The city's absent-teacher reserve pool has grown since April.

It's probably the oldest narrative in our field: A program or intervention works really well in one site. Then a district tries to implement it across multiple schools and it just ... doesn't seem to take root. Whether you term this problem a lack of fidelity of implementation, a failure to integrate reform into school culture, or my personal favorite, "scaling up is hard to do," it's particularly a problem with professional development. The research on PD suggests that teachers do benefit from school-based approaches, such as professional-learning communities, rather than workshops and the like. This type of professional development identifies ...

The blogosphere is absolutely buzzing about the data-firewall issue in the Race to the Top Fund. The administration's position seems pretty clear, and certainly Duncan has been vocal about it over the last few days. But we're seeing stakeholders in the three states that this seems to apply to—New York, California and Wisconsin—offer arguments for why their laws aren't really firewalls and why they should be able to compete for the funds anyway. I fully realize not all of you may be as fascinated by the complete geekiness of this topic, so I'll give you the Cliffs' ...

The alternative-certification program makes plans to sustain itself as its federal funding sunsets.

Perhaps no one but Teach For America will care about this, but a district court last week threw out an appeal in the Renee v. Spellings lawsuit over the "highly qualified" teacher provisions in the No Child Left Behind Law. The law requires teachers to be fully certified to be deemed highly qualified, but the U.S. Department of Education's subsequent regulations allowed teachers in alternative-certification programs to be deemed highly qualified if they were making progress in their program and were on track to hold a teaching certificate within three years. A California group sued ED, lost the first ...

The Education Department's approach makes it clear that effectiveness, not qualifications, is the new standard.

See Michele McNeil's story here. There are tons of juicy teacher-policy elements in the proposed application criteria that need to be analyzed, so keep with us tomorrow right here at Teacher Beat as we pick through it all. In brief, the application contains implications for policies on teacher-preparation program accountability, on the equitable distribution of teachers, and on using test scores as part of the criteria for making pay, promotion, tenure and evaluation decisions. The teachers' unions were hesitant to comment without seeing all of the details, which will appear in tomorrow's Federal Register. We'll update you as we get ...

Detroit schools financial manager is requiring 2,600 teachers at 41 schools being reconstituted to re-apply for their jobs—and gave them less than a week to do so.

Teacher Beat is now on the Twitterverse @TeacherBeat...

There are times when you know a story is going to upset a lot of people, such as this one I wrote this week on the cost of paying teachers more for earning master's degrees in education. Read the comments for a taste of the reaction, which ranges from anger (i.e., "The studies that show this are bunk because they're based on test scores"), to defensiveness, (i.e., "I paid for this degree and it made me a better teacher"), to frustration, (i.e., "OK, if ED master's don't correlate to improved student achievement, what does?!"). And it's true ...

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