February 2008 Archives

A perfect Friday paper by economists Daniel Hamermesh and Joel Slemrod. Here's the abstract from the Berkeley Electronic Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy :A large literature examines the addictive properties of such behaviors as smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling and eating. We argue that for some people addictive behavior may apply to a much more central aspect of economic life: working. Although workaholism raises some of the same health-related concerns as other addictions, compared to most of the more familiar addictions it is more likely to be a problem of higher-income individuals and is more likely to generate negative spillovers ...

Yesterday's Principals Weekly (a weekly email sent to New York City principals) foreshadowed some possible changes to the NYC Progress Reports. (You can read earlier posts on progress reports here.) Some proposed changes include:1) The new system may assign separate grades for each element of the progress report. In other words, schools could get an A for the overall proficiency category, a C based on their students' test score growth, and an F based on the learning environment surveys. This is a very positive step. (Diane Ravitch made a powerful argument for this change in the fall.)2) The ...

The Annual Meetings of the American Educational Research Association are coming up. This year, ~10,000 (?) people will converge on New York from March 24-28. Why do many researchers hate AERA?1) AERA is too big and too long.2) Because there are too many people on the program, the quality of the average paper is low.3) Because the quality of the average paper is low, many scholars who do high quality work don't submit their work to AERA.4) Because there are too many concurrent sessions, most sessions are sparsely attended, so the feedback quality is low unless ...

Sherman Dorn's got his Zen on about multiple deadlines. Me, not so much. In that spirit, here are some links:1) Common Core & NCLB: The Common Core report out today found that kids don't know basic historical facts or literary references and argues that NCLB contributes to this problem. In my view, NCLB has little to do with the historical fact gap. (See Bush to World: NCLB Led to iPhone or Greatest Generation Struggled With History.) I haven't read the report yet, so correct me if it included longitudinal data - but did kids know these facts 10 or even ...

In a talk last Thursday at Teachers College, Richard Rothstein proposed a "Report Card on Comprehensive Equity" that would broaden the set of measures we use to assess the achievement gap. Rothstein argued that accountability systems that focus only on basic academic skills distort the educational process as schools focus more on skills for which they’re held accountable. Because we want more out of schools that math and reading scores, Rothstein proposed extending the data we collect to include domains such as critical thinking and problem solving, social skills and work ethic, readiness for citizenship and community responsibility, foundation ...

Dean Millot at edbizbuzz has picked up where we left off on the relationship between funders, service providers, policy advocates/researchers, and publications (see my posts here, here, and here, and Alexander Russo's post here). Here are links to Dean's first two posts in this series: Deconstructing a Social Keiretsu in Public Education Reform and Deconstructing Part II: Board of Directors. In his inimitably calm, thoughtful, and systematic style, Dean plans to lay out these funding, governance, and other relationships and notes that, "Readers can decide for themselves whether this is true and, if true, troubling." Head on over and ...

Cool people you should know returns after a brief hiatus.Annette Lareau is a sociologist who teaches at the University of Maryland. Lareau is an ethnographer, and in my opinion, one of the best ethnographers in the country. She has written two spectacular books, Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education and Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. You can read Chapter 1 of Unequal Childhoods here), so let me talk about Home Advantage.We often hear that poor parents don’t "value" education. In Home Advantage, Lareau argues that teachers often misunderstand the meaning of ...

For those interested in performance pay, the papers from the upcoming National Center on Performance Incentives conference in Nashville are posted here.Update: My bad - Opryland apparently closed in 1997....

Your hostess is temporarily tied down responding to anonymous peer reviews of one of her papers. I wonder how the editor would respond if I called Reviewer B a feckless defender of the status quo…in the meantime, check out these links:1) Incentivists v. Organizationists: Dick Murnane has a new paper out related to the incentivist debate.2) Boys of the Blogosphere (plus Jenny Medina) at AERA: A-Rus, eduwonk et al. are on tap at AERA in a session called, “Disseminating Education Research Through E-Media: Advice from E-Journalists.” Thursday, March 27th, 10:35am. Program up here.3) Blogosphere and ...

On the heels of my small world post, many readers have written and asked for more discussion of the mega-education funders.Who are they funding? How broad is their influence? Should the funding priorities of a small number of foundations drive local education policy? Is Bill Gates our national superintendent, as Diane Ravitch has suggested?For those clamoring for disclosure, academic institutions where I have worked and studied have received grants from the Gates Foundation, and I have undoubtedly benefited from those grants. My intent is not to villainize these foundations, but to wonder out loud whether it is a ...

