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Five Best Blogs: A Little Heat, A Little Light

image from 28.media.tumblr.comThe ‘three great teacher’ study — finally laid to rest Gary Rubinstein: This study continues to be quoted, especially the M5 example that was my first example.  It is in Whitney Tilson’s powerpoint slides (shown below).  It is in The New Teacher Project’s Denver report (shown below the Tilson slide).  I don’t think that Michelle Rhee has ever given a talk where she has not quoted this study.

Why is this N.J. charter app being approved? Mike Klonsky; Charters are the darlings of  "an education establishment that includes Democrats (President Obama) and Republicans (Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey) with strong financial backing (the Gates, Broad and Walton foundations)."

Understanding the economics of online learning Bill Tucker Ed Sector:  This paper is a helpful start, not only for its content, but also for highlighting the ongoing need to better understand the student outcomes that result from these public expenditures.

Which Side Are You On? Getting Schooled:  Profiteers on one side, with the ruin of public schooling the capitalist’s playground; and on the other, self-proclaimed social justice educators who carry digital copies of Pedagogy of the Oppressed in their Che Guevara encased iPads.

Alternative Teacher Training Programs Better at Attracting Male and Minority Trainees Jennifer Cohen New America: Can traditional programs replicate this success and bring more male and minority teachers into classrooms? After all, traditional programs still make up the bulk of teacher training and likely will in the future -- only 11 percent of prospective teachers are currently enrolled in alternative training programs.

Disclose Your Funders Sara Goldrick-Rab: It's very common, for example, to see the Gates Foundation listed as a funder of education research-- but the role the Foundation plays in each piece varies tremendously, according to both authors and program officers. 

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The Gary Rubinstein blog post is very valuable and deserves more attention. This "three great teacher" argument really is ubiquitous, in education policy circles, and yet Rubinstein clearly lays out the statistical chicanery involved in using this study to advance an agenda on extremely shaky statistical grounds. This just gives me more incentive to read Howard Wainer's "Uneducated Guesses", which is precisely on this sort of bogus statistical argumentation that one side, especially, in our education debates tends to rely on. In fact, I would share this post on my Facebook page, if it were obvious how to do so.

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