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Green Dot Goes National, Maybe

Hoping not to get outflanked like in LA, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union is checking out the Green Dot charter schools and working with the Board of Education in Chicago to consider starting some union-run charters, according to this new Catalyst article. Up til now, the new schools opened under Mayor Daley's Renaissance 2010 plan have all be nonunion efforts. A leftover program called Fresh Start has included some teacher-district collaboration but not a charter. Funny --six months ago Steve Barr said he wouldn't even start a school in The Valley. Now he's everywhere.

New Schools Venture Fund Hires A "Journalist In Residence"

Steven Barrie-Anthony has what might be the perfect job. He's the "journalist in residence" for the New Schools Venture Fund, which means he gets to write about school reform but doesn't have to pay all his bills selling articles to ever-stingier and harder-to-get into papers and magazines. I'm so jealous -- assuming he can say things that are critical of NSVF-funded projects. Here he sings this the praises of Green Dot. Maybe they need someone else to help out?

Maybe It Wasn't Shanker After All

One of the most interesting of the 20-something mostly irate comments on my Huffington Post article claims that Shanker doesn't deserve credit for unionizing the teachers because David Selden was the true visionary and was replaced by Shanker in a power struggle along the lines of Stalin and Trotsky. Hmm. Guess I skipped that chapter in Kahlenberg's book.

Speaking of which, Kahlenberg says I got it wrong. He writes: "I don't agree that "few" of Shanker's ideas were adopted. Standards and charters were two big ideas he was very involved in pushing -- though I'd concede that neither worked out as he envisioned. The NBPTS is a pretty big idea that he promoted. Peer review exists in 30 districts -- not enough places, but enough to keep some pressure on. Entry level teacher tests are tougher than when he started. So I think it's a mixed and evolving legacy on ed reform...I think Al Shanker would have found a way to bridge the divide between the standards groups and teachers, which would have forced NEA to modify its positions."

Spotted: Cruising For An Endorsement?

What US Senator and leading Democratic presidential candidate was spotted by a keen-eyed reader walking with her staff into the NEA building? That would be HRC. Why go to them, rather than having them come to the Hill? Maybe she happened to be in the neighborhood. Or maybe she's complying with campaign and lobbying laws that limit what you can do while on government property. She's got the NEA endorsement all but wrapped up, it would seem.

What Are Kids Really Like?

Forty kids left alone in a deserted New Mexico town to fend for themselves. The controversial reality show "Kid Nation" premiered last night, and the first episode sounds like it was sorta interesting: ‘Kid Nation’ shows real side of young relations. "There was a lot of disagreement and strife, and there were a number of moments — when a kid pulled a muscle, when they couldn't figure out to cook pasta but were desperately hungry, when kids sobbed uncontrollably — that it seemed like an adult should step in. But then the kids figured out what to do, and even if the results weren't perfect (the first-night's dinner of macaroni and cheese did not look very appetizing at all), they made it work."

Universal(ly Expensive) Preschool

And you thought that universal preschool was expensive? Imagine how much it would cost at the going rates at Forbes' most expensive preschools.

Chicago Schools Blog Gets Mainstream Love

LogoThe mainstream news in Chicago is finally starting to pay formal attention to District 299, my group "watchdog" covering the Chicago Board of Education and its nefarious doings: Education bloggers keep careful eye on CPS

California Teachers Go After Pelosi On NCLB

After last Monday's success, The CTA is continuing its effort to make sure that the Miller NCLB draft is slowed down and/or modified substantially with an event in Northern California today (see details below). As before, I'm not sure just how coordinated this is with the national -- as happened with the Katrina vouchers, I'm told. Or perhaps they're playing good cop, bad cop. On strategy, I've noted before that Miller may have overplayed his hand by including TEACH. But it occurs to me also that the unions may have done the same by pushing to expand local assessments and multiple measures, which Miller included in his bill. There's some priority-setting here that I'm not sure makes sense.

Continue reading "California Teachers Go After Pelosi On NCLB" »

Scissors Scare

There's lead, or something toxic, in some Fiskars scissors that were being used at some schools, according to this blog post.

Big Stories Of The Day

Schools, colleges underreport crime Stateline.com
Schools and colleges across the country do not report crime and violent incidents on campus consistently or accurately. Via EdNews.org.

Parents seek ban for 7th grade book Chicago Tribune
Several dozen parents at a Southwest Side Chicago public school are calling for school officials to ban a controversial book they say is filled with references to sex and violence.

Alumna Gives $128 Million to High School NYT
Events originating in Warren E. Buffett’s rejection from Harvard Business School have led to a gift to a Quaker private school that dwarfs some college endowments.

Where's The Children's Defense Fund On NCLB?

Back in the day, it seemed like the Children's Defense Fund was the advocacy organization when it came to kids. They didn't focus just on school reform, but they had a small education shop and were pretty much everywhere on this set of issues. You hardly hear anything about them starting in the early 1990s. They'd gotten so weak on school issues at least by 2001 that the Bush administration was able to steal the motto, "No child left behind," that CDF had apparently coined. I don't know why I care -- I'm sure we'd disagree on NCLB, and/or they'd be as ineffective as most groups in DC (ie, pretty much entirely). But they, unlike the Trust or CCCR, had a big, Sierra Club-size membership. Or so it seemed.

How Al Shanker Blew Up NCLB

When the prospects for renewal of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) blew up during a marathon Congressional hearing a week ago, there was no shortage of ready explanations. But the real, underlying cause is simple: It was Al Shanker's fault.

Click below to continue...or go here to read the full-length version from The Huffington Post.

Continue reading "How Al Shanker Blew Up NCLB" »

Education Staffers, Democratic Presidential Campaigns

Here's my incomplete and completely unverified list of campaign education staffers for the top Dem. presidential candidates:

HRC: Catherine Brown (with Mildred Otero in the Senate office)
JRE: James Kvaal (from the Senate office)
Obama: Cassandra Butts (with Steve Robinson in the Senate office)

Thanks for any additions or corrections.

Hype Alert: Democrats For Education Reform

Not that I haven't hyped them myself -- DFER is a fascinating concept (a PAC for pro-charter, pro-accountability Dems) and Joe Williams is a nice guy -- but let's let them actually do something (help Obama beat Clinton?) before we give them way too much attention and credit. Right now, DFER makes KIPP and Green Dot -- previous subjects of the Hype Alert -- look like accomplished veterans. Or let's at least ask them tougher questions than what their positions are: how much money do they have, how much have they given out, and to whom? What are their priority races for 2008, local or national? What specific influence or advocacy are they pursuing, and how's it going with that?

University Of Florida Student Tasered At Kerry Speech

Here's the video that everyone's watching, in which a confrontational student is eventually tasered by campus security after begging not to be:

You know you want to see it.

Two More EdWeek.org Blogs Online

EdWeek.org has two more blogs online now, a campaign-oriented one (Campaign K-12) and a business-oriented one (edbizbuzz). Congrats, condolences.

Race & Retaliation At A Louisiana High School

"The story begins at an assembly last fall, when a black freshman asked if he was allowed to sit under a large tree on school grounds that he had heard was "whites-only." From The Nation, via School of Blog.

UPDATE: Presidential candidate Barack Obama is being called out for his mild response to the Jena students being arrested (Politico).

Will Locke Be The Next Failed Small Schools "Conversion"?

Erik Robelen's piece in EdWeek on small schools research recaps and deepens what most of us realized a few years ago: converting big high schools into small ones without making them truly autonomous doesn't necessarily get you very much, and there are tremendous pressures against autonomy in that kind of setting. That's what the Gates folks learned the hard way. Etc. None of it worth noting except then it occurred to me that the highly-anticipated (though not quite done) breakup of Locke HS in LA into Green Dot schools is in many ways just the same thing, except that the small schools are going to be charters. Is that enough of a difference? The researcher I talked to yesterday said probably not. Have other places experimented with charter conversions? Not that I know of.

