Four out of 10 new public school teachers hired since 2005 came through alternative teacher-preparation programs, according to a survey just released by the National Center for Education Information. That's up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004.


The Walton Family Foundation will invest $49.5 million in the national Teach For America over three years, according to a release from the Bentonville, Ark.-based nonprofit organization.


The Los Angeles Unified School District has suspended its new homework policy just two months after it decided to limit performance on homework to 10 percent of a student's grade. According to the Los Angeles Times, LAUSD superintendent John Deasy said that the policy, intended to ensure grades indicate what students know rather than what work they've done at home, was implemented without proper feedback from constituencies. "While well-intentioned, I am not confident that the initial policy received sufficient comments and general input from parents, teachers and board members," Deasy told the paper. However, the Los Angeles Times added that ...


At an event yesterday promoting a National Council on Teacher Quality report about teacher preparation (see Stephen Sawchuk's piece), the conversation quickly became contentious when it turned to an impending teacher-education school review. In 2012, U. S. News & World Report will publish the findings of an NCTQ review of all 1,400 schools of education in the country. Each school will receive an A-F letter grade—a notably different methodology than the college ranking system U.S. News is known for. The study has caused a firestorm that in some ways mimics the debate over whether value-added models should be used...


Student test scores from 100 District of Columbia public schools still under investigation for cheating in past years were used in value-added calculations that were incorporated into some teachers' evaluations this year, which could have created an falsely high start for the students.


Were student test scores from DC schools where the cheating investigations are ongoing used to evaluate teachers?


U.S. teachers spend more hours per year on classroom instruction than teachers from other major developed countries, according to data from 2008 (the most recent year available) collected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Wall Street Journal reports that among the 27 member nations tracked by the OECD, "U.S. primary-school educators spent 1,097 hours a year teaching despite only spending 26 weeks a year in the classroom—among the lowest among the countries tracked." Meanwhile, the OECD average time spent on instruction is 786 hours. Despite this statistic, the Journal explains that in a separate...


New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof drops in on "his beloved old high school in Yamhill, Ore.," and finds it beleaguered by budget cuts. The experience prompts him to contemplate the decline of America's belief in the importance of broad, public education and to question government spending priorities: How is it that we can afford to double our military budget since 9/11, can afford the carried-interest tax loophole for billionaires, can afford billions of dollars in givebacks to oil and gas companies, yet can't afford to invest in our kids' futures? UPDATE 7/19: Calling Kristof's piece "uninformed,"...


Frustrated by a lack of opportunity for teachers to participate in policy decisions, a Florida teacher has launched a new website which aims to connect teachers across the state and address issues important to educators. Mike Rychlik, who teaches at SAIL High School in Leon County, Fla., told Florida Today that state leaders have done little to include teachers' input in discussions surrounding legislation changes and education reform, and so he decided to take matters into his own hands. "It's pretty depressing to go to House and Senate meetings and listen to education committee discussions, to hear how uniformed they ...


Film critic Roger Ebert is fuming mad about a "retold," intermediate reader version of The Great Gatsby published by MacMillan. The book employs greatly simplified prose, comes in at less than half the length of the original, and seriously muddles the ending. For Ebert, the whole project amounts to literary and educational malpractice: There is no purpose in "reading" The Great Gatsby unless you actually read it. Fitzgerald's novel is not about a story. It is about how the story is told. Its poetry, its message, its evocation of Gatsby's lost American dream, is expressed in Fitzgerald's style—in the ...


As part of a summer professional development series, Edutopia is offering free tutorials on Web 2.0 tools that are popular with teachers.


In a cost-cutting move, Illinois has eliminated writing from the state's standardized exams for high school juniors. Well, it's just one grade, you say. Not so fast: The state scrapped the writing portion of the standardized exams for elementary and middle schoolers last year. Some educators contend that the change won't necessarily affect students' writing skills. Schools will continue to teach writing as a part of literacy development and language arts, they argue, and students will still have to prepare for the written portions of college entrance exams. Dr. Janice Neuleib, executive secretary of the Illinois Association of Teachers of ...


It wasn't particularly surprising when a Maryland mother with Tea Party leanings complained last month that her 3rd grade daughter's social studies textbook harbored a leftist agenda. But now Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney, himself a liberal, has read the book—titled Social Studies Alive! Our Community and Beyond—and he thinks she may have a point: It's not that it's grossly inaccurate. ... It's just clearly one-sided. Among the examples he cites: For instance, Chapter 6 profiles individuals who have made a positive difference in their communities. All four are liberal icons: Latino farmworker and union leader Cesar Chavez; ...


In what portends to become a national trend, the Indiana Department of Education has announced that, starting this fall, it will no longer require schools to teach cursive writing. The Department sent a memo [PDF] to school leaders this spring saying that, in accordance with the Common Core standards, students will be "expected to become proficient in keyboarding skills"—formerly known as typing—instead of handwriting. However, the memo notes that schools can continue to teach cursive writing as a part of local curriculum standards (assuming such things still exist, of course). Parents' and educators' reactions to the state's ...


A group of teachers at Carney Academy in New Bedford, Mass., paid visits to their students' homes this past year, for no other reason than to get to know their parents better, reports the South Coast Today. The teachers visited 30 (out of 500-plus) of their students' families once in the fall and once in the spring—a small start to a project which was only funded for the past school year and which aimed to "establish and build a relationship with parents outside of the school setting." As one parent told the paper, seeing her child's teacher "outside of class...


English teacher Randy Turner champions "term limits for teachers" of somewhere between four and eight years, saying that veterans like himself are "burdened with experience."


A group of teachers in Hamilton County, Tenn., are spending some of their summer vacation doing community service as part of a state Service Learning certification program, according to WRCB TV Channel 3. The Chattanooga news station says the program gives teachers classroom and curriculum training on how to "teach their students about the importance and rewards of helping others," all while getting their hands dirty as they clean up after animals at the humane society or volunteer at the food bank. Delray Zimmerman, the communications director of Volunteer Tennessee, which oversees the program, told the station that students "improve ...


The Los Angeles school district is instituting a new policy uniformly limiting homework to 10 percent of a student's grade. Drawing on recent research, the policy states that students should not be punished for differences in their "home academic environment" and that, as a rule, homework should be used to support learning rather than to drive compliance. L.A. high school English teacher Larry Strauss, writing in the Huffington Post, appreciates the sentiment but says the policy is ultimately an exercise in expectations-lowering: At least let's start by believing in all of our students and motivating them to find ways ...


School-level incentives for teachers are potentially more effective than individual incentives, according to a pair of researchers who spoke yesterday at an education-policy symposium in downtown Washington. Participating in a panel discussion on "Making Teacher Incentives Work" hosted by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Thomas Ahn of the University of Kentucky and Jacob Vigdor of Duke University presented their research on North Carolina's statewide Teacher Bonus Program, which rewards teachers based on their school's performance. Vigdor first listed three obstacles to individual-level incentive programs: not all teachers teach grades and subjects that require standardized testing; the tests ...


Middle school teacher Miss Bluebird reports: Despite the fact that most everyone seems to think that teachers are sitting around drinking margaritas on their back deck or at a far-off beach all summer long, I'm sitting here at my computer working up rubrics, and assignments, and all sorts of things so we can hit the ground running on August 3rd, when school starts up again. ... Come to think of it, I could use a margarita after all this work. August 3rd?...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed On Teacher

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments