A reader wrote in today on my old blog -- perhaps in response to Sam Dillon's NYT article on the slow but steady rise of merit pay initiatives -- to share a deeply negative experience with one of the merit pay models that's being used in several places, the Teacher Advancement Program (now called NIET): "The TAP program was the worst thing to ever happen to my school," writes Smithie. "After 2 years, almost all experienced teachers left, including half of the TAP Leadership team...Additionally, the cost of the program is exorbitant. Off the charts." Specific complaints aside, is ...

Folks in Philly are understandably dismayed at the notion that the school reform commission there might give departing superintendent Paul Vallas a $500K severance package -- especially since he's leaving the district in dire financial straits and there's no requirement for any payment under his contract....

I'm wondering whether, when they do these all-star events, they leave a couple of folks at home just in case something bad happens at the luncheon and American's school reform movers and shakers are lost all at once? You know, like at the State of the Union -- to preserve the line of succession and all that. I think they're called designated survivors. Not sure who was given that job this time around....

There's a new and aptly-named blog at Teacher Magazine called Eduholic, although it turns out to be just the new name for a blog that's been running on the site for a while by a guy named Emmet Rosenfeld. Welcome back, Emmet. Great name for a blog....

Sara Mead over at TQATE gets the award for the most ambitious and attention-grabbing headline of the week with Preschool and School Choice Movement Leaders Combine Forces to Form New Pornographers-style Education Advocacy Supergroup, and for highlighting internal differences among various preschool advocacy folks (and similar internal differences among various choice/voucher groups). The whole supergroup thing seems like a nonstarter, but it's important not to mistake these movements -- preschool and choice -- as monolithic. Ditto for charters, standardistas, and everyone else, now that I think of it....


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