Denver, home of the ProComp pay system, "professional development" schools, and two teacher "residency" programs, is now trying to break ground on teacher assignments. Superintendent Tom Boasberg has issued orders to end the policy of the forced placement of teachers who have been "excessed" into low-income schools, where records show they disproportionately land. The teachers' union protests that force-placed teachers aren't necessarily ineffective and that this new policy amounts to a stigma of sorts on those teachers. Kim Ursetta, the former head of the local union, also offers this take on the situation. On the other hand, a handful of ...

We have two exciting new additions to our ever-expanding stable of education blogs, Rick Hess Straight Up and Walt Gardner's Reality Check. Walt's first post has already made me think about what we all really mean about involving teachers in policymaking. I'm looking forward to see him elaborate on it in a future post, but for what it's worth, here are a couple of thoughts to chew on: If you think teachers aren't considered in policymaking, then the next logical question to ask is which mechanisms and strategies would be the most fruitful for increasing their voice. This is very ...

Leave it up to the Big Apple to make me look silly. I just got done writing how few examples there are of test scores being used for teacher dismissal and lo and behold, New York City is also moving forward on this front. GothamSchools has the scoop, including details on how the process would work. In general, teachers in the bottom quartile of effectiveness would be "tenure doubtful," although a principal could choose to offer it anyway. There was quite a kerfuffle a couple years ago when the United Federation of Teachers got an eleventh-hour provision in a state ...

In its Race to the Top plan, Rhode Island says that it will direct districts not to allow a student to be taught by more than one year by a teacher deemed "ineffective."

Under protest from some teachers, the Houston board of education last night approved a policy to permit the nonrenewal of contracts for teachers whose students make insufficient academic growth on the state test.

Houston chief Terry Grier considers whether granting pay bumps to teachers who hold master's degrees is cost-effective.

The New Teacher Project releases updated figures on teacher dismissals in Toledo after reviewing the district's peer-assistance and -review program data.

Center on Reinventing Public Education scholar Marguerite Roza and a colleague have a paper up about how districts could help to equalize uneven resources between richer and poorer schools without forcibly transferring teachers. (Disparities in teachers' salaries create much of the unevenness between more- and less-advantaged schools.) It's a fraught issue that's related to the "comparability" financial test districts have to pass in order to receive their Title I funding. If you're sufficiently interested in this wonky but important issue, read more in this related story. Then write in and let us know whether or not you agree with Roza's ...

Here's another teacher-related question on President Obama's budget request: Will it be good or bad for professional development? If lawmakers go along with cutting the Title II state formula grant program by half a billion dollars, then there'd already be fewer funds for professional development, unless class- size reduction—a large percentage of current spending under the program—is excised as an allowable use of the money. (Expect the teachers' unions to fight that tooth and nail.) And a few of the funding streams that have been consolidated were focused on professional development, such as the educational technology grants. ...

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

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