On the whole, we still have the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, in the same schools, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support. - Jal Mehta in the NYT
Reflecting on recent standardized test cheating scandals, Matt Yglesias wonders "what anti-reform people think these cheating scandals prove."
"Prove" is a strong word, but there are at least two legitimate reasons for reform critics to highlight the scandals:
First, education reformers often rest their argument on test score gains in places that implement their preferred policies. If it turns out that their celebrated test score gains were - or may have been - significantly inflated by cheating, that could very well undermine their case for implementing those policies more widely.
Second, as Yglesias seems briefly to acknowledge, if an accountability system is "vulnerable" to cheating, that might make it less "workable" in practice. Cheating scandals "prove" that an accountability system based on high-stakes standardized tests is, in fact, vulnerable to cheating.
Now, such scandals definitely don't prove that cheating can't be adequately mitigated. They should, however, give us reason for concern.
In fairness, the waters around these issues are muddied somewhat by the fact that some "anti-reform people" overstate the significance of the problem or seem to be as interested in sullying the reputations of their least favorite "reform people" as they are in the policy implications of cheating.
Those of us who oppose the misuse of data to punish educators and students must always remember that computers are not going away, and that "Big Data" has great potential for improving schools and our lives in unanticipated ways.
Big Data, A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, gives a perceptive appraisal of the benefits and dangers of data-driven decision-making.
While not specifically mentioning value-added teacher evaluations, Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier seem to agree that punishing an individual based on an algorithm would be misguided. On CSPAN, Mayer-Schonberger asserts, "government must never hold an individual responsible for what they are predicted to do."
From last night's PBS NewsHour.
Sarah Garland's Divided We Fail is a carefully crafted history of desegregation in Louisville, Kentucky. It is also is a warning to reformers in education (or any other social sector?) seeking to remedy the great and complicated evils of history.
Garland mourns the final defeat of desegregation, as she notes that it was toppled by dissatisfaction by both whites and blacks over the way it was implemented. She also reminds us of integration's successes, and how black student achievement increased more in the 1970s when bussing to achieve racial balance was at its peak.
Reading the twists in desegregation cases, I invariably had two responses - "Wow! I didn't know that!," and "Wow? What would I have done?"
Used to be, state superintendents lasted a long time, but all that's changed over the last dozen years or so. According to the CCSSO, chiefs now last less than 3 years -- even though most of them are appointees. Chief Selection
*Jamaal Abdul-Alim, a correspondent for Diverse Issues in Higher Education (the national push to hold teacher preparation programs more accountable for student achievement);
*Lauren Smith Camera, a staff writer for CQ Roll Call (whether federal funding in the form of a competitive grant is a good investment); and,
*Annie Murphy Paul, a magazine writer and book author (why American undergraduates are not learning critical thinking skills in their college years.).
Congrats to all of them. Read more here: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism J-School announces 2013-14 Spencer Fellows
Thus far four books (plus two more under contract and a few others in the process) have already come out from Spencer Fellows, along with a number of notable feature magazine articles, award-winning radio shows, etc.
With some notable exceptions, the Spencer Fellowship program seems to have identified important education topics for books and other long-form projects that would not otherwise have been produced (including my book about Locke High School). Check out the list here.
The results have generally been successful, by and large, in terms of producing quality journalism, though the program's only real breakout success so far is Elizabeth Green's NYT Sunday Magazine story about Doug Lemov from February 2010. Perhaps the books that she and other Spencer alumni are working on will engage the wider public and -- this is what every Spencer Fellow wants to do -- change the conversation around education.
The decision will be based on a vote of the 369 parents who signed the original parent trigger petition, according to the LA Weekly.
Whichever of the four possible school governance models the parents choose, it will be a historic moment because of the lack of a court fight, notes the Hechinger Report.
But the parent trigger -- a controversial state law that gives parents the right to initiate dramatic changes at a low-performing school -- is already being used or considered by parents at at least two other LAUSD schools.
Read all about it at LA School Report here.
They ran campaigns about “love” (a deeply shared emotional value that connects people), not about “rights” (a policy objective that reinforced disconnection between haves and have-nots.) The policy objective of the campaign didn’t change; how they talked about it did.
-- PIE's Suzanne Tacheny Kubach on lessons from the same-sex marriage campaign.
It wasn't much of a surprise to find out from the Council of Chief State School Officers that most state superintendents are still appointed -- by a state board or a governor, usually. You can see the full list they sent me below. Only 14 are elected.
What was a bit surprising was that the average tenure is so brief -- 2 years 7 months -- which is more along the lines of what you'd expect from a big-city district superitendent -- and that several states have gone back and for the between elected and appointed (or are considering it now).
For example, I'm told that Louisiana has a proposal to make the state superintendent elected, and that Wyoming has a state director of education along with an elected superintendent. (California has had a version of this at times over the years -- one elected official and a second appointed official working under the governor.) Tennessee switched 20 years ago, and Oregon switched more recently.
Chiefs list below. There's also a NASBE document from last spring that includes governance information about state boards and other key features.
Over 1,000 philanthropy types have been meeting in Chicago the past couple of days as part of the Council on Foundations Annual Conference (#COF13). Scheduled speakers included Mayors Emanuel, Landrieu, and Nutter. It's not an education-specific event, as you'll see from the list of events, but scheduled site visits included North Lawndale College Prep. The obligatory screening of Brooklyn Castle is also on the schedule. Maybe some education types are there and have been tweeting out interesting happenings.
One of the stars of last week's Yale School of Management education summit was New Haven teacher and union VP Dave Low. And I'm not just talking about the shirt.
Read all about what Low had to say here: Union VP: Let Teachers Lead. Image courtesy Melissa Bailey/New Haven Independent.
Chicago Teachers Union social media guru Kenzo Shibata’s recent post in In These Times -- CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett May Have Met Her Match in Chicago -- explains that the primary prerequisites for a Chicago school CEO were “an ability to address the media and a talent for glad-handing power brokers (and, in some cases, a willingness to fall on the sword after new policies failed).”
By that measure, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett seemed perfect for the job. In Cleveland, she was called the “$300,000 wonder.” Byrd-Bennett was expensive, “but worth every penny.” She closed over twenty schools and cut hundreds of teachers positions. As “chief academic and accountability officer” in Detroit, she closed 59 schools and cut 30% of the workforce, while adding 41 charters.
Shibata writes that Byrd-Bennett has “proven herself so skilled at the art of “cleaning” districts that she has part-time job with the Broad Academy."
Shibata argues, however, that Byrd-Bennett and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are now in a very different political landscape. I agree.
Part of the reason for school “reform’s” political success is the politics of resentment. Until recently, teachers had not been punished by the new economy as badly as most workers.
However, the corporate powers who seek to micromanage schools do not have a very good record in improving the living conditions of most people. At some point, angry workers will ask why the billionaires think they can improve learning conditions in schools. If the elites had the power to improve schools, voters might ask, why won't they use their power to make life better for families and communities?
Here's the problem. Cutting jobs is no better of a strategy for building a strong society than closing schools is for improving education. Corporations have had great success in increasing their bottom line, as they have reduced wages and benefits for most Americans. Somehow, we must rebuild a value system which affirms that all working people are in the same boat.
Who knows? Perhaps a revitalized public sector labor front in the "City of the Broad Shoulders" will lead to a broader consciousness that reorganizes all citizens.-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.
There's a good long piece in the latest Washington Monthly looking into what happens to federal laws after they're passed, titled He Who Makes the Rules, that makes some good reading for any education watchers.
While it focuses on non-education issues (Dodd-Frank implementation), it tells the story of how the regulatory process -- rules, interpretations of Congressional intent, public comment, and final determinations -- can make or break the statutory language that Congress passes and a President signs into law.
"It may seem counterintuitive, but those big hunks of legislation, despite being technically the law of the land, filed away in the federal code, don’t mean anything yet."
