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AFT: Weingarten Endorses Darling-Hammond For EdSec

Arugula No, she did nothing of the sort.  Just seeing if you were paying attention.  She just gave a speech (pdf) at the National Press Club, and Bloomberg was there. 

No endorsements or non-endorsements were given.  Hard to imagine that she is the one blocking a Klein appointment if Bloomberg was there, though.  Unless Bloomberg was thanking her for keeping Klein in NYC. 

TONITE: "In Living Color" Meets "The Colbert Report"

Men_on_film Think that the debates or some baseball game are tonight's TV highlights?  Think again.  Tonight is the premier of David Alan Grier's new Comedy Central show, Chocolate News, which includes a sketch about a rapper hired to write public service announcements for NCLB.  This doesn't go well when the PSAs end up being quite a bit more bootylicious than intended.  I give it two snaps -- and a swirl.

UPDATE:  Actually, it wasn't that good at all.  More crude than funny.  Hated it!

A Confession: I'm Eduwonkette

Eduwonkette_alexThis has gone on too long. For months now, I've been letting friends know that, in reality, I am Eduwonkette.  The time has finally come to step forward and reveal it to the world.  Yes, it's true.  Eduwonkette is an elaborate hoax, an alternate blogging identity created to let me focus on New York City schools and my love of statistics, as well as to help bolster the web traffic at EdWeek.org and live out my love of women's clothing (if only online).  Close observers had already figured this all out from our shared sense of humor, love of silly graphics, and pleasure at deflating bloggy know-it-alls (whomever they might be).  But I'm sick of being asked if I happen to know who "she" is by people with funny smiles on their faces.  I could tell they suspected, and it was making me really paranoid.  And I'm overcome with guilt at having deceived New York Sun reporter Elizabeth  Green about my identity when she started emailing me for this story.  She's me.  I'm her.  We're different versions of the same thing, sort of like Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert. Now you know.  Now, on to more important things. 

Groups Scramble To Round Up Celebrity Spokespeople

293beckhamdavidb News reports suggest that last week's announcement that the National Charter Schools Conference celebrity figurehead was supermodel Petra Nemcova has created a scramble to secure celebrity representatives among various education groups, organizations, and causes. 

Some of the rumored matchups are as follows: Title I Comparability (Justin Timberlake), Class size reduction (Angelina Jolie),  National Standards (Scarlett Johannson), Merit Pay (David Beckham), NCLB Rollback (Robert Downey, Jr.), Homeschooling (Will Smith), Universal preschool (David Letterman).

Not to be outdone, several education groups are also pursuing celebrity endorsements:  Gates Foundation (Sarah Jessica Parker), Reading First (Tiger Woods), Teach For America (Shia Labeouf), EDINO8 (Tom Cruise), and KIPP (Jon Stewart),

If there are any I've missed or that could be improved upon (depending on availability), feel free to weigh in.

Gloucester Principal "Punks" Kids, Media, Self [UPDATED]

Punkd It turns out after all that the principal of Gloucester High School in MA was just following the lead of the San Diego educators who recently told high school students that their friends had died in drunk driving accidents (School Uses Fake Drunk Driving Tragedy to Scare Students).  So the principal made up the whole pregnancy pact thing to warn students against the dangers of teen pregnancy and premarital sex.  Indeed, there may not have been any pregnant teens.  But then the media got ahold of the story and -- neglecting to interview the students involved -- fell for it harder than the kids did, and the principal temporarily forgot that he made up the story in the first place (Mass. school official casts doubt on 'pregnancy pact').

UPDATE:  Mayor Says NCLB To Blame For Gloucester Pregnancies Swift Charlie

Details About NCLB Emerge From McClellan Tell-All

Scott_mcclellan_nclb3Last week's publication of the former White House press secretary's tell-all book about his time with the Bush administration was dominated by allegations that White House officials misled the nation about the war in Iraq and the Valerie Plame CIA incident.  Little noticed was a passage in the final chapter in which McClellan confesses that he "never had any idea" what phrase "the soft bigotry of low expectations" meant, even though he repeated it from the podium hundreds of times.

Obama Flips Off Teachers Unions

37992962_2 There are several preposterous theories (LA Times) about what Barack Obama was doing when he scratched his face last week  (left).

But I don't think Obama was flipping Hillary Clinton off.  I think he was sending a subtle but clear message to the UFT and NEA for not endorsing him despite all his NCLB-bashing. 

A little help from the teachers unions in Pennsylvania and I would have this thing wrapped up by now, is what he seems to be saying.

Narrower Lines For Graduate School Notebook Paper

Meadreleasesrarticle Thinking about going back and getting that MA, or even an Phd?  This might be for you: 

"After decades of only offering ruled notebook paper suitable for college-level education and below, school-supply giant Mead introduced its new grad-school-ruled notebook Monday, which features lines twice as close as those for college," states this news report (Mead Releases New Grad-School-Ruled Notebook).  "The notebooks are currently available in several special grad-school-edition colors, including alabaster, saffron, vermilion, and, for girl graduate students, periwinkle."

Inner-City Pole Vaulting Foundation Started

Oped_black_guy_2 "These kids need someone on their side. They need a powerful force to set them on the right trajectory and keep them out of prison, or worse, the morgue. They need pole-vaulting." 

LINK:  I'm Starting This Foundation So Inner-City Youths Will Have The Pole-Vaulting Opportunities I Never Had

Spitzer Fave Was Homeschooled TFA Alum

Medium_2330221904_5ece18c135_o According to her MySpace page, Ashley Alexander Dupre has a fascinating education and work background.  Homeschooled through 8th grade, she went to an IB-focused charter high school and joined TFA when she was just out of college.  She was interning in Roland Fryer's academic incentives shop until the end of last week.  Fryer could not be reached for comment. 

Obama "Borrowed" Lines About Supporting Charters & Being Open To Vouchers


No, he didn't (far as I know).  But wouldn't it be funny -- and a great relief to folks who hate vouchers but want to support Obama -- if some of the lines that have been lifted from MA Gov. Deval Patrick were those ones about Obama being open to vouchers and supportive of charters?  Then Obama's progressive supporters could heave a sigh of relief -- but their candidate probably wouldn't be as appealing to independents and moderates. 

Breaking News: Well-Dressed Reformers Hired To Run School Districts Across The Nation

Inspired by DC Mayor Fenty's surprise appointment of school reformer Michelle Rhee to head the District school system on Tuesday, elected officials across the nation have scrambled to announce their own hires from outside of traditional education circles:  In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg on Tuesday evening fired Joel Klein and hired Teach For America Founder Wendy Kopp, despite the absence of any previous district experience.  "She's been running the system for the past 10 years anyway," said Bloomberg in announcing the change. "We might as well make it official."  New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced his plan to fire incoming chief Paul Vallas before he even starts, to be replaced by New Leaders For New Schools co-founder Jonathon Schnur.  "I met him at a party and he seemed really smart," said Nagin.  "Vallas is a nice guy, too, but I figure we should give this new generation of reformers a chance to show their stuff at running something."



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