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The New Teacher Project
March 21, 2018
During Memphis visit, former Newark schools chief touts ways to change student discipline
Cami Anderson is meeting this week with educators in Memphis as part of her Discipline Revolution Project.
March 3, 2015
Memphis principal and turnaround leader to leave Shelby County Schools
Memphis principal Antonio Burt, who has received national attention as a turnaround specialist, is leaving his school and his job.
Teaching & Classroom
February 4, 2015
State board stops short of guiding schools toward more test scores in teacher ratings
The Indiana State Board of Education today held off a decision to ask school districts to count test scores and other “objective” measures of teaching…
Teaching & Classroom
January 26, 2015
Lilly Endowment gives The Mind Trust $3.4 million to expand Teach for America, The New Teacher Project
Teacher training programs Teach for America and The New Teacher Project could grow their ranks in Indianapolis by more than 300 educators thanks to a $3.4…
October 15, 2014
State board holds off on IPS lead partner vote
The Indiana State Board of Education postponed the vote on a new lead partner for John Marshall and Broad Ripple high schools until November. Sarah…
July 10, 2014
Another overhaul ahead for John Marshall High School
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee isn’t getting what he wants for John Marshall High School next year. The State Board of Education last month rejected his idea…
Politics & Policy
June 3, 2014
Questions remain as Indiana's NCLB deadline nears
Indiana now has less than a month to satisfy U.S. Department of Education concerns that have put it in jeopardy of facing federal sanctions, and…
May 15, 2014
Ferebee asks the state board to fire 'lead partners'
Indianapolis Public Schools asked the state Thursday to let it fire outside companies assigned to support three of its troubled high schools. Superintendent Lewis Ferebee argued IPS has its own plan and could do a better job raising test scores at George Washington, Broad Ripple and John Marshall high schools alone.
December 2, 2011
TNTP soliciting city teachers' views in national retention study
A new national teacher survey about compensation, class sizes, and school leadership is looking for insight from New York City. The city Department of Education is one of five large urban districts that have opened up their email Rolodexes to The New Teacher Project for a study about teacher recruitment and retention. The nonprofit group, which runs the city's Teaching Fellows programs and studies teacher job markets around the country, sent the voluntary, 30-minute survey to about 68,000 of the city's 80,000 teachers and one large charter school network. The 50-question survey — which one teacher sent us in a series of screenshots, above — asks teachers what would make them want to work in, or remain in, a high-needs school. The survey is a first step in TNTP's efforts to produce a followup to "The Widget Effect," according Dan Weisberg, a TNTP vice president who used to be the DOE's chief labor negotiator. The influential 2009 report urged school districts to revamp teacher evaluations based on survey responses of 15,000 teachers from 12 districts across five states (New York City was not among them). Now, dozens of states, including New York, are in the process of overhauling teacher evaluations. Weisberg said this year's survey is the next step toward figuring out how to place the most effective teachers in classrooms with the neediest students.
September 6, 2011
Comptroller's audit criticizes city's handling of ATR pool
Chart from Comptroller John Liu's audit of the Absent Teacher Reserve. The Department of Education could potentially be doing more to help teachers whose positions have been eliminated find new jobs. That's one conclusion of an audit conducted by Comptroller John Liu of the DOE's efforts to help members of the Absent Teacher Reserve, the pool of teachers whose jobs were lost to budget cuts, enrollment changes, or school closures. The audit concluded that the vast majority of ATRs — 95 percent — are working full-time in teaching jobs, but that the department doesn't maintain data sufficient to conclude whether its efforts to help the teachers find permanent positions are paying off. "Without such information, we believe that DOE is significantly hindered in its ability to evaluate the success of its efforts in helping ATR teachers find permanent positions," the report concludes. The audit is not meant to dictate policy and is intended only to draw attention to what the report said was an information gap within the DOE on the ATR pool. But an unwritten conclusion also seems to be that the city is wasting money by hiring new teachers when ATRs are licensed to do the job.
March 10, 2011
Comptroller rejects $20 million teacher recruitment contract
Comptroller John Liu rejected a $20 million contract for teacher recruitment today, calling the proposal wasteful given the city's current fiscal climate. Yet the main reason for the comptroller's refusal came down to paperwork. A spokesman for the comptroller's office said that the five-year contract with The New Teacher Project was rejected this morning because of problems with the DOE's submission. In reviewing the contract, officials in the comptroller's office said that the DOE did not include information on conflicts of interest or what the dates of service would be. The department can choose to resubmit the contract. The New Teacher Project, or TNTP, is a non-profit that handles the recruitment and training of New York City's Teaching Fellows. It also studies teacher job markets around the country. In a statement sent to reporters, Liu — a possible candidate in the next mayoral election — said he objected to the contract's premise. The city does not need to spend money recruiting new teachers, he said. “Twenty million dollars to recruit teachers as the DOE insists on laying off thousands of teachers seems curious at best,” Liu said.
May 17, 2010
Bronx president urges no vote on teacher recruitment contract
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called on the citywide school board to postpone or vote down a contract that would pay an outside group to recruit new teachers, saying today that it "does not make any sense" with impending layoffs. The contract, which the Panel for Educational Policy will vote on at tomorrow's meeting, would pay The New Teacher Project a maximum of $4.9 million to recruit and train New York City Teaching Fellows. In a statement sent to reporters, Diaz said the money should be used to stave off layoffs rather than bring in new teachers. If Diaz's appointee votes against the contract, she'll likely be joined by panel member Patrick Sullivan, who criticized the contract in the Daily News. But Department of Education officials have said that new teachers will be needed to fill vacancies in areas like science and special education regardless of layoffs. To meet this anticipated need, the roughly 450 Teaching Fellows who will enter the job market this summer will only be certified in either of those two subjects.
March 2, 2010
Report calls for school districts to end seniority-based layoffs
School districts should abandon lay-off policies that require principals to dismiss the newest teachers first and instead incorporate measures of teacher quality into firing decisions, a new report out today from The New Teacher Project argues. The report proposes a scorecard that would rank teachers, weighing their classroom management skills, attendance, performance evaluations and length of service to the district to determine who should be laid off. Under the group's proposal, a teacher's performance rating would be given the most weight, while his or her number of years served would count for only a tenth of their score. By doing so, the report argues, school districts can avoid laying off their best teachers who may not have worked in the system the longest.
July 20, 2009
More than 500 extra teachers rated "unsatisfactory" this year
City principals rated more teachers unsatisfactory this year than they have since at least 2005, suggesting that the Bloomberg administration's efforts to escort more struggling teachers out of the system may be bearing some fruit. Principals gave the scarlet-letter rating to 1,554 teachers this year, up from 981 in the 2005-2006 school year, data provided by the city Department of Education show. Both the number and percentage of teachers rated unsatisfactory rose during that period, and the rise occurred for both tenured and non-tenured teachers, city figures show. Even with the rise, the percentage of teachers rated unsatisfactory remains low. About 2% of teachers, both tenured and without tenure, received what teachers call "U" ratings this year. Ann Forte, a schools spokeswoman, sent us the figures this afternoon. The rise follows a concerted effort by school officials to make it easier for principals to terminate poorly performing teachers, including a new group of lawyers assigned to targeting struggling teachers, called the Teacher Performance Unit. Rating a teacher unsatisfactory is often the first step toward removing him from the school system.
July 10, 2009
A group of 28 sets out to make a fair teacher evaluation system
A group of 28 teachers, administrators, and policymakers have taken on a lofty summer assignment: They plan to come up with an ideal teacher evaluation system, or at least a report explaining the "essential elements" of one, and to do it by the fall. The effort is the latest in a string of reports and announcements focusing on the way teachers are evaluated, a process that has been called broken by everyone from teachers union officials to The New Teacher Project, a nonprofit created by Michelle Rhee. A report by The New Teacher Project called evaluation systems "largely meaningless," and the American Federation of Teachers union has launched an internal working group to build its own recommendations for what comprises a fair evaluation system. A novel nonprofit called Hope Street Group is behind the effort to involve educators in the debate. Created in 2003 as a volunteer-only experiment, Hope Street Group now has a full-time staff that works to build "coalitions of the reasonable" around domestic policy questions by gathering diverse groups of people to solve them together.
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