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September 19, 2008

The Letter From: What is "Capacity"? (III): In Districts and Schools

Central management is not well-positioned to process the never-ending stream of case-by-cases decisions implied by a system of school accountability based on individual student performance.

August 27, 2008

The Letter From: What is "Capacity"? (II): In Public Education

School systems generally have capacity when measured by the standard developed for the state accountability legislation passed before NCLB - average student performance. NCLB measures capacity by the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency in literacy and math on a path to universal proficiency. Most of public education lacks this capacity.

August 14, 2008

The Letter From: The Most Important Issue in Federal Education Policy Presidential Candidates Don’t Discuss (III)

As matters now stand, it’s not likely that either candidate will make their position on program evaluation a matter of record. Let me offer one election scenario where they might. It is a stretch, but offers some interesting opportunities to examine the politics of public education.

August 06, 2008

The Letter From: The Most Important Issue in Federal Education Policy Presidential Candidates Don’t Discuss (Between II and III)

My perspective on the subject of this series is not without partisan overtones, and that's relevant. Consequently, I decided that before I discuss my scenario, readers need to appreciate how my interest in SBR policy intersects with my political support for John McCain.

July 30, 2008

The Letter From: The Most Important Issue in Federal Education Policy Presidential Candidates Don’t Discuss (II)

In my view, the concept of program evaluation represented by NCLB's scientifically based research provisions is the most important issue in federal education policy the candidates don’t discuss. This week’s Letter addresses the options available if a Presidential candidate decides to take a position.

July 17, 2008

The Letter From: "In short, I see no problem with research INITIALLY becoming public with little or no review.” (II)

Researchers may not want their work to be subject to review prior to publication because they fear it might not be published sufficiently close to "as is" to support their conclusions and recommendations. Alternatively, they might be "above the law" in fact - subject to no real world penalties for disregarding professional norms.

July 16, 2008

The Letter From: "In short, I see no problem with research becoming public with little or no review.” (Between I and II)

Today's Letter was to examine why I was not surprised to read that he has “no problem with research becoming public with little or no review.” In the interim, however, Greene advanced a number of arguments defending his position. The air needs to be cleared of these smoke screens first, so my plan is address his arguments here and return to my plan tomorrow.

July 10, 2008

The Letter From: "In short, I see no problem with research becoming public with little or no review.” (I)

I find Greene ‘s final statement statement about education research both incredible and unsurprising. When consumers are left to determine the basic quality of quantitative research unaided by prior review, why shouldn't we consider such work to be the intellectual equivalent of patent medicine?

July 02, 2008

The Letter From: March 29, 2004 Asks if There is a School Improvement Industry

Congress intended NCLB to enlist the private sector to improve public schools, but officials administering the law lack a strategy to foster supply.

June 26, 2008

The Letter From: The School Improvement Industry’s Demand Side for SYs 2009 and 2010

For any firm currently in operation, the best advice about a coming business year is that it will be only marginally different from the last and the next. That’s more or less true of school improvement. The more important questions are the direction of trends and the prospects for change. Here the answers must be negative and dim.

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