement, such as school based hiring, incentives, and exceptions to seniority; and innovations in the school schedule to allow for more teacher collaboration. My recent EdWeek story touched on a teacher-evaluation project taking place in New York and Rhode Island financed by an AFT Innovation Fund grant.

• Connor Williams in The Washington Post has an interesting read about the "ed reform wars" (read: the Education Equity Project vs. Broader, Bolder) and urges more civil dialogue, cooperation, and focus on solutions than disingenuous rhetoric. "Both sides can be egregiously unfair," he writes.

We'll be back with you on Monday.

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