Over the last decade, the teacher practice of using "formative assessments" has become a huge topic of interest. Though called assessments, in practice they're more like exercises teachers use to gather immediate feedback on whether a student is responding to an instructional technique, with reference to a particular curricular objective. Proponents say the practice has a strong research base showing it can dramatically improve student achievement. (And now that testing companies are labeling a lot of products as "formative," it's a big moneymaking endeavor, too.) But recently, some experts have suggested that it may be time to take a closer ...

Over at Flypaper there's a bit of a debate going on about the presence of teachers' unions and student achievement. I've been to enough education policy discussions to recognize two common tropes on this topic. One argument runs along these lines: Student achievement tends to be lowest in the South, which has many right-to-work states that don't allow collective bargaining for public employees. The other argument, which is at the center of the Flypaper debate, notes that the nation's highest-performing state on national tests, Massachusetts, has laws and policies that are generally favorable to unions. Although such observations make for ...

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 ...

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments