About this blog Subscribe to this blog

Five Best Blogs: Value-Added Becoming The New Widget


“Widget Effect” report is rolling in its grave Sherman Dorn:  There is something naive or creepy going on when advocates of doing so leave out all the caveats and problems in plunging in without caution..All these sparkly-new teacher evaluation systems that put a heavy weight on student test scores for every teacher, willy-nilly? The new widget effect.

On Abolishing the Department of Education Checker Finn: One could make a powerful case, and I (and many others) have, for radically altering the federal ROLE in education to make it more targeted, less controlling, smarter, more efficient.  

Big Win for Unions in Ohio Mike Antonucci: Somehow the One Percent control all of the nation’s wealth, but never seem to be able to come close to outspending the teachers’ union. 

Adult Marshmallow Tests Michael Goldstein:Is there an Adult Marshmallow Test not just for new parents, but new teachers? Yes. My colleague Orin describes it.


Vouchers and Low-Income: Reality Check JPGB: The quickest way to unlock educational innovation and deliver better education to low-income students is to give vouchers to everyone. That way the innovations will, you know, actually happen. 

i3 Finalists Give Insight Into Cost Per Student of Innovative Reforms New America:  What is the ideal cost per student for an innovative education project?   At this point, no one can really say for sure; we don’t have enough evidence on successful reforms. Hopefully, that will soon change.

More information but no bottom line on charter school management organizations NCTQ:   Given the increasing penetration of these organizations into an educational landscape that is already chock-full of bureaucracies, it sure would be nice to know  if they do add value sooner rather than later.   

What We Can and Cannot Learn From International Comparisons Robert Slavin: International comparisons are intriguing, but never tell us what to do. We cannot assume that because a given high-scoring country uses a particular practice, that practice is what causes their high scores or is good for us. 

Mobilizing the Facebook Generation to Reform Education PIE Network/SFER:  Once that energy is unleashed, the education policy world will have an entirely new, vocal stakeholder group: a movement of students united by high expectations and dedicated to ensure that our schools follow through on their promises. 

Infographic: Pulling Back the Meritocracy Veil GOOD:  schools face greater challenges and setbacks with students' special needs, language unfamiliarity, and lower socio-economic status, yet are still able to achieve significant success in graduation rates.



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Five Best Blogs: Value-Added Becoming The New Widget:


Permalink URL for this entry:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

My comment to Sherman Dorn is "awaiting moderation", so I thought I'd share it here:

Yes, I've read your stuff. Your subtitle on Accountability Frankenstein about sums it up, though. "Understanding and taming the monster" turns out to mean perseverating in the monster that is destroying public education, even as it discredits itself again and again. You're like one of those endless sequels, in fact, where somebody keeps coming along and reanimating the poor dead thing.

So, after you express your disgust, you utter Rick Hess' magic incantation, "None of this is cause to shy away from incorporating value-added metrics into teacher evaluation and pay."

Here you are mocking the teachers who had the courage to stand up and walk out on Bill Gates at the AFT convention:

And here you are, in the comment discussion on that piece:
"I don't think questioning Gates's intentions are productive."

And, here's Gates, parading naked among the ruins of Florida's public schools, looking to hire new tailors for his new, improved, and even more invisible teacher-accountability wardrobe:

So, you have to decide whether you're holding out to be hired as one of those new tailors, or whether you're actually going to stand up and oppose him. There is, indeed, "something creepy going on".

This isn't a question you can actually straddle, so I'm inviting you, once again, to either take stock and actually come over to the opposition, or stop claiming to oppose the discredited accountabillity-to-billionaires agenda while you wait to see whether they can get away with it.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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.