95 percent of core academic classes nationwide are taught by highly qualified teachers, Education Department data show.


This just in: The Providence Teachers' Union is suing to prevent Rhode Island officials from implementing a directive for schools to start implementing site-based hiring based on teacher-candidates' qualifications, not their seniority. Former state education Commissioner Peter McWalters made the order in the final months of his term. The lawsuit names new Commissioner Deborah Gist, Providence superintendent Thomas Brady, and school board head Robert Wise, The Associated Press reports. The district's collective-bargaining agreement requires staffing through the seniority process, which critics say leads to the mass "bumping" and displacement of teachers. PTU's lawsuit argues that the directive violates this agreement, ...


At first, I thought Mike Antonucci was reading a bit too far into this recent speech by David Sanchez, the president of the California Teachers' Association: "California law also doesn’t prohibit the use of student assessments in evaluating teachers, but if and how that is done is bargained at the local level. The CTA Board of Directors has already appointed a member and staff workgroup to guide our efforts throughout the reauthorization. CTA will also be making sure [the National Education Association] holds strong and does what’s right around [No Child Left Behind]." Antonucci sees this as pointed ...


The Education Department administers more than 50 programs that provide money to improve teacher quality, and many have never or rarely been evaluated.


Readers, It has been one year since the folks here at Education Week decided that it made sense to have a blog to cover the policy and politics of teachers. And what a year! It's been a huge learning experience for me. I've gotten some great reactions to it and "linky love" from bloggers whom I respect and obsessively read, like Gotham Schools' Elizabeth Green and Eduwonk, but also from teachers, administrators and union folks who write in and keep their own blogs. I appreciate hearing from all my readers, even those who have been critical of certain items (John ...


There was a bit of a mini-controversy in June when the New Teacher Project released its Widget Effect report. But it wasn't the report's overall thrust that did it. Pretty much everyone agreed that our current systems for evaluating and offering assistance to struggling teachers are crummy. The controversy was about the data on dismissals in one particular district: Toledo, Ohio. According to the district's personnel records, Toledo dismissed one tenured veteran and did not renew five novice teachers' contracts, the NTP reported. But what about the district's much-heralded Peer-Assistance and -Review model, a number of sources wrote me afterward. ...


As I travel and talk to teachers, they consistently tell me that one of their biggest frustrations is the testing under the No Child Left Behind Act. Such testing is largely dominated by multiple-choice questions, and teachers feel under pressure to "teach to the test" or prep students for these kinds of questions. As some of you know, in addition to covering teacher issues here at Education Week, I also track and write about the latest developments in student assessment. I just wrote a long story on researchers' ideas about how to improve assessment. The germ of this idea came ...


Over at Inside School Research, colleague Debra Viadero profiles a couple of must-read studies related to teachers. One of them, by Marguerite Roza at the Center for Reinventing Public Education, suggests that it's well nigh impossible to keep class sizes the same, keep all teachers employed, and continue to give all teachers their contractual "step" raises in a budget downturn. Since most districts spend about 80 percent of their costs on personnel and fringe benefits, something's got to give, Roza argues. One solution is to trim teachers' salaries in order to keep all teachers employed. In a second blog item, ...


I've finally had a chance to go through this internal National Education Association review of several affiliates' alternative-compensation models (hat tip to Mike Antonucci). It's worth checking out, although you'll have to read between the lines for the good stuff. Or you can just use this Teacher Beat Cheat Sheet (like, wow!). Solidarity vs. Collegiality: Among the most interesting findings related to the Denver Pro-Comp model. Members felt that the program eroded solidarity by dividing membership between those that opted into the system and those that chose to remain on a regular salary schedule. Yet at the same time, they ...


There was some interesting movement on the Teacher Incentive Fund last week, when the Senate appropriations committee took up the Labor-HHS-Ed bill. The senators inserted some new language that was not in the 2006 appropriations bill that first created TIF, a federal initiative for seeding alternative-compensation systems. According to the new language, grantees must now demonstrate that the performance-pay systems "are developed with the input of teachers and school leaders." That seems like a bone thrown to the teachers' unions, and it also appears to have assuaged some legislators who were on the fence about the program (read Alyson Klein's ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments