January 2008 Archives

Firms committed to demonstrating efficacy through rigorous evaluation exist and some have been reasonably successful, but while their success might have something to do with the spirit of NCLB, it also happened despite the law’s administration.

From the perspective of providers and investors in the school improvement industry, NCLB I will last to at least the end of the Bush Administration, and NCLB II will be more than marginally less advantageous. Between now and the inaugural, everything NCLB is so much trivia for eduwonks.

EMOs and CMOs have a tough business as it is, but the sector’s growth lies in the nation’s worst-performing schools. This bunch may be the toughest of the tough challenges, yet there is a ready, willing and able buyer.

The nonacademic, social aspects of public education agencies’ in loco parentis function are beginning to multiply, coalesce and receive greater funding.

The ideal white paper is easier to specify than write. I recently took my hand to the task for the Center for Digital Education, MPR and Gateway on the subject of One-to-One computing.

On January 18, This Week in Education’s uberblogger Alexander Russo asked whether foundations suppressed unfavorable research on the effectiveness of their grantee's educational programs. There have been a few comments on methodology. I have some observations on the issue.

In August 2003 about 25 people gathered at a local university to share ideas about forming an Education Cluster in the Pacific Northwest to discuss issues surrounding education.

While for-profit publishers have come to dominate the content employed in teaching and learning, I would argue that nonprofits have owned technical assistance and sole practitioners define the market structure of management consulting in public education.

If schools are held accountable for their role in student performance, what about those who supply schools with the products, services and programs employed in teaching and learning?

For-profit firms in the school improvement industry should make the modest investment in the legal advice required to form an affiliated nonprofit.

In the current environment, no school improvement provider should feel confident about selling their offerings in the same format tapping into the same funding streams. It’s time to repurpose content and diversify revenues. A “sustainability premium” attaches to new sales for new purposes drawing on new funding programs.

I could swear I read something like this by Dr. Doyle in Ed Week or a similar publication when I began my transition at RAND from national security to public education with the end of the Cold War in 1989. If not by him, then someone equally well-known at the time.

In our dynamic society, the digital world is a force for decentralization, creativity, and choice. The American way is to reject social engineering and rejoice in the multiple ways to skin a cat. Yet American public education has implemented technology in a manner reminiscent of Soviet Five Year Plans.

In public education accountability consists of standards, consequences and due process. Standards without consequences and due process amounts to reporting. Consequences without standards and due process is tyranny. Due process without standards and consequences defines a discussion group. If the purpose of accountability is to advance a social goal, all three elements must be present.

Last Friday PLATO shares closed at $3.50. The... decline is more complex than being outmaneuvered... by... publishers. I believe it is the combination of a politicized buying process, decision-makers that are rewarded modestly for success yet punished severely for failure... that have... kept alternative content contained in the supplemental box.

Provide Program/Project Management services for implementation of a system for the NC Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System (NC CEDARS) in the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

Edbizbuzz readers please note. Sunday night my DSL modem decided to stop working. I am finally connected and have caught up on my to do list. Expect several postings to follow. One piece of advice for those who depend on a modem for their livelihood - buy and test a back-up....

I'm what was once called a "Rockefeller Republican" or a "(Scoop) Jackson Democratic."

Finances are another external explanation for the marginal status of market based-reform. But like opposition, this is a factor beyond the control of reformers. The individual organizations that are reform movements and the organizations that purport to represent the movements haven’t done very well with the cash they have received.

In my experience, market-based reform efforts do not realize their mainstream potential for three reasons.

In this market, school districts almost certainly can develop some kind of real estate opportunity for their teaching staff.

Regulation based on Scientifically Based Research is not fundamentally a problem of capacity. It's one of interest.

For liberals, the political choice on NCLB is obvious – go along with the institutions. But the moral consequence of that choice can only haunt the conscience.

We know from other research that outcomes relate to the quality of implementation and implementation relates to the quality of teacher and agency support.The products and services are not pills; they are programs. If teachers don't like them, if administrators won't provide the support, their benefits are purely theoretical.

On the whole, 2007 will be a difficult year for school improvement providers. I expect neither a catastrophe, nor a cakewalk. Today’s best school improvement providers will eke out some growth in sales, the least sustainable may go out of business.

The Administration has requested $117,666,000 for awards for the Early Reading First program for FY 2008, of which we intend to use an estimated $116,489,340 for this competition.

The rationale for requiring schools districts to be part of a teacher induction program application is obvious. Why their partners must be universities, government agencies or nonprofits is not.


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