July 2011 Archives

By guest blogger Liana Heitin Four out of 10 new public school teachers hired since 2005 came through alternative teacher-preparation programs, according to a survey just released by the National Center for Education Information. That's up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004. In addition, the survey found that alternative-route teachers are more in favor of using reforms such as performance pay, elimination of tenure, tying student achievement to teacher evaluations, and market-driven pay to strengthen the teaching profession than are their traditionally prepared counterparts. However, nearly all teachers, regardless of certification route, support removing incompetent ...

The Walton Foundation will donate nearly $50 million to Teach For America.

Several higher education groups lined up against a federal teacher-training proposal.

TFA offers its thoughts on NEA's recent criticism to its alumni.

A state judge sided with New York City, and against the teachers' union, in a lawsuit about school closures and charter "co-locations."

Learning Forward releases an updated set of professional-development standards.

The District of Columbia plans to give raises and bonuses to more than 600 teachers and dismiss some 200 others based primarily on data generated by its teacher-evaluation system, officials announced today.

A state auditor finds improvements in the management of California's teacher-credentialing body.

New York's board of regents has quietly approved changes to teacher education rules that promise to significantly reshape training in that state.

Well, readers, it was a wild ride: This year's National Education Association convention was full of twists and turns. We're happy that you were able to follow along with our coverage here at Education Week's Teacher Beat blog. There are a few loose ends that I wanted to follow up on before we return to our regularly scheduled programming. I mentioned many of them in my "preview" item from a week ago, and didn't want you to think I had forgotten about them. • At Intercepts, Mike Antonucci notes an NEA development that somehow got lost in all the action this...

In the union's strongest stance yet against the popular alternative-certification program, National Education Association delegates approved an item that accuses TFA of taking jobs from other teachers.

Internal caucuses within the NEA pushed for changes to its teacher-evaluation proposal.

I've been getting lots of queries about the NEA's new teacher-evaluation policy, and the best way to address this is to list some of the common assertions I'm reading out there and to try to parse their "truthiness." Without further ado: The policy statement adds nothing new to NEA's position on evaluations. FALSE. Your intrepid blogger dragged NEA's 450-page handbook all the way to Chicago for just this kind of question! And under perusal, I found that current resolution D-20, which governs existing policy on teacher evaluation is fairly unspecific as to what should be reviewed in evaluations. The new ...

Despite a lot of hand-wringing, delegates to the National Education Association's Representative Assembly approved an early endorsement for President Barack Obama, and by a good margin.

NEA affiliates can in theory but not yet in practice use test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation.

Confetti cannons at the NEA's Fourth of July celebration!

UPDATED Here at the 2011 NEA Representative Assembly, we've reached the cutoff for new business items and we now have the full list available. Most of them toe the line of years past (support for national-board certification, condemnation of "privatization"), but there are a few that caught my eye. Here's a list of four to watch: • New Business Item 37, which just passed a few moments ago, calls on NEA to inform members about the "anti-public education agenda behind the ill-informed intrusion of billionaires on education." (The NEA's independent foundation, by the way, receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates...

The delegates voted down New Business Item 22, which would have required the union to call for Education Secretary Arne Duncan's ouster. That doesn't mean they're happy with him, though.

Ever wonder how the state affiliates keep their members in line on votes on new business items and the like?

Vice President Biden emphasizes areas of agreement with NEA's vision of public education.

An item to delay a vote on whether or not to endorse Barack Obama was just voted down by the National Education Association's delegate assembly. Now, pay attention please: This does not mean that the union will actually endorse Obama later this weekend! It merely means the vote won't be put off. There was quite a fierce debate on both sides of the equation on this one, and some really fabulous quotes. Like one from the delegate in favor of a delay: "We are not pregnant, and we don't need a shotgun wedding," she said. "Let's wait and not allow ...

The NEA passes an item criticizing Duncan, and the Education Department responds.

The NEA endorses the "Save Our Schools" grassroots march planned for Washington, D.C., in late July.

The "Wisconsin 14" were the senators who left Madison this spring to try to block a bill supported by Gov. Rick Scott that stripped public workers of many collective-bargaining rights.

Will NEA go through with an early endorsement for Barack Obama?

A new business item to be debated today lists many criticisms of the U.S. Secretary of Education.

NEA's budget committee recommended cuts to close a $17 million projected shortfall.


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