I’ve never seen wonks so hot under the collar about something so obvious! Between here and eduwonk, we’re ~60 comments deep on my yawn of a post about interlocking directorates.Had I plotted webs of union relationships, commenters like “duh” - who wrote, “Stop interpreting every web of relationships as some kind of evil empire” – would have me canonized. Consider this post at EIA, or how much was made of NEA’s contribution to Fair Test. If those relationships are important to uncover, so are these.Let me take a preliminary swing at the “So What?” question:In ...

What should we make of the growing number of education policy think tanks and education reform/advocacy organizations? Weeks ago, A-Rus asked, and Dean Millot answered.All of this chatter made me wonder how these organizations are connected. After all, there are a lot of them, and many of them are advancing similar reform proposals. Are these a million different points of light, or multiple organizational outposts for a small group of people?To answer this question, I looked up the Boards of Directors, Advisory Boards, and senior staff of 16 big ticket education policy think tanks and advocacy organizations. ...

Last year my slogan was "Cupid Must Die." This year I'm having a poetry contest. The valentine poems are a flowing - don't forget to write early and often below. Here's a sampling of submissions:Some desire rosesor tickets to Parisbut if she’s an educrat,just give her ARIS.(Ms. Frizzle)A mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Ette left:Violets are blueRoses are redEducation policyOut of my bed!Mike Bloomberg has received the most candygrams, including:Roses are red,I like them fine,Mike buys votes,but he won't buy mine.skoolboy chimes in:Candy is dandyBut liquor ...

The latest NCLB splosion already has the blogosphere assigning battle names, i.e. Trail of Tears, Wonk Wars, or the I-95 Knockdown. I prefer Panic at the Disco, and you can watch eduwonk and I get down courtesy of David Bellel.In his most recent post, eduwonk asks me to bring it:My challenge for Eduwonkette is to offer up what sort of requirements for school accountability she'd support. How many kids, or what percent, should a school have to teach reading and math to, well, in order to make "adequate yearly progress?" What's the bar below which no school ...

Jeff Henig is a Professor of Political Science and Education at Teachers College. He shares insights from his new book, Spin Cycle, published this month by The Russell Sage Foundation.Public discussions about education research are often highly polarized. Advocates often wield their own studies and slam their opponents’ devious misuse of science. In my new book, Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools, I explore more the relationship between politics and research as it is - and as it might be.My example: The 2004 AFT charter school report and its aftermath. ...

Valentine's Day is on the horizon, folks. Given how much you liked writing haiku about NYC's Progress Reports and suggesting costumes for the Halloween Edu-Parade, we're due for a contest.Fire up your amorous feelings for our education policy makers (or bloggers), and submit a "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue..." poem. As always: poking is awesome, nastiness is not. I'll get us started:To Margaret Spellings:Roses are blue,Violets are red,Sexy librarian glassesLook swell on your head.To Diane Ravitch and Debbie Meier:Roses are red,Violets are blue,Why aren't there menAs smart as you two?To...

A wise woman once advised that name-calling is a poor substitute for a good argument. In my view, it is the feeble tool of last resort for desperate men who cannot win arguments on their own merits. It has no rightful place in policy debates.Let me wrap up this debate over NCLB's unintended consequences by recapping my central argument:1) By mandating an escalating series of sanctions for schools that fail to demonstrate adequate yearly progress in reading and mathematics, NCLB has created incentives for schools to focus on reading and math, rather than other subjects. As our fearless ...

skoolboy wraps up his posts on Quality Reviews. His first two posts can be found here and here.Do quality reviews lead to increased student achievement? There’s been surprisingly little research that addresses this question. Most research on quality reviews has examined the school inspection process in Great Britain managed by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), a national agency which reports to the Parliament. Since school inspections for primary and secondary schools were instituted in 1993, there have been several iterations in the school inspection process. But I haven’t found any persuasive evidence that inspections improve ...

skoolboy returns for part II on Quality Reviews. You can find his first post here. The year is 1975. Coach John Wooden of UCLA has just won his 10th NCAA men’s basketball championship in 12 years, a record that will likely never be matched in collegiate sports. Cambridge Associates sends Clive Wingtip to conduct a Quality Review of the UCLA program. Over the course of a day and a half, Wingtip talks with Coach Wooden, his assistant coaches, the players, and other staff, and observes the team practices. He also observes a collaborative activity: a meeting between Coach Wooden ...

