April 2008 Archives

Any discussion of emergency planning should start with the unique legal responsibility of public schools to assure student safety and the explosive growth of complexity in carrying out the task.

Public k-12 schools are very different from any other facility secured by government or private contractors, and the government's responsibility to k-12 students is very different from that of the owner of any other secured facility to the people within.

Approaches that integrate human factors with school districts' emergency plans will get far more bang for the back. Firms that offer this insight will gain competitive advantage in the sale of related technology and services. This RFP and conference provide an opportunity for providers to help a leading price-sensitive buyer think about this bigger picture.

Since my first report to edbizbuzz readers on the NW Education Cluster, we have been busy - with some success. But we still have quite a journey to go as we work towards building a collection of organizations, both public and private, that strive to foster change and progress within the northwest education environment. Our last meeting offers a case study.

EIA's Code was an important step towards demonstrating how its members' interests in SES aligned with the public interest. But issues of efficacy have replaced those of marketing. It's time for the Code to show that SES providers' interests in evaluation coincide with the publics' with standards of evidence, methodology, frequency and disclosure.

As someone who reads the newspaper, I am more than disappointed that the use of student information systems for accountability has focused narrowly on teachers. I know it is simplistic, impolitic, unnecessary and counterproductive.

Who says there’s no federal government support for k-12 program development? K-12Leads readers know such RFPs are out there, but you have to be looking and ready to pounce when they arise.

The State Board of Education shall develop a list of recommended conflict resolution and mediation materials, models and curricula that are developed from evidence-based practices and positive behavior intervention supports to address responsible decision making... and nonviolent methods for resolving conflict.

Businessmen and women were our best allies against the narrowing of the curriculum and opposing a destructive "testing culture."

There’s nothing inherently evil in student information systems or the data they create. They don’t fire teachers – people do. The disruptions they create stem from the basic question of all management – who will decide? At current course and speed its clear that administrators will. It’s no surprise they tend to hold teachers solely accountable.

Education agencies of all sizes are accelerating a trend to outsource a key human resource function.

Individual teacher accountability is coming. The only question facing teachers is whether they are going to live under the very unfavorable system that is bound to evolve at the current course and speed of k-12 education policy and practice, or work to develop a realistic option for something different. That option is the accountability regime of legally recognized professions.

The combination of more children, more working parents, public spending pressures created by more retirees, and a thinner wage-earning tax base to support public education spending is likely to add up to more consumerism in the education marketplace in the years to come.

As a matter of law, professional work involves three key attributes: personal liability, autonomy and self-regulation. By these criteria, teaching is no profession, but should be. A true teaching profession would help the school improvement industry a great deal and accelerate k-12s advancing state of the art. But its up to teachers.

I value doing over knowing. Good ideas are not "the long pole in the tent" of school reform. If Ray Budde, Al Shanker, Ted Kolderie and Paul Hill were never born, the idea of contracting out core public school activities would have found its way into the world. The shortage is the people who stop what are doing, risk everything to turn new ideas into reality, and succeed.

What’s problematic is the requirement for three years of experience with single sex schools in a district like Atlanta.

The blog medium permits the audience to respond to blogger's prognostications in real time or at their leisure. Its an incredible opportunity for good arguments to rise to the top rather than well connected people. I think its important to participate in and facilitate these debates.

A virtual college fair offers everything you might see at a traditional college fair - plus.

I’d like to be seen as a critical friend of all market-based reforms instead of simply a critic. In real life, it's your best friends who can tell you what you’d like to hear least but need to hear most. An EdWeek article on the CMO evaluation prompted me to think about a typecast I hope to avoid, and don't think I deserve.

With the support of corporations in the classrooms, practical approaches to accountability and administrators acquiring the best software to meet teacher’s day-to-day (urgent) needs, our teachers will be equipped to prepare today’s youth to become productive citizens in the world’s most vibrant democracy and become tomorrow’s leaders.

This program would not be a huge stretch for many Supplementary Educational Services (SES) providers. Per pupil payments are a competitive factor, not a fixed fee, but there is no specific expectation of improvement in student performance.


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