Archive | February, 2014

Silencing Public School Advocates

From Zack Barnes at the Nashville Ledger: In Barnes’ weekly column on state politics, he references legislation that has been filed that would allow County Commissions to veto School Board spending on lobbyists. “This legislation would give county commissions unprecedented authority over school board budgets,” explains Andy Spears, a local education consultant. “In districts that hire […]

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Emily Richmond: Teachers Want to Be Heard

Emily Richmond offers her take on the Primary Sources survey (sponsored by the Gates Foundation) of 20,000 teachers over at The Atlantic. The bottom line, according to Richmond, teachers want to be heard. And they feel that state and national policymakers are not listening: Only one in 20 teachers said they were being heard statewide, […]

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Winning the War for Teaching Talent

From Kentucky Education Report: Stu Silberman from the Prichard Committee turns over his blog at EdWeek to Ellen Behrstock-Sherratt who discussed the need for a War for Talent in Teaching. Sheratt argues that baby-boomer retirements and a growing focus on the importance of teacher quality mean states and districts must do more to improve the teaching […]

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Is Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) a Worthy Investment?

A lot of the focus in education policy discussion is on teacher quality.  More specifically, education reforms tied to Race to the Top attempt to improve the way teachers are evaluated, often through the use of value-added modeling. While value-added modeling may not offer much significant differentiation among teachers, it is relied upon in states […]

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Cameras in TN Classrooms

From Tennessee Education Report: Schools Matter has a series of posts up on the Measuring Effectiveness in Teaching project sponsored by the Gates Foundation. Of note is the use of video cameras to record Tennessee classrooms and transmit the data for use in analyzing teaching behavior.  According to information obtained by Schools Matter, 120 schools in […]

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NAEP, Tennessee, and Poverty

Elaine Weiss, from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, posts some thoughts on recent NAEP scores and what they do (and don’t) indicate for Tennessee education. Here are some highlights: 1. No Correlation Between Race to the Top Reform and NAEP Gains: Exaggeration about NAEP scores, however, has largely trumped reason. U.S. Secretary of Education […]

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The Value Proposition for Teachers

From Tennessee Education Report: Most research suggests that school-based factors account for roughly 50% of the impact on student achievement.  Non-school factors (home life, poverty, education level of parents, etc.) account for the other 50%.  Of school-based factors, a child’s teacher can impact up to 50% of student achievement.  That makes it the biggest school-based […]

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Haslam Appoints Funding Formula Task Force in TN

From Tennessee Education Report: Governor Bill Haslam yesterday announced he’s appointed a task force to study the state’s education funding formula, known as the Basic Education Program (BEP). This is likely a response to some school districts, like Nashville, complaining that the current formula is unfair. Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, who will chair the group,  says the […]

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Beyond SCORE in Tennessee

From Tennessee Education Report Last week, newly-formed education advocacy group TREE (Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence) hosted a presentation by Elaine Weiss of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education. Weiss discussed recent Tennessee education policy in the context of the drivers of educational inequality.  She pointed to research suggesting that poverty is a significant contributor to student […]

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