Scott McLeod, a professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State, blogs at Dangerously Irrelevant. Many thanks to Scott for this guest post!When eduwonkette asked me to guest blog about data-driven decision-making in schools, I eagerly agreed. Why? Because in my work with numerous school organizations in multiple states, I have seen the power of data firsthand. When done right, data-driven education can have powerful impacts on the learning outcomes of students.Unfortunately, most school districts still are struggling with their data-driven practice. Much of this is because they continue to think about using data from a ...

Thank you, Scott, for providing insight into how schools are using data to improve learning, not just test scores. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed less cheerful data-driven decision making. Some schools are using benchmark tests and other newly available data to play the system and up their numbers. Let me mention a few of these bad and the ugly uses of data.When I was teaching, my school ran a Saturday program for kids who were close to passing state tests. At the time, I patted myself on the back and thought we were helping our students. Now I understand that ...

To my lovely readers,Here's a more effective way to procrastinate - subscribe to the RSS feed on the right or enter your email to have posts sent directly to your inbox.Why bother? I wasn't sold on blog subscriptions until I took the Google Reader plunge last week. Yes, I'm the last to know - but it rules. Check it out....

I teach at a college that periodically commissions external reviews of the institution and its academic programs. Sometimes these external institutional reviews are "high stakes," such as regional accreditation reviews (e.g., North Central Association, Middle States, etc.) or professional accreditation reviews (such as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education). Out of the corner of my eye, I've been seeing an increase in the reliance of large urban school districts, such as New York City and Washington, DC, on external reviews (sometimes labeled "quality reviews.") I'm intrigued by the similarities and differences I'm observing.Most external reviews ...

I had to excerpt this passionate comment on teacher performance pay. Rather than asking what its implications are for student achievement, this reader focused on what it means for teachers' personal and professional identities. This is an angle I'd never considered before - thank you, anonymous reader. You can read the full comment here. Look at places where teachers have been lured into these plans with money. The experiment always begins with apprehension, a sort of reluctance. The policy wonks explain that this fear is because the teachers have been brainwashed by the unions and don’t understand the science ...

One of the most stable findings in the management literature is that measuring a narrow subset of organizational goals results in employees ignoring non-measured tasks that are no less critical to the overall mission of the organization. When lawyers are rewarded for billable hours, they focus on increasing hours rather than quality. When case workers are measured by the number of job placements, they push job seekers into positions that are poorly suited for them. Management wonks call this "goal distortion" (see Richard Rothstein here; see also Timely Tidbits on Unintended Consequences). The take home point is that the facile ...

Happy Superbowl, everyone. Here's what we've got on tap for this week:Monday: Social studies, science, and NCLBTuesday: skoolboy reviews external "Quality Reviews," Part IWednesday: Data-Driven Decision Making: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Guest blogger Scott McLeod and I will talk about how schools are currently using data.Thursday: skoolboy reviews external Quality Reviews, Part IIFriday: The Bu$iness of D3M: Data Warehouses and Data Tools...

1) Elizabeth Green drops the H-Bomb: Now NYC's private schools get grades, too, based on the number of kids going to Harvard and the schools' assets (here and here). Had we rated schools by the number of Starbucks in the neighborhood, what would the grades look like?2) Poetic Justice: Joanne Jacobs recites Econometric Verse. Over at Campaign K-12, Michele McNeil argues that the single most important thing the next Prez can do for schools has nothing to do with education. And at the AFT blog, Ed wants you to dispense some blog-ilante justice by solving his riddle.3) xoxo: ...


Recent Comments

  • Christopher Wong: As the filmmaker responsible for "Whatever It Takes", I also read more
  • britney: im still paying off my loan for my education, it read more
  • ed: i love reading your blog whenever i can, i dont read more
  • Johnny Acejo: Now teens are being whores and sluts. read more
  • max: Great post.People do not realize that education is the best read more