The Beatification Of Klein

He must be on his way to sainthood -- I can't find any imperfections here: From Microsoft case to NY schools.

Previous Klein-related posts here and here .

Big Stories Of The Day

Two schools of thought on ‘No Child' Politico
“We’re trying to ratchet up support and get other state associations to mobilize their constituents in the field. We are in attack mode.”

Learning from Long Beach schools Los Angeles Times
The city's school district is again recognized as among the nation's best. L.A. should take note.

Florida Teachers Slap 'F' on Bonus Pay Plan TheLedger.com
The Florida Legislature's new and improved teacher merit pay plan may have passed with grudging union support, but teachers still don't like it and some school districts have declined to participate, turning down millions of dollars in state bonus money.

Student arrested, Tasered at Kerry event AP
Video of police Tasering a persistent questioner of Sen. John Kerry became an Internet and TV sensation Tuesday, generating fierce debate about free speech and the motives of the college student involved -- a known prankster who often posts practical jokes online.

Campaign Finance Done, School Reform Next

Having successfully fixed our nation's campaign finance system, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is rolling up his sleeves to help fix NCLB. Thanks, Russ. I'm sure the committee staff appreciate your jumping in like this. Not that I was ever particularly nice to committee staff myself. Yes, of course, they should have taken your language into their bill. Every Senator's prerogative, etc.

No More "Federal Building Number 6"

First they renamed National Airport in DC as Reagan National. Now the USDE administrative building in Washington has been renamed after President Lyndon Baines Johnson (yes, the same guy who got the Space Center named after him, too). Soon, you'll be hearing folks saying, "See you over at the LBJ Building." Or, "The meeting with the Secretary has been changed to 10 am at the LBJ Building." Read all about it here. Via the FritzWire.

NYC Wins Broad Prize For Urban Districts

It's not officially announced until noon, but early word from the NY Sun has it that New York City -- a finalist for three years previously -- has finally won the Broad Prize for urban school districts this year. The other contenders? Bridgeport Public Schools, Conn., Long Beach Unified School District, Calif., Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Northside Independent School District in northwest San Antonio. Congrats, condolences.

Miller & The Teachers

Former Miller staffer Charlie Barone weighed in a few days ago with an optimistic-sounding post on the DFER blog about how -- despite the flaws in Spellings' implementation of NCLB and Miller's draft proposal -- the two might rise above the fray (or just plow through it) in order to get some good things done as they had in the past (Special guest blogger).

I hope he's right. But, based on current events and my own small understanding of what it's like to work with the teachers, I'm not feeling so hopeful right now. First off, there's a long history of teachers (esp the NEA) fighting with Miller despite his deep support for their work -- on EdFlex, on class size reduction during the Clinton administration, and on NCLB's infamous HQT provisions, and now on the TEACH Act. When it gets down to it, even the AFTies are pretty hard core (AFT Michele the other day wrote "what's good for teachers is good for children"). Meantime, the teachers in LA are threatening to block the transformation of Locke high school into small union charter schools, despite strong support within the Locke faculty and a vote of the elected school board approving the change earlier this month.

The Current State Of "Alt" Cert

Nearly everywhere you go in New York you run into new teachers who joined the NYC Teaching Fellows program -- the city's version of TFA, I guess -- teaching for the first time and taking grad school courses at night. And nearly everywhere you go you'll find that they complain mightily -- about the lame courses they have to take, and about the schools where they're placed lacking support. Now there's a book and a new report out on the topic. The book, Great Expectations, is reviewed in today's New York Sun. The new report, from Fordham, has the usual witty cover and the usual disputed findings (see story here).

The Talent Primary... In Education?

This Newsweek article about candidates' competing for staffers for their campaigns reminded me that it's been a while since I last asked around about who's covering education for the campaigns. As I recall, MaryEllen McGuire had moved from Dodd's committee staff to the campaign, and there were some folks moonlighting for Obama from the Center on American Progress. But that was about it. No "big" names jumping in early in order to get a plum job in the next administration. Not that working on education for a campaign is as much of a big deal as some folks like to think it is. (The Talent Primary).

Blue Man School, Ghetto Film School

Check it out. The three guys who started Blue Man Group -- you know, the ones that everyone knows from the Intel and iPod ads -- are starting their own school in New York City (Cool for School). Speaking of strange new schools in New York, here's another one: Ghetto Film School (NYT). Mr. Hall said that in addition to a core curriculum of standard academic subjects, the school would offer electives like screenwriting, film history and production.

Big Stories Of The Day

Kozol holds fast to 'No Child' protest USA Today
The former teacher and author of books such as Savage Inequalities says he has lost 29 pounds on a mostly liquid diet.

As Duties Grow, Principals Face Mounting Pressures NPR
Faced with a principal shortage, many districts are creating mentoring programs to train their own talent, but the programs are showing mixed results.

Reading, Writing and Internet Safety NPR
Virginia is the first state to require public schools to teach Internet safety.

Hooked on mnemonics Christian Science Monitor
How I "learned" Spanish in a weekend by free association.

The "Testing Hawks" Vs. Union "Special Interests"

Friday's National Journal story ("Schoolyard Quarrel" -- subscription required) is the first piece I've really paid attention to from reporter Lisa Caruso, who recently moved over from the lobbyist beat to help cover education. She gives prominent placement to DFER -- the new kid on the block -- and to one of their main notions, which is that the teachers unions are a special interest group that doesn't represent what's good for kids. But the special interests / legitimacy argument goes both ways,as union leaders like to point out. Not all the "testing hawks" -- civil rights groups that favor NCLB (Ed Trust, CCCR, La Raza) are led by minorities or are membership organizations represent them in great numbers. Other things I learned or was reminded of: John Yarmuth (D-KY pictured) is shaping up to be the key freshman Democrat on the committee for the anti-NCLB crowd. Ted Kennedy has just as many if not more troubles on the Senate side with his trio of Presidential candidates on the committee (all of whom have endorsed NEA bills, BTW). Somehow, the NEA ($1.65M) isn't among the top 20 PACs for 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, but the AFT ($2.08) ranked #15.

I Heart D-Ed Reckoning

"Super-blogger Alexander Russo is jealous that he sold his independence for a paycheck and is now under Edweek's corporate jackboot," writes D-Ed Reckong in this update, apparently having mistaken my compliment for an insult. I actually like how harsh his blog posts are sometimes -- they're bracing and contrarian. Of course, the idea of George Miller being a "whiny bitch" is funny, considering how big and bruising the guy is. And the the idea of my being under EdWeek's "corporate jackboot" would be of concern if it weren't also sort of funny. Have you met those guys, Kevin? They're all in Tevas and Crocs. So stop being a whiny bitch and get back to tearing apart bad research. I'll try and do the same.

Unimaginative Administrators Ban Form Of Dancing They Banned Three Years Ago

Apparently out of new ideas for what to ban this year for their annual homecoming ban, school administrators in the Chicago area and soon around the country have decided to rename so-called "freak" dancing as something else, "juke" dancing, and declare a new ban anyway. The rules are simple: "The feet stay on the floor. The hands stay off the floor. They can't lean against the wall. And they must dance in an upright position." Unimaginative media outlets, looking to distract and terrify parents and other readers, have decided to go along with it. Equally to blame bloggers, looking for readers and oblivious to the ironies involved, make fun of the media and the administrators.

Great Rivalries In Education: Who's Your Frenemy?

Good vs. evil is rarely all that interesting, which is why internal conflicts -- the nemesis in the other cubicle, "frenemies" and underminers, siblings, hipsters vs. yuppies, Jon Stewart vs. Stephen Colbert -- are so much more fun to watch. Nearly everyone has a nemesis -- whether he or she realizes (or admits) it or not. Usually it's someone nearby.

