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May 31, 2011

Should Librarians Count as Teachers?

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which has made headlines lately because of its plans to lay off thousands of teachers, also intends to cut 85 school librarian positions. Bill Chappell of NPR reports that the librarians "have been told that they no longer count as teachers," and that "the ch...

May 31, 2011

Digital Ed's 'Pied Piper'

Steven Pearlstein at The Washington Post offers a lofty vision for the future of the U.S. education system, in which students do most of their learning through individualized online programs.

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.

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