Leaders in the District of Columbia today announced details of the performance-based-pay program enshrined in its recently inked contract. Under the system, deemed "IMPACTplus,"—a reference to the IMPACT teacher-evaluation system upon which the pay decisions will be made—teachers deemed "highly effective" stand to earn annual bonuses of up to $25,000. In addition to these one-off bonuses, teachers will have the opportunity to qualify for permanent base-pay raises as well. But given the district's hotly charged political environment, payouts under the new program could already be in jeopardy. The fate of the teacher-evaluation system and the performance-pay...

Next week's D.C. Mayoral primary has strong implications for the future of teacher policy in the Nation's Capital.

Over the long haul, mutual-consent teacher policies don't appear to improve the distribution of inexperienced teachers—or the levels of turnover in high-minority schools. That's the conclusion of a recent analysis by researchers at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. If you're new to this wonky area of school hiring, mutual consent is a policy in which both the teacher seeking a placement and the receiving school's principal (and sometimes other staff) must agree to the placement. It differs from voluntary transfers or forced placements that are based on seniority. D.C.; Rhode Island; Colorado;...

Value-added gauges of teacher effectiveness are highly error-prone and shouldn't make up more than a minimal part of a teacher's evaluation, contends a report released this week authored by a high-powered list of academics. Problems with the gauge include the non-random assignment of students and teachers to classrooms, as well as the fact that value-added can't distinguish between the contributions of multiple teachers over time and seem to be unstable from year to year. "Such scores should only be a part of an overall comprehensive evaluation," the authors wrote. "Some states are now considering plans that would give as much ...

The National Staff Development Council, a membership group working to improve post-preparation professional development for teachers, will be rebranding itself beginning Sept. 1. Its new name: Learning Forward. The name "represents that what we do today in schools affects lives far into the future," the group's deputy executive director, Joellen Killion, wrote in a release. "We will continue to serve our members with the same dedicated level of attention, provide leadership in the field of professional learning, develop resources and information to support educator learning, and advocate for policies and effective practices that ensure that professional learning leads to student ...

Most teachers now appear to be receiving induction services, but they're spending less time in some kinds of sustained professional development activities than just a few years ago, according to a new analysis of federal data.

The Phase 2 Race to the Top picks are here, and they're an interesting and eclectic bunch. The effective teachers and leaders section of the competition represented the largest percentage of overall points in the competition, but based on a cursory review of the winners, there does not appear to be a clear thread among the teacher proposals that explains why some states won and others didn't. A big theme has been incorporating student achievement into teacher evaluations. But despite the rumors, the idea of making student growth count for up to 50 percent of an evaluation does not seem ...

Randi Weingarten says that only certain stakeholders should be able to review value-added teacher data.

Not too long ago, I promised you more analysis on the action at the two national teachers' unions conventions. I just filed a story for Education Week on this topic. The punchline: the unions' different governance structures have a lot to do with the paths they've pursued in these areas. You can read the story here. (For daily coverage from the conventions, click on the archives for July 2010; entries begin July 2.)...

Washington state pays its math and science teachers, on average, lower salaries than other teachers—undercutting plans by that state's leaders to invest more heavily in the quality of math and science teachers, a new analysis argues.


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