skoolboy has always found Olympic medal counts by country to be silly. Sure, it's fine to take pride in the accomplisments of one's countrymen and countrywomen. But the Olympics for me are about appreciating excellence, regardless of the flag (or swoosh) on the uniform. Ah, but student achievement! That's a horse race of a different color. We have a venerable tradition dating back at least to A Nation at Risk of comparing the academic achievement of U.S. schoolchildren to the performance of kids in other countries. The Olympics serves as a quadrennial site for seeing how we measure up ...


It's still a day until the opening ceremony, and the edubloggers have already lined up on the starting line (though without their oxygen masks, it seems). Over at the Alliance for Excellent Education, former West Virginia governor Bob Wise announces his planned reporting on our academic standing in the world. And it seems that all of that smog has gone to his head. Here's an excerpt:Many of the athletes coming here have trained to compete against their foreign counterparts. This is like America’s high school students, who also prepare for many years, and they also must now compete ...


Regular readers know that eduwonkette was an early endorser of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education policy statement crafted by Sunny Ladd, Pedro Noguera, and Tom Payzant, and co-signed by some of skoolboy’s favorite scholars, policymakers and activists. The fundamental premise of the policy agenda is that efforts to advance student’s learning and development need to combine policies intended to improve schools with policies designed to transform the social and economic contexts in which children and youth develop. The approach is described as broader and bolder because it postulates that school improvement—which includes holding schools accountable for ...


With her article on New York City's lack of progress in closing the achievement gap, Elizabeth Green demonstrates once again that's she the sharpest and most inquisitive education reporter in New York City. I'm pretty sure she's the second coming of Josh Benton, formerly of the Dallas Morning News, who wowed us all with his analyses of original data.Bottom line: Three NYC professors – Bob Tobias (NYU prof who ran the NYC testing department for 13 years), Howard Everson (Fordham prof and advisor to New York State Ed.), and Aaron Pallas (TC prof) – all agree that there’s not much ...


Check out these links on the NYC achievement gap dust-up:1) All Tricks, No Treats: Head over to the National Review Online, where dataman Robert VerBruggen takes a stab at the NYC state achievement gap data. In Has NYC Discovered the Trick for Closing the Achievement Gap?, he writes:That question has important ramifications for college admissions and affirmative-action policies. The schools claim the answer is yes....as yours truly will further argue in the ridiculously long post after the jump, that doesn't appear to be the case.2) Madonna Revenge: Achievement gap virgin Mike "Milli" Petrilli argues over at ...


Last call! Submit your slogan by the end of the day. I'll put a few together as logos and we'll vote next week. My new submission is "The NYC DOE: Truthiness in Education." Some of yesterday's submissions included:The NYC DOE: Redefining success since 1876 (MD)The NYC DOE: Do as I say not as I do (cha424)The NYC DOE: Proficiency is forever. (Doug)The NYC DOE: Making words and data mean whatever we want them to mean. (BHR)Here's the original challenge:Every legit corporation has a catchy slogan. Nike rocks "Just Do It!" GE "brings good things ...


If you follow NYC schools, here's a new must read blog for you - Gotham Schools. When the Open Planning Project lined up two of NYC's most talented education bloggers - Philissa Cramer (formerly of Inside Schools) and Kelly Vaughan (a NYC teacher for the last eight years) - I knew we could expect big things from this site. Here's a description:GothamSchools is a news source and online community for teachers, parents, policy makers, and journalists interested in learning about what works and what doesn’t in the nation’s largest school district. We seek to provide a clearinghouse ...


Looks like the tea party is finally over. As we all expected, the New York City Department of Education had questionable motives for stalling the release of the New York State scale score data.Here's why: The achievement gap in New York City has increased in the last five years, and the decreases in the achievement gap in grade 8 ELA have come at the expense of white and Asian students. Coupled with my analyses of NAEP achievement gaps - which also showed no progress and in some cases growing gaps - these findings are quite troubling.Over the period ...


The inaugural "Order of the Yellow Cape Award" goes to fellow blogger Matthew Tabor for being the first to FOIL for the illusive New York City scale scores. He inspired a number of other bloggers to do the same - many thanks to everyone who filed a FOIL request. Matthew posted the data here. Stay tuned!...


Some readers asked me to put together a summary about the achievement gap in New York City:1) Proficiency rates, or the percentage of students passing a test, are often used to measure achievement gaps. For example, if 90% of white students passed a test and 65% of black students did, some observers will say that the achievement gap is "25 points."2) Proficiency is a misleading and inaccurate way to measure achievement gaps. Primarily, the problem is that we cannot differentiate between students who just made it over the proficiency bar and those who scored well above it. Proficiency ...


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