• GAO hits programs for making teachers better
    Shoddy oversight and a lack of reliable testing methods make it difficult to know which federal programs geared to improve teacher quality are working, U.S. Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro told a House hearing Wednesday.Mr. Dodaro said many of those programs, spread across at least 10 federal agencies, offer redundant services, leading to millions or possibly even billions in wasted tax dollars. What’s worse, the Government Accountability Office’s report on government waste states that 23 of the federal government’s 47 employment and training programs “have not had a performance study of any kind completed since 2004.”
  • Standards Overreach, or According to Plan?
    I hope that Hess is right that alarm is spreading over the oozingly expanding national-standards blob, but I disagree with how he seems to characterize what’s happening.
  • Teachers’ scores rely on others in new evaluation system
    Part of Tennessee’s promise in its application for $500 million in federal Race to the Top funds was to develop a new teacher evaluation system using student test scores. 113 training sessions for principals set to begin this summer. The state tested four evaluation systems and proposed to use the TAP evaluation.
  • New Approaches to Teacher Training Improve Preparation and Retention
    In an attempt to bring better quality teachers into classrooms, many places across the U.S. are trying a new training approach for educators. According to an article in The Hechinger Report, colleges and universities are now redesigning their programs to add a large practicum component to the curriculum, which gives teachers more experience in the classroom before they even get their credentials.
  • Arizona bill would hike tuition donations
    A day after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld Arizona’s private-school tuition tax credits, state lawmakers passed a bill to increase donation limits for the program 50 percent.By a 21-7 vote, the state Senate approved House Bill 2581, which would allow taxpayers to increase individual donations to school-tuition organizations from up to $500 to $750, double that for married couples. The measure also eliminates donation caps for corporations and insurers.

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