Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teacher-Prep Rule Negotiations Deadlock

The "Teacher Beat" blog of Education Week (4/13, Sawchuk) reports, "Following a three-hour telephone call with negotiators during which consensus seemed frustratingly out of reach on new teacher preparation accountability rules," with student-achievement outcomes being "the final wedge issue," the Department of Education "declined to extend the rulemaking process any further, meaning it will craft the rules on its own." Previously, "during the second rulemaking session, the negotiators appeared to have reached a compromise on the matter," but it came up again. While some "negotiators pushed for a five-year pilot to test out the new student-outcomes criteria...that didn't sit well with everyone." The National Education Association's Segun Eubanks said, "There's not much of a research base at all about how to effectively measure the impact of teacher preparation, and I don't know that waiting five years to figure that out is the right way to go."


Insider Higher Education (4/13, Nelson) reports, "The gaps between some negotiators -- and between negotiators and the Education Department -- remained too wide on too many issues." While "Education Department representatives pushed strongly to include 'value added scores,' which attempt to evaluate students' academic progress by excluding other factors -- like demographics and poverty -- that are known to have an effect on test scores," critics "argued that they have little scientific basis." Segun Eubanks, director of the Teacher Quality Department at the National Education Association, said, "It's sad for us to end without consensus, but I understand the basis for it," adding, "I think as a result we still may pull out some very good language and some very good policy, which I think is in the best interest of everybody."

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