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Five Best Blogs: Look At The Sad Beautiful Sunset


Education Cuts Could Swing the 2012 Election The Fiscal Times: “When people are faced with the option of more layoffs of public employees, cuts in services or higher property taxes, they’re not going to be happy with any of the people that are in office,” predicted Howard Fleeter, a research consultant for the Education Tax Policy Institute in Columbus.

Educator not always voucher advocate PTR:  School voucher advocate Michelle Rhee says she doesn't buy claims that using tax money to send children to private schools will worsen the experience for students who remain in low-performing schools.

The New No Excuses Jay Greene Blog: Someone please explain to me why 21% of middle and upper income Anglos in Oregon should be illiterate.

With concentrated poverty on the rise, should ed reformers be worried? Hechinger Report: In New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, the number of people in high-poverty neighborhoods declined over the past decade.In other education reform hotspots, however—including Denver, Houston and Memphis—it’s on the rise.

Report Tackles School Turnaround The Educated Reporter: No one likes to talk about it, but we all know schools where it might actually be best if the doors simply shut and didn't reopen. However, closing schools -- and using the federal grant money to make room for more students at a district's campuses that are thriving already-- probably doesn't make superintendents popular.


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: Look At The Sad Beautiful Sunset" »

Five Best Blogs: Pay No Attention To The Standards


Pay No Attention to the Standards Tom Hoffman:  First we had everyone discussing whether or not there would be a required reading list when there never is in a standards document. Now it is all "percentage of fiction vs. non-fiction." That also is not determined by the standards. 

Paul Ryan is Right Reihan Salam:  Conservatives shouldn’t attack the safety net. Rather, they should attack the lack of spending restraint that actually exacerbates cost growth in health, education, and other domains.

A Thought Experiment for Union Leaders TeachPlus:The field of education and the role of the union are at a point of transformation. Engagement among young teachers in the policy decisions that affect their classrooms is too low.

Where not to be reincarnated Joanne Jacobs:If you’re planning to be reincarnated as a poor black child, make sure not to be born in Michigan. 

VAM on Trial David B. Cohen: I’ve taken the liberty of dreaming up the court transcript ahead of time (using Q: for the defense attorney’s questions and A: for the plaintiff’s answers).   

Superintendent Tells Critics of Teen Lesbian Couple to Buzz Off GOOD:   But rather than cower from criticism, as many administrators are wont to do when facing charges of immorality, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba is digging in his heels and fighting back.


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Five Best Blogs: Mass Layoffs (& Ending LIFO) Didn't Happen


@nctq @fordham @whetmoser @thompson @newamerica

Teacher layoffs: Did the sky fall or not? NCTQ:  In the 74 districts that responded, around 9,545 teachers--about 2.5 percent of the total number of teachers in these districts--were actually laid off.

Are teachers overpaid? Fordham:  Teachers take a pay cut of roughly 3% when they leave the profession, while new entrants actually see a raise of almost 9% compared to their previous non-teaching job. 

Teacher Looping in Chicago and Beyond ChicagoMag:  In short, looping means trading some familiarity with subject matter for familiarity with students. The literature is thin, but there are suggestions it's a worthwhile trade.

Make study more effective, the easy way Lifehacker:  We should be thinking hard, always, about how to create teaching experiences in which students are more active, and about creating courses in which students are permitted and encouraged to come up with their own organisation of material, rather than just forced to regurgiate ours. 

Reed Hastings is Right Title I Derland: Transitioning from a command and control district to a charter district could take a city a decade to do right. But it will give power to schools and educators, where the power – and the accountability – belongs.


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NCLB: Just Can't Stop Talking 'Bout #ESEA

Lobbyist finalAttack of the Ed Reform Killer ChimerasDFER Charlie Barone: NTEA Party. Accountability Chickenhawks. Amnesiac Historians.  Washington Knows Best States' Rights Purists. Test-Enlisting Anti-Testing Advocates. 

ESEA political scorecard: Halloween version Sherman Dorn:In the group category, I see that Education Trust, DFER, La Raza, and other civil rights groups are all wearing the Ghost of ESEA Past costume

Except For Them! Eduwonk: In his own subtle way Winerip’s work is actually a spectacular argument for No Child Left Behind-style policies requiring disaggregation, transparency, and accountability.

Night of the Living Reauthorization Thompson:  "It’s not much of a deal to offer states a choice between AYP and a test-based teacher evaluation system. Both are based on rhetoric rather than evidence of effectiveness in improving schools and neither will make a dent in the issues facing our most challenged students.” (Ellen Forte)

Five Best Blogs: New News About Denver's ProComp


Money for nothing Joanne Jacobs: The 31 Abbott districts received more nbsp;money than the rich districts, because inner-city kids have greater needs. The court funded all-day kindergarten, half-day preschools for three- and four-year-olds and transition programs to work or college, plus money to build or update school buildings. 

ProComp Final Evaluation Results EdSector: It doesn’t give us the final answer to the big question—does it work? But it does tell us a lot about what’s happened since ProComp—and most of it’s good. 

New data Bill Gates, other ed reformers should care about The Answer Sheet:  Many teachers see poverty up close, although our students do their best to hide it...They tease one another about buying clothes at Salvation Army, or living in a cardboard box. 

Unions See Their Future in Protesters' Ranks WSJ:  Union members who descended on Occupy Wall Street encampments armed with tents, food and organizational expertise hope to turn young demonstrators into enduring labor allies, part of a larger effort to rejuvenate the movement's aging ranks. 

A Match.com for Innovation Title I Derland: The need for the registry for the i3 grant and beyond is incredibly obvious, maybe even more so than Match.com was 15 years ago. 


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: New News About Denver's ProComp" »

Five Best Blogs: Happy Edu-Halloween


A tale of two teacher evaluations Joanne Jacobs:  Rhames almost quit teaching because of her experience, but is “now happily working at my charter school where teacher evaluations are fair, substantive, and self-reflective.” 

What teachers think about teacher prep NCTQ: 81 percent of respondents think there should be a national review of teacher preparation. 59 percent of all teachers felt "very prepared" or "prepared" in their first year in the classroom. 

Charters Line Up For Extended School Day Cash Catalyst: Of the 41 charter elementary schools that can apply, 32 are planning to, he said. The schools will get the same amount that regular public schools have been offered: $800 for each teacher and $75,000 for each school that starts in January.'

Read' Shakespeare In Minutes? CliffsNotes Films Makes It Happen HuffED: Now, it's coming to the masses in an even simpler form. "CliffNotes Films -- The Fastest Way to Learn," a collaboration among AOL, Mark Burnett, Coalition Films and Josh Faure-Brac, is launching with animated shorts -- each narrated by nerdy super hero Super Cliff who guides the audience through classic works.

Teacher Claims VeganismMade Her Crazy Enough To Sleep With Students Jezebel: Shockingly, the judge didn't buy her vegan/antidepressant/alcohol/IBS defense, and sentenced her to four years in prison.

The Lost Tweets of Ichabod Crane The Tangential: Excited to be starting my new job @TarrytownSchool! I hear every child in Sleepy Hollow is above average. Charming school-house! Classic log-cabin construction, very charming. Bit drafty, but no matter. I hear my reputation as a disciplinarian has preceded me! I merely do as I must. #sparetherodspoilthechild. 

Five Best Blogs: Souvlaki For Everyone!


Just say No! EdNext: The Harkin-Enzi bill “lowers the bar,” says the Times, and “backs away from requiring states to have clear student achievement targets for all schools.” 

What Our Kids Is Doing Mother Jones:  To be honest, I'm a little surprised that TV watching is only two hours a day for 5-8 year-olds. On the other hand, I'm sort of appalled that 75% of 0-2 year-olds watch TV, and of those, the average TV-watching time has increased from 1:02 to 1:30 over the past six years. 

A primer on corporate school reform The Answer Sheet:  Instead, they went after collective bargaining, teacher tenure, and seniority.  And they went after the universal public and democratic character of public schools. 

The Gap On The Gap Eduwonk: A decade after an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort to get serious about school accountability, it’s open season on a strong federal role in education. How did we get here? 

Comment on “A Perfect Confluence” ERS:  We are in the midst of the perfect confluence, and the prospect of converting it into a new educational order for school children is exciting indeed. 


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Five Best Blogs: Still More On The #ESEA Markup & Duncan Waivers

ScreenHunter_03 Oct. 06 11.09

What Does ESEA Re-Write Mean for Ed Reform on the State Level? Alex Johnston: In taking the fundamental outlines of federal education policy for granted, we may not have looked closely enough... at what aspects of NCLB are essential to preserve, and what’s best left alone, and what’s most in need of an upgrade. 

 The Latest GREAT News NSVF:  Should we succeed in getting GREAT included in the House legislation... we may actually create a new legislative pathway to support high-performing teacher and principal training programs. 

 Senators Playing Politics with EducationThe committee vote was a "stick out the tongue" moment by Sen. Harkin directed at President Obama, as well as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, for offering states waivers on the current NCLB law.

Harkin/Enzi ESEA Bill Would Formalize Rewards for High-Performing Schools New America: This is one of the few places where we see Congress attempting to create what are known as “communities of practice” – opportunities for schools to come together to share best practices and work together to improve student achievement. 

Arne vs. The Rules Title I Derland: One of the overlooked features of Duncan’s new ESEA waiver package is the fact that there is no new money in it. Yet state and local educational agencies are supposed to implement a host of intensive interventions in “priority” schools. 


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Update: What MSNBC's O'Donnell Gets Wrong About Denver

#edcolo @ednews Following up on recent coverage in The Nation and on Salon, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell did a segment with Denver school board candidate Emily Sirota in which he seemed to  have the view that the big-money opposition to union-supported Sirota was coming entirely from pro-voucher Republicans.  

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The Denver race may make the case for campaign limits for school board elections but let's be clear that this fight is not really between Democrats and Republicans but between Democrats who favor charters and other reforms being undertaken by the current superintendent and those who who oppose them or at very least want to go slower.  Pro-voucher Republicans are in there, too, but the mayor of Denver, the Governor, and several others are all supportive of Sirota's opponent. Too often, education debates these days are viewed (or cast) as liberal vs. conservative (or Democrat vs. Republican) when they are really internal Democratic debates in which Republicans and conservatives are somewhat involved.  Also, as Denver's alt weekly Westword noted, O'Donnell's viewers might have wanted to know that Sirota's husband is a columnist who's been writing about the race -- the likely source of the segment idea in the first place.

Five Best Blogs: Attack "Race To The Top" -- Or Defend It?

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#rttt @politicsk12 @eduwonk @shankerblog, @harisevugan @bigswifty

When Should We Ask for Our Money Back? EdWeek:  If the 12 winners don't show improvement in student achievement in Year 2 (which would be next year at the latest), "Shame on them," declared former Louisiana schools chief Paul Pastorek.

 Let’s Make A Deal? Eduwonk: So is getting the amount of change we’ve seen in a notoriously change-averse field for a one time shot of $3.5 billion a pretty good deal?  That’s a hard sell politically but it just might be the case. 

The Teachers’ Union Hypothesis Shanker Blog: The existing research is mixed, and suggests that there is only a weak relationship between unions and achievement scores. 

The impact of Michelle Rhee’s ‘culture of urgency’ The Answer Sheet:  Actually, it was Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who hired Rhee and gave her carte blanche, who made school reform the city’s top priority. 

W. enters my wife’s schoolboard race Salon:  In the last few weeks, news broke that oil CEOs and financial executives were cutting $10,000 and $25,000 checks to her opponent. 

Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: Attack "Race To The Top" -- Or Defend It?" »

Five Best Blogs: Real World Education

ScreenHunter_02 Nov. 23 08.33

Jeb Bush, Distance Learning, and the Hype Cycle Sherman Dorn: What School of One offers is algorithmic programming, not individualized education. 

Fighting the War on Poverty with Early Childhood Education CAP: As it stands, only three percent of TItle I funds are used for early childhood education. 

Trigger Happy? Title I Derland: If the goal of the waivers is to support state innovation, it seems strange to risk stifling a plan that puts school improvement solutions in the hands of parents in favor of one that is prescribed from Washington. 

Early Childhood Education Involves Taxes Matthew Yglesias: The actual question is what offsetting budget changes will make it possible to implement an early childhood education program.  Also from Yglesias: DC Education Reform Has Raised Teacher Salaries Substantially

Blame Game Eduwonk: We have a teacher quality problem and a management problem, teachers are not to blame for all that ails our schools, we can’t fire our way to better schools, but removing some percentage of low-performers would be quite good for students.  


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Five Best Blogs: Whatever Happened To Universal Preschool?

2cc7172ac8ff48dc4b4cdf5ed88f2ff062e16223_mA Tea Party Defeat on Schools in North Carolina Century Foundation:   The rebound in support for integration in Wake County echoes earlier fights in districts like La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Is Occupy Wall Street Really about Education Reform? Amanda Ripley Blog: Occupy Wall Street is about our nation’s willingness to over-promise and under-educate. It is about the urgent need to finally get serious about making our education system worthy of our ambition.  

Preschool Wars Go Mainstream ERS: Time Magazine’s “The Preschool Wars” provides a powerful summary of what’s happening—or what’s not happening—to protect it. 

Is the Charter School Boom Really Good for Kids? GOOD:   Instead of ensuring that those ideas are passed back to traditional schools and to other charters, districts are handing out new charters like candy, creating an atmosphere where pretty much anyone with some semblance of a plan can open a school.

Excellence in Failure Jay P. Greene: These generous severance packages are the fault of boards, not the departing executive.  Boards sometimes choose to get rid of someone on a whim or simply because the majority composition of the board changes.  

The Coming Digital Learning Battle Paul E. Peterson: School districts and teacher unions can be expected to fight publicly funded online learning that offers students a choice of taking courses outside their local district school.  

Five Best Blogs: Harkin-Enzi Bill Improved... Or Ruined?


Harkin – Enzi ESEA Bill Now Officially Bad Kevin Carey: No bill is better than this bill.

Denver's Moment of Reckoning is Approaching DFER:  Is Denver going to be one of the few cities to sustain and even accelerate effective school reform?  

A Progressive in the Age of Austerity New York Times (Friedman): Emanuel's pride and joy is the new mandate that he and his schools chief, Jean-Claude Brizard, pushed through for next year to have the school day for Chicago's 400000 students extended by 90 minutes and the school year by about a week.

What “No Excuses” Really Teaches Us About Reform ShankerBlog: To whatever extent “no excuses” works in regular public schools... we might consider focusing a bit more on the conditions and policies of schools, in addition to the people that work in them. 

“Breaking with the past” as an old idea Sherman Dorn:  Utopian justifications for whatever self-anointed reformers think of as radical often are unjustified by what happens in the process of reform.

Can charter principles work in traditional schools? Wonkbook: The next big question will be whether, in less amenable political and budget climates, these kind of reforms stand a chance. 


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Five Best Blogs: Did You Make The Cut?

318327_10150416055356233_580021232_10435699_88244524_nPhantom Menace CAP: Even the statisticians who performed the [Fordham Institute] study have distanced themselves from the conclusions about the effect of NCLB on high achievers. 

Damn The Facts, Full Speed Ahead! Eduwonk: Fordham’s report on the alleged “race to the bottom” on state standards because of No Child Left Behind found, at most, a “walk to the middle.”

Michelle Rhee got blind support from Washington Post DailyKos:  Media Matters offers a litany of cases in which the Post's editors attacked Rhee's critics and lauded Rhee—led by the editorial board's refusal to engage with the cheating scandal that took place on her watch.

The Green Bay Packers of Ed Schools:  Michael Goldstein: New Teacher Project teachers were 5.0 points out of 50, or 0.10 standard deviations, “better than the average teacher.” And UNO alum teachers were 2.1 points out of 50, or 0.04 standard deviations, “better.” 

Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone Amanda Ripley: At the national and local levels, [South Korean] politicians are changing school testing and university admissions policies to reduce student stress and reward softer qualities like creativity.

 Teachers Protest Rupert Murdoch At School Summit HuffPost:  Teachers in the San Francisco Bay area picketed Thursday outside an education conference that features News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch ... 

Teacher Sets Herself on Fire in Front of Students: A 44-year-old math teacher who set herself on fire in front of students at her school in southern France died Friday. 

Five Best Blogs: Better To Be "Low-Performing" Than "Achievement Gap"?


Achievement Gap Schools by the Numbers Education Sector:  Persistently Low-Achieving sounds like the harsher label of the two. But not in reality. There is less guidance for how AG Schools will be improved and less time to make these improvements, with tougher consequences if improvement doesn’t happen.

Harkin ESEA Reauthorization Bill is Silent on Title I Funding Formulas New America:  States like Wyoming [currently] receive far more support per poor pupil than much more impoverished states like Arkansas and New Mexico. [ALSO:  Strides in Fixing Title I Teacher Comparability.]

NYC, Los Angeles school systems failing English language learners Valerie Strauss: The two largest public school systems in the country — New York City and Los Angeles — this week acknowledged that they had been failing to meet the needs of English language learners and promised to implement new programs to improve the situation. 

The Constituency for Change PIE Network: Organizing any constituency for change is hard, hard work, but it's being done all across the country by the network's 34 member organizations working to change state policies to improve education. 

NYT on Edu-software Reform Reform: It’s not just the hapless school district officials who’ve been misled by Carnegie’s marketing.  


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: Better To Be "Low-Performing" Than "Achievement Gap"?" »

Five Best Blogs: Harkin Back To 1994

ScreenHunter_05 Aug. 22 22.50The Waiver Wire Education Sector: To assume that higher education institutions notoriously impervious to change will abandon their inadequate remedial placement policies simply because the state adopted Common Core is naive. 

Not So Little Rights, But Big Wrong Eduwonk: On the big question of accountability it takes the federal policy back to an approach on accountability that didn’t work in the 1990s under the 1994 Improving America’s Schools  Act, and really before that.  

Of the Visit of the Secretary of Education Founding Principles:  I went to Secretary Duncan's town hall in Pico Rivera last night. Politician after politician rose and gave one meaningless speech after another.

The Feds' For-Profit Double Standard in Ed Rick Hess:  I'm frequently frustrated by our inability to talk sensibly about the role of for-profits in schooling. Most discussion amounts to reflexive demonization, occasionally interspersed with hired-gun salesmanship or protestations of good intentions.

Safety Dance Title I Derland: We all know that turning around a low-performing school is hard work. There’s never just one factor impacting a school’s performance and, let’s face it, many staff members and administrators are resistant to change. 

Why Education Needs an Occupy the Classroom Revolution Jose Vilson: We will hold accountable the people in charge of ensuring the right to a fair, equitable public education in the same fashion they have held us accountable. 

Laura Johnson’s Unhappy Journey Education Sector: A system that offers little guidance and no safety nets for ill-informed high school students making big educational decisions is almost certain to produce many more stories of seventeen year-olds wasting a semester of school at the worst possible time. 

Five Best Blogs: Much Ado About Reauthorization


Why Are Poor And Minority Kids So Different? Eduwonk: I am asking why people who wouldn’t think of gutting IDEA’s rules and accountability requirements don’t worry about the same problem when we’re talking about a different population of students?

It's Finally Here (sorta) Eduflack:  So while this finally puts a flag in the edu-ground for Harkin and Senate Democrats, no one should be rushing to schedule a bill signing any time soon.  

Barone vs. Barone Sherman Dorn: The fundamental dilemma with such hard targets is that while they may be necessary in the short term, they are very difficult to sustain politically in the long term. 

Extending or Overreaching? Title IDerland:  If you look at the Obama administration’s education initiatives...one thing becomes abundantly clear: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan likes him some extended learning time.


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: Much Ado About Reauthorization" »

Five Best Blogs: Sesame Street's New Character Is Hungry


Insanely great Joanne Jacobs:  We all knew he was dying, yet it’s a shock to know he’s gone.

All Hail Finland? Neerav Kingsland (New Schools for New Orleans): The Finnish model is better than ours, but it’s probably not the best.

Suburban charter? Forget about it. Jay Mathews: I still don’t think the Leadership Academy has a chance, but we shall see. Some day Fairfax might realize that as good as its schools are, it could use a little competition.

I didn't stammer Doug Hering: Non-profit is a government designation that means that no one directly owns the organization and therefore does not directly get money from the bottom line.  It does not mean that employees are not paid well or do not receive substantial bonuses.

Mulgrew and teachers union occupy Wall Street GothamSchools: Some [teachers] said they were there to experience a historic moment. Others said it was to lend support to their union.


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: Sesame Street's New Character Is Hungry" »

Five Best Blogs: What States & Districts Did Then, They'll Do Again

1266305584 Getting Nostalgic About NCLB DFER: States and districts did what they always do when they don't like what the feds are pushing: they ignored the mandate, but pocketed the hundreds of millions of federal dollars that came along with it.

Rhee hires a Republican fixer RheeFirst (AFT): With the Pennsylvania school choice bill still stuck in the ever-grinding gears of legislative activity, Rhee has decided she needs a lobbyist to give it a jumpstart, and that lobbyist is a Republican strategist former campaign manager for [two Republican candidates]. 

How Long Do TFA Teachers Teach? EdWeek:  If hard-to-staff schools are to succeed in serving their low-income students, it won’t be because they receive a steady stream of well-educated, committed novice teachers.

Accountability and Merit Pay Taking Some Heat in TexasPaul E. Peterson:  Let’s hope the Texas political leadership can resist the anti-accountability forces in the months and years to come.

Teacher quality – "know it when you see it"?:  These new systems may not be perfect, but they are worlds better than what we had previously. And they are a starting point if we want to finally get serious about improving teacher quality.


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: What States & Districts Did Then, They'll Do Again" »

Quotes: What Lamar Alexander Wants To Do With NCLB

Quotes2 We know what the Lamar Alexander vision of public education looks like. It’s called “the early 1990s.” - Kevin Carey of the Education Sector in TNR


Five Best Blogs: Senate, Campaign Moves Complicate Waivers

5302792411_3c39602620_b Collision Courses Eduwonk:  [CGCS has] traditionally been resistant to moves that would shift the accountability burden off of suburban schools while maintaining it for urbans. 

Making Sense of the GOP Field & Education Rick Hess: Here are seven keys to keep in mind when making sense of what the Republican field is (and isn't) saying. 

Improving No Child Left Behind NYT editorial page: The Obama administration must insist that states getting waivers demonstrate that they are making substantial progress, but it should allow flexibility on the timing. Having states rush to adopt inadequate evaluation systems would discredit the school reform movement. 

Let States Reform Education, Don't Let Them Set a Low Bar Bloomberg: Unfortunately, neither the president nor Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has given Congress strong guidance on how to proceed. 

Do Our Schools Still Offer Advanced Classes? Kevin Drum: I know that placement of kids in "vocational" tracks mostly ended decades ago, but basic academic tracking still seems to be very widespread. So what's the real complaint here? 

Half Of Colorado Online Students Leave, Funding Stays EdNews Colorado: Colorado taxpayers will spend $100 million this year on online schools that are largely failing their elementary and high school students, state education records and interviews with school officials show.

Weekend Reading: October Already!?

Here are some links to magazines and sites I don't check during the week, in Twitter form, plus whatever else I come across along the way or missed during the week.  Links and retweets aren't necessarily endorsements, just an effort to give you a range of interesting news and opinion:

Five Best Blogs: Will NCLB Waivers Mean Longer Days?

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Jeb Bush and Florida's Education SuccessWhitney Tilson: I'm not saying I'd support him (or any Republican) over Obama, but I think it's healthy for our country if the Republicans offer a strong, credible candidate.

Two bitter education rivals begin to bury the hatchet USAT:  Kopp said the nation's schools need both alternative and standard teacher-training programs. "We just need to move beyond the overly simplistic idea that it's one form vs. another," she said. 

Why Teachers in High-Minority Schools Are Paid Less GOOD: Districts should require that each school, whether it's in a minority or a white neighborhood, have about the same number of first or second-year teachers and veteran educators.

Still Waiting For Superman  Dana Golstein:  There is little doubt the quality of the teacher corps would improve if the job paid a six-figure salary. I love that idea!

Take Your Time CAP:  States applying for federal waivers ought to follow the example of Massachusetts, where the state carefully crafted a definition of expanded learning time to ensure the additional time was used wisely to make a difference in the experience of both teachers and students.

Saving Catholic Education Richard Riordan:  Charter schools are an amazing development, and I've chaired the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools and the Inner City Education Foundation, both charter advocacy organizations. But not everyone will be able to attend charter schools because the capacity isn't there.

Five Best Blogs: Raising Risk While Lowering Rewards

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Of Oversimplification and Education Bruce Smith:This tendency to seize on a success in a limited span of the academic spectrum with a limited section of the total student population and to then apply the principles discovered to every subject and all students is typical of people from fields outside education.

What's the matter with teachers today? Seattle Times: Teaching is one of the most criticized jobs in America. What's up with that? 

Reform Means Higher Risk, Lower Rewards Shanker Blog: In some places, risk is going up while compensation is being cut, sometimes due to the same legislation.

Obama's speech to high school also a subtle jobs bill pitch LAT: Still, as he delivered his annual back-to-school address at a District of Columbia public highschool, Obama told students he was trying to upgrade school buildings and fortify the ranks of classroom teachers. 

Is Title I About Poverty Anymore? Title I Derland:  Equity for poor children was the initial impulse behind the enactment of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. But that concept has faded. 


Continue reading "Five Best Blogs: Raising Risk While Lowering Rewards" »

Quotes: Outdated Education Debate Omits Early Development

Quotes2 The two conferences left me with a strong sense that our national conversation about education is irrelevant and quaint.  - Former NYC Chancellor Harold Levy

Five Best Blogs: Back To School For President Obama


Republicans for Smaller Class Size? DFER: By curbing collective bargaining for public school teachers, Walker told the crowd, public schools could... hire a boatload of more teachers in order to significantly reduce class sizes! 

Too much tight, too light on loose Mike Petrilli: Some additional vetting–via the Congressional process perhaps?–might make it ready for primetime. Too bad the Administration took that option off the table. 

The Waiver Wars Title I Derland: A bill overturning Duncan’s waiver action is not a sufficiently high priority to garner much support in Congress, and it would face strong Democratic opposition.

Film Review: American Teacher Mother Jones: With more than half of the nation's 3.2 million public pedagogues coming up for retirement in the next decade, American Teacher succeeds in reframing education's abstract ideological battles in terms of kitchen-table realities.

Geoffrey Canada and Diane Ravitch Stand for Children: We see two passionate advocates with lots of common ground, and many compelling reasons to make our schools better. 

Grit and Middle-Class Messaging Tom Hoffman: It isn't about the achievement gap, it is about character, just like a private school! If you ask me it is still a tough sell to suburban America. 

Video: Russo Shocks Conference With "Reform Bubble" Comment

Picture 46 Here's a screengrab from my cameo during #EducationNation's special Tuesday morning edition of "Meet The Press," which consisted of bearded, tie-less me weighing in from what they called the Oprah Seat in the front row of the audience to blather for a few seconds about my notion that there's been a school reform "bubble" and how it's in the process of being popped.  (It's at about the 55 minute mark, mom.) More on that later.  While most of the folks up there said pretty predictable things -- Diane Ravitch and Geoff Canada agreeing about the critical importance of wraparound services, for example -- Columbia J-School Dean Nick Lemann's "take a chill pill, everyone" remarks stood out for me.  

Five Best Blogs: Waiver Reactions & Then Some

Illustration-Children-at-Play Randi is right NCTQ: It's entirely possible that the federal government is writing a blank check that education departments and district offices won't be able to cash.

 Waivers 101 CAP:  The waiver process puts positive pressure on states to enhance their approach to accountability, teachers, and improving the education of students in struggling schools. 

The Waivers Are Here Sandy Kress: I'm pessimistic about the prospects for success on any of these three challenges, much less all three. But, we can hope. 

Idaho Says No to Next Round of Race to Top EdWeek:Tom Luna, the state's superintendent of public instruction, is recommending that the state not apply for the competition. 

Indiana is the new Florida, but who will be the next Indiana? Jay Greene's Blog:   The 2011 legislative sessions set a new standard for K-12 reform, can 2012 hope to compare? The logical response would be something along the lines of “not bloody likely.”

50CAN: We commit to adding all contributions to 50CAN and its state branches above $1,000 to this page within 30 days of their receipt, to updating the operating budget within 30 days of its approval by the 50CAN board of directors and to adding audited financials documents within 30 days of their approval by our auditors.


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Quote: "The Planning Fallacy"

Quotes2 Most people overrate their own abilities and exaggerate their capacity to shape the future.-- NYT columnist David Brooks (The Planning Fallacy) from 9/15

Weekend Reading: #NCLBWaiver Time

Here are some links to magazines and sites I don't check during the week, in Twitter form, plus whatever else I come across along the way or missed during the week.  Links and retweets aren't necessarily endorsements, just an effort to give you a range of interesting news and opinion:

Five Best Blogs: Apple's TFA Giveaway Not All That Generous

Picture 43Alignment Of Interests In Education Policy Matthew Yglesias:  President Obama’s support for charter schools hasn’t stopped him from increasing SNAP benefits and presiding over a gigantic Medicaid expansion.

Imagine What 100 Million iPads in Classrooms Would Do Atlantic Wire:   Giving away 9,000 iPads is a drop in the bucket. There's also a tinge of nepotism in the fact that Steve Jobs's wife Laurene sits on Teach for America's board.

What Do Test Scores Tell Us? Gary Gutting (NYT): Educators and critics often react to poor test results with calls for school reform. Should they?

Squeezing It Dry Title I Derland:  The Obama administration is squeezing the 2009 stimulus to get every possible job out of it.

The problem with Obama’s plan to issue NCLB waivers  Valerie Strauss:  President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan would do well to listen to Daniel Domenech on the subject of issuing states waivers from key provisions of No Child Left Behind.

The Testing BubbleDana Goldstein: Today both Scantron and Pearson are owned by M & F Holding Company, the conglomerate of buyout king Ronald Perelman.

Image (there are several others along these lines) via GOOD 

Five Best Blogs: What's There To Critique?

Child-by-mail The Truth About Testing Columbia J-School:  The two-day intensive workshop will tackle these questions and more. Educators, testing experts and veteran journalists will gather to discuss how to report on test design, innovation in testing, cheating, and whether widespread use of standardized tests can trigger reforms that will eventually narrow the achievement gap between rich and poor. 

Education Is Priceless Andrew Sullivan:  ""Andreas Schleicher, head of analysis at PISA, thinks that only about 10% of the variation in pupil performance has anything to do with money."

Turnaround Eduwonk: In too few places have local school leaders stepped-up and acknowledged that there is a serious problem. 

Something for Nothing on Teachers? EdSector: It seems silly to maintain the ineffective highly qualified teacher provisions when so many states are already designing evaluation systems based on teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom. But it doesn’t have to be something for nothing. 

Film chronicles the cost of poor pay, particularly over time, for teachers. SFC: A new documentary opening in New York City on Friday is a rebuttal of sorts to the pundits and politicians who are eager to battle unions and write teachers off as the over-protected recipients of Cadillac benefits, extended summer vacations and low expectations.

In Defense of Head Start FFYF: Proven success rates in school healthier behaviors and positive actions are what programs like Head Start deliver What is there to critique? 

Stossel on charter schools Doug Hering: He picks apart a department of education study that said that charter schools did not perform as well as their traditional public school counterparts. 

LA school's cheating prompts new policy for charter group CA Watch: "That's the unfortunate thing. One employee wiped it out for everyone." 

Urban School Reform as Housing Policy Matt Yglesias: The link between schooling and place isn’t vanishing any time soon, and it’s important not just to improve the schools where poor kids happen to live, but to ponder the larger dynamic of how improved conditions in urban neighborhoods all-too-often simply prices housing out of the reach of current residents.

Five Best Blogs: Rick Perry Needs A Paddlin'


In Rick Perry's World, ADD Is a 'Paddleable Offense' Atlantic Wire:  The Texas governor confesses to having ADD as a child and recommends a good spanking to modify a child's behavior.

Charter School Benefits In The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District Matthew Yglesias: If kids with low-quality neighborhood schools are able to attend charter schools that are about as good on average as average public schools, then those kids are going to see huge benefits.

America’s Most Outrageous Teacher Cheating Scandals ProPublica: Here's an overview of some of the most shocking instances of teacher cheating, plus a few episodes that may have been overblown.

5 Reasons the Yuppies On the Brown Line Look So Depressed Chicago Mag:  People in all walks of life are being pushed to do more work without comparable salary hikes. The world has changed dramatically. There probably isn’t a worker in America that isn’t being asked to do more for the same salary or less.

An odd way to honor teachers The Answer Sheet: It seems fair to ask whether a fancy event at the city’s leading arts venue — complete with big-time supporters (including The Washington Post Company) — is really the best or even appropriate way to celebrate teachers and their profession. 

It's Much Easier to Tweet Mean Stuff Than Say It Atlantic Wire: What group gets picked on the most? Those who are overweight. And slurs against the overweight are more likely to be considered intentionally hurtful than slights against others; 47 percent say these comments are meant to sting.

5 Reasons the Yuppies On the Brown Line Look So DepressedChicago Mag:  People in all walks of life are being pushed to do more work without comparable salary hikes. The world has changed dramatically. There probably isn’t a worker in America that isn’t being asked to do more for the same salary or less.

Five Best Blogs: Don't Hate The Reformer; Hate The Reform

Blog_robby_robot Why education reform keeps failing David Cohen: Niche “reforms” like this could not do enough by themselves to offer real improvement, even if they were accurate and reliable, which they are not. 

Merit Pay Loses Luster Huffington Post: Two competing pressures--decreased finances and rising policy interest--have left the future of performance-based teacher compensation uncertain. 

"Fundamentally Devoid of Value Judgement?" Tom Hoffman: Is this how David Levin actually thinks? As you can see above, the strengths and virtues chosen certainly reflect value judgements.

Concerns and Recommendations on USDOE Waiver Process DFER:  Some states [such as California and Mississippi] should be ineligible for goal-lowering waivers prima facie. 

How to Stop the Drop in Verbal Scores ED Hirsch (NYT): Attention to these structural issues has led to improvements in the best public schools, charter and noncharter. But it is not enough. 

School district uses Race to the Top money for public relations The Answer Sheet: A school district that is a finalist for the soon-to-be announced $1 million 2011 Broad Prize for Urban Education is embarking on a public relations effort to end public opposition to its school reform program, which includes a slew of new standardized tests.

Two easy steps to catch cheating schools LAT (editorial): California should analyze the multiple-choice test forms to see if they have unusual numbers of erasures. And it should flag schools where the improvement in test scores seems too good to be true.

Pearson Sends Education Commissioners on Free Trips Winerip (NYT):  The Knowledge Network, a division of The New York Times Company that provides courses and education services, has also sponsored some events for the state school officers’ group. 

Weekend Reading: Time To Put Away Those Flip-Flops

Links to magazines and sites I don't check during the week, plus whatever else I come across along the way:

Five Best Blogs: Get Started On That Times Mag Article Now


A Stunning Retreat on Two Decades of Education Reform DFER: just this morning, members of the House Education Committee heard testimony today from several witnesses who noted what an important role ESEA played in their states and districts. 

Ten Questions Parents Should Frantically Ask About Schooling TA: What If My Child's Charter School Is a Cult??? What If We're Raising a Generation of Horrible Robot Narcs??????

Public education's biggest problem gets worse TAS: For too long, school reform efforts have focused almost exclusively on “bad teachers."

iPads Aren't For Kids, But This Tablet Is AW:  For $100 you get an educational babysitter that your kids will like. They won't even know what they're missing. 

The Flipped Class = flipped homework TDR: Been thinking about the flipped class and its relationship to solving homework issues -  - after all, flipping a class is also flipping homework.  I know, "no kidding, Sherlock" you may be thinking. 

Nine pages of new Paul Tough here.


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Five Best Blogs: Pay No Attention To The Poverty Rate

Picture 32 Our Nation's Poor Live Like Kings Atlantic Wire:  There's a growing consensus in the right-leaning blogosphere this afternoon following the morning's Census report of record high U.S. poverty: American poor people aren't like other kinds of poor people.

McGraw-Hill splitting education and financial units Reform Reform: On the education side, we’ve seen its main competitor, Pearson, in the education news a lot recently. Perhaps McGraw is feeling to stuffed up. ALSO: To Lift Stock, McGraw-Hill Will Split in Two NYT

Where Does Obama's Jobs Plan Leave the Teacher Quality Debate? Dana Goldstein:  By choosing to focus right now on saving teaching jobs--instead of on the more controversial agenda of allowing class sizes to grow while investing in technology--this Democratic president is signaling exactly how "reformy" he is willing to be. [love it!]

Can you name successful parent coup? Jay Mathews:  “If we put 10 hot-shot education reporters together in a room and asked this question I think the answer would be zero: ‘In the past 10 years of school reform, can you list any schools where a parent revolution took place?’”

The Blitz Is Coming Michael Goldstein:  Effective teachers, likewise, deter lots of small potatoes misbehavior by establishing early in the school year that they can handle the blitz. That doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to achieve their academic goals.


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Quote: How Higher Ed Is Like K-12 Education

Quotes2 The way higher education works in America is to deliver the most resources to the people who need the least help. -- Matthew Yglesias

Five Best Blogs: Nadal Doesn't Stand A Chance

Tumblr_lrb230rCJv1qzr04eo1_500 The bait and switch of school "reform" Salon: What [reformers] are really doing is making sure America doesn't talk about the macroeconomic policies that make Wall Streeters so much money, and impoverish so many others in the process.

Taking Failing Schools to Court EdNext: Some legal academics have predicted that Reed will have sweeping, national effects. But others expect Reed’s influence to be narrower. 

Obama's School Jobs Plan: Good Enough, or Too Much? Sean Cavanaugh (EdWeek): One of the intriguing aspects of Obama's proposal is that much of the jobs-saving money would presumably flow to states that have been making major cuts  to school funding—reductions that, in turn, have almost certainly resulted in layoffs.

