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February 6, 2018
With new focus on curriculum, Gates Foundation wades into tricky territory
The Gates Foundation has a new plan intended to help public schools: improve the materials that teachers use to teach. But that may run into some challenges.
Classrooms without teachers
January 9, 2018
In many large school districts, hundreds of teaching positions were unfilled as school year began
In the country’s largest school districts, thousands of students started the school year without a permanent teacher, according to data from public records.
inside the playbook
December 6, 2017
A ‘portfolio’ of schools? How a nationwide effort to disrupt urban school districts is gaining traction
From Atlanta to Cincinnati to Oakland, a loosely connected network of nonprofit groups is working to reshape the way their school districts function.
Movers and shakers
September 19, 2017
Berrick Abramson to lead education work at Colorado think tank, Keystone
Abramson, who lives in Jefferson County, joins Keystone after a long stint at TNTP, an education nonprofit formerly known as The New Teacher Project.
September 14, 2017
Efforts to ‘raise the bar’ for becoming a teacher are running headlong into efforts to diversify the profession. Now what?
Education advocates want to have it both ways: they want more teachers of color and to “raise the bar” for the profession with measures that screen out certain groups.
End of an era
August 9, 2017
New York City to bring high-profile Teaching Fellows program in-house, ending role for nonprofit TNTP
The decision follows a similar plan to move training for aspiring principals in-house.
draining the pool
August 7, 2017
Five things we still don’t know about who is in New York City’s Absent Teacher Reserve
The truth is, we know very little about the teachers in the pool.
mend it or end it?
July 12, 2017
Why a long-time critic of teacher professional development is arguing against Trump’s push to cut federal funds for it
Dan Weisberg, the president of TNTP was on Capitol Hill this week pushing back against the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to Title II funding.
August 11, 2016
Pushing back on Common Core criticism, an advocacy group promotes challenging student work
A nonprofit organization that spurred a national effort to toughen teacher evaluations wants to redirect policy makers' attention — toward too-easy student work.
April 17, 2015
State: New York City’s top-rated teachers less likely to serve black and Hispanic students
City teachers who received the highest ratings were less likely to serve black and Hispanic students, state education officials said this week.
February 4, 2015
State board stops short of guiding schools toward more test scores in teacher ratings
The Indiana State Board of Education today held off a decision to ask school districts to count test scores and other “objective” measures of teaching…
February 3, 2015
State board poised to add more test scores into teacher ratings
The Indiana State Board of Education is expected to vote tomorrow on how much student test scores factor into teacher evaluations — for some, it could…
January 26, 2015
Lilly Endowment gives The Mind Trust $3.4 million to expand Teach for America, The New Teacher Project
Teacher training programs Teach for America and The New Teacher Project could grow their ranks in Indianapolis by more than 300 educators thanks to a $3.4…
November 3, 2014
Teach for America vs. traditional training programs: This year’s state report card
Both alternative certification teacher programs like Teach for America and traditional programs are producing high-quality teachers, according to an annual evaluation of Tennessee teacher training programs.
June 16, 2014
Panel of union critics say de Blasio lost big on the UFT contract
What the city and the United Federation of Teachers have hailed as a historically collaborative agreement adds up to little more than giveaways for the teachers union, critics argued at a panel event on Monday morning. As a result, panelists said, a new $18 billion contract for teachers reflects plenty of missed opportunities for the de Blasio administration.
April 3, 2014
Advocates to Fariña: More specifics on forced placement, please
Advocates looking to keep the teachers in the city's Absent Teacher Reserve out of classrooms say Chancellor Fariña hasn't said enough about her plans for those teachers.
February 24, 2014
UFT wants city to reconsider Teaching Fellows program
UFT President Michael Mulgrew is urging the de Blasio administration to reconsider the city's flagship teacher training program after a union survey found that few graduates say their preparation was "excellent."
