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Jeff Bernstein

Teacher Tenure: An Innocent Victim of Vergara v. California - Education Week - 0 views

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    "It was determined at trial that between 1 percent and 3 percent-roughly 8,200-of California's 275,000 teachers are grossly ineffective. Yet, only 2.2 teachers, on the average, are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance per year.

    Although intended to support the case against tenure laws, these statistics are actually an indictment against those responsible for evaluating teachers effectively."
Jeff Bernstein

Teacher tenure: Wrong target  - NY Daily News - 0 views

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    "American public education desperately needs to be improved, especially for the most disadvantaged children. But eliminating teachers' job security and due-process rights is not going to attract better educators - or do much to improve school quality."
Jeff Bernstein

"Poster child for tenure": Why teacher Agustin Morales really lost his job - Salon.com - 0 views

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    "A teacher in Massachusetts spoke up when his students' rights were being violated. Here's how he paid the price"
Jeff Bernstein

Will California's Ruling Against Teacher Tenure Change Schools? - The Atlantic - 0 views

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    "A judge said the state discriminates against poor and minority students by protecting the jobs of ineffective instructors. What will this mean for education?"
Jeff Bernstein

Jersey Jazzman, Stephen Colbert, and Campbell Brown | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Jersey jazzman has another great piece about tenure. He writes: "I can only hope that Campbell Brown's appearance last night on The Colbert Report is typical of what she is going to bring to the debate over school workplace protections. Because if this is the best the anti-tenure side can muster, we teachers will easily win the debate - provided we ever get a chance to participate." "
Jeff Bernstein

Chronicles of (the conceptually incoherent & empirically invalid world of) VergarNYa | ... - 0 views

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    "As with the Vergara case in California, a central claim of the New York City Parents Union is that the presence of statutory tenure protections in New York State leads to a persistent and systematic deprivation of a sound basic education which falls disproportionately on the state's low income and minority children.
    Let's review again the basic structure of this argument."
Jeff Bernstein

Chronicles of (the conceptually incoherent & empirically invalid) world of VergarNYa - ... - 0 views

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    "As with the Vergara case in California, a central claim of the New York City Parents Union is that the presence of statutory tenure protections in New York State leads to a persistent and systematic deprivation of a sound basic education which falls disproportionately on the state's low income and minority children.

    Let's review again the basic structure of this argument."
Jeff Bernstein

The Myth of Teacher Tenure - 0 views

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    "Myths, though not real, are powerful and shape behavior. Thwarting tenure laws is a first step in the larger, well-publicized project of dismantling teacher unions. And if the California case is a harbinger, this aim may not be far off. But what will any of this accomplish? Are teacher tenure laws or their unions the root cause of teacher quality issues and persistent achievement gaps? The historical record offers a resounding no."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Lost In Citation - 0 views

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    "The so-called Vergara trial in California, in which the state's tenure and layoff statutes were deemed unconstitutional, already has its first "spin-off," this time in New York, where a newly-formed organization, the Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ), is among the organizations and entities spearheading the effort.

    Upon first visiting PEJ's new website, I was immediately (and predictably) drawn to the "Research" tab. It contains five statements (which, I guess, PEJ would characterize as "facts"). Each argument is presented in the most accessible form possible, typically accompanied by one citation (or two at most). I assume that the presentation of evidence in the actual trial will be a lot more thorough than that offered on this webpage, which seems geared toward the public rather than the more extensive evidentiary requirements of the courtroom (also see Bruce Baker's comments on many of these same issues surrounding the New York situation).

    That said, I thought it might be useful to review the basic arguments and evidence PEJ presents, not really in the context of whether they will "work" in the lawsuit (a judgment I am unqualified to make), but rather because they're very common, and also because it's been my observation that advocates, on both "sides" of the education debate, tend to be fairly good at using data and research to describe problems and/or situations, yet sometimes fall a bit short when it comes to evidence-based discussions of what to do about them (including the essential task of acknowledging when the evidence is still undeveloped). PEJ's five bullet points, discussed below, are pretty good examples of what I mean."
Jeff Bernstein

N.Y.C. Union Strikes Back at Tenure Allegations - Teacher Beat - Education Week - 0 views

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    "New York City teachers' union is firing back at a recently filed lawsuit challenging teacher tenure and due process, asserting that the state's due-process rules end up helping many more tenured teachers leave the profession than critics allege."
Jeff Bernstein

North Carolina: A First Look at the Destruction of Public Education | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Lindsay Wagner is an excellent journalist at NC Policy Watch. She covers the legislature.

    Here is her summary of the slash-and-burn policies that the legislature applied to public education"
Jeff Bernstein

Why Is There a Movement to End Tenure? « Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Tenure is nothing more than a guarantee of due process in disciplinary matters

    It seems to me the people who complain about tenure for public school teachers have somewhat dictatorial powers.  They are similar to those who complain that police and prosecutors are hamstrung by having to follow the provisions of the Bill of Rights when going after those accused of crimes.

