New York City teachers have taken to federal court their fight against a school district policy that bans teachers from wearing campaign pins in schools, saying it violates their rights to free speech and political expression. The United Federation of Teachers today filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeking a temporary restraining order against the policy, which, according to the UFT, has been on the books but has not been followed for decades. But on Oct. 1, city schools Chancellor Joel Klein asked principals in an e-mail to enforce it. UFT President Randi Weingarten told reporters ...


American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is not too happy about a recent New York Times article on D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee's proposed performance-pay plan for teachers, which she says falls way short of a merit-pay plan Weingarten signed off on in New York City earlier this year. In a letter to the newspaper that appeared this morning, Weingarten, who also heads the United Federation of Teachers in New York, says the plan "that you applaud is one that Chancellor Rhee intends to impose upon teachers, not one that she hopes to develop with teachers." Rhee's plan, she ...


Eduwonkette has an interesting post up about the dismissal of a popular Wilson High School teacher. She suggests that this situation shows the weakness in D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's strategy to permit principals more say over the hiring, firing, and remediation of teachers. If principals can't be trusted to make evaluative decisions about teachers, or if those decisions are too subjective, then what should these evaluations be based on? Teachers have some real concerns with supposedly objective measures of their performance, too. For good reason: Researchers are still trying to figure out the best methodologies for using standardized ...


It's a frequent complaint by Washington policy types: Too little is known about local collective bargaining processes and local media don't pay enough attention to negotations until contracts are finalized. In Philadelphia, students are protesting in an attempt to bring attention to the contract's effects on teacher distribution, according to this story. The students say the district and union are not paying enough attention to equitably distributing "highly qualified," experienced teachers across the district. "I've seen students cut class and come to my classroom to avoid bad teachers," the Philadelphia Inquirer article quotes one student as saying. "The system of ...


Like sands through the hourglass, so continues the soap opera of the D.C. teacher-contract negotiations. The contract hinges on a "red"/"green" tier proposal that would give green-tier teachers the opportunity to earn $20,000 annually in performance bonuses, contingent on their forgoing tenure for a year. The red tier resembles the traditional system of salary boosts. The contract also would formally dismantle seniority for teacher hiring and transfers. DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee, evidently tired of the stalemate between her district and the Washington Teachers Union, announced this morning her plans to move forward with an alternate "Plan B" ...


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to try for a third term in office. American Federation of Teachers/United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten responds: "Personally, I have always been opposed to term limits, as has this union. I am also, as are so many people, very concerned about the economy, and I am grateful the mayor is willing to step up. That said, I am very concerned, given that New Yorkers have twice spoken about this issue in referendums, and because of that, I think the most democratic way to change term limits is to go ...


The McCain-Obama war has made it into the classroom. Teachers at a California high school will no longer wear "Educators for Obama" buttons after a parent who supports John McCain complained. John Hadley says the teachers at his 16-year-old daughter's school in Soquel, Calif., were attempting to politically influence students. In California, educators can wear political buttons at work except during classroom instruction, unless the matter has a direct bearing on an education issue, such as a proposed school bond or contract matter. But the state also allows districts to set limits on the political activities of teachers during the ...


I recently did a story on two states, Idaho and Georgia, that are moving to standardize their teacher-evaluation processes through the use of performance-based frameworks. These frameworks spell out what good teaching should look like and what types of evidence evaluators should consider in making determinations about teacher performance. One of the subtexts that I didn't get to explore fully in this story concerns whether student- achievement data should be part of these evaluations. It's a tough question that runs parallel to the debate over the place of test scores in performance-pay programs. One of the teacher-evaluation experts I spoke ...


Time was when teachers in California could be dismissed, transferred, or disciplined if their students wrote articles that school administrators did not like. Not anymore. A bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the weekend would make it tougher for administrators to retaliate against high school and college journalism teachers who protect students' free speech. According to the California Newspaper Publishers Association, teachers have been punished at least 12 times since 2001 because of articles written by student reporters. In one instance, an adviser for a high school newspaper was reassigned after her students wrote a scathing editorial calling for ...


An appeals court ruled earlier this week that three Lowell, Mass., teachers were improperly dismissed from their jobs following a district-administered English fluency test. The three teachers are non-native English speakers. Massachusetts, in 2002, required all public school teachers of subject-matter classes to be fluent and literate in English. The court found that the Lowell school district did not follow state regulations, which specify that teachers' grasp of English should be evaluated through classroom observation and personal interviews. It's an interesting case, and I'm not sure how many other states have similar laws on the books. The "highly qualified" teacher ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments