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 ...


So reports The Associated Press. Nevada was one of five states that prohibited student-achievement data from being used in teacher evaluations, thus blocking the state from being able to apply for a cut of the $4 billion in federal Race to the Top funds. The state teachers' union did manage to get language into the bill, however, stipulating that test scores can't be the "sole criteria" for evaluating teachers. The caveat caused some consternation from Gov. Jim Gibbons and a handful of legislators. But in fairness to the union, the Race to the Top guidelines do say that multiple measures ...


Big news out of Los Angeles on school management: Under the district's choice movement, the school board will allow nonprofits made up mainly of teachers and administrators already in the district—rather than to charter school operators—to operate 22 new schools and turn around existing ones. Charter operators will only work with 4 of the schools up for this management round, which total 30 in all. The charter organizers are pretty upset about this, while United Teachers Los Angeles chief A.J. Duffy—who's famous for denouncing charters, saying principals are vindictive, and claiming L.A.'s bureaucracy...


The decision of Central Falls, R.I., Superintendent Frances Gallo to fire every teacher in a high school building is making big headlines in Rhode Island, attracting outrage from teachers' unions and from AFT President Randi Weingarten, and becoming a big education reform story now that The New York Times has picked it up. Under No Child Left Behind's 1003(g) school improvement grants, which are doled out by formula to states, the Obama administration outlined four possible models for dealing with the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I and Title I-eligible schools. Gallo initially wanted to use a "transformation" ...


Two big pieces came out last week on "last hired, first fired" layoff policies in school districts, no doubt due to the continuing poor economy and the looming "funding cliff" created by the economic-stimulus legislation. I wrote about this not-well-publicized policy a while ago, so it's heartening to see it gaining some additional attention. In her piece for The Wall Street Journal, Barbara Martinez has some interesting quotes from parent advocates, who stand to play an important role in the debate over whether these policies should be rethought. The National Center on Teacher Quality, in the meantime, has a paper ...


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