Who cares what happens to a law once it's passed? I can think of at least three education examples where rulemaking has played a big role: (1) the 2002 passage of NCLB, which was followed by some frenzied rulemaking around such hot topics as highly qualified teachers, tutoring (SES), and AYP; (2) the more recent passage of what became Race to the Top, extremely brief statutory language that blossomed into a much bigger, broader program; and, (3) the higher education regulations and rules surrounding Title II teacher quality grants (about which I know frighteningly little except they've been hotly debated and delayed).
As you'll see from the TWM story, a committed group of individuals can carve up a law they don't like by attacking language and swarming the process. It's been a while since that's happened in K-12 but if anything big ever happens and one side or the other (or both) doesn't like it, they know that they can probably get things changes further down the line, after most folks have moved onto other issues.
NBPC is the outfit behind the documentary, which was also funded in part by the Ford Foundation, and according to Jones was conceived of as a way to deepen the school reform conversation but not necessarily as a response or rebuttal.
Jones puts the core question the film raises this way: "How could this person [Principal Minor, pictured] who se so clearly smart in a real pratical way as well as passionate about these kids -- working at full capacity every day -- how could she be doing all this and it still sucked like this?"
I came away from the conversation much enlighted about some of the issues that had intrigued me -- especially the question of what if anything could have been done differently -- and informed about the thinking behind the scenes that were (and weren't) shown.
Former EdSectoran Susan Headdan is joining Tom Toch at the Stanford University-based Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. "She will initially focus on teacher improvement and student motivation as a member of Carnegie’s Washington, D.C. team."
Longtime journalist Nancy Zuckerbrod left AP to join StudentsFirst, left there several months ago, and has now apparently landed at KSA Plus Communications in DC.
After more than seven years with Broad Foundation, Erica Lepping is moving over to SF-based Larson Communications, which specializes in education clients. She's staying in SoCal, though.
Other folks on the move, either journalists or communications folks or otherwise? Let me know at thisweekineducation at gmail.com.
There are at least two education-related articles in the 2013 National Magazine Awards Finalists list that came out earlier today. The first is Peg Tyre's September 2012 Atantic Magazine article, The Writing Revolution, which described a (pre-Hurricane Sandy) writing program at a Staten Island high school that actually seemed to help low-income kids learn. The second is a Chicago Magazine article by David Bernstein, Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance, which describes how political candidates sometimes work with gang leaders to get themselves elected and govern.
Over the past few years education reformers have been pushing officials to adopt new teacher evaluation standards to help remove the least effective teachers from the classroom. As the NYT's Jenny Anderson's recent report illustrates, however, reformers continue to misunderstand the nature of our teacher quality problems.
As Anderson explains, even states with the strictest new standards continue to rate virtually all of their teachers - often more than 97% - "effective" or better.
One reformer complains that "It would be an unusual profession that at least 5 percent are not deemed ineffective", but that is probably the wrong way to think about teacher evaluation.
It is unlikely that there is a "correct" fraction of teachers - or workers in any profession - who should be identified as "ineffective".
Rather, whether a teacher should be dismissed depends on the likelihood that replacing him will improve educational outcomes at a school. Those odds, in turn, depend on the built-in costs of employee turnover and the prospects for finding a worthwhile replacement.
Ex-Atlanta Schools Chief Charged in Cheating Scandal NYT: As she has since the beginning, Mr. Deane said, Dr. Hall has denied the charges and any involvement in cheating or any other wrongdoing and expected to be vindicated.
More Diagnoses of Hyperactivity Causing Concern NYT: Eleven percent of American school-age children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and some doctors say that the diagnosis and its medication are overused.
Students look for Obama's help as deadline looms on loan rate hike The Hill: Advocates urging another extension say they're hopeful Obama's April 10 budget will includes a plan to hold the line on rates once again. “Congress is a bit more muted,” said Chris Lindstrom, higher education program director.
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Fires Superintendent NBC: Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts has fired the district's superintendent.