Judging schools by advanced scores Jay Mathews: A habit I share with many education writers is presenting school test results one way: the percentage of students who score proficient or above. 

“Teachers Don’t Do It For The Money” So… Eduwonk: In the era of public sector belt-tightening and Tea Party demands for austerity singling out one sector and saying they don’t care about the money (and often in the same breath saying they should be paid more)  doesn’t seem like a particularly smart strategy.


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Five Best Blogs: Jobs Bill Roundup

Obama-supermanObama Yells at Richmond Students Atlantic Wire: President Barack Obama hit the road on Friday to drum up support for the American Jobs act, which he announced in a speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, and he really put his back into it.

That's Really All He's Got Rick Hess:  When I heard the makeup of the President's double-secret, anxiously awaited plan to create millions of jobs and make America happy again, I unaccountably found myself flashing on the scene in "Knocked Up" where Seth Rogen meets Katherine Heigl.

Is Obama’s call to modernize schools really necessary?  The Answer Sheet: There are clear correlations between the quality of school facilities and student and teacher attendance, teacher retention and recruitment, child and teacher health, and the quality of curriculum.

Kline's irrelevant critique Reform Reform: Yes, having the federal government invest in school construction does add a layer of red tape, compared to situations when states and districts spend their own money. Yes, it will cost a bit more than otherwise. But yes, it also has the potential also create good jobs providing a good service to the many schools that are in major need of repairs.

Obama calls for more school stimulus Fordham:  Having a nice building is not likely to jump start any child’s education, and project labor requirements in many locales may blunt the job creation impact of the program as well.
Back To The Future! Andywonk:  We’re talking about school construction again? Really? I’m getting that mid-1900s vibe…E-Rate anyone?  When I heard the President mention wiring schools for the Internet I threw on some Pearl Jam!

Five Best Blogs: Teaching, Cheating, Shocking, Remembering

The_MidwestWhat’s Really Wrong With Teaching to The Test? Freakonomics (Peg Tyre):  If teachers at a school are encouraged to “teach to the test,” they can probably show you test scores that are going up, but that means they are focusing instruction in the most basic part of the material.

The Scope of the Atlanta Cheating Scandal Ta Nehisi Coates (Atlantic):  If your kid has the basics, if you have other concerns about their development, and if you believe they need something more direct and tailor-made, the draw of public school weakens.

The "Shock Doctrine" comes to your neighborhood classroom Salon: "Let's hope the fiscal crisis doesn't get better too soon. It'll slow down reform." -- Tom Watkins, a consultant, summarizes the corporate education reform movement's current strategy to the Sunday New York Times.

Remembering Vito PerroneDeborah Meier:  I met Vito in 1973 when the North Dakota Study Group came into being to strategize about early-childhood testing.
Which School Reforms Will Work Best? NYT (Walt Gardner):  It’s understandable why many teachers, caught between the new demands of the reform movement and the sharp budget cuts that Mr. Fager notes, are not returning to school with enthusiasm.

The speed and density of language TIME via Kottke:  Mandarin, which topped the density list at .94, was the spoken slowpoke at 5.18 syllables per second. Spanish, with a low-density .63, rips along at a syllable-per-second velocity of 7.82.


Five Best Blogs: Rainy Wednesday

Tumblr_ldvyg8cSMx1qan88jo1_500 (1)

Take your SGP and VAMit, Damn it SchoolFinance1010: While SGPs are, in some ways, substantively different from VAMS, they sure as heck aren’t better or more appropriate for determining teacher effectiveness.  

More Houston Michael Goldstein:  The right policy conclusion, I’d submit, is that high dosage, 2-on-1 tutoring by “mere mortal tutors can lead to unusually large gains.At least in math.  

It's Generational Warfare, Now Deal With It Rick Hess: Are you ready to start wrenching bucks away from a generation of indulged Baby Boomers and affluent retirees to make that happen? Or is your advocacy more of a self-congratulatory hobby?  

Stick it to the Man, Addendum Dave DeSchryver: There is finally agreement that a school that takes a student with low academic standing and produces incredible academic growth is probably a better institution than one that starts with a middling student and does not help him grow academically (I’m looking at you, suburban schools!) 

Another Times trio EdNExt: We’ve been letting teachers and schools do their own thing for several generations, with some pretty bland results in a wide swath of America, including populating prisons with adults who stopped learning in third grade.

 A.J. Duffy, education reformer? LAT (editorial): Could Duffy have been a closeted reformer all those years? Or do his views simply reflect those of whoever signs his paycheck?

Five Best Blogs: Bad Technology, Or Bad NYT?


Wakeup call for the digital revolution EdNext: Richtel’s piece should be a cautionary tale for our education policymakers: you ignore curriculum at your own – more importantly, at our students’ – peril. 

Good Teaching Trumps Hi-Tech Richard Lee Colvin:  The next time the Times wants to examine the use of technology in classrooms, the editors should assign someone to the story who knows a lot more about education than about technology.  

Being careless with education history Sherman Dorn: History is not a storehouse of mythic images from which you can or should draw caricatures to make your point.  

Talking About Reforming Head Start New America: Less regulation, more experimental research (especially for Head Start’s youngest participant), more research, richer expenses, and a focus on testing and improving parenting education could all help boost Head Start results and strengthen the program for the future.

Is this the year? Is this the year that you finally invest some money in better technology integration support for teachers rather than simply buying more stuff? 


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Weekend Reading: Easy Breezy Twitter Edition

I'm tweeting out this weekend's roundup of magazines and other sites I don't check every day, so you can catch it all that way or here (though it's not that pretty):

Five Best Blogs: Unemployment's Impact On Flunking A Grade

Five_thumb1 A crtitique from Colorado Van Schoales:  Anyone that has spent time running a school or in the classroom knows that unions are only one of the challenges in terms of improving public education. 

How unemployment hurts children and suppresses academic achievement Mother Jones:  In the end, the researchers concluded, “one percentage point higher unemployment rate leads to a 0.3 percentage point increase in the probability that a child repeats a grade.” 

How the Other Half Tests The Washington Monthly:  The vast majority of those institutions require students to take placement tests like the Accuplacer, and more than half the students who take those tests end up in remediation. 

Bad News For Unions About Public Opinion Matt Yglesias: If most people don’t think union political activity is broadly beneficial and also don’t think union dues are worth it then it’s very difficult to mobilize anyone for legislative changes that make union organizing easier. 

