Some students are using a free Web site to help them compile information for their research-paper bibliographies -- a typically lengthy process. The online tool Zotero also allows students to create in-paper citations, footnotes and bibliographies as well as collaborate in private online groups. Another free tool, iCyte, lets students save their online documents and share them with others.
About 280 educators in Maryland's second-largest school district will receive $1.1 million in bonuses today through a voluntary merit-pay program that awards them bonuses based in part on student test scores. Bonuses vary, with teachers being eligible for as much as $10,000 and principals able to receive up to $12,000. The merit-pay program is supported by the local teachers union. "It's an incentive for what you do, and you are getting paid for it. ... I just didn't see it hinder anybody," said a teacher who received a $1,500 bonus.
The New York Times received several letters from current and former educators criticizing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to link teacher tenure to student performance. "If tenure is linked to test scores, why would idealistic young people want to teach in those schools where it is most difficult to significantly raise scores, and where that becomes the criteria for tenure?," a retired educator wrote.
An Ohio district has adopted a "Respecting the Authority of Teachers" policy that gives teachers control over classroom discipline. Among other things, the nine-point policy allows teachers to remove disruptive students from their classrooms and aims to ensure teachers work in a "safe, secure and orderly environment."
A National Board Certified Teacher says that it is unclear whether departmentalization for young students -- also known as platooning -- benefits teaching and learning. In this blog post, she writes that having elementary-school teachers specialize in different subjects and moving students to their classrooms can be beneficial. However, research shows that it is the quality of the teacher that matters most.