Fourth Round of Investing in Innovation Kicks Off With Pre-Screening EdWeek: It's important to note one significant change to the development grants this time around. The matching requirement—which requires winners to secure private dollars to help cover the costs of their projects—has been relaxed even further.
Making Mistakes NPR: We try so hard to be perfect, to never make mistakes and to avoid failure at all costs. But mistakes happen — and when they do — how do we deal with being wrong? In this episode, TED speakers look at those difficult moments in our lives, and consider why sometimes we need to make mistakes and face them head-on.
Here's Teach Live, one of those things mentioned in the Gates/AFT joint oped Effective Teaching in The New Republic:
There might be better videos out there, or other edschools or companies doing other versions of the same thing. You might recall this from a January 2012 Amanda Ripley story about 12 ed schools with classroom simulators.
The Annenberg Institute's Warren Simmons set the tone for the discussion of school reform at Columbia's Teachers College panel discussion, "Reconciling Race, Community, and School Reform," and in doing so he also highlighted some of the best features of the work of Sarah Carr, Sarah Garland, and Amy Stuart Wells.
Simmons explained how “ideologues” came to New Orleans and used its schools as a great experiment for their theories about charters and performance management. Those reformers now proclaim New Orleans a great success, he said, even though it clearly is not. The people with power, Simmons explained, ignored the voices of the people. They used their favored metrics as a “proxy” for the discussion that was needed about race and class. Some of these “reformers” have finally listened and, perhaps, learned. Others, especially those with money and power, have not.
Another view of power was described by “reformers’” Brian Johnson and Joshua Thomas at the California Charter Schools Conference. They saw unions as the power that will only respond to power. They participated in a panel discussion, "Politics, Policy, and Advocacy," that focused on ways of telling their stories. In fact, the panelists mostly agreed that everyone should have an opportunity to express their own beliefs.
But, then, Johnson and Thomas crossed a line that should never be crossed, saying that we teachers who support LIFO and oppose value-added teacher evaluations “believe that all poor children of color can’t learn at the highest levels.” It is our prejudice that explains why “power” “hates high-performing charter schools.” Even if these young “reformers” can’t respect the voices of others, they should at least stop questioning the integrity of families and educators who have different stories to tell.-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.
The most challenging students (and families) are those who expect success to be automatic, a birthright, something they should achieve just by showing up. - How Middle School Failures Lead to Medical School Success (The Atlantic)
Viewers had been warned, but the tragic conclusion of PBS's 180 Days was more excruciating than anticipated. The first two hours balanced the sorrows that students had endured with their concrete displays of grief and coping. Delaunte was covered in tattoos in a way that could terrify outsiders. They are tributes to his deceased mother, Viola. His "FOE" tat is not a gang symbol; it means "Family over Everything." Raven shows us her private shrine for deceased loved ones, as well as symbols of triumph.
Similarly, the educators at D.C. Met alternative school prepared conscientiously for the best practices of demonstrating abstract concepts in concrete and understandable ways. Sports and the music program (which was destined to be cut) played essential roles.
Early in part two, the educators' efforts to keep Rufus in school died when his mother transferred him. It was the only scene that I could not watch, forcing me to twice leave the room. The goodbyes were interminable because everyone knew what the future would be for the kid with that captivating personality. Rufus was in a daze, a doomed student walking, not noticing a classmate he bumped into. As Rufus exited his last loving sanctuary, he looked to be preparing for his cruel fate.
D.C. Met did the opposite when trying to avoid its predestined outcome. In panic, a helter-skelter approach to test prep was thrown together. Hands-on instruction became a parody of itself as the rush to remediate morphed into the syndrome known as "lost in activity." Students were forced to drink from a firehose with only a desperate hope that enough disembodied facts would stick in their brains until testing concluded.
They only share 16 percent of the same followers, according to a piece by Mike Petrilli from a little while ago. And Andy Smarick and Jeanne Allen only overlap 24 percent.
You'd think they'd have lots of followers in common.
Maybe someone's figured out why, or found another way to measure social media overlap?