So which are the greatest "us-vs.-us" rivalries in the education world? A partial list -- feel free to nominate others:Paige Vs. Spellings...Dewey Vs. Montessori...Phonics vs. whole language...The AFT Vs. NEA...Recess Vs. Naptime...Gates Vs. Broad Foundations...Debbie Meier Vs. Ted Sizer...Standards Vs. Accountability...Finn Vs. Allen...Vallas Vs. Chico (Chicago 1995-2001)...Head Start Vs. Universal Preschool...Kozol Vs. NCLB...Kennedy Vs. Dodd (vs. Harkin)...Riley Vs. Hunt...Vouchers Vs. Charters...Mike Cohen Vs. Jack Jennings...Nina Rees Vs. Mike Petrilli...Health care reform Vs. School reform...Jon Schnur Vs. Wendy Kopp.

Note: Some of these are made up.

Morning Commentary Roundup, Mainstream Version

No Child Left Alone Weekly Standard
Reformers are busy people, tireless people, whose displeasure with the world as it is inspires them to improve the lives of their fellow human beings no matter what, and they get cranky when you bring up the law of unintended consequences.

No Child Left Behind needs lift, not a recess Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Among the worst ideas: Basing accountability decisions on test scores in subjects other than math and reading. Proponents presented studies that show schools have increased the time in math and reading to the detriment of other disciplines, such as science and social studies.

Revisiting the Canon Wars NYT
Two decades after Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind,” it’s generally agreed that his multiculturalist opponents won the canon wars.

Will Not Fixing NCLB Help Dems Win The White House? No.

By the twisted logic of Washington politics, there may be little political benefit for Democrats in getting America out of Iraq before the 2008 elections -- even if the real-world consequences (more people dying) are obvious ( An Inconvenient Truth (Politics)). Can the same be said for revamping NCLB? Maybe not. Failure to end the Iraq war can with some legitimacy be blamed on obstinate Republican opposition (in Congress, in the White House) as much as impotent Democrats. Failure to "fix" NCLB is -- so far -- more of an intramural problem for Democrats and their supporters. And, of course, it must be said, NCLB is no Iraq.

Big Stories Of The Day

Alabama Plan Brings Out Cry of Resegregation NYT
fter white parents in this racially mixed city complained about school overcrowding, school authorities set out to draw up a sweeping rezoning plan. The results: all but a handful of the hundreds of students required to move this fall were black — and many were sent to virtually all-black, low-performing schools.

Rookie Chicago Principal Faces Early Challenges NPR
Like Chicago, many other school systems across the country are facing the same turnover, as baby boomer principals near retirement age. And for the rookie principals, challenges come early and often.

Raising the Scores: For a School, Hope and a Fresh Start NYT
With the support of the teachers union, Newton replaced 6 of its 44 teachers — some against their will — with teachers who demonstrated a higher commitment to change or who had expertise needed in a particular subject.

Spellings Rocks Cleveland -- Gets Good Press

There seems to be no end of the positive press that EdSec Spellings is able to muster, even now with her efforts to revamp NCLB seemingly in shambles. Here Washington Whispers -- which only last week reported that she was going to run for Governor in Texas -- mysteriously decides that a ho-hum trip to Cleveland is worthy of not only a mention but an illustration.

Best Of The Week (September 10-16)

Campaign 2008
Educating Elected Officials Through Their Pocketbooks
Richardson Slammed For Misrepresenting US Achievement
The Great Presidential Mashup "Cheat Sheet"

Bush Administration
Spellings Playing For A Stalemate?
Neil Bush's School Scam: The "Other" USDE Scandal
Kanye West Song Might Make Good Anthem For Ed In '08

How The NEA Ended Up So Opposed To Miller/McKeon
All Children Shall Be Proficient By, Well, Whenever
"No Able-Bodied Student Left Behind"

Teachers & Teaching
Short Boys Underestimated By Teachers
Teachers With Richer Kids Earn More Under Performance Pay
Mahatma Kozol

Foundation Follies
George Miller Needs New Friends...Like The Ed Sector
Real [Education] World, DC
Lang In For Schaffer At PEN

On The Hill
Having Done So Well On The War, Dems Turn To Domestic Issues
Why Did Miller Include Merit Pay In His Draft?
Are Unions Over-Reacting, Or Does Miller Proposal Over-Reach?

