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May 25, 2011

Film Depicts Hardships, Dedication of the 'American Teacher'

Researchers, policymakers, and parents tend to agree that effective teachers are the key to high-quality schools—and, by implication, to maintaining an educated and thriving citizenry. So why are teachers in the United States so undervalued and lately even disparaged? That's the question at th...

May 23, 2011

'The Simpsons' Take On Rubber Rooms

The Simpsons' 22nd season's finale began with a pointed—but not-so-timely—education-policy spoof.

May 20, 2011

How Many TFA Alums Really Stay in Teaching?

Gary Rubinstein questions the data undergirding Teach For America's contention that two thirds of its alumni remain in education, with half of those continuing as teachers. He calculates that the number of TFA alums who, like himself, remain in teaching is probably something more like 10 to 15 perce...

May 12, 2011

Think Tank Pres.: Teacher Layoffs Not So Bad

With some 6,000 New York City teaching jobs on the chopping block, Chester E. Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, reassures Gothamites that teacher layoffs aren't necessarily bad for education, so long they aren't seniority-based. Resulting increases in class sizes, he argues, can be...

May 11, 2011

Why Did Duncan's Letter Backfire?

In case you missed the fireworks last week, Diane Ravitch recaps the negative reaction to Education Secretary Arne Duncan's open letter to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. A memorable way of putting it: It [the letter] should have been about as controversial as the president's annual Tha...

May 10, 2011

Another Teacher-Ratings Stir in L.A.

This past Sunday, the Los Angeles Times released a major update to its elementary school teacher value-added ratings, much to the chagrin of many teachers, administrators, and civic leaders in the community. The teachers' ratings are determined by their students' progress on the California Standards...

May 06, 2011

Standards for Teacher-Leaders Unveiled

Hot on the heels of the release of an updated set of teacher standards, a different consortium has released a similar set for teacher-leaders—those teachers who now serve in the coaching, mentoring, curriculum writing, and other roles that have proliferated over the last decade.

May 06, 2011

Teacher Ambassadors Highlight the Complexity of Education Policy

Yesterday I had the chance to speak with several Teacher Ambassador Fellows at the teacher town hall meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.

May 03, 2011

Growing Teachers

Loudoun County, Va., one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, is developing its own corps of teachers through an initiative it started eight years ago called the Teacher Cadet program. According to the Washington Post, Loudoun created the program in order to recruit and train a new generat...

May 02, 2011

2011 Nat. Teacher of the Year Awardee Noted for Reaching Out to Underserved Students

Michelle Shearer, a chemistry teacher at Urbana High School in Ijamsville, Md., has been selected as the 61st National Teacher of the Year, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers.

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