Evaluations carry too many sticks

Education Week summarizes two recent reports that said federal policymakers, in their regulation of teacher evaluation, have focused on “‘consequences’ before putting their emphasis on professional development, which had the effect of alienating teachers and making it harder for them to buy into the reforms,” while suggesting “that the new evaluation systems either hold a lot of promise.” Read more.

Lower stress means better instruction

Education Week reported that a recent study from the University of Virginia Curry School of Education concludes that “mindfulness-based interventions and stress-reducing strategies can lead to improvements not only in teachers’ social and emotional well-being but also in instructional climate and student engagement.” The study “is based on a classroom model theory positing that teachers’ well-being promotes better teacher-student relationships, effective classroom management skills, and effective social-emotional learning.”

Detroit teachers return to uncertain future

News media reported that Detroit’s teachers returned to work May 5 after officials promised they would be fully paid for their work. But the system still expects to run out of cash in June, and it is not clear where the salary funds will come from. The district faces problems not unfamiliar across the country. Thirty-one states still have failed to raise per-pupil spending to pre-recession levels. Charter schools also have introduced competition.