Archive for the ‘NEA’ Category

The National Education Association (NEA)  has put forward its most detailed list of recommendations for the overhaul of the reconstruction of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The teachers’ union made clear that its blueprint for renewing the ESEA offers a fresh approach to the law. The 170-page document coincides with the union’s positive agenda for the ESEA, introduced in 2006, and focuses on many of the major, hot-button issues for example; testing, school accountability, and teacher quality.

Also, included in NEA recommendations is a proposal for fewer standardized tests. States would be required to administer only two, one in the 4-6 grades and one in the 7-9 grades. Compared to the current law, these new proposed requirements are less than half of the testing requirements implemented in the current law. The union’s plan also excludes “teacher effectiveness” and includes a variety of measures like ones such as asking students to submit portfolios of their work to gauge student and school progress.

In this new plan a school’s progress would be assessed by how much growth a school made towards an annual performance target and by how effective it was in closing the achievement gap.

For more information about NEA’s new recommendations for ESEA, read this article, “NEA Plan for Rewriting NCLB Departs from Obama’s” by EducationNews.org and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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The National Education Association wrapped up their annual convention yesterday, where state delegates had a chance to debate a plethora of policy resolutions on the Obama administration’s education policy agenda.

There were many issues on the table for the 3.2 million member union, which represents mostly education support personnel and teachers. Some of their issues included turning around low-performing schools and the expansion of charter schools. Many attendees voiced opinions about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s  new address discussing structural changes to the way teachers are being evaluated and compensated.

Duncan makes it clear in his speech that he does not think that test scores should be the driving factor in compensation, evaluation, or tenure decisions. He also thinks that it would be illogical to get rid of student achievement completely from evaluation.

Delegates at the assembly were happy to hear of Duncan’s efforts in continued education federal  funding but many weren’t too happy when Duncan suggested tying together evaluation and pay to test scores.  Many voiced their opinions and concerns about performance pay and how it is affecting unions across the board.

The NEA currently allows teachers who hold advance certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), who have taken on other responsibilites like mentoring teachers with less experience or who are helping hard-to-staff—-to receive pay bonuses.

The Obama administration put about $200 million more into the federal stimulus performance pay program, The Teacher Incentive Fund but many union members still have concerns about districts bargaining the pay programs as one unit with their local unions.

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