Topic: Resources

AFT President Challenges Self-Styled Reformers, Lays Out a Real Reform Agenda

In her July 11 keynote speech at AFT’s biennial educational-issues conference in Washington, D.C., AFT President Randi Weingarten called for education reform worthy of the name--based on quality teaching, with continuous teacher development, rich and meaningful curriculum, and the best ideas from schools here and abroad--drawing a sharp contrast with self-styled reformers who denigrate teachers, defund public education, and ignore...

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Flawed Social-Studies Standards Earn a “D” in National Study

A conservative-leaning think tank has come out with a scathing report on the quality of the new social-studies standards adopted amidst much controversy last year by the State Board of Education. (Texas AFT strongly opposed these social-studies standards.) The Thomas B. Fordham Institute this week denounced the new Texas curriculum guidelines as a “politicized distortion of history offering misrepresentations at...

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Texas AFT Survey on Teacher Evaluation—Last Chance to Opine

Texas AFT’s Committee on Quality Educational Standards in Teaching (QuEST) invites you to take part in a survey for teachers on the evaluation systems currently in effect in your districts and possible alternatives. Please help guide our efforts to improve evaluation systems by taking this short survey online at http://survey.texasaft.org. The last day to take part is February 1.

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Take Texas AFT’s Survey on Teacher Evaluation

Texas AFT’s Committee on Quality Educational Standards in Teaching (QuEST) has come up with a new survey for teachers on the evaluation systems currently in effect in their districts and possible alternatives. Many members already have responded to the survey, initially announced in the Hotline and posted online in mid-December. Please join them in helping to guide our efforts to...

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Teachers, It’s Your Turn: Take Our Online Survey Evaluating Teacher Evaluation

There’s much ado about teacher effectiveness and teacher evaluation in the media these days, with a story line driven by self-anointed educational “reformers” who think they already have all the answers about how to address both. Texas AFT has been working for improvements in teacher development and appraisal since long before this topic came into media vogue, and we expect...

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Comptroller Mounts New Attack on Class-Size Limits in Early Elementary Grades; Teacher Evaluations, Pay, and Contract Rights Targeted, Too

The drumbeat for an attack on state class-size limits in grades K-4 that began in the Texas Senate Education Committee last February just got louder today. State Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs, in the name of "efficiency," issued a report that recommends "eliminating the 22-student limit for each K-4 classroom and instituting an average 22-student class size instead." Make...

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New Report Says Quality Teacher-Prep Programs Require Strong Clinical-Practice Component

A new report from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) calls for increased emphasis on practical experience in the classroom as a critical element of teacher preparation. In addition to the stress on providing clinical experiences for teacher candidates, the report urges stronger partnerships between ed-prep programs and school districts, improved candidate selection and placement, and a...

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Another Independent Study Casts Doubt on Value-Added Models of Teacher Evaluation–Specifically Including the Houston ISD Version

Policy-makers may be drawn to the simplicity of reducing teacher evaluation to a "value-added" score based on achievement tests, but they are neglecting an expanding body of educational research that shows this seeming simplicity comes at the expense of accuracy. Educational historian Diane Ravitch, in her latest "Bridging Differences" blog entry (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2010/10/dear_deborah_you_asked_what.html), cites a new study from the Annenberg Institute...

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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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