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Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2013
For years, the St. Louis school district has experienced the convergence of two trend lines school superintendents hope never to see: rising employee-pension costs and falling student enrollment. Despite years of fully funding its share of the teacher-pension plan, the proportion of the St. Louis district's budget tied up in paying benefits for…
Descriptors: School Districts, Educational Trends, Retirement Benefits, Costs
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
A new generation of education advocacy groups has emerged to play a formidable political role in states and communities across the country. Those groups are shaping policy through aggressive lobbying and campaign activity--an evolution in advocacy that is primed to continue in the 2012 elections and beyond. Though the record of their electoral…
Descriptors: Advocacy, National Organizations, Politics of Education, Elementary Secondary Education
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
As a new breed of national education advocacy organizations gains clout, they're entering into often-uneasy relationships with teachers' unions--and running into a debate about whether they can play a grassroots "ground game" comparable to that of labor. For many unions, the policy changes the newer groups typically support--staffing based on…
Descriptors: Unions, Advocacy, National Organizations, Politics of Education
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
Faced with arguably the biggest crisis of its 155-year history--the loss of at least 100,000 full-time members--the nation's largest union plans to respond by organizing thousands of new members and transforming itself into an even more politically potent force. Whether the National Education Association (NEA) can accomplish those goals while…
Descriptors: Unions, Collective Bargaining, Professional Associations, Teaching (Occupation)
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
Can a teachers' union successfully be both a hardball-playing defender of its rights and a collaborative force for the common good? It is both a question of philosophy and, increasingly, one of policy direction for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), whose biennial convention in Detroit showed delegates grappling with the tension between…
Descriptors: Testing, Standardized Tests, Unions, Educational Change
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
A strike last week by some 29,000 teachers in Chicago pushed long-simmering tensions over deeply divisive school improvement ideas--including changes in teacher evaluation and the takeover or closure of underperforming schools--into the national spotlight. A framework for a tentative agreement emerged last Friday, and the union's house of…
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Standardized Tests, Unions, Educational Change
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2011
Where their teacher-quality proposals are concerned, the fates of the 11 states that have bid for waivers of core principles of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act appear to depend largely on how the peer reviewers--and, ultimately, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan--interpret their applications. The U.S. Department of Education's criteria…
Descriptors: Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Federal Legislation, Politics of Education
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2010
Over the objection of officials at the statistical wing of the U.S. Department of Education, the independent body that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has approved a policy that significantly narrows the grounds for excluding students with disabilities and English-language learners (ELLs) from the exams.…
Descriptors: Student Participation, National Competency Tests, Guidelines, Governing Boards
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2010
In its fiscal 2011 budget request, the Obama administration has laid out its intention of carrying forward key teacher-effectiveness policies within the economic-stimulus law into the next edition of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In doing so, the budget proposal would invest heavily in competitive grants for new ways of recruiting,…
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, Incentives, Educational Finance
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2009
The recently enacted economic-stimulus bill requires every state to take steps to improve teacher effectiveness, as well as to tackle one of the most pervasive problems in K-12 education: inequities in access to top teaching talent for poor and minority children. This article reports that in those two provisions, which governors must address to…
Descriptors: Teacher Effectiveness, Equal Education, Federal Legislation, Federal Aid
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2009
The phrase "21st-century skills" is everywhere in education policy discussions these days, from faculty lounges to the highest echelons of the U.S. education system. Broadly speaking, it refers to a push for schools to teach critical-thinking, analytical, and technology skills, in addition to the "soft skills" of creativity, collaboration, and…
Descriptors: Critical Thinking, Evaluation Methods, Technological Literacy, Politics of Education
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2008
In this article, the author talks about a report from Education Sector, a Washington think tank, which concludes that little information exists on whether the $3 billion spent annually by the federal government on teacher quality as part of the No Child Left Behind Act has improved the effectiveness of U.S. educators. The Teacher and Principal…
Descriptors: Grants, Federal Aid, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation