This is something that could change the mostly polite and noncommittal responses we've had so far on the budget.


I will confess to being somewhat confused by all the rhetoric around the new "college or career ready" accountability framework that the Obama administration is considering for the NCLB law. This Washington Post story makes a big deal about possible flexibility for the 2014 deadline, at which states' proficiency targets must reach 100 percent, and about the idea of intervening differently based on how far schools miss their targets. But wouldn't the idea of everyone graduating "college or career ready" still be pretty much a universal proficiency goal—and a harder one at that, if you believe our current standards...


In its FY 2011 budget request, the Obama administration has finally put its cards on the table with respect to its plans for the federal teacher programs.


he National Council on Teacher Quality has released its third encyclopedic review of state teacher-quality policies. Most states earned an overall D grade.


I'm swamped today finishing up a story for the paper, so I'm turning Teacher Beat over to you. I take continuous improvement seriously, as does Education Week, so I want to remind you that this blog is only good insofar as it supplies information and analysis that you find useful. So how am I doing? Which topics would you like to see more coverage of? Am I doing too much on teachers' unions and Race to the Top? Not enough on state teacher-quality policy? Would you find more news analysis helpful? More links to resources? Post a comment and let ...


American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten had a brief call with reporters this afternoon in which she praised the Obama administration for proposing to boost education spending even as most other areas are slated for cuts. "We very much appreciate that the core education budget has been preserved," she said. Whether she'll like the specific education priorities in the budget is another story. So I asked about the Teacher Incentive Fund, since in a briefing Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan intimated prioritizing rewards for teachers and principals, according to this Politico story. Here's Weingarten's response: "We've seen some good examples ...


Overall education spending will go up. But it might not be going to the teacher programs, and the one you depend on may be going buh-bye.


Exciting news in teacher preparation this week. First, Arizona State University has announced that it will work with Teach For America to inform its own teacher-preparation program. A press release from ASU says that it will adopt the national alternative-route program's tools, including its recruitment and core-member-support mechanisms, to create "an improved national model" for teacher preparation and increase the number of effective teachers it produces. As I wrote in this story and as Amanda Ripley wrote in The Atlantic Monthly, TFA has spent years trying to refine its recruitment and teacher-support systems and has gathered quite a bit of ...


A few people have written in urging me to write a bit about the situation in Houston over the district's new criterion for dismissing teachers. The gist of it is that Houston Superintendent Terry Grier referenced Randi's Big Speech to support a policy that would allow the dismissal of teachers with low value-added scores. (It is now one of 34 factors that could be used to dismiss teachers.) Weingarten responded with a letter accusing Grier of misrepresenting her words. Eduwonk and others called Weingarten's bluff. And on the other side of things, Diane Ravitch lept to Randi's defense. There are ...


The Philadelphia teacher contract was approved. This Philadelphia Inquirer story covers the bread-and-butter issues. Of course, I'm more interested in what reform proposals are on the table. I don't have a full copy of the contract yet, but here are some details the district decided to highlight: • 90% of teacher vacancies will be hired through site-based hiring rather than seniority. • In schools that are chronically underperforming, deemed "Renaissance Schools," the district can implement longer school days, a longer school year that would include Saturdays and summer school, and site-based hiring. • There will be a new school-based performance-pay program to...


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