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AM News: Duncan Tries To Reassure Teachers, Slam Romney

Duncan tries to smooth relations with teachers Washington Post: “I know some educators feel overwhelmed by all of this change,” Duncan said during a wide-ranging speech at the National Press Club in Washington. “Teachers always, always support accountability and a fair system of evaluation. They want the feedback so they can get better. But some of them say it’s happening too quickly and not always in a way that is respectful and fair.”

AMNews

Arne Duncan: 'Everybody won' in Chicago teacher strike The Daily Caller: "I honestly think everybody won. No one wanted the strike, teachers didn’t want that, the administration didn’t want that,” said Duncan. “At the end of the day,” Duncan said, ”they got to a contract that, I think, was very fair and respected teachers and valued them as professionals.”

Duncan in Campaign Mode' PoliticsK12: During the Q-and-A period, Duncan was asked to predict the biggest difference in education policy between an Obama administration and a Mitt Romney administration. He said the difference was "clear" and "stark," that the Obama administration sees education as an "investment," while Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan see it as an "expense."

N.H. Charter Freeze Triggers Fierce Backlash EdWeek: A recent decision by the New Hampshire board of education to place a moratorium on new charter schools drew an angry response from elected officials and parents—and underscored recurrent tensions among state and local officials across the country about how to fund those schools and manage their growth.

Oakland Schools To Allow Federal Monitoring Of Black Student Discipline HuffPostEdu: The Oakland Unified School District and the U.S. Department of Education agreed last week to allow for at least five years of federal monitoring as the district attempts to reduce the disproportionately high black student suspension rate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What To Know About Florida's Amendment 8 StateImpact: Florida voters will decide this fall whether to strip language from the state constitution which prohibits public funding for churches or other religious-affiliated groups. The ballot question is likely to be one of the most contested of the 2012 election.

 

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Re: Arne Duncan's attempts to smooth relations with teachers: a lot of the problems are stemming from states' attempts "to measure the quality of a teacher": the states are the wrong entities to regulate this, which ought to happen at a far more local level, nearer where the teachers' performances are being put in; and the measurement metaphor ought to be simply abandoned. Quantities get measured; extending measurement to qualities is an instance of semantic expansion by metaphorical extension, and leads to imprecisions that can be ruinous when applied to contract negotiation and legal disputes. Teacher quality can be judged, and inevitably will be, and not every teacher's contract ought to be renewed every year; but "measurement" implies much greater precision in these matters than anyone is currently prepared for -- and our state tests have absolutely not been prepared to be used to make such crude judgements.

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