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.


This Central Falls, R.I., situation just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Here's a new petition organized by the union protesting the situation. Now President Obama has gone and waded into the controversy by saying he supports Sup. Jane Gallo and State Sup. Deborah Gist in their bid to fire all the personnel in the struggling high school. "So if a school is struggling, we have to work with the principal and the teachers to find a solution. We've got to give them a chance to make meaningful improvements. But if a school continues to fail its students year after ...


The much-awaited—by Teacher Beat anyway—proposed regulations for the Teacher Incentive Fund grant have finally been released by the Education Department. They are much more newsworthy for what's NOT explicitly stated than what they actually lay out. The teachers' unions have said that any federal performance-pay program should require grantees to collectively bargain the terms of the grant with the local union, or to use another adoption mechanism, such as a teacher vote. The notice dodges that issue almost entirely. Although the regulations would require all applications to engage stakeholders, per this addition in last year's budget bill, there...


Longtime Education Week editor Ann Bradley, a 21-year veteran of our newspaper, is heading over to the American Federation of Teachers. There, she'll serve as the interim director of the union's $3.3 million Innovation Fund, which supports joint union-management reform projects. For the past decade, Ann oversaw coverage of school leadership and management, urban school districts, and efforts to target special populations such as students especially at risk of failing. Before becoming an editor, she covered all things teacher for the publication. Ann has been a tremendous resource to all the reporters she's worked with here. She has encyclopedic ...


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