Tag: Bob Duffy


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Read: Post-Super Bowl Edition


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The news in the dropout nation this Monday morning: In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie is drawing a line in the sand on the state’s expensive teacher and public employee…

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

The news in the dropout nation this Monday morning:

  1. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie is drawing a line in the sand on the state’s expensive teacher and public employee retirement benefits, according to the Star-Ledger. Garden State teachers, many of whom currently get healthcare gratis, will have to pay 1.5 percent of salary towards healthcare and another 1.5 percent towards their pensions. As seen in Vermont and Pennsylvania, expect the state’s NEA chapter to express strong opposition to any changes that aren’t in its favor. But as more than $600 billion in pension and retirement health care deficits continue to grow, expects to other states to take similar actions (if not anything more radical).
  2. Speaking of retirement benefits: Read my latest Labor Watch report, this on how the collapse of the NEA’s Indiana affiliate may force additional scrutiny on other teachers union-run (but state- and locally-financed) health insurance plans and lead to reform of the traditional teachers compensation system. Also, listen to the Dropout Nation podcast on why taxpayers will demand reform, and a report I wrote last year about the cost of teachers pensions and healthcare benefits.
  3. At the Quick and the Ed, Chad Alderman makes a few more points about teachers compensation and the effectiveness of teachers through a chart. Essentially, he points out that the average teacher is no more effective after 25 years of experience than she is after four. Which leads to some additional things to consider on the teacher pay front.
  4. In Denver, school superintendent Tom Boasberg tells principals that the district will eliminate the  forced placement of laggard teachers, especially in the district’s worst schools. If the district succeeds, it will be a major move for better performance management that others can follow.
  5. In Rochester, Mayor Bob Duffy’s effort to take control of the upstate New York school district’s school board is opposed by local black preachers, according to WHAM-TV. The official reason: The mayor would get too much power and deny the right to vote on the school board. But let’s be honest: It would likely disturb their ability to use the district as a jobs program a la pre-Michelle Rhee D.C.
  6. And Andy Rotherham points out the sobering graduation rate facts about yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Check out this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast on civil rights and school reform. Enjoy.

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Read: Teachers Union Spending Spree Division


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What’s happening in the post-State of the Union dropout nation: Politicians often double-talk their way out of trouble, but President Barack Obama has special reason to do so. Amid Democrat…

Time to collect her dues. Van Roekel will join her with the collection plates.

What’s happening in the post-State of the Union dropout nation:

  1. Politicians often double-talk their way out of trouble, but President Barack Obama has special reason to do so. Amid Democrat electoral losses — including scandal-tarred Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s defeat at the hands of Scott Brown — is stirring fears of widespread losses in November. So Obama is going to play nice with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. But at what price? Read more in my latest analysis in The American Spectator.
  2. At Flypaper, Smooth Mike offers his own thoughts on last night’s State of the Union address. Unlike Obama (or yours truly), he doesn’t think that education is the best anti-poverty program around. Kevin Carey has different thoughts (of course). Meanwhile Bob Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education calls for a quick reauthorization of No Child.
  3. Monise Seward considers the problems of dropping out among special ed and ELL students.
  4. The Economist takes a look at higher education spending and California’s peculiar problems in funding it. Should there be more funding? Less? As everyone knows, I’ve written a primer about the issues related to funding.
  5. Tom Vander Ark notes what excites — and displeases — him about Race to the Top and the i3 education technology efforts.
  6. The National Charter School Research Project comes out with its latest annual report on the state of charters. Interesting read.
  7. The latest state applications for the federal stimulus’ State Fiscal Stabilization Fund are now available.
  8. In the Detroit News, the head of the NEA’s Michigan affiliate isn’t too happy with accusations that her union allegedly bullied some districts into not signing onto the Wolverine State’s Race to the Top initiatives. Iris Salters declares that the reform effort is merely “a catchy name.” Except for coming from a traditional education perspective, her argument is no different than that of a few libertarian and conservative reformers who will not be named.
  9. At EducationNews, Michael Shaughnessy interviews school activist Jim Freeman, who gets it right when it comes to overuse of suspensions and expulsions, and wrong when it comes to testing. Once again, perpetuating the myth of high-stakes testing.
  10. Martin Haberman offers some more reasons why many urban districts are failing. He notes that more than half of aspiring teachers taught by university ed school programs never enter the profession. Astounding.
  11. The Dallas Morning News‘ William McKenzie notes the latest NCTQ survey of teacher preparation at the state level. Texas doesn’t come off looking good — especially after Gov. Rick Perry decided to ditch Race to the Top participation.
  12. In Rochester City Paper, the upstate New York city’s mayor’s effort to take control of the district is dissected by Tim Louis Macaluso. Let’s just say Mr. Macaluso isn’t impressed with the mayor’s talking points.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, which focuses on the high cost of teacher compensation and tenure for America’s taxpayers — and how it will drive the efforts to revamp how teachers are paid and evaluated. Also read last week’s Dropout Nation articles, including yesterday’s This is Dropout Nation report on Cleveland’s special ed problem.

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