The Certification Maze

Teachers often can’t easily get a teaching job in a new state – usually because of confusing bureaucracy, a battery of expensive exams, and complex rules about which university courses will be accepted.  There is little research showing these rules lead to better teachers, but some evidence that they harm students and push teachers to Read more about The Certification Maze[…]

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The New Normal in K-12 Education

A recent blog by Third Way examines several issues in education policy and reveals the outdated logic and arguments that are being used to debate modern issues. This stagnation in conversation not only threatens our ability to move forward with the best policies for our nation’s students, but it also has had the unintended consequence Read more about The New Normal in K-12 Education[…]

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We Are #TEACH STRONG

To create the excellent and equitable education that America’s students deserve, teachers must work to prepare students for a competitive, globalized market. As a result, we are asking more from our teachers than ever before. Yet we continue to provide them with preparation, training, and pay that aren’t designed to meet these changing demands. TeachStrong Read more about We Are #TEACH STRONG[…]

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NCTQ releases the 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently released the 2015 report on State Teacher Policy. The report summarizes how the states are doing in developing policies that improve the teaching profession. The 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook provides a 360-degree analysis of every state law, rule, and regulation that shapes the teaching profession—from teacher Read more about NCTQ releases the 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook[…]

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Teaching Experience Matters More Than We Used to Think

Two new research studies that evaluated vast amounts of data both concluded that teachers continue to improve over the course of their careers. The prevailing wisdom from previous research, which many teachers and teachers unions have disputed, said that teachers improved in their first several years of teaching, but then plateaued. The studies looked at Read more about Teaching Experience Matters More Than We Used to Think[…]

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Vergara and the Complexities of Teacher Employment Policies — an ECS Policy Analysis

Teacher employment policies — tenure, dismissal and seniority — have been debated for years, but with recent cases playing out in the courts the disputes have been elevated to new levels. What is best for students and teachers is a complex topic with varying view. This Education Commission of the States policy analysis uses the Read more about Vergara and the Complexities of Teacher Employment Policies — an ECS Policy Analysis[…]

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There Isn’t Really a Mass Exodus of Good Teachers

There is no systemic evidence that all the best teachers are leaving. In fact the opposite appears to be true. More research and more years of data, are needed, but early results seem promising that evaluation is playing a positive role in keeping the best educators. Numbers have already been crunched on teacher retention and Read more about There Isn’t Really a Mass Exodus of Good Teachers[…]

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CALDER Conversations: Implications of Tenure Reform Lawsuits

Tenure and tenure reform are in the news of late given the Vergara decision in California and similar efforts challenging tenure laws in New York. Teachers unions argue that current statutes suffice for removing underperforming teachers. Some student advocates argue that these laws are not sufficient because students must endure underperforming teachers for too long. Read more about CALDER Conversations: Implications of Tenure Reform Lawsuits[…]

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Rebalancing Teacher Tenure

Nearly everyone agrees that all students deserve a quality education, and that teachers deserve reasonable job protections. But Vergara v. California threw a spotlight on a hard truth: The balance has swung too far toward job protections for adults, at the expense of the rights of children. Tenure doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. TNTP believes Read more about Rebalancing Teacher Tenure[…]

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Ending Teacher Tenure Would Have Little Impact on its Own

Matthew M. Chingos of The Brookings Institution has written a compelling new piece arguing that ending teacher tenure would have little impact on its own. Tenure for public school teachers is increasingly under attack, with the Vergara v. California judge ruling in June that “both students and teachers are unfairly, unnecessarily and for no legally Read more about Ending Teacher Tenure Would Have Little Impact on its Own[…]

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Carnegie Report Examines Lack of Experience in the Teacher Workforce

A new report from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching highlights the causes for and consequences of a relatively inexperienced teacher workforce, as well as promising practices in response to this reality. The high number of inexperienced teachers in public school classrooms is a largely unrecognized problem that undermines school stability, slows educational Read more about Carnegie Report Examines Lack of Experience in the Teacher Workforce[…]

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Vergara vs. California: Teachers Unions on Trial

An oft-cited question in education circles is how much poorly-performing teachers are able to continue to collect paychecks because of tenure systems and powerful teachers’ unions.  This question becomes even more contentious when it is combined with the argument that more poorly performing teachers usually teach at underprivileged schools. In other words, the inability for Read more about Vergara vs. California: Teachers Unions on Trial[…]

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Teacher Evaluation Policies Becoming Increasingly Rigorous

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality indicates that by and large, teacher evaluations are becoming more stringent. The “State of the State” report is entitled, “Connect the Dots: Using evaluations of teacher effectiveness to inform policy and practice.” The report suggests that 35 states and DC require student achievement (often measured Read more about Teacher Evaluation Policies Becoming Increasingly Rigorous[…]

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At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice

In an age of Teach For America, value-added teacher evaluations, and new challenges for teachers such as teaching to Common Core, teacher tenure is as big of an issue as ever. Many studies show that experienced teachers are more proficient, although there is some evidence that teachers can stagnate over time. In addition, the baby Read more about At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice[…]

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The Way We Talk: Professionalism

Conor Williams of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation takes on those in the “teacher professionalism” camp of education reform.  In an article sparked by Harvard Education Professor Jal Mehta’s new book and article, “Why American Education Fails: And How Lessons From Abroad Could Improve It”, Williams speculates that the concept of Read more about The Way We Talk: Professionalism[…]

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Minnesota Governor Vetoes Teacher Tenure Overhaul

Governor Mike Dayton vetoed a proposal to overhaul teacher layoff rules earlier this month, a top priority for the state’s Republican lawmakers.  In defense of his veto, the governor said the measure was “an example of prejudice against public school teachers” that singled out hard-working teachers by negating long-establish[ed] bargaining rights, replacing them “with only Read more about Minnesota Governor Vetoes Teacher Tenure Overhaul[…]

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