The Charleston Daily Mail has this interesting story about a bill in the legislature that would allow counties to conduct detailed interviews with teacher candidates before deciding to hire them. Right now, the story says, districts can only check to verify coursework and training. All other decisions are made on the basis of a checklist of teacher evaluations, qualifications, and seniority. The teachers' unions and a member of the Charleston school board both said the proposal would open the door to favoritism and nepotism by county boards of education. The teachers unions have vowed to fight the bill. But one ...


It's turning out to be a day of wonk-tastic posts at Teacher Beat, but when there are billions of dollars hanging in the balance, details really do matter. Case in point: The accountability principles in the stimulus bill require districts that receive Title I recovery funds to "report a school-by-school listing of per-pupil educational expenditures from state and local sources." Right now, it's not clear whether these expenditures are going to include actual teacher salaries. Under the current Title I, districts can just submit a district-wide salary average to prove that resources are equitably allocated among high- and low-poverty school ...


I'm hearing rumblings that the Obama administration is going to take the teacher-effectiveness and teacher-distribution language in the stimulus bill seriously. If you're looking for a primer on those issues, take a look at this story I wrote not long ago. Delaware is one of a handful of states that's doing some really exciting work on teacher distribution. The state, in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Education Laboratory, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality—three federally supported technical-assistance/research bodies—is using state teacher data and surveys of administrators, to figure out the working conditions...


The education secretary wants weak teacher-prep programs to shape up, and reminds union leaders that federal stimulus dollars are saving classroom jobs.


The education secretary discussed ways to reward talent and encourage ineffective educators to move on.


Now THIS is interesting. Apparently, there's a big panel discussion on 21st-century skills going on today at the National Education Association's headquarters. NEA, one of the founding partners of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is hosting. I heard about the event in a very roundabout way and sent a puzzled e-mail to a bunch of folks inquiring whether I could drop by and attend, since I've written about 21st-century skills in two recent stories. I was extended an invitation by one NEA official, only to have it rescinded minutes later by another. The panelists all appear to be supportive ...


From Guest Blogger Dakarai A. Aarons American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will have a hand in shaping the 2012 presidential primary calendar. The union head was among those named to the new Democratic Change Commission by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. (Hat tip to POLITICO.com for first reporting the news.) The 37-member group is charged with recommending changes to the Democratic Party’s rules for the 2012 presidential nominating and delegate-selection process. The nominating calendar became a source of serious tension during the 2008 campaign, after Florida and Michigan defied party ...


Every Monday morning, our executive editor here at Ed Week puts up a copy of the paper from 25 years ago in the kitchen. Some stories now seem a bit frozen in time—you don't hear so much about asbestos fines nowadays—but others are eerily prescient. "Teaching: The Pressure for Change Is Mounting" screams a headline over two stories. One is about a National Education Association committee considering teacher career ladders. The other is about the sorry state of teacher evaluation, circa 1984. Some of the grafs could be written today. One of them reads: "The success of current...


Elizabeth Green has the scoop on the latest in the New York KIPP unionization at the Always Mentally Prepared campus in Brooklyn. At least one teacher there has pulled her support for the union. In the meantime, the staff of two other KIPP schools have sent in a petition to sever their contact with the United Federation of Teachers. Commentary from Rotherham here. UFT pres Randi Weingarten sounds a bit flustered in quotes posted on Alexander Russo's blog. She tries to draw a connection between the two events, blaming KIPP management for the move. "What is interesting is this move ...


From Guest Blogger Liana Heitin In an attempt to prevent dispersing more pink slips than necessary (as is the modus operandi in California, among other states), Arizona legislators are considering a bill that would push back the state deadline for sending layoff notices from April 15 to June 15. District officials in favor of House Bill 2630, which is expected to pass in the next few days, see it as a necessary move to avoid driving worried educators out of the state. The Arizona Education Association opposes the bill, stating that it would give laid-off teachers little time to find ...


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