The American Federation of Teachers says that, despite a lot of the political rhetoric out there, teachers' retirement benefits are not overly generous. But it also calls for ending some practices, such as pension "spiking" that raise taxpayer costs.

Readers, I'm taking a short break this week and will be back with you promptly on the 23rd. In the meantime, keep those comments, tips, and emails coming to [email protected] Stephen...

The week saw two major developments in teacher effectiveness policies in Illinois and in Houston, Texas.

This summer, NEA delegates will vote whether to approve a policy statement allowing test scores to be one of several measures of a teacher's evaluation.

By guest blogger Liana Heitin Yesterday I had the chance to speak with several of the U.S. Department of Education Teacher Ambassador Fellows at the teacher town hall meeting hosted by the department. TAFs spend a year working with federal officials on policy issues--some stay in the classroom and work as consultants and others take a year leave of absence to work at the department full time. The half dozen TAFs I spoke with were in their 10th month of the fellowship. Above all, they agreed the year had given them a deeper appreciation for the complexity of policy ...

Despite its philosophical differences on education with Obama, the National Education Association plans to endorse him for a second term in office.

A consortium releases standards for teacher leaders.

The USED will seek feedback as it decides whether to seek changes to teacher education accountability requirements.

Michelle Shearer, a chemistry teacher at Urbana High School in Ijamsville, Md., has been selected as the 61st National Teacher of the Year, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to improve teacher preparation and raise certification test standards.

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