Here are two new blogs worth checking out:* AccessAbility: Written by a special education writer, this blog hopes to encourage discussion on research-based special education interventions.* Joel Packer Has All the Answers: In addition to a cheeky title, this blog will provide, "The Latest on No Child Left Behind from NEA's Top Policy Expert."While we're talking about gender gaps - the ed policy blogosphere bears striking resemblance to "The Bachelorette." 75% of teachers are women, but 75% of ed policy bloggers are men. I'm just saying....

Mica Pollock is an anthropologist who teaches at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and studies how youth and adults struggle daily to discuss and address issues of racial difference, discrimination, and fairness in school and community settings. She has two new books coming out this summer: Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real about Race in School and Because of Race: How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in Our Schools. Her first book, Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School, won AERA's 2005 book award. You can find an excerpt from Colormute below:“This is a book about race talk – about people ...

Larry Summers' fatal gaffe, in which he suggested that innate differences between men and women may explain why fewer women succeed in math and science careers, set of the latest round of the gender math wars. Though many are in a tizzy over a "boy crisis" in education, as early as the fall of kindergarten, boys outperform girls in math at the top of the distribution (i.e. if we compare girls at the 95th percentile with boys at the 95th percentile). By the end of third grade, boys outperform girls in math not just at the top, but throughout ...

Every April 1, the Education Gadfly releases its very funny April Fools issue, a collection of mock education-news stories that generates double-takes in readers’ offices around the country. Apparently April Fools Day falls a little late this year.According to this week’s issue of the Education Gadfly, teachers unions are not only making teachers lazy, but also fat. In what Mike Petrilli dubs the “teacher obesity epidemic,” schools collectively spend more on health insurance costs to treat overweight teachers than the state of Maine spends on its entire K-12 system in a year.The problem, Petrilli claims, lies in ...

The National Center for Education Statistics released the 2008 Condition of Education report this morning. If you need any basic stats on education – early childhood through post-secondary – this 300+ page report is for you.In this year's report, the NCES drew attention to the changing demography of American schoolchildren. Minority students make up 43 percent of American public school enrollment, and higher proportions in the South (48%) and West (55%). One in five children speak a language other than English at home. The graph below shows demographic enrollment trends from 1986-2006 by region.Also striking is the extreme racial segregation ...

Last week, Robert Pondiscio put forth an ingenious proposal to leverage the service of recent college grads who teach for two years through Teach for America:Instead of throwing TFAers into the worst teaching situations in the cities you serve, place them in some of the best, highest-performing schools….Place them in that high-functioning school for two years as pinch-hitters for some of our best, most experienced teachers, and send those master teachers to the same schools to which you’re sending TFA corps members now. We can call it the Teach For America Fellowship, and throw in a nice ...

Here's a round-up of yesterday's budget hearings: Chancellor Talks of Cuts for Schools, Amid Hissing (NYT), City Council Spanks Chancellor Klein Over School Aid Cuts (Daily News), School Budget Showdown (Gotham Gazette), and Rollback Set in Schooling of the Gifted (NY Sun). (Sidenote on City Council hearings: one Columbia Law School reader reports that the footage of The Great Liebman Chase of 2007 made rounds in his Criminal Law course.) We still have scant details on the "$200 million in central cuts." As of this morning, David Cantor at the NYC Department of Education has not responded to a request ...

A few weeks ago, a solemn President Bush revealed that he honors our soldiers' sacrifice by abstaining from golf. "I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal," he explained.It was in this spirit that Chancellor Joel Klein appeared before the City Council this morning. Klein dedicated his presentation to the heroic central cuts endured by his bureaucracy. While salty tears welled up in my eyes, I noticed that one slide was missing. Paragons of restraint that they are, the New York City Department of Education has only increased central staffing levels by 18% over the ...

A few days ago, A Voice in the Wilderness broke the story that the retest for the New York State English Language Arts exam had a task that required students to write a position paper arguing that inexperienced people can provide leadership, after listening to a speech by Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America. Some were appalled by the one-sided nature of the task, likening it to propaganda. eduwonkette’s take was that the task would be more defensible if students were given information on both sides and then asked to choose a side to argue.The scoring guide ...

Sol Stern's new article on the Reading First study shenanigans offers a window into the central challenge of randomized experiments in education. That challenge is the violation of the Stable Unit Treatment Value Assumption (SUTVA) required for clean causal inference in randomized experiments. As articulated by ninja statistician Don Rubin, the most common violation of SUTVA involves "interference between units."What does interference mean? The idea is that Serena's outcome should not be affected by whether her peers Blair and Vanessa were assigned to the treatment or control condition. In other words, one subject’s outcome should depend only on ...


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