That's basically what American Federation of Teachers prez Randi Weingarten indicates in this letter to the district, reports Elizabeth Green at Gotham Schools. Although principals are supposed to be hiring new teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve pool of excessed teachers, schools can hire from other sources if they can't find a teacher of a high-need field from the ATR. In her letter, Weingarten intimates that the district is prioritizing teachers trained through alternative routes such as Teacher For America and New York City Teaching Fellows over traditional ed. school graduates. But a source just passed along an e-mail the ...

Washington sources offer their take on the Obama administration's prioritization of the Teacher Incentive Fund over other federal teacher programs.

AFT leader Randi Weingarten is calling the bluff of President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan, who say incentive-pay programs should be developed with teachers.

Various AFT affiliates, as well as districts, are investing in advertising their services these days, especially in big cities where union and management alike have had their fair share of critics. And I'm not entirely sure I understand what the point of this advertising is.

Looks like the federal stimulus package may not be the cure-all for staffing flexibility that some thought. Tough talk is coming from both Seattle's superintendent and the teachers' union as the district proposes ways to cut expenses.

In an effort to trim the budget and avoid layoffs, New York City schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein is forcing principals to hire teachers from the controversial reserve pool.

I keep bugging Duncan's peeps about whether they're going to require these incentive-pay plans to be collectively bargained. Jo Anderson, a senior adviser at the Education Department, said that issue hasn't been worked out or decided on yet.

Lots of interesting teacher details in the Obama administration's newly released FY 2010 budget request. The biggest surprise here is a $517 million request for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which would give the program more than $700 million in all for next year if you include the stimulus funds. That's way more than the Bush administration was ever able to secure for the program. It looks like Obama is pretty serious about his calls for paying higher salaries to what he defines as excellent teachers. And the actual budget language contains a few additional tidbits. For one, it would expand ...

Ed Week is beginning a new service: Packages of articles, commentaries, and chats on some of the top issues in education. The first one is on the hot-button topic of teacher performance pay. For $4.95, you'll get seven articles and two commentaries that our staff who are most knowledgeable about the subject put together. There's a great variety of material included. You can read about the latest research on whether performance pay works; what teachers think a good plan should incorporate; and what features proved successful for the Teacher Incentive Fund grantees as they set up their programs....

Questions about teacher tenure and the removal of ineffective teachers in Los Angeles are heating up, following this weekend's Los Angeles Times story. The story found that removing ineffective teachers in California is lengthy and extraordinarily costly (upwards of six figures in some cases), and that much of the time, a panel reversed decisions to let go of teachers anyway. Most teachers were fired only for egregious conduct, the story found. Now, school board officials are renewing efforts to get state legislators to review the laws that govern teacher removal. They face some opposition from Sacramento, where lawmakers say such ...

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