Week of March 9, 2015

See all posts


Teacher Prep
Stephen Sawchuk dives deep into the dispute between the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). AACTE passed a resolution at its last board meeting stating that there is a “crisis of confidence” in CAEP’s accreditation process, which is just starting to be rolled out now. Considering that AACTE was deeply involved in developing the new accreditation standards — indeed, it called them a “triumph of professional consensus” when they were approved a year and a half ago — the resolution was surprising to many. We’ll have more to say about this dispute in our nextTeacher Quality Bulletin.
There has been much talk lately of possible explanations to recent drops in teacher training program enrollment (California, for example, has had a 53% enrollment drop in the last five years). Common theories often focus on a strengthening U.S. economy and a negative image of teaching as a profession, but Michael Hicks from the Star Tribune has a different idea. He contends that two market forces are the more likely cause: teacher colleges no longer have a “monopoly control” over teacher licensing and the decreases in the credential-based pay scales historically used by K-12 districts. NPR also covers the story but has a less definitive answer as to why enrollment has dropped, instead interviewing those in the field for their take on the problem.
District Matters
In Leon County, Florida the school board is expected to approve a new contract that was ratified last week by the union. The new contract includes a pay raise and a switch to a new pay for performance system.  A teacher’s pay grade will now be based on performance evaluations and school performance, as well as other factors including teaching in a high-need school or working on other activities. As the Tallahassee Democrat reports, a motivating factor for the new pay schedule was to boost salaries of mid-career teachers in order to improve retention.

The Los Angeles Unified School District and the United Teachers of Los Angeles have been assigned a mediator by the state’s employment relations board. The two sides will meet in three scheduled mediation sessions starting at the end of the month, according to the L.A. School Report. The paper reports that LAUSD’s superintendent, Ramon Cortines, hopes that the two sides can work towards an agreement on teacher evaluations in the meantime. The district is seeking to extend its No Child Left Behind waiver (as a part of CORE) and must have an established evaluation system with at least three rating categories by the deadline at the end of the month.
State Matters
In Louisiana, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has decided todelay the use of value-added scores in teacher evaluations until after the 2015-2016 school year, reports the Times-Picayune. The Board also agreed to expand principal control over evaluations: once value-added data is again used in evaluations, principals will be allowed to adjust a teacher’s rating by one level.
In Other Ed News
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), along with thirty-two major national education associations (NCTQ included), have come together to release the Student Data Principles. What are The Student Data Principles? They are 10 foundational principles for using and safeguarding the personal information of America’s students. For more news about the principles, check out#StudentDataPrinciples.