Topic: Profession

Court Says Teachers Still in Training Aren’t “Highly Qualified” Under Federal Law

Last week a federal appeals court in California held that alternative-route teachers still in training are not "highly qualified" under the federal education law, the No Child Left Behind Act. The U.S. Department of Education has interpreted the "highly qualified" requirement to allow individuals who "demonstrate satisfactory progress" toward certification to be deemed the equivalent of a teacher who "has...

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Recommended Reading–a Texas AFT Leader on Improving Schools as Union Work

The Fall 2010 issue of American Educator, the professional journal of the American Federation of Teachers, includes an extraordinary essay by one of our own, new Texas AFT Secretary-Treasurer Louis Malfaro. His piece, entitled "The Professional Educator: Lessons on Organizing for Power and School Improvement," offers many insights into what union organizing in education–particularly here in Texas–is all about. Read More

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Not Waiting for Superman

The much-hyped movie “Waiting for Superman” has been the focus this week of a media campaign that scapegoats teachers and their unions for all the ills of the nation’s schools, while portraying the operators of select charter schools and self-designated “school reformers” as heroes.  Read More

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Another Independent Study Finds No Impact From Performance Pay for Teachers

Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to boast that Texas on his watch has created the biggest performance-pay program of any state in the country, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on bonuses tied mainly to the scores of students on standardized achievement tests. It’s not much to boast about, however, in light of studies that show no positive impact on...

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Testing Experts Say It’s a Serious Mistake to Make Standardized Test Scores a Dominant Factor in Teacher Evaluation

Even as the craze for judging teachers by their students’ standardized test scores reaches new heights, now comes a sharply worded report from a distinguished group of testing experts who all agree that test-driven teacher evaluation is a really bad idea. Their new study, published by the Economic Policy Institute, explains in detail what’s wrong with the seemingly simple and...

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State Ruling Backs McAllen AFT on District’s Duty to Pay Salary-Step Increases

Texas AFT's local affiliate in McAllen ISD has won a significant victory in a legal battle to get the district to give teachers their full 2009-2010 pay raise as required by state law. This week an administrative law judge with the Texas Education Agency ruled in McAllen AFT's favor, supporting the union's contention that the district violated state law last...

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National Poll Shows Community Support for Teachers

The latest Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward Public Schools shows strong public support for a positive rather than punitive approach to improving school and teacher performance. A solid majority, 54 percent of those polled, said the best way to turn around low-performing schools is to keep them open with the existing teachers and principal and to...

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Texas AFT Prevails–Court Ruling Upholding Ban on Minimum Grades Will Not Be Appealed by School Districts

Texas AFT has received notification that there will be no appeal by school districts from a June court decision upholding the state ban on local minimum-grade policies. Under these local policies, teachers have been required to give students grades no lower than some district-mandated minimum, even if the students have refused to do any assignments or have failed to attend...

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