District Administration - May 2008 - (Page 12)

BRIEFINGS NewsUpdate Ratting Out Bad Teachers A WASHINGTONBASED ANTI well, the center’s director of communicaunion group has launched a unique con- tions, says that administrators are often test to “jump-start a conversation” about “too afraid [of unions] to act.” Longwell charges teachers unions with the difficulty schools have in getting rid “protecting bad teachers, of bad teachers—and it’s doholding back good ones, ing this by paying the worst and blocking systemic reones to quit. form efforts.” The Center for Union Rick Berman, a former Facts is asking parents, stulabor attorney known for dents and other teachers to his attacks on consumer, nominate the “worst unionsafety and environmental ized teacher in America,” groups, is heading up the and the 10 the center chooses project, describing it as a will each receive $10,000 in “severance package” idea return for leaving the profes- The contest’s $1 million ad campaign put this billboard for education advocates to sion and agreeing never to in NYC’s Times Square. adopt as a school improveteach again. The “winners” must also allow the center to publish the ment strategy. “Maybe we wouldn’t have to fund charters if the public schools were gory details about them on its Web site. Critics have long held that collective- pristine models of excellence on their bargaining agreements in school districts own,” he says. Edward McElroy, president of the make it very difficult to fire poorly performing or misbehaving teachers. Even American Federation of Teachers, one with opposing studies showing that such of the country’s largest teachers unions, contracts do in fact give district adminis- says Berman “has a record of using hidtrators a fair measure of flexibility in firing den funders to attack groups that contribpoorly performing teachers, Sarah Long- ute a great deal to society.” McElroy says By Zach Miners LOUSY LESSONS Some excerpts from posted nominations on www.teachersunionexposed.com “She can be heard shouting at her firstgrade students all the way to the end of the hall. She threw a book at a student last year. She kicked a student the year before.” “Music teacher. Takes personal cell phone calls and answers e-mail while kids are in the room waiting to be taught. Plays sing-a-long videos while she naps.” the AFT “has been a longtime advocate for sound, commonsense public education policies, including high academic and conduct standards for students, and greater professionalism for teachers and school staff.” The contest, which is being hosted on www.teachersunionexposed.com, will end on May 15, and shortly thereafter the center will announce the “winners.” Smaller Classes Don’t Close Achievement Gap, Study Says A NEW STUDY FROM A NORTH western University researcher is challenging the conventional wisdom that reducing class size helps to narrow the learning gap between rich and poor students. Based on a re-analysis of the Tennessee STAR project—the landmark longitudinal study launched in 1985 long considered the most authoritative justification for reducing class size—the new findings conclude that while smaller classes might increase achievement on average for all types of students, high achievers benefit more from small classes than low achievers. “It is likely that high achievers are more engaged in learning opportunities and take advantage of the teaching practices that take place in smaller classes, or Northwestern assistant professor Spyros Konstantopoulos presents new research findings to doctoral students and faculty. STAT BLAST 25% 12 May 2008 of the class of 2007 took at least one AP exam in high school, compared to almost 23 percent of the class of 2006. Source: 4th Annual AP Report to the Nation that they create opportunities for their own learning in smaller classes,” Spyros Konstantopoulos, assistant professor at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy, said in a statement released by the university. The study appeared in the March issue of The Elementary School Journal. District Administration http://www.teachersunionexposed.com http://www.teachersunionexposed.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - May 2008

District Administration - May 2008
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Letters
News Update
Security Update
Curriculum Update
Inside the Law
District Profile
Administrator Profile
Book Excerpt
Addressing Food Allergies
Algebra: Changing the Equation
Stopping MRSA
Resources to Support Disabled Learners
Web Tools: The Second Generation
How Well Does This Web Site Work?
New Products
Speaking Out
Supervisor’s Opinion
Professional Opinion
Leadership Books
Research Center
Calendar of Events
Products Showcase
Understanding the Times

District Administration - May 2008

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