Media Watch
EdWeek.org Nominated For Online Journalism Award
The Hoff Loves All His Sources Equally
Secretary Right & The Hoff

Best Of The Blogs
Wait, Didn't I Read About That Somewhere Else?
Blogger Calls Out House Education Chair
Don't Name Your Blogs Like I Have

School Life
Colbert Can't Shake Klein On Paying Kids For Grades
Principal Bans Reporter, Then Apologizes
Lazy Teacher Meant To Show Star Wars, Showed Porn Instead

The Hoff Loves All His Sources Equally

Beat reporters and their sources have ongoing and highly symbiotic relationships that must yet exhibit a certain amount of distance in order to be healthy and good (ie, providing balanced news coverage). That's why, at the end of this post, EdWeek's David Hoff tries to make clear that -- however admiring his sources may be towards him (as I have noted) -- to him they're just sources, no one more important than the other.

Why Did Miller Include Merit Pay In His Draft?

If you're not already sick of the NEA-Miller story, there's a new Klein-Hoff EdWeek piece up online today that fleshes out some of the events of the past week. Included are not only the whole he-said, she-said about the TEACH Act language that you probably already know, but also some interesting tidbits like how the NEA made sure to have folks from each of the House ed committee members' districts at the Monday hearing, the toe-the-NEA-line responses of some Dem House members about the issue.

That leaves two questions: Why did Miller include the merit stuff in the first place, and what's going on between the NEA and CTA? I don't know if Miller had to include the merit pay stuff to have any chance of McKeon's support, or for other reasons. But fighting the merit pay thing and revamping the AYP system at the same time (and comparability) continues to seem to me to be biting off more than necessary. Or I'm missing something -- Miller puts in the merit pay stuff just to give something for the NEA folks to focus on, hoping to preserve the standards and accountability provisions. Let me know if you've got it figured out.

Wait, Didn't I Read About That Somewhere Else?

Today's edition of the Andywatch features this timely post about the fake CNN segment "Students First In Line" (about training high school kids to be soldiers) that has been going around the blogosphere for about a week now.

Blogger Calls Out House Education Chair

Once again, Kevin DeRosa at D-Ed Reckoning outdoes my in the nasty negative category, calling the House education chairman a "whiny bitch". Basically, he doesn't like Miller's draft, and thinks Miller is carping too much about Spellings' disapproval. And you thought that I was bad.

Neil Bush's School Scam: The "Other" USDE Scandal

"An independent watchdog agency has asked the Department of Education to investigate why President Bush's younger brother, Neil, has received money earmarked for the president's signature education initiative to sell a curriculum program that has not been subjected to the rigorous evaluation it deserves," according too this story (Why is Bush's kid brother getting federal bucks?). "CREW says nearly $1 million has been spent on the systems in 16 school districts, mostly in Texas, where George W. Bush served as governor before his election in 2000, and Florida, where brother Jeb Bush is governor."

Kanye West Song Might Make Good Anthem For Ed In '08

I was supposed to show you the Kanye West's Ed In '08 promo, which apparently is getting lots of YouTube attention, but was so bored and disappointed by the spot -- perfunctory, obvious, unimaginably forgettable -- that I needed a jolt of West's live performance at the VMA of his new song, Stronger -- whose opening chorus (see below) might actually be a good anthem for Ed In '08.

N-n-now th-that that don't kill me, can only make me stronger.
I need you to hurry up now, cuz I can't wait much longer.
I know I got to be right now, I can't get much stronger (wronger?)
Man I been waiting all night now, that's how long I been on you.
I need ya right now. I need ya right now

Lazy Teacher Meant To Show Star Wars, Showed Porn Instead

According to this Fox News story, a group of 5th graders who were supposed to be viewing a Star Wars DVD instead got an eyeful of porn (here). They're still trying to figure out how it happened, though apparently (see coloring book image) there's lots of Star Wars porn for kids laying around. Me, I'm wondering how showing the movie got into the lesson plan in the first place. I'm a hard-ass that way, I guess.

