Value-added gauges of teacher effectiveness are highly error-prone and shouldn't make up more than a minimal part of a teacher's evaluation, contends a report released this week authored by a high-powered list of academics. Problems with the gauge include the non-random assignment of students and teachers to classrooms, as well as the fact that value-added can't distinguish between the contributions of multiple teachers over time and seem to be unstable from year to year. "Such scores should only be a part of an overall comprehensive evaluation," the authors wrote. "Some states are now considering plans that would give as much ...


The National Staff Development Council, a membership group working to improve post-preparation professional development for teachers, will be rebranding itself beginning Sept. 1. Its new name: Learning Forward. The name "represents that what we do today in schools affects lives far into the future," the group's deputy executive director, Joellen Killion, wrote in a release. "We will continue to serve our members with the same dedicated level of attention, provide leadership in the field of professional learning, develop resources and information to support educator learning, and advocate for policies and effective practices that ensure that professional learning leads to student ...


Most teachers now appear to be receiving induction services, but they're spending less time in some kinds of sustained professional development activities than just a few years ago, according to a new analysis of federal data.


The Phase 2 Race to the Top picks are here, and they're an interesting and eclectic bunch. The effective teachers and leaders section of the competition represented the largest percentage of overall points in the competition, but based on a cursory review of the winners, there does not appear to be a clear thread among the teacher proposals that explains why some states won and others didn't. A big theme has been incorporating student achievement into teacher evaluations. But despite the rumors, the idea of making student growth count for up to 50 percent of an evaluation does not seem ...


Randi Weingarten says that only certain stakeholders should be able to review value-added teacher data.


Not too long ago, I promised you more analysis on the action at the two national teachers' unions conventions. I just filed a story for Education Week on this topic. The punchline: the unions' different governance structures have a lot to do with the paths they've pursued in these areas. You can read the story here. (For daily coverage from the conventions, click on the archives for July 2010; entries begin July 2.)...


Washington state pays its math and science teachers, on average, lower salaries than other teachers—undercutting plans by that state's leaders to invest more heavily in the quality of math and science teachers, a new analysis argues.


Reporters for the Los Angeles Times just posted a potentially explosive story based on the use of teacher "effect" data that indicates which teachers seem to be producing the strongest gains for their students.


State lawmakers and district officials should revise local collective bargaining contracts and state laws so that they support high-quality professional development, urges a report released recently by four groups. The National Staff Development Council, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Council of Chief State School Officers banded together to produce the report. It incorporates the work of six state teams charged with examining local collective bargaining language and state codes that shape professional development. The report covers a wide swath of topics, including whether the states have standards for professional development; specify budgetary policies for ...


Fully 24 percent of the i3 winners plan to use their grants to help improve teacher effectiveness. You may have heard of some of the big-ticket winners, like Teach For America, which will use its $50 million grant to grow the size of its teacher corps by 80 percent by 2014. But here's a rundown of some of the other winning teacher plans: • The American Federation of Teachers' own Innovation Fund will use its grant to scale up one of its projects, a plan to pilot and implement a new teacher-evaluation and -development system in select New York and Rhode...


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