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Five Best Blogs: Evaluating The NEA Convention

Tumblr_ld4owr8fdb1qzleu4o1_500 Putting the NEA endorsement of Obama in context TeacherKen: Obama's percentage in 2008 was already the lowest in the past 5 elections.

True and False on NEA's New Evaluation Policy Teacher Beat: Resolutions are statements of the national union's beliefs, but not dictates. 

Holding your nose and closing your eyes Fred Klonsky: The proposal is fantasy in that it calls for something that doesn’t and can’t exist: “Scientific and valid” measures that assess “both students and teacher performance.” 

Forward Mapping CPRE: Most districts don’t map their school scores, but if they did, they might find some guides to action. 

‘Ravitch Rage’ The Answer Sheet:  Here, as best I can tell from the available evidence, are the syndrome’s cause, symptoms and possible treatment. 

A Failing School? Mike Winerip:  In February, Mayor Bloomberg placed Jamaica High on a list of schools it planned to close. But it is puzzling how a school can be labeled failing and yet produce successful students. 

Baltimore fights cheating. D.C. punts Jay Mathews:  Just before the Maryland School Assessment tests were given this year, Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso recorded an unusual eight-minute video with a special message for administrators and teachers.

Details Matter Bush Center: So, even if one of these new providers creates a high–quality program, it won’t be recognized by the state if it has only nine students. 


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Mike Winerip's "argument" in the New York Times is such claptrap. We similarly had a few good students at Locke High School in 2007: our top student that year is in India this summer working for a program sponsored by his department at MIT. The existence of a few top students didn't mean Locke wasn't in need of drastic improvement. We hoped then, and I hope now, that bringing in new management and dividing the campus up into a series of smaller schools would work for the larger masses of students who were dropping out or just scraping through under the old regime. Such new schools do need to have programs that will challenge their top students, to make their best even better; but it's hard to defend a status quo if half its students decide that it has nothing worthwhile to accept even as a giveaway, which is what public K-12 education is.

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