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August 05, 2012

SOS Event Draws Small Crowd, Focuses on Organizing

In sharp contrast to last summer's celebrity-attended rally and march to the White House, the Save Our Schools gathering this year proved a quiet, 150-person affair. Held this weekend in the regal Wardman Park Marriott in downtown Washington, the convention featured presentations on an array of to...

August 02, 2012

Educators Making Summer Connections

The U.S. Department of Education has declared that August is Connected Educator Month, a "celebration," as the website says, that is part of the Office of Educational Technology's Connected Educators initiative to support online professional learning. During the next four weeks, the department will ...

August 02, 2012

TNTP Findings Resonate With Teachers

Miss Eyre, a unionized teacher, surprises even herself by reacting favorably to the new report on teacher attrition by TNTP, a group that has been critical of policies supported by the unions.

August 01, 2012

Teacher-Retention Tip: Lose the 'Martyr Mentality'

In a post last month on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution education blog, a Fulton County, Ga., high school teacher named Jordan Kohanim wrote about her decision to leave the classroom on account of what she felt were unsustainable and deteriorating working conditions. In a follow-up post published to...

July 27, 2012

New Ideas for Improving Teachers Instead of Firing Them

Ray Fisman, a professor of social enterprise at the Columbia Business School, points to recent research suggesting that—pace the heated rhetoric of some school reformers—'there may be perfectly viable ways to improve overall instruction in schools without firing low-performing teachers.

July 23, 2012

Grow-Your-Own Teacher Program Not Growing Very Many

In November, I wrote about a seminar at the left-leaning Center for American Progress where researchers and educators advocated for expanding local grow-your-own teachers programs to increase the numbers of minority teachers. Grow-your-own programs take local community members and help them become t...

July 11, 2012

Next Up in Teacher Evaluations: Student Surveys

The search for reliable methods of gauging teacher effectiveness, a dominant education policy issue over the last several years, has centered on classroom observation tools and value-added measures. But another potential indicator has emerged and is starting to pick up momentum: student surveys.

July 03, 2012

Overheard at NEA: Professional Respect, School-Funding, and Politics Are Top Priorities

While at the NEA convention today, I flagged down a few delegates from a sampling of states and asked the following: What should be NEA's main priority right now? The major theme at the convention so far has been the union's push to re-elect President Barack Obama. Do you agree this is where the org...

July 03, 2012

For Teachers, Why Does 'Moving Up' Mean 'Moving Out'?

Ariel Sacks recalls an interesting exchange from the day she went down to the district office to submit her materials for her very first teaching job: The middle-aged woman who processed my paperwork was friendly in that way only New Yorkers can be, and chatted me up a bit. When she gave me the th...

July 03, 2012

NEA 2012: It's All About Obama

Campaign rally or Representative Assembly? At some points yesterday it was hard to tell. The 8,000 or so delegates of the nation's largest teachers' union gathered in Washington for their annual convention heard one message above all others: Vote for Obama in November. Just outside the assembly ...

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