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In her new book, journalist Dana Goldstein advocates for bottom-up education reform.

If there’s one thing that can be said with certainty about the education, it is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Teachers have been alternately seen as saviors of society and “bad guys” who drain precious tax resources while our children fall further behind.

About one-third of all teachers are now contributing to supplemental, voluntary investment programs called 403(b)s..

With state pension systems remaining underfunded, more teachers are investing in supplemental plans to increase savings in hopes of ensuring financial stability after retirement.

Schools that can’t afford to compete with the private sector in hiring technology specialists are looking to other options, such as hiring part-time experts, bringing in volunteers or finding funds to retrain teachers.

When hiring teachers districts should identify their needs and fix only what is broken, says consultant Joel Sackett

It’s no secret that having great educators in the classroom is one of the keys to fostering successful students and an effective school—but finding top-tier educators can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

The hiring process is especially challenging in today’s landscape, as most states have made dramatic cuts to education funding since the start of the recession.

Districts must do more to ensure low-income and minority students have access to top-notch teachers, says a new report. Poor students and students of color are less likely to be taught by a highly effective teacher than are other students, but there are some pockets where change is occurring.

Ken Royal is a former teacher and DA editor. He blogs at connectlearningtoday.com.
If you’re an educator, at any level or grade, sitting back and expecting education change to happen, without you getting involved, you need to stand up now. If you think that you can’t do something, or start change, you’re mistaken.
Kenneth Goldberg is author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers.
Few topics generate as much debate in education as homework. Experts disagree on its educational value, and research offers little clarification. Teachers and parents vary in how much homework they think children should do. So where do principals fit into the homework system?
Paul Finch is the superintendent of the Red Hook Central School District in Red Hook, N.Y.

What happened? This is what we at the Red Hook Central School District had to ask when we looked at our student achievement data.

In some cases, there was a mismatch between our beliefs about certain teachers and actual performance, as measured by student achievement data. Ultimately, our personal biases were exposed and this led us to rethink our hiring practices.

Teacher-turned-activist Sabrina Stevens is executive director of Integrity In Education.

In mid-January a new organization called Integrity In Education was launched with the goal of “exposing the corporate and profit-motivated influences working to control public education across the country.”

is Van Roekel speaks at a recent conference, sponsored by the Education Writers Association and held at the University of Chicago, about teacher evaluations. Next to him, from his left are:

Changing state laws and the rise of evaluations have given administrators more flexibility in removing tenured teachers, a task that had long been nearly impossible. More states are tying student achievement to teacher evaluations and renegotiating contracts.

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