Some of the News Fit to Print
A CRUCIAL FIRST YEAR FOR NEWLY MINTED TEACHERS
The first year of teaching provides vital clues to how a teacher is likely to do over the long haul, concludes a new paper from TNTP, a national alternative preparation program. The paper is based on data collected by the group during its first year under a revamped teacher-training curriculum. With some help from a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, TNTP began to introduce a new model for its trainees in 2011-12. Under it, candidates are assessed during the course of their first year in the classroom and have to show that they're well on their way to being effective. (TNTP appears to be one of the first programs, traditional or alternative, that requires its candidates to meet this kind of bar during their first year on the job.) TNTP scores candidates based on student outcomes, classroom observations, principal ratings, and meeting program requirements such as competing courses. The post is from Education Week’s Teacher Beat blog.
'MARKET-ORIENTED' EDUCATION POLICIES FALL SHORT
A torrent of "market-oriented" policies meant to improve schools, including tying teacher evaluation to tests and promoting charter schools, have not lived up to the promises and hype surrounding them, a new report contends. Those policies and others favored by prominent policymakers today have instead been counterproductive and are "no match for the complex, poverty-related problems they seek to solve," the authors say. The report, "Market-Oriented Education Reforms' Rhetoric Trumps Reality," was released by the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, an organization that sees poverty as a major factor in low student achievement, and one that is too often being discounted today. The post is from Education Week’s Marketplace K-12 blog.
LEGISLATOR’S GUIDE TO EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS POLICY
Of those factors influencing student achievement within a school, teacher effectiveness is the most significant. As the pace of education reform quickens, this guide for legislators offers a road map as they continue to support and improve educator effectiveness in the areas of: teacher and principal preparation; licensing, recruitment and retention; induction and mentoring; professional development; and educator evaluation. Each section features an overview of policy, lists questions legislators might ask about their own state's policy, offers policy options states are considering, then lists additional resources. Created by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the guide encourages legislators to approach teacher and principal policy within the same context, to consider policies within the larger career continuum rather than piece by piece, and to ask how a change in one area might affect another. This information is from Education Commission of the States.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
COMMUNITY COLLEGE ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURE STILL HOLDS POLICY-MAKING POTENTIAL
A tool being developed "by community colleges, for community colleges" to measure their effectiveness is still not ready, but its proponents hope wider adoption through its testing phase will give it influence in policy making. The sector decries existing metrics, particularly the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, known as IPEDS, for making community colleges look bad by not counting many of their students and much of their work. According to IPEDS, only 20 percent of students at community colleges graduate within three years, but that figure excludes part-time students and those who transfer, not to mention students pursuing career and technical education, for example, or a GED. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.