Teacher Beat’s Top 10 for 2013

By Stephen Sawchuk — December 19, 2013 2 min read
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Every year, I run down the most widely read items on this blog so that you can get a sense of what was hot, newsy, or particularly controversial on the Teacher Beat. Here they are, in reverse ranking, ending with the most-read item.

Side note: I’ll be a on short holiday for the next week, so expect blogging to be light. Happy holidays, dear readers!

10. Disadvantaged Students Get Less-Effective Teaching, Study Says: This one gets my vote as the most depressing story of the year. The research showed that the overall quality of teaching was lower for such students, and it appeared to be linked to the schools they attend, not the specific classes.

9. Students Show Progress Under Teacher-Bonus System: This study looked at “student learning objectives” as one part of a performance-based compensation system in Charlotte, N.C., and generally found positive effects.

8. Teacher Turnover Harms All Students’ Achievement: It’s an oldie but a goodie! This item goes back to 2012, but continues to be widely read.

7. Columbia University Profs Raise Concerns About Certification Test, and 6. A New Teacher-Licensing Test: Where Will States Set the Bar?: These two items both focused on the edTPA, a performance-based licensing exam that kicked off this year to both fanfare and controversy.

5. NEA Delegates Endorse Common-Core Supports, But Not Testing: At its annual convention, NEA delegates threaded a very narrow needle, angering some of their most left-leaning members but giving the implementation of the core a boost.

4. Seven States Agree to Pilot Teacher-Prep Changes: The Council of Chief State School Officers held its own mini-competition to spur changes to teacher-preparation programs.

3. Overhaul of Teacher-Prep Standards Targets Recruitment, Performance: This item broke the news about the new standards proposed by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. (A final draft was approved later in the year.) With its endorsement of heightened selectivity requirements for entry to teaching programs and on candidate outcomes, the standards’ implementation will be closely watched.

2. Gates Announces $15M in Professional-Development Grants: Readers flocked to this item on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s new investments in better inservice training. One of my most-read Education Week stories this year focused on all of the Gates Foundation’s teacher-quality spending, so if you found this item interesting, you’ll definitely want to get a sense of the bigger picture, too.

And finally, in the no. 1 spot, is Teacher Training in Classroom Management Is Insufficient, NCTQ Finds: Like NCTQ’s other projects, this one touched off a firestorm of debate about the council’s findings and methodology and also whether its conclusions were sound or not.

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