Four Must-Reads on Teachers

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 02, 2009 1 min read

I’m swamped today working on a feature, but I’ll be back tomorrow with some fresh items related to the Race to the Top. In the meantime, if you’re seeking your fix of teacher news, check out these great stories by colleagues, and one from yours truly.

• Debbie Viadero has the scoop on a new study that shows the presence of an effective teacher seems to raise the teaching quality of that educator’s peers. Now, the question is: What causes that phenomenon?

• In this story, I write about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s push to identify the most accurate and defensible teacher-effectiveness measures. Observations, value-added, student feedback, you name it - it’s here.

• Michele McNeil notes that not all of the teacher-effectiveness proposals in the RTTT are easily workable in our nation’s rural school districts. As she writes, it’s hard to do great evaluations if you’re the only physics teacher for miles around.

• And Lesli Maxwell has a detailed story up on Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s plans to institute site-based hiring over seniority and make other changes to the human-capital structures in Philadelphia. She’s working collaboratively withe the union for now, but she has the “nuclear option” to force this stuff on teachers through a series of legal rulings if they hedge.

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