    We have a system of laws that provide for due process precisely because our Founders recognized that there must be some controls on those exercising power, ostensibly in the name of We, the People of the United States.  They also recognized the danger of a mob mentality, which is why our system removed from being subject to simple majority rule things like our ability to worship or not worship in the religious sect of our choice, how we speak out politically, the ability of the press to act as our eyes and ears, and our ability to gather and organize for political and other purposes.  These are all rights guaranteed in the First Amendment."
Jeff Bernstein

Principals: Our struggle to be heard on reform - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "This was written by Carol Burris and Harry Leonadartos. Burris is the principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, New York.  Leonadartos is the principal of Clarkstown High School North in Rockland County, New York. Carol is the co-author and Harry is an active supporter of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student scores."
Jeff Bernstein

Governor Chris Christie Signs Bill Overhauling Teacher Tenure in New Jersey - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    "It will be harder for public-school teachers in New Jersey to get tenure and easier to fire bad ones under legislation signed on Monday by Gov. Chris Christie that overhauls the state's century-old tenure law."
Jeff Bernstein

Christie Said to Sign Tenure Bill Monday - Metropolis - WSJ - 0 views

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    "Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign a bill Monday morning that would provide a sweeping overhaul of the tenure system for public school teachers, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter."
Jeff Bernstein

Trending Toward Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession - 0 views

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    To understand how and why teachers' opinions may be changing, Education Sector worked with the Farkas Duffett Research Group to conduct four focus groups and a nationally representative survey 
    of K-12 public school teachers. The survey, which gathered responses from 1,101 teachers, repeated questions from a 2007 Education Sector survey and a 2003 Public Agenda survey about a variety of teacher-centered reforms, including new approaches 
    to evaluation, pay, and tenure, and the role of unions in pushing for or against these reforms. Accordingly, this report examines changes in teacher opinion from 2007 to 2011 and, as with the 2007 report, looks closely at differences between new teachers (less than five years) and veterans (more than 20 years).
Jeff Bernstein

More Thoughts on Teacher Polls, Tenure, and School Funding - Dana Goldstein - 0 views

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    Over at The Nation I have a new piece looking at surveys of public school teachers, one of which found job satisfaction at its lowest point since 1989. The most important thing to note is that polling shows teachers are not unhappy because they resent new accountability policies like the more stringent teacher evaluations instituted in response to President Obama's Race to the Top program. In fact, most teachers support using multiple measures of student learning to assess educators, and most believe it should take longer to earn tenure (an average of 5.4 years according to the Gates/Scholastic poll) than it currently does (an average of 3.1 years across all states). 
Jeff Bernstein

Great but irritating D.C. teacher forced to retire - Class Struggle - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    Erich Martel, one of the hardest-working D.C. teachers ever, received an e-mail last month from a former student. The man said he was switching from a successful business career to research in ancient history, in part because of Martel, "the best history teacher I ever had."

    That happens often to Martel, 68, an Advanced Placement history instructor. He has been teaching for more than 40 years, mostly at Wilson High School. His post-AP-test classes on the Vietnam War are famous, first for insisting on study during the usual late May and June playtime, and second for thrilling his audience with visits by Vietnam veterans and war opponents such as former senators Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern and prisoner of war Everett Alvarez Jr.

    Yet, Martel was forced to retire last summer after a long campaign to get rid of him. He had too much energy and investigative zeal for his supervisors' comfort. It also didn't help that he was a school representative for the Washington Teachers Union.
Jeff Bernstein

Counterpunch: How to Destroy the Educational System - 0 views

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    Perhaps most importantly, one of the best ways to improve public education would be to work to alleviate those factors beyond teachers' control that affect students' ability to learn. They are some of the same factors that lead to Louisiana's dismal Kids COUNT rating-unemployment, poverty, violence, crime rates, family instability, childhood hunger, access to health care.

    No, no, and no, according to the politicians. What do teachers know about education, anyway? Public-school teachers, according to most of the Senate members who testified, are obviously part of the problem, not the solution, so it's better to follow noneducators' recommendations when improving schools. The philosophies behind the legislation passed last week echo the pro-charter, pro-private philosophies of distinctly non-local figures as diverse as the anti-union former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee (who now finds her former district embroiled in a cheating scandal), the deep-pocket GOP puppetmasters the Koch Brothers and, most significantly, the American Legislative Exchange Council. (ALEC, a conservative think tank that prizes small government and free markets, hosts large meetings at which it gives politicians dummy legislation that they can personalize and file in their home states; its influence is clear in some of Louisiana's education bills.) Similar legislation has been proposed in other states across the country, particularly in legislatures that, like Louisiana's, are overwhelmingly Republican, and teachers and others with an interest in public education would do well to pay attention to what's going on here.
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