As you no doubt already know, the Obama administration finally revealed its blueprint for ESEA reauthorization. Much of what's in the blueprint EdWeek has already reported based on a close reading of the FY 2011 budget documents and stimulus bill. For instance, over a month ago I noted the proposal in the budget for all states to create a definition of an "effective teacher," based partially on student scores. Second, you can read all about the new teacher-quality programs in this story, including the plans to put revamped teacher evaluations at the center of the Title II state grants program. ...


A high-powered panel of teacher-quality experts released a paper this morning proposing a new federal program called America's Teacher Corps that they claim would recognize the best teachers, reduce interstate barriers to teaching, increase access of students in high-poverty school to highly effective teachers, and make the profession more attractive to newcomers. The paper's authors include some of the biggest names in teacher-effectiveness research and evaluation: Steven Glazerman, an analyst with Mathematica Policy Research; Dan Goldhaber, a researcher at the University of Washington; Susanna Loeb, a professor at Stanford University; Douglas Staiger, from Dartmouth University; and Grover Whitehurst, former director ...


Legislators in Florida have advanced a bill that, if passed, would make aggressive changes to tenure law and would shift the entire state away from teacher pay based on credentials and longevity. Rather than a formal tenure law, the state has a rather odd distinction between annual contracts for teachers that must be renewed every year and continuing contracts for teachers after year three, at which point it's harder to dismiss teachers. The bill would put all teachers on annual contracts and, after a teacher's fifth year in the district, would award such contracts only to teachers in the top ...


So is it just me, or has the National Education Association been banging the labor-management "collaboration" drum a lot these days? After all, that's Randi Weingarten's line! Or at least, it's been one of the AFT president's most consistent themes over the last year and half of her tenure at the helm of the national union. Now take a look at this recent NEA press release: "Educators must have a say in what it takes to improve low-performing schools. ... When all education stakeholders are involved in the decisionmaking process, it spells success for students. This combination of collective responsibility and ...


The Center on American Progress released three papers yesterday on different aspects of teacher effectiveness. I'll be writing a bit about them over the course of this week (We Read So You Don't Have To!), but they're all worth checking out. First up is a fascinating look at charter school evaluation policies, written by Heather Peske, formerly of the Education Trust and now at Teach Plus, a group that works to connect teachers to education policymaking, and Morgaen Donaldson, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education. Charter schools typically have fewer rules and constraints and ...


So reports Catherine Gewertz over at Curriculum Matters. Apparently, the groups leading the common-standards effort particularly want input into whether the new grade-level standards, which will be released this week, are "teachable." Catherine makes a good point, however, in noting that teachers' comments on the proposals will be summarized rather than made broadly accessible, as they are for the federal-regulatory process. Why is that? Good question....


The early-ed initiative PreK Now, a project of the Pew Center on the States, just put out this report on early-childhood education and teacher preparation. Studies suggest, it says, that teachers with bachelor's degrees and specialized training in early education are more effective than those educators who don't hold such credentials. In other words, it's not enough to be good with kids or to like working with them; teachers benefit from specific training. Another finding: States are all over the map in terms of how much training they mandate. Some states require no more than a high school diploma, while ...


It looks like the teachers and administrators in Central Falls, R.I., are back at the bargaining table to work out a plan for transforming the school. Jay Mathews at the WaPo apologizes for missing the 50 percent teacher-rehiring clause in a recent column. But he's not the only one who made this error; it's been missing in a lot of the national coverage. It took me three posts on the R.I. situation before I brought it up, an omission I made out of the (incorrect) assumption that it was common knowledge that staff-reconstitution policies, including these federal school ...


Everyone is all a-twitter (ha!) over the Race to the Top Finalists. But there's another approaching phenomenon that has the potential to affect as many teachers as RTTT, if not more: Layoffs. Exhibit A: Los Angeles has sent out pink slips to 5,200 teachers. Some of those jobs could be saved if the district and the union reach agreement on alternatives, like furloughs or salary cuts. But it looks likely that some teachers will get the axe. Unsurprisingly, analysts are taking a closer look at last-hired, first-fired layoff policies. The National Council on Teacher Quality, anticipating a flurry of ...


The local teachers' union, meanwhile, has filed an unfair labor-relations complaint with the state labor-relations board, saying that Superintendent Frances Gallo didn't bargain in good faith with the union.


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