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July 18, 2014

TNTP Presses for Performance-Pay Systems for Teachers

To bolster teacher quality, schools systems desperately need to institute variable pay structures that reward educators based on performance and challenging assignments, according to a report released this week by TNTP, a prominent nonprofit teacher-recruitment and policy organization.

April 18, 2012

Ed. Scholars: Common Core Presents Crucial Moment for Teacher Collaboration

On the Atlantic's National blog, University of Michigan education professors Jeffrey Mirel and Simona Goldin express optimism that the current movement towards a common curriculum could boost what they consider woeful levels of teacher collaboration in U.S. schools: One of the key differences be...

February 23, 2012

Shades of (Daniel) Pink: The Merit Pay Debate

In case you missed it, last week's Washington Post article on merit pay does a nice job of summing up the major rift between proponents and skeptics of a school reform effort that, according to the Post reporter, is "suddenly gaining traction." Daniel Pink, author of the popular book about motivat...

January 12, 2012

How Much Should Teachers Make?

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof points to a new Harvard study finding that good teachers—as defined by value-added test score analysis—have a profound long-term effect on students. According to the study, he notes, an average-size 4th grade class with a strong teacher will go on...

July 29, 2011

Survey: Alternative Teacher Certification on the Rise

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.

June 29, 2011

Researchers: School-Level Incentives Unite the 'Tortoise and Hare'

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 Am...

March 14, 2011

Sunday Papers: 'Evaluate and Differentiate'

Amid the ongoing debates over collective bargaining and the power of unions, teachers were (yet again) a focus of major newspaper op-ed pages yesterday: In the New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof (apparently taking a breather from the revolutions in the Mideast), blasted the "pernicious f...

February 28, 2011

Gates: Give Effective Teachers More Students

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post this morning—and addressed to the nation's governors, who are gathering in D.C. this week for their annual meeting—Bill Gates points to the impact that excellent teachers have on student achievement and argues that tight education budgets would ...

January 03, 2011

Meme Watch: Teachers as 'Interchangeable Widgets'

Several weeks ago, we reported on a wonkish panel discussion in D.C. in which Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in proping up the performance pay idea, lamented that school systems currently treat teachers like "interchangeble widgets."

November 30, 2010

Hot Story: Gates, Ravitch, Seniority Pay, and Lawn Mowers

In his latest column, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter highlights—quite uncritically—Bill Gates' campaign to curb teacher seniority pay, which appears to offend the Microsoft founder's business sense: "Is there any other part of of the economy where someone says, 'Hey, how long have you been mowi...

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