Over at Politics K-12, Alyson Klein has a very interesting item up about Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who recently introduced a school-turnaround bill. While some folks are poring over that, though, here in the teacher-quality universe the question on the table is: What the heck happened to Bennet's teacher bill? For months, the senator was said to be working on a teacher-quality bill that would no doubt have generated a lot of attention, given his closeness to the current administration on education issues. As the former superintendent in Denver, he's also had a lot of experience working with teachers. For ...


Michele "High Bar" McNeil has been doggedly following the latest Race to the Top news, this debate over "side deals" in some Florida districts. The big question is whether these side agreements essentially compromise the "buy in" of local district and unions who signed the state memorandum of understanding. More from Eduwonk here, and Sherman Dorn at his blog thinks we're all off in left field. Dorn makes some important points, explaining that some of the apparent redundancy in these local "side agreements" has to do with the fact that the scope of bargaining in Florida differs from that in ...


The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, which oversees the popular Teacher Advancement Program school-reform model, is commissioning its own study to figure out why its Chicago site had disappointing results, compared to some of its other sites, according to this release. Interactive, Inc., an Ashland, Va.-based education program evaluator, will try to determine which variables in Chicago might have led to the results, the NIET group said. The study is being hailed by some in the field as the death knell for performance pay, but that's probably a bit premature for a couple of reasons. As I noted ...


After getting clobbered in the first round of the Race to the Top, Oklahoma has managed to pass some aggressive pieces of legislation in preparation for round two. Among them is a bill that makes major changes to the state's teacher evaluation and tenure systems. It's similar to legislation that passed Colorado, in that teachers who score at the "ineffective" level on the new instrument for two years running could be dismissed. The state also is poised to join the expanding group of states basing 50 percent or more of a teacher's evaluation on student academic progress. (Like many of ...


Mayor Bloomberg's plan to save over 4,000 teacher jobs comes at a cost: the elimination of proposed raises.


District of Columbia teachers could approve the much-watched tentative agreement their union signed with Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee tomorrow.


Michele McNeil has a very important post up on the U.S. Department of Education's plans to expand a data-collection requirement in the economic-stimulus bill. The requirement essentially asks districts to provide information on disparities in expenditures on schools in the same district. Much of those disparities are caused by differentials in educators' salaries that often aren't taken into account. As she writes, the expanded collection will be part of the Office of Civil Rights' biennial data collection, and might even become an annual requirement. The odds are that, armed with this information, the administration can make a good case ...


In comments on a federal performance-pay initiative that's poised to expand, the National Education Association urged the Department of Education to require participating districts to prove that they've established a "competitive compensation schedule" before instituting a performance-bonus system. I've always wondered what the union's vision of an ideal compensation schedule consists of, and this document essentially lays that out. Apparently, the union feels that teachers' baseline salaries should be equivalent to those seen in other professions, or at least $40,000. No surprises there, since the $40,000 figure has been a core part of NEA's national salary initiative for ...


Earlier this year, when Florida Gov. Charlie Crist supported SB 6—which would have put all teachers on annual contracts and tied half of their pay and evaluations to student test scores—he was Public Enemy No. 1 for the Florida Education Association. But, at the last moment, the then-Republican governor changed his mind and vetoed the bill. Public adulation by the FEA followed. And now Crist is reaping the FEA's support in the political arena: FEA took the unusual step of endorsing both Crist, now an independent, and a Democrat for a Senate race this fall at an AFL-CIO...


A new analysis asserts that high-poverty, high-minority schools stand to lose more teachers through seniority-based layoff policies.


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