Responding to the New Teacher Project's report on excessed teachers in New York who will cost the city $74 million this school year, United Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten has called a press conference at 4 p.m. tomorrow where she will be joined by "several of the hundreds of educators in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool who have tried for months to secure permanent teaching positions despite Department of Education policies that hinder their efforts." Stay tuned as we bring you more on this....


The promise of more money has not exactly sent school districts in Minnesota rushing to embrace Gov. Tim Pawlenty's widely touted Q Comp performance-pay plan for teachers. After three years, in 2007-08, only 39 of the state's 334 districts and 21 charter schools had signed up for it. Part of it might have to do with the fact that the plan requires local unions to get on board. And as is well known by now, unions are not the biggest fans of performance pay, although Minneapolis had implemented a popular, union-approved performance-pay plan before Q Comp. Now Pawlenty, a Republican, ...


The Algiers Charter Schools consortium in New Orleans just received a $17.6 million grant from the federal Teacher Incentive Fund, a program designed to seed performance-based compensation programs. Algiers' grant was initially given to the Lakewood County school district, in Florida, but that district faced internal squabbles about implementation and opted out after its first year. Like a number of other TIF grantees, Algiers will use the Teacher Advancement Program model. TAP, which is overseen by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, includes standards-based professional development and a career ladder for teachers, in addition ...


The Washington Teachers Union membership is meeting tonight about the proposed D.C. contract, including its "red" and "green" compensation tiers. To my great dismay, media aren't allowed to attend. But I'm betting this will be the contract's make-or-break moment. The head of the WTU, George Parker, said on PBS' Jim Lehrer Newshour recently that members are polling 2-to-1 against the contract. The contract would allow teachers opting the "green" tier to earn up to $20,000 annually in bonuses, but they'd forgo tenure protections for one year for that opportunity. "Red" tier teachers would maintain the existing pay schedule. ...


Teachers overwhelmingly think that high school students should be taught rudimentary aspects of personal finance, according to a new survey by Americans Well-Informed on Automotive Retailing Economics, a group that promotes consumer education on car financing. Such aspects would including basic savings and retirement investing (94 percent), financing a car purchase (92 percent), financing a home purchase (91 percent), maintaining a household budget (98 percent), managing a credit card (98 percent), managing a bank account (99 percent), acquiring medical insurance (97 percent), and acquiring a student loan (97 percent). Additionally, 72 percent of teachers said that students old enough to ...


There's a mysterious drop in the number of teachers with master's degrees in the state of West Virginia. According to data from the state's department of education, the number of such teachers declined 5 percent over the past decade. Some attribute it to the baby boomer-retirement exodus. Others to the fact that bad economic times are causing fewer teachers to seek master's degrees. Yet others to the inevitable argument that teachers are leaving for higher-paying jobs in other fields. You can read more about it here in the Charleston Daily Mail. Interestingly, during the time that the number of teachers ...


Teacher shortage? Not in New York City, where 1,000 "excessed" teachers will go without jobs in the 2008-09 school year while receiving full pay and benefits at a cost of $74 million to the school district. These teachers are the fallout of a new hiring policy in the city that allows school administrators to hire teachers that are a good fit regardless of seniority, according to an updated version of a report released by the New Teacher Project. The excessed teachers are those who lose their jobs as a result of schools downsizing and closing. The teachers are then ...


My colleague Scott Cech has a great story up about the issue of formative assessment, the classroom-based, typically nonstandardized exercises that help teachers adjust their instruction and are not used for summative or high-stakes purposes. The research on the practice is strong, but most teachers haven't been trained about how to implement it. That's a big obstacle for states and districts that want to benefit from formative assessment.Some experts, as Scott reports, say formative assessment must be seamlessly integrated into instruction, which means that teachers need help constructing assessments that reflect the local curriculum. So what are the options ...


According to a new Center on Education Policy analysis, Maryland schools entering the "restructuring" phase of school improvement under NCLB are increasingly choosing the option to replace teachers and staff. In the past, most schools in restructuring appointed a "turnaround specialist" to improve the school. But the state has closed that option, and there's little evidence of its success, the report says. The report has already generated some lively commentary over at Eduwonkette (including "Skoolboy," who calls replacing staff the "neutron bomb" theory of school reform.) School leaders in Maryland have implemented this differently. Some have required all staff members ...


Michael DiMaggio will join the NEA Foundation as its director of development. He comes to the 40-year-old NEA Foundation from the Council of Chief State School Officers, where he spent seven years creating their corporate partner programs and oversaw the organization’s development efforts. At the CCSSO, he worked on an initiative that provides support and technical assistance to state education agency officials in low-performing, high- poverty schools and alternative education high schools. DiMaggio was once a special education teacher and high school athletic coach, according to a release from the foundation. The NEA Foundation gives out grants to teachers, ...


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