Via Education Next (Tweet Thine Enemy)
Check out the poll results below, which are a followup on Friday's post and discussion about wealthy liberals' abandonment of education reform critics: As you can see, wealthy people -- liberal and conservative alike -- have somewhat different views on education than the general public:
To be sure, the wealthy lean to the right when it comes to ideology, so it's not even-Steven in terms of access to cash. As the paper notes, "about twice as many of our respondents considered themselves Republicans (58 percent) as considered themselves Democrats (27 percent)."
Then again, there's no shortage of liberal wealthy individuals -- take a look at the Democratic fundraising operation during the 2012 campaign for a sense of that -- and sometimes conservative fatcats create philanthropies that support liberal-leaning causes -- like the Ford Foundation's funding of this week's PBS show, "180 Days."
Thanks again to Sarah Reckhow for pointing me to this article.
Watching Part 1 of PBS's "180 Days" is like gazing across the Grand Canyon. You want to share your feelings about it, but first you must silently revere its majesty.
This masterpiece chronicles a year at the District of Columbia's D.C. Met High School. When students like Raven Q., Raven C., and Rufus open up to the camera, this viewer forgot he was sitting on a couch. I was back in school, listening, sharing, contemplating, and feeling the same gratitude that fellow human beings would open up the way these teens do. School is not the place for adults to impose solutions. Our job is to contribute our experience, love and support, as we accept the invitation to join in their journey.
And, who would not commit to following principal Tanishia Williams-Minor wherever she dares to venture? Watching her coach the cheerleaders, I bet she could even teach me some moves! Ms. Williams-Minor understands that teaching and learning is an affair of "the Heart," not "the Head." She knows that the moral and emotional consciousness of students is the rock on which schools must be built.
I am glad that I missed the first five minutes which foreshadowed a problem with the D.C. Schools central office, so I forgot politics. For the next two hours, the filmmaker portrayed so much of humanity's most profound emotions that I completely forgot that the D.C. accountability hawks were also watching the school. Even the central office IMPACT evaluator seemed cool. Surely, any administrator could see the genius at work in leading D.C. Met.
Watching the previews for part 2, which show Ms. Williams-Minor crying before the faculty, I got sick at my stomach. I didn't feel outrage that some bureaucrats might think they know what is better for her students. I just mourned.
Last week I complained that the Network for Public Education seemed to be defining itself mostly in negative terms.
I'd therefore be remiss if I didn't note that the NPE has since begun articulating an affirmative agenda.
In a note in the group's most recent newsletter, leader Diane Ravitch says that while you probably already "know what we oppose", the NPE also intends to advocate for a variety of education policies.
Some of those policy positions are a bit vague, like "professionalism for teachers" and "democratic control" of schools. And others are still essentially slightly-repackaged opposition statements.
Some of that is inevitable, especially early in a group's development, and as I said before there's nothing wrong with an advocacy organization dedicating itself substantially to opposing policies it considers ill-conceived.
Last week, the Atlantic Magazine noted that the wealthy don't give as much as you might expect, proportionately -- and not to the things you might expect them to give, ideologically (Wealthy Liberals Ignore/Abandon Reform Critics). This week, in the Boston Review, Stanford professor Rob Reich discusses the pros and cons of philanthropic expansion, which has been pretty massive in recent years (What Are Foundations For?)
Kathleen Porter-Magee’s words of wisdom to fellow “reformers” provide a “teachable moment.” Her “Opening the Black Box: Common Core as a Classroom Level Reform” draws the distinction between systemic and classroom reforms.
Systemic reformers seek to reimagine school systems. They advocate for charter schools, vouchers, portfolio districts, and teacher-evaluation policies. Classroom-level reformers, however, try to actually change what happens in the classroom.
Porter-Magee writes "the classroom is a black box to systemic reformers. While many leaders have made it their business to understand inputs and student achievement outputs, too few have focused their attention of what it takes to drive achievement within the four walls of an American classroom." She then explains why the failure to understand classroom dynamics has prompted systemic reformers to be in too much of a hurry to shake things up. Paying proper attention to the classroom, however, would force reformers to prioritize. It would force policy-makers to establish feedbacks loops that use data for instruction, as opposed to systemic accountability.
