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March 02, 2011

What Class Size Means to Parents

Responding to the Bill Gates-generated class-size kerfuffle, education writer Dana Goldstein allows that there is little proven correlation between small class sizes and student performance. But, she notes, there's more to the issue than just test scores: The problem [with increasing class sizes]...

March 02, 2011

Sweet Headline Solves Teacher Layoff Problem

Here's a gem of a headline from the Star-Telegram, which could have you crying or cringing: Fort Worth 2nd-Grader Hopes Sack of Change Will Save Teachers' Jobs The eight-year-old in the article is quoted as saying, "I thought I would bring some of my money from my college fund to my school so more...

March 02, 2011

'Have You Drugged Your Kids Today?'

Earlier this year, teacher Natalie Munroe sparked a national debate when she was fired for blogging about her students and claimed her First Amendment rights were violated. Now, an English teacher in Arizona is making the same claim after being let go for refusing to part with a bumper sticker, repo...

March 01, 2011

Award-winning Teacher Laid Off While Fighting Cancer

Just months after being diagnosed with cancer, Francisco Mendoza—who has earned several teaching awards throughout his 25 years in the classroom—lost his job and his health benefits, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Last spring, Mendoza spent five months in a hospital undergoing chemotherap...

February 28, 2011

Bloomberg's Layoff List

Yesterday, the New York City Department of Education released a list of the number of teachers each school in the city would dismiss if the state's seniority-based layoff policies persist, according to the New York Times. In all, 4,675 teachers, or 6 percent of the city's active teaching staff, woul...

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 ...

February 24, 2011

Poll: Seniority Doesn't Rule

With plans for massive teacher layoffs in New York looming, a recent Quinnipiac University poll reveals that 90 percent of public school parents in the state think performance—not seniority—should be the basis for such firings, reports the Buffalo News. Eighty-five percent of all registere...

February 24, 2011

Debating Wisconsin and Collective Bargaining

Over at Education Week, Diane Ravitch, with an eye on Wisconsin, defends teachers' right to collectively bargain: From the individual teacher's point of view, it is valuable to have an organization to turn to when you feel you have been treated unfairly, one that will supply you with assistance, ...

February 09, 2011

Rhee Teacher Firings Deemed Unjust

On Feb. 7, a Washington, D.C., arbitrator ruled that 75 public school teachers with probationary status were wrongly terminated under former school chancellor Michelle Rhee in 2008 and should be reinstated, reports The Washington Post. According to the ruling by Charles Feigenbaum, "The glaring and...

February 08, 2011

Who Owns a Lesson Plan?

A company that allows teachers to sell their lesson plans online paid out over $1 million to educators last year, according to a recent VentureBeat blog post. But some question whether or not teachers should reap these benefits. TeachersPayTeachers and WeAreTeachers are both websites designed for ...

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