Feeling the need for some R & R? Well, the dynamic duo of Robin Chait and Raegen Miller over at the Center for American Progress have written what amounts to a primer on the issue of teacher tenure, the job protection granted to teachers who fulfill the terms of a probationary period. It couldn't come at a better time: Teacher tenure seems poised to emerge as one of the big teacher-quality issues in 2009, with D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee trying to overhaul it as part of her district's contract negotiations, New York City confronting the use of test scores in ...


The Center on Education Policy has released a new study that delves deeply into the classroom-level effects of the No Child Left Behind Act. Investigators examined six schools in Rhode Island at various stages of program improvement under the NCLB Act and interviewed dozens of teachers, parents, and administrators. Several of the findings are what you'd more or less expect, and they're issues that have already been debated ad infinitum: There is increased pressure to cover subjects on standardized tests, more attention paid to reading and math at the expense of other subjects, and a greater use of test data ...


Teachers at Boston's Conservatory Lab Charter School have joined a union, the first charter to do so in the state of Massachusetts and one of a small handful nationwide. The news is not likely to be welcomed by most charter school advocates who look upon unionization, with its elements of collective bargaining and tenure as hindrances in the path of innovation. But for teachers' unions, this is a feather in the cap. For years now, unions, led by the American Federation of Teachers, have focused a good deal of energy on unionizing charters, without spectacular success. In New York City, ...


In this era of accountability, teacher tenure has been one of the most discussed topics. Schools chiefs like Michelle Rhee in Washington, D.C., are trying to limit it and last week the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, said she was willing to discuss tenure reform. Stories about how hard it is to fire bad teachers from their jobs because of tenure abound, and the latest one comes from the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. A newspaper investigation found that 17 public school districts in the state ousted 29 teachers in the past four years through ...


What's the best way to make $3 billion disappear? Put it into a big wonky program, like the No Child Left Behind Act's Title II teacher-quality formula grant, that isn't a a high-profile issue for lawmakers. The program authorizes nearly 30 activities for states and districts, including innovative practices such as performance pay or career ladders. But states and districts have mostly have put the money toward hiring teachers to reduce class sizes and funding professional development of varying quality. Now, people are starting to ask what's happening with all this money and whether there might be a more effective ...


Remember those excessed teachers in New York City who were twiddling their thumbs, waiting for principals to hire them, at an estimated cost of $74 million to taxpayers? Yesterday, the Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers finally struck a deal to help these teachers find permanent placements in schools. You can read more about it in the New York Times here. Under the agreement, Chancellor Joel I. Klein will urge principals to hire teachers who have been out of work for several months. The education department will also give schools financial incentives to hire teachers from the excessed ...


The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the nation's premier accreditor of teacher colleges, today announced it will redesign the process that programs have to go through to get its nod, and will provide more options and ensure cost-effectiveness, among other changes. The news is significant because NCATE has been often criticized for its extensive and expensive accreditation process that has scared off many teacher programs in the past &mdash some of them straight into the waiting arms of its rival accreditor TEAC, or Teacher Education Accreditation Council, which offers a less burdensome procedure for accreditation. NCATE, which accredits ...


There were never any doubts that the American Federation of Teachers was going to be more proactive than it has been in recent years, under the leadership of Randi Weingarten. This coming Monday, the president of the 1.4 million-member AFT will give what the union's flacks are billing as her first speech in Washington, where she will share her ideas on education and the economy. Introducing Weingarten, who was elected president of the American Federation of Teachers in July, will be Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City with whose administration &mdash and that of schools Chancellor Joel Klein's &mdash...


New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein was never in any danger of being named a teachers' pet. But who knew that rumors he could be a potential pick for education secretary would set off furious online petition drives by teachers hoping to ward off the possibility? One petition, created by a blogger from Sacramento who writes about public schools, likens Klein's administration in New York City to a "dictatorship." Klein, the petition says, is "representative of a particular rigid approach to school change promoted by NCLB which we oppose." "Chancellor Klein repeatedly championed and implemented policies that support corporate ...


So much has been said about President-elect Barack Obama's admiration for Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of the District of Columbia schools, and we now hear that Joel Klein, the chancellor of New York City schools, is being considered as a potential pick for the new education secretary. Which makes me wonder: How do the teachers' unions feel about all this love between the president-elect behind whose election they threw all their might, and the two education administrators they have battled most furiously in recent times? The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers worked hard and deployed record ...


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