Porter-Magee supports Common Core, which she says is pushing reformers to take classroom-level change more seriously, "but realizing this potential means accepting that, so far, our efforts may be falling short of what the moment requires."
She is correct. Real world, reformers must decide whether they only care about the exciting challenge of creating new governance systems or whether they want to improve schools. Had they looked into the black box which is classroom instruction, "reformers" would have known that schools never had a chance of implementing all of their contradictory agendas. Consequently, as districts focused on complying with systemic reformers' demands, the opportunity to improve instruction was put on hold.-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.
There's lots that's familiar about this year's Yale Education Leadership Conference, including the location (New Haven), the visit to Amistad (Thursday morning), and some of the panel topics and panelists.
But there are also some new/newish elements -- a panel on the parent trigger, a segment on building diverse coalitions, and how other non-education sectors have changed. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras or Louisiana State Superintendent John White are doing the Friday morning keynote. See full agenda panel lineups here. @YaleELC and use #ELC2013
James Shuls thinks not. Instead, he argues, the Common Core standards are so thoroughly informed by constructivist educational thinking that the CCSS can't help but require teachers to use constructivist methods - like discovery learning - and to avoid more traditional, guided methods of instruction.
Shuls is probably right about the constructivist origins of the CCSS; their language makes the influence of progressive educational theorists difficult to miss. And I'm second to no one in my skepticism about the virtues of constructivist pedagogy, especially for the most vulnerable students.
Still, if the standards tie teachers' hands it is not through their language but through their assessments; the tests represent the bar that our students will eventually have to clear. And how, exactly, are the tests going to tell teachers how to teach?
It's not enough to point out, as Shuls does, that the standards (and their associated documents) stress that students should be able to demonstrate "not only procedural skill but conceptual understanding". After all, even critics of constructivism aren't opposed to conceptual understanding.
Rather, more traditional "instructivists" (like me) just think the distinction between procedural skill and conceptual understanding is overblown and emphasize that the former often facilitates the latter.
An assessment of "conceptual understanding", then, is no more objectionable to a teacher just because he happens not to be a constructivist. If I believe additional procedural fluency will help my students develop greater conceptual understanding, I remain free to allocate instructional time accordingly.
Similarly, while many CCSS supporters appear to endorse the constructivist - and mostly false - notion that critical thinking skills are readily transferable across contexts, this need not lock teachers into constructivist teaching methods aimed at fostering such skills.
On the contrary, if I believe that critical thinking about a subject is only possible given extensive related background knowledge, I am still free to use lots of direct instruction to promote factual fluency. If I doubt that constructivist methods will help my students on the tests, what about the standards requires me to use them?
I am concerned that the Common Core standards endorse - and therefore promote - numerous confused notions about teaching and learning. Nevertheless, even if a teacher is uncomfortable with the language of the standards, why should he feel constrained in his methods by the likely nature of their assessments? - PB (@MrPABruno) (image source)
Here's another chart showing that education was not hit nearly as hard as other fields, at least not initially -- reminding us again that teachers and other educators are in very different economic boats than the communities in which they may work.
A new report out from a Washington DC think tank closely associated with the Democratic Party takes a look at the history of “mayoral control” of big-city school systems in which City Hall runs a district rather than an independently elected Board of Education.
According to the report, written by a pair of academics from Brown University and the University of Minnesota (and funded by the Broad Foundation), mayoral control doesn’t work everywhere but is associated with rising test scores and “can be a catalyst for reform.”
A recent oped in the Washington Post suggests that mayoral control limits community engagement and has proven itself not to be the silver bullet that had been hoped.
Voter turnout in the recent LA school board elections was roughly 14 percent, and the two candidates won election outright did so with roughly 15,000 and 30,000 votes. Image via CAP. Cross-posted from LA School Report.
