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.


Over the past year or so, we've talked a lot about principal, administrator, and peer reviews of teachers here at Teacher Beat. But what about students themselves? Can they offer valuable insights into which teachers are the most effective? Quite a few school districts, New York City among them, perform comprehensive reviews of the school environment that include student-survey information. Typically, though, these surveys take place at the building level, rather than at the individual classroom or teacher level. But a few instances of classroom-based surveys, including questions about specific teachers, do exist: The Knowledge Is Power Program schools use ...


According to colleagues and sources who attended the Education Writers' Association recent conference, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel took the opportunity during a panel discussion to reiterate that it's "absurd" for districts and states to think that it's possible to use "one test on one day" to evaluate a teacher. I am genuinely perplexed: I have not heard of a single district that's proposing to use just one test score to evaluate a teacher. The whole point of value-added measures of student growth is that they require at least two scores at different points in time to get ...


Teacher effectiveness may be determined, in part, by what and who they are teaching, a new working paper finds.


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