The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently reported that there is a shortage of HR professionals. The news doesn't surprise me as more organizations and industries start to realize the importance of a highly skilled, strategic HR function. Many districts, for example, are hiring HR professionals for the first time. Why? It could be the result of a greater emphasis put on human capital development through Race to the Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and other federal and state programs in recent years. Others might argue that changes in teacher evaluation policy in many states have created a ...


This article originally appeared in the May/June/July 2012 American Association of School Personnel Administrators Best Practices Magazine, "Legal Issues Within HR: Keeping Yourself Up To Date". Reprinted with permission. In today's high-tech world, it is easier than ever for people to stay connected. Any time, any place, we can share information instantly with friends, family, and coworkers living in the next city or across the globe. However, while this enhanced connectivity has transformed business and education, made communication faster and easier, and helped promote sharing and learning, it can also be a human resource professional's worst nightmare. The ...


Business leaders, school districts, and HR professionals have long debated whether it is better to promote internally or hire externally. Some districts I have worked with will only promote current teachers to fill a vacant principal position, while others regularly look to hire candidates from outside the organization. This can also be a challenge for boards of education in hiring a new superintendent. Do they promote from within or conduct a national search? When people ask my opinion, I usually say, "It depends." School districts and other organizations should weigh several factors in deciding how to approach the hiring process, ...


Teresa Daulong, Battelle for Kids' Strategic Measures Specialist, contributed to this post. Teresa works daily with large urban school districts across the country to help every employee understand their impact on student success. With 16 years of experience working with organizations to improve performance, she believes that creating systems of shared accountability is the key to success both at home and in schools everywhere. Multiple measures of effectiveness. New teacher and principal evaluation systems. Progress versus achievement. We spend countless hours developing tools to more clearly identify and grow effective teachers and principals. But, what about everyone else who works ...


Today, the U.S. Department of Education released a 277-page report outlining updated priorities, application information, eligibility requirements, and other details for a fourth round of Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants, which are set to be awarded this fall. The TIF 4 competition provides two grant opportunities. The General TIF Competition, according to a USDOE press release, is designed to support "district-wide evaluation systems that reward success, offer greater professional opportunities, and drive decision-making on recruitment, development, and retention of effective teachers and principals." The TIF Competition with a STEM Focus will provide funding focused on improving science, technology, engineering, ...


The cost of benefits is rising. We read about it in the newspaper. We hear it debated on television. Some of us see more being taking out of our paychecks every couple of weeks. But, what exactly does an increase in benefits costs mean for workers and organizations? As a human resources person with experience working in the healthcare industry and purchasing health insurance for an organization, I have seen how costly and tricky health insurance plans can be. Outside of benefits managers, leaders, and financial types, most people don't think about their health coverage until they a) don't have ...


Melanie Wightman, a School Improvement Specialist at Battelle for Kids, contributed to this post. Melanie works with teachers and principals to understand connections between fostering student growth and implementing the Common Core State Standards. Melanie has been in education since 1975 and believes that while children make up about 23 percent of the U.S. population, they are 100 percent of our future! Next to evaluation, NCLB waivers, Race to the Top, and performance pay, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are one of the most highly discussed topics in education in 2012. While many write about the associated costs, ...


Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to Singapore to visit schools and learn about the country's education system. I took away some interesting insights from local education leaders around K-12 talent management and human capital. For example, I had a brief conversation with a Singaporean principal about employee attrition. A common belief is that the fewer employees that leave an organization the better. However, while the principal did not wish to lose people, he recognized that there are different types of attrition or turnover. He also noted that at times, turnover can be good for an organization as ...


In a previous mailbag post, I responded to a question about how some of the best HR departments in education are approaching educator evaluations. To continue with the evaluation theme, another reader, Ben, recently asked: "Emily - When it comes to the "How" of implementing a teacher evaluation system, and ensuring that the process is as efficient and manageable as possible for principals and other admin staff, it seems that a technology component is necessary. The ability for principals to input observation data on a tablet or mobile device, and then the ability to quickly compile the numbers into reports ...


I have written many posts on motivation and rewards in my tenure as an Education Week blogger. The basic principle behind any rewards program is recognizing a job well done, which is the mission behind Teacher Appreciation Week. May 7-11 educators, parents, students, and millions of other Americans are celebrating the contributions of teachers across the country. All week, I have read fantastic stories about teachers making a difference and come across many opportunities to recognize exceptional teachers. While compensation is often the focus of conversations around rewarding educators, rewards can come in all shapes and sizes. Cards, appreciation days/weeks,...


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  • Brian Hansen: Great explanation of the flipped classroom! I'm starting to flip read more
  • Donte Kiryakoza: As usual, another great write up. Keep up the good read more
  • Leoma Dastrup: I don't actually concur with you on this, but still read more
  • Joshua: So, what are the solutions? I often see people decry read more
  • Jules Witherite: Great Job. fantasticread keep up the great work :) read more