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Five Best Blogs: Hubris, DFER Standout, & Ugly Habits

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Does Reform Have to Equal Sagging Polls? EdSector:  Which would you rather have: a sweeping reform whose implementation is delayed in the courts and likely to be overturned at the next election? Or a reform effort that elicits buy-in and thus long-term impact?... The Right Way to Approach School Reform American Times:  Hubris is at the heart of all this overreach, in Florida, in Wisconsin, in Michigan. And hubris comes at a price. ... The Inside Game Tom Hoffman:  Boy that guy from DfER is a real standout jackass... And the Most Overhyped Edu-Entrepreneur of the Moment Is...? Rick Hess: We have this ugly habit in education of taking sensible ideas, overselling them, turning them into fads, inviting backlash, and then slouching away when they inevitably fail to deliver on ludicrous, inflated expectations... On Ron Wolk's new book Annenberg Institute: He considers the school district to be an outmoded governance structure that mostly serves to perpetuate the mistakes of the past and the flawed assumptions of the present... Time to Make Professors Teach WSJ:  Roughly 21000 articles have been written on Shakespeare since 1980. Wouldn't 5000 have been enough?... This Seems Kind Of Wrong of the Day: The Daily What: Iowa State Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (R-Dixon) tells student leaders attending a Senate Education Committee meeting on budget cuts to pipe down while adults are talking about their future...

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The Annenberg Institute's review of Ron Wolk's new book is to be recommended. Among other things, it raises the issue of the purpose and value of school districts in the 21st century. I think school districts are of most value in rural and primary school contexts, and of less for secondary schools in areas with greater populations and better transportation systems, where choice and competition operating in transparent markets is more likely to be successful. Interesting systemic instances of this latter are to be found in east Asia, in Hong Kong and Singapore, for example. In the latter case, all primary school students attend local schools run by districts; then, after the Primary School Leaving Examination, each family chooses in order five secondary schools they would like their child to attend, and a centralized system assigns the students to these competing schools.

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