This new Ken Stern article in the Atlantic points out that the very rich don't actually give that much to charity, proportionately, and that they don't give that much to things like K-12 education when they do (Why the Rich Don't Give to Charity).
Stern tries to unpack why the wealthy are so relatively stingy, but my main interest is wondering why whatever money is available from wealthy individuals doesn't go to K-12 education or to agencies that provide services to the poor:
"Of the 50 largest individual gifts to public charities in 2012, 34 went to educational institutions, the vast majority of them colleges and universities," writes Stern, "Not a single one of them went to a social-service organization or to a charity that principally serves the poor and the dispossessed."
Ouch. That isn't very good.
A secondary question -- not addressed in the Atlantic article but on my mind -- has to do with the notable absence of wealthy donors who choose to fund programs supported by reform critics. There are rich liberals all around -- fatcat Democrats and do-gooders who do their best to limit fracking and get Elizabeth Warren elected. But those who are giving to education -- Broad, Zuckerberg, Jobs -- aren't giving to reform critics, at least not so far as I know.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my impression that wealthy liberals have in recent years either ignored or abandoned the approaches and efforts espoused by reform critics. That wealthy liberals would do so -- fund reform efforts rather than the approaches espoused by reform critics -- is either very sad, or it tells you something about the level of frustration and impatience with the ideas and programs reform critics espouse.
If I'm reading this correctly, average wages in education and health services (the blue line) have risen from 15,000 to the low 20,000's between 1960 and 2010.
Is interactive media any different from old-fashioned TV time? Is the iPad any more addictive -- or informative -- than previous technology? Really, just go read the article.
Alexander' recent Scholastic Administrator Profile of Eli Broad makes a strong case that Eli Broad does not seek to privatize public schools. Those of us who despise Broad's policies are on firmer ground when explaining how the harm he has caused is due to his self-proclaimed "art of being unreasonable."
Russo cites the education blogger (and critic) Tom Hoffman who says the Gates Foundation is “feckless and trendy” on school reform, as compared with the “focused malice” of the Broad Foundation. I agree, but, who cares whether Broad's damage is the result of his impatience or anger?
According to Russo, Broad has been willing to make adjustments in his metrics, and two districts asked his foundation to do diagnostic audits of their systems. I welcome any diagnostic metrics and I would also offer a suggestion.
Oklahoma City's Broadie ordered audits of seven aspects of our school system, but he kept them private. Because he did not use public funds, the audits were not even subject to Freedom of Information requests. I have always wondered if our very talented and sincere Broad graduate would not of have produced a six-month disaster before resigning if those audits had prompted an open policy discussion. So, I wonder if Eli Broad would support diagnostic and transparent audits. -JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.
Proponents say it has to be done, due to enrollment declines and demographic shifts within the city. Critics say it doesnt, and that Mayor Emanuel is off skiing.
Follow live updates about #CPSClosings from the various news outlets on Twitter.
#CPS is another hashtag to try, though you'll also get Persepolis and other topics that way.
The feature article in the newest issue of One Day (the Teach for America alumni magazine) struck a chord for me.
It tells the story of George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans--a historically black high school and anchor of the black community in NOLA's Ninth Ward. The school was reopened after Katrina, but it has been restructured and currently houses 2 charter operators.
The article shows reformers who bear little resemblance to Michelle Rhee in their style and approach to politics, and includes voices of community members who fought the charters in Carver.
The article still advances some bold claims about academic progress in NOLA and details Teach for America's substantial presence. But once you get past those few paragraphs, it's not typical "One Day" material, and it's an interesting read.
Here's the audio from last week's Hechinger Report event at Columbia's Teachers College, which as you may recall included some testy/insightful? comments from the Annenberg Institute's Warren Simmons about young white women writing books about poor black and brown communities.
Liz Willen, director of the Hechinger Institute, moderated the panel (titled Reconciling Race, Community and School Reform). The other panelists were Sarah Carr, Sarah Garland, and Amy Stuart Wells. There was some lovely wine and cheese afterwards.