Education

Chicago Strike, Research Among Top Posts in 2012

By Stephen Sawchuk — December 31, 2012 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Readers, it’s time to take a look at what items most caught your attention here at the Teacher Beat blog over the past year.
We’ll run through them in reverse.

#10: Chicago teachers voted to end a seven-day-long strike as described in this, our 10th most read item of the year. The move paved the way for the ratification of a tentative agreement.

#9: It makes plain old common sense, but now empirical research tentatively supports the idea that teachers who seem to be effective in one school setting continue to do well when they transfer to other schools, according to a research study I reported on in July. Caveat: The specific magnitude of such teachers’ effect scores do differ, which is partly a function of how so-called “value added” models work. Remember, individual teacher value-added scores compares each teacher with those teachers of students of similar demographic backgrounds.

#8: Few reporters attended the National Education Association’s budget hearing in July. Too bad, because the details were shocking: The nation’s largest union had lost 100,000 full-time-equivalent members and expected to lose even more in coming months.(The mainstream press later picked up on this story.)

#7: Readers flocked to our Number 7 post, on an AFT proposal to create a bar-exam-like licensing test states could voluntarily adopt as part of their certification process. AFT has had a bit of a mixed track record on projects like this in recent years, but this effort could get a boost from the involvement of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

#6: I was heartened to see that readers found this item analyzing teachers’ instructional practices as interesting as I did when I wrote it. The blog item brought some additional attention to a finding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study. As part of that effort, trained reviewers scored dozens of taped lessons from teachers. They found that teachers tended to get lower ratings on their ability to teach students how to analyze and solve problems, and on managing high-quality discussions among students. Such findings held up across all the teaching frameworks studied. It’s unclear why this seems to be the case, but the implications for policy are many, especially in a day and age of increased student expectations under the common core. Put another way: The common-core standards will require both teachers and students to perform at higher cognitive levels.

#5: You were interested in this item summarizing a Center for American Progress report that found the cost of compensating teachers holding advanced degrees has increased by nearly $15 billion in just four years. This remains a highly sensitive and hotly debated topic.

#4: In our fourth most-read item, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan walked back his support for a Los Angeles Times’ project that created a database of teacher-performance ratings based on test-score measures. He told me that “there’s not much of an upside there, and there’s a tremendous downside” to making teachers’ evaluation ratings public.

#3: In bronze-medal position is an excellent guest post from colleague Nirvi Shah, which profiled the fastest-growing education start-up: A free classroom-management website, ClassDojo.

#2: Our runner-up post was the first of many Chicago teachers’ strike-related posts and stories here at Education Week. This is the item to read if you want a short, neat summary of the background factors that led to the strike.

#1: The most popular item was my reporting on a research study showing that high levels of teacher turnover have a deleterious effect on student achievement—and not just for those students taught by the departing teachers. It’s the latest in what seems to be a new surge of high-quality studies trying to sort through the complex issue of teacher retention. Interestingly, reactions to the study felt a bit like a classic see-what-you-want-to see litmus test: Plenty of folks used the findings to take swipes at Teach For America, which requires candidates to serve only two years in the profession. Others interpreted it as a broader indictment of working conditions and a profession that tolerates a tremendous amount of churn.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP
Education Massachusetts National Guard to Help With Busing Students to School
250 guard personnel will be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans, as districts nationwide struggle to hire enough drivers.
1 min read
Massachusetts National Guard soldiers help with logistics in this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, at a food distribution site outside City Hall, in Chelsea, Mass. Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, activated the state's National Guard to help with busing students to school as districts across the country struggle to hire enough drivers.
Massachusetts National Guard soldiers help with logistics in this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, at a food distribution site outside City Hall, in Chelsea, Mass.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Education FDA: ‘Very, Very Hopeful’ COVID Shots Will Be Ready for Younger Kids This Year
Dr. Peter Marks said he is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds will be underway by year’s end. Maybe sooner.
4 min read
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2021. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, Marks urged parents to be patient, saying the agency will rapidly evaluate vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds as soon as it gets the needed data.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2021.
Jim Lo Scalzo/AP