The Baltimore Sun has an important story up about a dispute over teachers' pay and working hours in one of its Knowledge Is Power Program charter schools. In essence, the story examines a conflict between local law and the KIPP culture. In Baltimore, teachers in charter schools must belong to the local collective-bargaining unit. KIPP teachers, though they made about 18 percent more than other teachers, were working enough hours that they were eligible for about 33 percent more than their peers under the terms of the district contract. Now, the Baltimore Teachers Union is demanding that the district pony ...


Some interesting staffing changes out there in the many Washington-based teacher organizations. Over at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which administers the National Board Certification program, former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise (now of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a high school reform organization) will serve as the chairman of the board of directors. According to the release, Wise supported bonus pay for teachers who earn the advanced credential from the National Board, so this appointment makes some sense given that states are scaling back on such bonuses as a result of the financial crisis. And at the ...


Kansas is one of just a handful of states that have begun to create formal standards for "teacher leaders," pathways for such teachers to earn teacher-leader certification, and preparation programs in its teachers' colleges. Now, the state is pioneering another step in the process: a teacher-leader exam. The state will be working with Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service to develop the exam. It envisions using the test as a capstone of its teacher-leader-certification system. No details yet on what the test might look like, but one suspects it will probably take some cues from the performance-based teacher assessments ...


In this clip, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel gives his take on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's teacher-quality address....


from guest blogger Lesli A. Maxwell Leaders at California State University, which trains a whopping 70 percent of the state's teachers, are launching a new effort to prepare their teacher candidates to work in the most challenging school environments. To do that, the ambitiously-named CSU Center to Close the Achievement Gap, has identified nearly 250 high-poverty, high-performing elementary, middle, and high schools around the state that are achieving solid academic results. Some teacher candidates will be placed in those schools for their student teaching experience to see and try firsthand how to deliver instruction and manage classrooms filled with students, ...


Here's a clip from the National Education Association convention of President Dennis Van Roekel talking about what he thinks accounted for the varied reaction to charter schools among the delegates. (See here for details.) A couple of caveats about the video. First, Dennis' office at the RA was behind the stage and the lighting back there was terrible. Second, you'll have to ignore the "mood music"—a musician somewhere in the hall was playing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" on the piano throughout the interview....


If unions are going to be challenged to consider uncomfortable ideas like reforms to teacher evaluation and pay, then Obama and Duncan must make good on their promise to involve unions in any school reforms, the AFT president says.


Providence, R.I., will implement site-based hiring rather than seniority-based hiring and "bumping" in six schools this year, according to this must-read story in the Providence Journal (see here for background.) Superintendent Tom Brady says that the city has over 500 applicants for just 75 positions, and many of the applicants come from private or suburban schools, the story notes. The entire district will move to the site-based hiring system in 2010-2011. Teacher applicants are interviewed by the principal, two teachers chosen by the principal, two chosen by the school improvement team, and a teacher leader. The New Teacher Project, ...


The California Teachers Association is going all out to protest Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to waive Prop. 98, the minimum school funding law, to make up part of the state's $24 billion budget shortfall. See this story for details. The union delivered 10,000 postcards to the governor this week, collected while at the National Education Association's Representative Assembly in San Diego. (Not coincidentally, about that many teachers and educational-support personnel attend the RA.) Watch the press conference that CTA President David Sanchez held on the floor of the RA in this video. This isn't the first time CTA and ...


An Obama administration official has strongly hinted to New York state that it won't be getting any of the $5 billion in discretionary stimulus funding unless it does something about the law, supported by the state's teachers' unions, that prevents student test scores from being a part of tenure or other personnel decisions, reports Elizabeth Green Maura Walz at Gotham Schools (We regret the error.) In other states, this dough is becoming quite a tantalizing carrot for states and districts who are eager to qualify for Race to the Top and Innovation funds. We're seeing some significant state action on ...


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