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More PBS NewsHour Education Coverage Tonight

23band_600 Sometimes, PBS NewsHour segments can be sleepy or slow.  But not last night's segment about Michelle Rhee, or tonight's about Paul Vallas. This is intense stuff -- by PBS standards, at least.

Check out the NewsHour tonight for their wrapup of Paul Vallas' first year in New Orleans, which focuses on his efforts to address the needs of over-age 8th graders by bringing in an outside firm named Blackwater Camelot to run an alternative school. 

There's some great footage of these bozos trying to run the school, one amazing on-camera interview with a burned out teacher who tells us how things are really going inside the school after PBS gets kicked out, and some hilarious double-talk from Vallas about whether kids are still being socially promoted or not. 

And if you missed the  segment on Michelle Rhee from last night, you can watch it anytime here.  She had a remarkable first year that could just as easily have been completely chaotic and dysfunctional, and seems on the verge of creating some cutting-edge contract language with the teachers union.  There's also some DVD extras online, including a longer excerpt from the teachers union president (here).  That guy is so not getting re-elected next time, I don't think.  He is beat up. 

I had the chance to screen these on Tuesday when I was at the Learning Matters Inc. offices where I hang out sometimes and make a nuisance of myself. 


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