Kenneth Feinberg '70 has been selected by the American Federation of Teachers to lead an effort to revamp public school teacher evaluation and development. AFT President Randi Weingarten announced on January 12 that Feinberg, who is also the federal government’s special master for executive compensation, will help the union create a new model for how public school teachers should be evaluated, promoted, and removed.

The Washington Post calls Feinberg "a mediator’s mediator." He previously served as the special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, and was appointed by federal district judges to resolve some of the most difficult product liability lawsuits involving victims of asbestos, Agent Orange, and the Dalkon Shield, a birth control device that injured more than 200,000 women. He also was one of three arbitrators who determined the fair market value of the Zapruder film that captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

According to the New York Times, the AFT has been attacked for years by conservatives and parents for protecting bad teachers, gumming up the disciplinary process and resisting change."We need to set high standards for students and teachers," Weingarten said in a speech to the National Press Club. "This is the time to shed the old conflicts and come together."

Posted January 14, 2010