Having Done So Well On The War, Dems Turn To Domestic Issues

Maybe she'll have changed her mind by today, but as of Wednesday afternoon's edition of CQ today the House majority leader was saying that she still wanted to do a full NCLB reauth as part of the Dems' return to domestic issues (where they think that they may be able to do better than they have on the war). Wow. That makes me feel really confident about its chances. (Domestic Issues to Claim Spotlight)

Big Stories Of The Day

No Gifted Child Left Behind? Time
Nearly half of lower-income students in the top tier in reading fall out of it by fifth grade.

Thompson: Leave No Child Left Behind behind Baltimore Sun
Today, Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee and television and film star who has entered the campaign for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008, suggested that it's time to leave No Child Left Behind behind.

Early-Education Advocates Face Tougher Sell EdWeek
Early education conference provided an opportunity for advocates to push preschool as an economic investment.

Austin moves forward with teacher performance pay plan Austin American-Statesman
Nine schools selected to be in pilot group this year. Via EdNews.org.

Secretary Right & The Hoff

Seething with indignation (if, as usual, not entirely making sense), here's what Andywonk has to say about his love of Hoff, my loose grasp of time and space, etc: Hoff, Russo, & Interns.

The subtext [of Andy's post], as per usual: "I must be right. I am always right. Right, right, right. No one can be more right than I am. I am...Mr. Right. No, that's not right. I am...King Right. No, no one likes kings. I am...Secretary Right? Yesss."

Then, in practically his next breath, Andy swoops in with a late, long, and obvious post about the NEA and Miller. Oy. Who's paying for him to do this, again?

UPDATE: Andy takes note of this post but doesn't seem to recognize that the "I must be right" bit (above) is a lampoon of his always-rightness, not a tantrum on my part. You got that, I know, but I'm adding brackets and quotation marks to help out the others.

Mahatma Kozol

Those crafty folks at the Fordham Foundation aren't first out of the gate with this partial fast thing, letting the rest of us do their work for them, but they get credit for perhaps the funniest (or most tasteless) graphic I've seen on it so far: Mahatma Kozol.

George Miller Needs New Friends...Like The Ed Sector

Tom Toch peeks out from behind the curtain at the Ed Sector to pipe in that maybe George Miller needs a new friends and family plan these days, and to lament the split with the Ed Trust and bash the CTA for bashing Miller. True that (and more on the CTA-Miller relationship later). However, it's easier for Toch to say nice things about Miller since his outfit doesn't really have to deal with the Hill and try to get the language changed like the Trust does. (The Trust is an advocacy outfit, along with its research, while the Sector is a purely an old-school think tank.) Too bad, since I'm sure the Trust -- and Miller -- would appreciate the extra set of hands. Come on, Ed Sector, get up there on the Hill and make something happen. It takes more than reports and events and smarts to make a real difference in the lives of kids.

Educating Elected Officials Through Their Pocketbooks

Whether or not Democrats For Education Reform (DFER) is ready to do battle at this level is not really known, but give them credit for trying. Attached is Joe Williams' email calling on reform-minded Democrats and their supporters to "stand up to the CTA and NEA goons who are out to strip everything that is good and pure from NCLB" (made up quote --joking!). The only thing that gives DFER any real chance here is that they have a PAC -- perhaps their main innovation on the school reform advocacy front -- to which they hope you will contribute. They didn't help get the House freshmen elected (the NEA did), and they don't represent teachers (again, NEA and AFT), but maybe they'll help get some of lawmakers re-elected (or replaced). Or at least that's the idea.

Previous posts: An "Emily's List" For Education?

Continue reading "Educating Elected Officials Through Their Pocketbooks" »



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.