marksimon's blog

Pay for Performance - Avoiding the Pitfalls

Redesigning Teacher PayRedesigning Teacher PayA new book by Harvard professor Susan Moore Johnson and John Papay, published by the Economic Policy Institute, analyzes the state of  "pay for performance" plans and the mistakes made. They then make recommendations for how pay for performance should be used. Its a very useful overview, received praise from Randi Weingarten, and could change the thinking of some district superintendents. The link to the EPI site includes an audio transcript of the book event with insightful comments by Tom Toch and Rob Weil.

Richard Rothstein On NCLB Re-Authorization

Richard RothsteinRichard RothsteinIn Comments released Tuesday, Economic Policy Institute (EPI) education policy analyst Richard Rothstein sees an opportunity to get it right this time if Duncan's Education Department follows through on their own explicit critique of the mistakes of the first NCLB. Don't punish schools in poor neighborhoods by failing to address the resources gap necessary to meet high expectations, and don't rely on flawed standardized tests as the accountability measure, he cautions. The rush to re-authorize, on the other hand, could lead to a repeat of all the mistakes under Bush II.

Kahlenberg Responds to Kristoff on Teacher Unions

Richard KahlenbergRichard KahlenbergThe frequency and ferocity of attacks on teacher unions has increased, as if orchestrated as a national campaign by pundits and a network of conservative think tanks. Richard Kahlenberg responded eloquently today to the irrational piling on by the enemies of teacher unions.

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Kahlenberg Urges A Rethinking of the School "Turnaround" Strategy

School TurnaroundSchool TurnaroundIn a September 2nd Ed Week Commentary Richard Kahlenberg notes an odd, unnecessarily polarizing, character to the debate on trunaround schools. The strategy that simplemindedly replaces the teachers and principal has to be re-thought, recommends Kahlenberg. We should learn from strategies that have worked in Wake County, NC and elsewhere rather than continuing to opt for the "heroic model" that cannot be sustained.  His piece calls for a more serious approach to school turnarounds and is worth a read.

It's not about the money... A new report from CAP outlines what needs to be in place for pay for performance to work

It's More Than MoneyIt's More Than MoneyAuthor William Slotnik, of CTAC, the outfit that advised Denver in the design of ProComp, has this week's Commentary in Ed Week and issued a very useful report -- "It's More Than Money" that describes the Six Cornerstones that need to be in place for Pay For Performance to work.

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Broader, Bolder Approach Report on Accountability

Broader, Bolder ApproachBroader, Bolder ApproachThe Broader, Bolder Approach coalition formed a year ago, today issued its first task force report. The subject?  School Accountability -- A Broader, Bolder Approach. Or as most understood it to mean... what we and the public need to replace NCLB? The diverse coalition that included undersecretaries of education from the Clinton and both Bush administrations, representatives from the NEA and AFT, and individuals leading a broad aray of education advocacy groups came together around a bold new direction.

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Fixing Teacher Tenure and Evaluation

Fixing TenureFixing TenureIndependent researcher Joan Snowden, today issued a report, Fixing Tenure, that debunks popular myths on tenure, while calling for making tenure more meaningful and rigorous. The same report offers a critique and guidance for what teacher evaluation systems need to look like to be effective. Snowden specifically takes on the issue of inappropriate uses of student test scores in teacher evaluation and specifically what is wrong with tieing teacher evaluation to student test score outcomes.

Teacher Evaluation -- Lake Wobegon?

Teacher Evaluation to Raise Teacher QualityTeacher Evaluation to Raise Teacher QualityThe Center of American Progress issued today a new study on teacher evaluation So Long, Lake Wobegon? by University of Connecticut professor Morgaen Donaldson. While presenting evidence that most teacher evaluation systems add little value to the quality of teaching Donaldson offers a clear roadmap for what good teacher evaluation systems need to do. The system needs to have credibility with teachers, use multiple evaluators and measures, offer professional development, provide accountability for evaluators, and needs to be i

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Brad Jupp Joins Arne Duncan's Team

When the Denver teachers' union developed its infamous Pro Comp pay for performance system a decade ago, the union's point person was a smart union leader named Brad Jupp. The detail person who led the design team and sold the plan to the administration and to teachers, Brad then had a falling out with the union. He went to work as special assistant to the new, young superintendent in Denver, Michael Bennett, where's he's been for the past five years.Read more

New Peer Review Web Site Launched

Dal LawrenceDal LawrenceHave you ever wondered why, if peer review is so successful, it isn't being proposed for consideration by every teacher union local and district in the country? Well, now there are no excuses. Harvard University Professor Susan Moore-Johnson's team just launched a very useful web site on Peer Review at their Project On the Next Generation of Teachers Web site,  with everything you rever wanted to know about Peer Assistance and Review as it is practiced successfully in districts across the country.

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