What Everyone Wants to Know about Cheating in Schools John Fremer: I estimate the proportion of educators involved in high stakes state testing who engage in cheating to be between one and two per cent.  

Reclaiming my blog Dangerously Irrelevant: Even though [Big Think] wasn’t a great fit for me as a blogger, I’ll still be a regular reader and encourage you to be one as well. There’s always something interesting right there on their home page. 

The 50 Best Websites of 2011 TIME:  Answer one of the multiple-choice questions correctly — on topics such as English vocabulary, geography or chemistry — and the site's sponsors will donate 10 grains of rice to the U.N. World Food Programme. 

Only Half of High School Grads Feel Prepared for College and Work Atlantic:   A majority of the members of the class of 2010 are happy with their high school experience overall and say that their first year after graduation was a positive. 

Five Best Blogs: Insert Eye-Catching Headline Here

ScreenHunter_03 Aug. 31 15.33 Confessions of a bad teacher Salon via GothamSchools: Like every new teacher, thought all I needed was energy, good ideas and lessons that showed how life and literature were related.

Four Gripes About Standardized Tests and Why They're Wrong Miller-Mcune: Claiming testing measures are the problem is a little like suggesting the scale is broken because we got too fat. 
The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe Larry Ferlazzo: What’s important, though, about the study, I think, is that it highlights that “enhanced discovery learning” was particularly effective.
Unfunded Educational Mandates Ta-Nehisi Coates: This [antibullying law] is kind of thing that makes you sympathetic to the notion that people are asking too much of schools.
Common Core Standards Posters for Kindergarten TeachersPayTeachers: This packet includes everything you need to post the standards you are working on in your classroom.
Domino, Domino, Only Spot A Few Blacks The Higher I Go Jose Vilson: With all due respect to the racial sensitivities of my readers, the article felt like looking into a conversation full of White people...

Five Best Blogs: Give AYP Some Respect

Finger #nclb Give AYP Some Respect Nancy Connor (DPS): In schools that were doing poorly overall, this aspect wasn’t quite so critical, but even in those cases, it was helpful to learn, say, that math achievement was much higher than reading achievement.    

Most Americans Say They’d Encourage Their Child To Become A Teacher Matthew Yglesias:  Seventy-four percent say they would encourage the brightest person they know to teach if they expressed an interest in it, and 76 percent say we should try to recruit the highest performing students into that profession. 

Striking Graphics Make Philosophy Easy to Understand Atlantic:  What is absolutism? Humanism? Genis Carreras's designs render these philosophical movements—and others—comprehensible. 

The Trouble with Steven Brill's Black-and-White Rick Hess:  If Brill had been angling to pen anything other than a black-and-white shoot 'em up, he could've told a much more informed, intriguing, and constructive tale, and one which would have made his conclusions feel more like an extension of the narrative and less like an afterthought. 

All The Options That Are Fit To Print? EduWonk: Plenty of people do the wrong thing (in every industry) but in our field plenty more disadvantage themselves and their families in an effort to do the right thing. 

Five Best Blogs: The Brill-Bashing Continues


What's wrong with the education reformers' diagnosis and cures Richard Rothstein (Slate): Brill's briskly written book exposes what critics of the reformers have long suspected but could never before prove: just how insular, coordinated, well-connected, and well-financed the reformers are. 

18 Low-Tech Learning Innovations Tom Vander Ark:  A variety of tactics could fit into this category but most common is project-based learning, which can be engaging but make the target clear! 

What’s really wrong with ‘parent trigger’ laws Larry Ferlazzo: Educators should not let the strategists behind it pull victory out of the jaws of defeat by driving a wedge between us and the parents of the children we teach.  

The Union Wins a Big One in New York Education Next: Nice try, Regents. But NYSUT caught it and argued, according to Lynch, that such a scoring rubric was “contrary to the statute’s mandate that the composite score incorporate multiple measures of effectiveness….” 

Public School Choice Matthew Yglesias: A lot of school reform haters seem mighty impressed by this Freddie de Boer takedown of an argument about charter schools that I never made. So here, again, is my argument. 

Worthless Wonky Studies SchoolFinance101:  On balance, it is safe to say that a significant body of rigorous empirical literature, conscious of whether, who and when concerns, validates that state school finance reforms can have substantive positive effects on student outcomes including reduction of outcome disparities or increased overall outcome level.

Weekend Reading: Matt's Mistake, TFA's Treachery, Etc.

image from www.miller-mccune.com

While you're waiting for the hurricane to arrive:

Don't Confuse Matt Damon TNR:  Getting a chance to make your case to policy makers is what political activists are supposed to want. That's the goal.

Teach For America goes after teachers unions - in a new way TeacherKen:  "Our presenters will include staff from The Future Is Now Schools formerly Green Dot Public Schools), who are building a network of unionized charter schools around the country, as well as several LEE members serving in union leadership positions."

Speaking of LEE:  LEE Members meet Secretary Arne Duncan at the Department of Ed.

Speaking of TFA:  Elite Teach For America thrust into APS scandal 11alive via Mary:  Teach For America's ties to district leadership run deep, and some of its most ardent supporters fared the worst in the report.  

 Teacher Collaboration Gives Schools Better Results Miller-McCune: The world’s best school systems depend on teacher collaboration, but the concept has not caught on in the U.S. We found schools where teamwork is making a difference.  

Appellate Court Gets It Wrong on NYC Teacher Data Rick Hess:  When the shortcomings become clear, when reanalysis shows that some teachers were unfairly dinged... value-added will suffer a heated backlash. 

Five Best Blogs: Lots Of States Changed Tenure In 2011


Use Your Teacher Voice classroomsooth:The goal is to have a viral video campaign of teachers talking into a camera in an effort to reclaim what has been lost: our authority in our vocation.

Randi and I Argue, Earth Rumbles Rick Hess:  If memory serves, the old TV show Hart to Hart used to begin with the narrator intoning, "And when they met, it was murder."

18 states changed tenure laws in 2011 Joanne Jacobs: “More state legislatures are beginning to embed teacher performance evaluation in decisions to grant tenure or to explicitly state the terms of contracts,” ECS states.  

Baaaaaaaah! Mike Antonucci: Bringing sheep into a union would be a bit more problematic from a PR standpoint, as it opens up a whole line of jokes not relevant to goats.  

Are Charter Schools Draining Private School Enrollment? Liberty Street Economics:  We find that while charter schools led to a fall in private school enrollment, the decline was modest. We also find that with the passage of time, as the charter sector matures its effect on private schools increases. 


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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.