The education committee chairman puts the union on notice that he believes it has shifted its position favorably toward a federal performance-pay initiative and contract waivers on teacher distribution.


Here's a story that could be a portent of things to come: Georgia is starting to cancel pay bonuses for teachers who have earned advanced certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The story does a good job of laying out the various issues, including the recent debates about the effects of the credential on student achievement. But there's another, broader issue lurking in all of this. When compensation bonuses—whether the National Education Association-friendly national-board certification or some other measure based on test scores—are layered on top of an existing salary schedule, rather than integrated...


In this blog item, colleague Sean Cavanagh noted that the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association are on opposite ends of the "21st-century skills" debate. (NEA is one of the partnership's founding members; AFT challenges the effort, per this letter.) This is a curious split, and it's even curiouser when you consider that AFT was initially on board with the notion of 21st-century skills. In early reports from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, or P21, the main advocacy body promoting such skills, AFT Secretary-Treasurer Antonia Cortese was listed as a P21 board member. Now, she's on ...


Roundup of last week's major teacher-quality stories.


I'll be taking a few days off to visit family, so you probably won't hear too much from me next week. While I'm gone, keep up the great commenting on teacher effectiveness (which I've decided is such a complex issue that trying to make sense of it runs second in difficulty only to trying to make sense of airline frequent-flyer rules). Additionally, the Teacher Beat page will be down on Saturday, Sept. 19, as the tech folks move us over to a new system. It should be back up on Monday. While I'm out, I'll be sitting in on some ...


A study on a small group of teachers who earned ABCTE certification in Florida found that students taught by these teachers held their own in English language-arts, but were weaker in math.


Here's another feather in American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten's cap: A Boston school and the union's Massachusetts affiliate have approved the state's first charter school contract. And in an example of the innovative labor-management ideas Weingarten asserts such arrangements can breed, the contract will allow teachers and administrators in the Conservatory Lab Charter School, in Boston, significant autonomy over how pay decisions are made. The details of the differential pay program will be hashed out during the 2009-10 school year by a committee of teachers and administrators formed to come up with the pay plan. Teachers will get ...


The National Education Association plans to put $6 million over six years into "comprehensive strategies and policies to increase teacher effectiveness in high-needs schools." The funds will be focused on four strategies outlined in this paper, authored by Barnett Berry, the president of the Hillsborough, N.C.-based Center for Teaching Quality. Among Berry's major recommendations, states and districts should focus on comprehensive initiatives to lure teachers to hard-to-staff schools and ensure that they grow in effectiveness while there. In other words, don't just stick performance pay in alone and expect it to work. Berry puts it this way: "Pay ...


With all the chatter about common standards, I've been wondering how a set of agreed-upon standards would affect teachers and assessments, my primary coverage areas here at Ed Week. I wrote a little while ago about some possible implications for testing. But I'm really in the dark about what it will mean for teachers. So, teachers, tell us, what's it like to go through the process of having your state standards overhauled? Were you supported in helping to make sense of them? Were you given updated tools and curricula? And what do you make of the conversations around common standards? ...


You may have heard heard of districts that hire a good portion of teachers from foreign countries like India and the Philippines. Many of these teachers come seeking the opportunity to win higher salaries here than they could in their native countries, and many have proven to be successful teachers. The Baltimore Sun did quite an interesting story a few years back on the large influx of Filipino teachers to that metropolis. But there's a seedy side to this practice, too, and the American Federation of Teachers brings it to light in a deeply disturbing report on the practice of ...


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