January 22, 2014
SCS board to vote on teacher hiring process
Shelby County School Board members are expected to vote next week on whether to continue to use an outside organization to hire and retain its…
September 10, 2013
"Gold standard" study identifies benefits of TFA math teachers
Middle and high school students whose math teachers entered the profession through Teach for America learn what researchers are calling the equivalent of 2.6 months more than similar students each year, according to a study released today. But the study found that teachers who entered the profession through the Teaching Fellows program, which supplies large numbers of New York City teachers, did not similarly boost students' math scores. The findings are likely to shape ongoing debates over the value of teacher experience and and over alternative certification programs, given the limited number of large-scale studies on the programs' effectiveness. For years, Teach for America's detractors have pointed to a 2005 study led by Linda Darling-Hammond, while supporters have been left to offer up smaller studies and anecdotal evidence about outsized gains. But more recently, studies showing benefits to Teach for America teachers have begun to pile up, even as criticism of the program, which allows recent college graduates a fast track into the classroom, has continued. The latest study, conducted by the firm Mathematica, is among the largest and uses random-assignment methodology, which is widely considered the "gold standard" in education research. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, an office that supports randomized studies in an attempt to boost the quality of education research.
July 30, 2012
Report: Districts can do more to retain their strongest teachers
In New York City — "District D" — there was virtually no difference in turnover rates based on teacher performance. Getting rid of weak teachers doesn't always require massive policy changes. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge, a new study on teacher turnover suggests. When New York City principals told low-rated teachers that they were deficient, the teachers were three times more likely to leave the school, according to the study, released today by TNTP, a group that advocates for aggressive changes to hiring and firing practices in public schools. Convincing the best teachers to stay is just as easy as counseling the weak ones out, the study suggests. Top-rated teachers said they were more likely to stay if their principals gave them more constructive feedback and more public recognition for their efforts, but two-thirds of them reported that their principals did not even encourage them to return to their school. The study is a follow-up to TNTP's 2009 influential "Widget Effect" report, which urged school districts to revamp teacher evaluations. In the new report, the group focuses on how districts can hold on to teachers determined to be the best. Districts don't make a special effort to keep those teachers, termed "Irreplaceables" in the report, and when they leave, schools are highly unlikely to hire teachers who are anywhere near as strong, the report concludes. Some of the report's findings represent low-cost, easy-to-implement alternatives to some of the other policies TNTP has pushed, including firing teachers who don't have permanent positions and doing away with seniority-based layoffs.
February 17, 2012
Reform groups are mostly mum on coming teacher rating dump
Contrasted against each other, this week's two pieces of teacher evaluation news put some education reform groups in a tough spot. As a deadline on a teacher evaluation deal neared, the groups anxiously supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo's work to add weight to test scores for assessing teachers. But in the middle of those negotiations, a court decision on the release of the city's teacher data reports reminded the public of the pitfalls of relying too heavily on data-driven metrics. Research into the reports had revealed a wide margin of error and instability from year to year. So, for the most part, groups were mum about the legal ruling, which paves the way for a data dump of two-year-old "value-added" ratings for 12,000 city teachers. The exception was Educators 4 Excellence, an upstart advocacy group that says it has support from thousands of city teachers. Although they are usually a thorn in the side of the United Federation of Teachers because of disagreement over senior-based layoffs and teacher evaluations, the two groups struck common ground on this issue. E4E co-founder and co-CEO Evan Stone sent over an email Wednesday saying he was "disappointed" with the court's decision to let the release go forward and said he thought making the ratings public would do little to boost the issue of improving teacher quality. "While we strongly support teachers receiving quality feedback about their performance, including how much they're helping their students progress on state tests, publicizing these results on the front page of newspapers will not help improve teacher effectiveness," Stone said in a statement. Stone's comments, while not as sharply worded, echo the sentiments of UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Principals union head Ernest Logan piled on criticism of the decision as well yesterday.
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