Technorati search

» Blogs that link here


8th grade retention
Fordham Foundation
The New Teacher Project
Tim Daly
absent teacher reserve
absent teacher reserve

accountability in Texas
accountability systems in education
achievement gap
achievement gap in New York City
acting white
AERA annual meetings
AERA conference
Alexander Russo
Algebra II
American Association of University Women
American Education Research Associatio
American Education Research Association
American Educational Research Journal
American Federation of Teachers
Andrew Ho
Art Siebens
Baltimore City Public Schools
Barack Obama
Bill Ayers
black-white achievement gap
books on educational research
boy crisis
brain-based education
Brian Jacob
bubble kids
Building on the Basics
Cambridge Education
carnival of education
Caroline Hoxby
Caroline Hoxby charter schools
cell phone plan
charter schools
Checker Finn
Chicago shooting
Chicago violence
Chris Cerf
class size
Coby Loup
college access
cool people you should know
credit recovery
curriculum narrowing
Dan Willingham
data driven
data-driven decision making
data-driven decision-making
David Cantor
Dean Millot
demographics of schoolchildren
Department of Assessment and Accountability
Department of Education budget
Diplomas Count
disadvantages of elite education
do schools matter
Doug Ready
Doug Staiger
dropout factories
dropout rate
education books
education policy
education policy thinktanks
educational equity
educational research
educational triage
effects of neighborhoods on education
effects of No Child Left Behind
effects of schools
effects of Teach for America
elite education
Everyday Antiracism
excessed teachers
exit exams
experienced teachers
Fordham and Ogbu
Fordham Foundation
Frederick Douglass High School
Gates Foundation
gender and education
gender and math
gender and science and mathematics
gifted and talented
gifted and talented admissions
gifted and talented program
gifted and talented programs in New York City
girls and math
good schools
graduate student union
graduation rate
graduation rates
guns in Chicago
health benefits for teachers
High Achievers
high school
high school dropouts
high school exit exams
high school graduates
high school graduation rate
high-stakes testing
high-stakes tests and science
higher ed
higher education
highly effective teachers
Houston Independent School District
how to choose a school
incentives in education
Institute for Education Sciences
is teaching a profession?
is the No Child Left Behind Act working
Jay Greene
Jim Liebman
Joel Klein
John Merrow
Jonah Rockoff
Kevin Carey
KIPP and boys
KIPP and gender
Lake Woebegon
Lars Lefgren
leaving teaching
Leonard Sax
Liam Julian

Marcus Winters
math achievement for girls
meaning of high school diploma
Mica Pollock
Michael Bloomberg
Michelle Rhee
Michelle Rhee teacher contract
Mike Bloomberg
Mike Klonsky
Mike Petrilli
narrowing the curriculum
National Center for Education Statistics Condition of Education
new teachers
New York City
New York City bonuses for principals
New York City budget
New York City budget cuts
New York City Budget cuts
New York City Department of Education
New York City Department of Education Truth Squad
New York City ELA and Math Results 2008
New York City gifted and talented
New York City Progress Report
New York City Quality Review
New York City school budget cuts
New York City school closing
New York City schools
New York City small schools
New York City social promotion
New York City teacher experiment
New York City teacher salaries
New York City teacher tenure
New York City Test scores 2008
New York City value-added
New York State ELA and Math 2008
New York State ELA and Math Results 2008
New York State ELA and Math Scores 2008
New York State ELA Exam
New York state ELA test
New York State Test scores
No Child Left Behind
No Child Left Behind Act
passing rates
picking a school
press office
principal bonuses
proficiency scores
push outs
qualitative educational research
qualitative research in education
quitting teaching
race and education
racial segregation in schools
Randall Reback
Randi Weingarten
Randy Reback
recovering credits in high school
Rick Hess
Robert Balfanz
Robert Pondiscio
Roland Fryer
Russ Whitehurst
Sarah Reckhow
school budget cuts in New York City
school choice
school effects
school integration
single sex education
small schools
small schools in New York City
social justice teaching
Sol Stern
Stefanie DeLuca
stereotype threat
talented and gifted
talking about race
talking about race in schools
Teach for America
teacher effectiveness
teacher effects
teacher quailty
teacher quality
teacher tenure
teachers and obesity
Teachers College
teachers versus doctors
teaching as career
teaching for social justice
teaching profession
test score inflation
test scores
test scores in New York City
testing and accountability
Texas accountability
The No Child Left Behind Act
The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains
thinktanks in educational research
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Tom Kane
University of Iowa
Urban Institute study of Teach for America
Urban Institute Teach for America
value-added assessment
Wendy Kopp
women and graduate school science and engineering
women and science
women in math and science
Woodrow Wilson High School