I'm taking a break this week, so skoolboy is taking the wheel. If you have compliments, thoughts, news, or tips, you can reach him at skoolboy2 (at) gmail (dot) com. An early Happy 4th to everyone!...

Andrew Beveridge, the New York Times' demographer, turns his attention to New York City's gifted program in this Gotham Gazette column. Based on his estimates, here's the bottom line on the change in gifted and talented admissions in NYC:Non-Hispanic whites and Asians almost triple their percentage, while the percent non-Hispanic black and Hispanic plunges. In short, students accepted in the Gifted and Talented program are not all representative of the students in New York City, and are less so this year than last year....

Sarah Reckhow taught at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore from 2002 to 2004 and was a Teach for America corps member. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation explores the role of national philanthropies and community organizers in urban education policymaking.Liam Julian’s review of “Hard Times at Douglass High” boils down a complicated stew of frustration, hope, and absurdity to a singular and simplistic point—many of the teachers are “just plain bad at their jobs.” Julian does begin with a fair remark—this documentary is not a systematic ...

If you've been reading the New York papers this week, you've already heard of Andrew Ho, an educational psychologist who teaches at the University of Iowa's School of Education. Ho studies high-stakes score trends, and has done some excellent work comparing NAEP and state score trends.If you want to hear more about why measuring achievement trends with proficiency scores is problematic, you should watch his talk, Trend-Flipping, Gap-Bowing, and Growth Stretching: The Pliability of Popular High-Stakes Statistics. Here's a description:The most important large-scale policy questions in education - Are students learning? Are gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students ...

I'm totally in awe of the regular commenters here - for me, they are the best part of this site. I had to share this comment by Rachel, who had this to say about the post below:One of my worries about the emphasis on "proficiency" -- and the lack on emphasis on anything above proficiency -- is the unintended consequence of creating a two-tier, mostly segregated, educational system. Public school teach poor kids basic skills, and parents who want more than basic skills try to figure out how to get their kids into private schools -- or, if they ...

Sol Stern nails it in his article on test score inflation:The premise of NCLB, as of so many current education reform efforts, is that schools must serve the interests of children, not the interests of the adults who work in the system. But in a classic case of unintended consequences, the widespread test inflation produced by NCLB is serving only the interests of the adults. New York education officials like Mills, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his schools chancellor, Joel Klein—along with teachers’ union leaders like Randi Weingarten—advance their varied agendas in the glow of ...

Though we can thank the No Child Left Behind Act for drawing our attention to the "achievement gap" - which is now loosely deployed to reference gaps between African-American and white/Asian, poor and advantaged, suburban and urban, or even male and female kids - it's also done us a great disservice by distorting the way that we measure, and think about, differences between groups.There are at least two ways of thinking about the relationship between achievement and kids' life chances. The first is to consider, in absolute terms, the set of skills that students have. The second views ...

Savvy New York City parents have long suspected that high achieving kids are losing out in the push to boost the achievement of the lowest performing students. But those suspicions are often cast aside by public officials as helicopter parent whining or muted class warfare.But a review of 4th grade test score data from 2003-2008 suggests that these parents have been on to something. Between 2003 and 2008, the fraction of students scoring in the highest achievement level on the 4th grade NY state ELA test has plummeted. In 2003, 15.6% of 4th graders scored at Level 4. ...

Watch out, Edu-fogies - there's a new youngish blogger on the block. Here's what Urban Angle: A Gen Y Perspective on Education Reform is all about:After immersing myself into the education blogosphere, I finally decided to begin a blog with a voice and perspective that is normally unheard: A (fairly) recent student of an inner city public school system. Hopefully I can provide some different perspectives to what otherwise seems like a 2 room echo chamber on education policy and reform....

In grades 5-7, grades that have seen sharp increases in ELA passing rates over the past two years, the percentage of New York City students scoring in the highest performance category has decreased substantially. You can find those results here. Interestingly, this is only true for ELA, not math.* In 2006, 8.7% of 5th graders scored at Level 4 on the ELA. This year, only 4.3% did.* In 2006, 7.1% of 6th graders scored at Level 4. This year, only 2.2% did.* In 2006, 4.7% of 7th graders scored at Level 4. This year, only ...


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