Richard Rothstein bats first in a lineup of essays at Cato Unbound commemorating the 25th anniversary of "A Nation At Risk," and asserts that the report has done more harm than good.Why? First, Rothstein argues, the report wrongly concluded that student achievement was declining. The report mistook the changing composition of SAT test takers for a half a standard deviation decline in SAT scores since the 1960s. Second, Risk placed the blame on schools for national economic problems over which schools have relatively little influence. While education surely plays a part in economic growth, he shows that our economic ...


Over at the Faculty Room, they're discussing the US News and World Report claim that teaching is an overrated career. Devin Ozdogu shares an old excerpt from Whitney Tilson's guru, Linda Darling-Hammond:HELP WANTED. College graduate with academic major (master’s preferred). Challenging opportunity to serve 150 clients daily on tight schedule, developing up to five different products each day to meet individual needs. Adaptability helpful since suppliers cannot always deliver goods and support services on time. Diversified position allows employee to exercise typing, clerical, law enforcement, and social work skills between assignments and after hours. Ideal candidate will enjoy ...


1) Grad Rate Questions: Sherman Dorn frames 12 questions about the forthcoming grad rate measure. If the 2014 proficiency target provides any indication, the answer to this question, "If there are such required benchmarks, is there any supporting research to suggest that the status or improvement benchmarks are realistic?" will be a resounding no.2) Swifty Statistics: I'm a sucker for a good Harper's Index, so head over to Charlie Barone's brief on the new school choice and tutoring report. His take: "The take-home message is that more and more students are exercising their options to transfer to another school ...


Via Mike Klonsky, looks like Obama has been reading the ed blogs on curriculum narrowing. He said: Part of the reason you’re seeing schools eliminate art and music – or at least diminish them – is because of No Child Left Behind, a law that was intended to raise standards in local schools but what happened was because it relied just on a single standardized test, school districts felt pressured to just teach to the test….in a lot of school districts, they just had to make choices, and they decided, you know what, if we’re going to bring our ...


High school exit exams have become a common fixture in American high school life. By 2006, 22 states had exit exams - and because larger states are more likely to have exams, approximately two-thirds of all high school students face exit exam requirements.Proponents of exit exams often assert that these tests make the high school diploma more meaningful to employers. If this is the case, these policies should widen the gap in earnings and labor market outcomes between those who earn high school diplomas and those that don't. Despite the popularity of these policies, few papers have examined this ...


Wisconsin's Center for Educational Research has posted abstracts for the National Conference on Value-Added Modeling. Take a look here....


Call me old fashioned and curmudgeonly, but I can't stand it when the wonks break out in a "research shows" chorus with no references. If research so valiantly and definitively shows it, you should be able to tell us whose research shows it. The quote of the day is a tie; both quotes hail from the Teachers College forum on class size this afternoon.1) In introducing NYC Department of Education's Garth Harries, who is the "Chief Portfolio Officer" and the former "engagement manager" at McKinsey, TC prof Carolyn Riehl said, "These titles - we usually don't think about them ...


In a talk last Thursday entitled, “Seven Things I've Learned About Education Research and Policy, Plus or Minus Two,” Russ Whitehurst, the Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences, summarized what he’s learned about education policymaking during his seven years at IES.1) The research community is oriented towards understanding, while the policy community is oriented towards action. Researchers are often upset that their work is not defined as “policy relevant” (and thus not included in IES’s funding priorities). But they usually haven’t thought about what’s actionable in their own research. Whitehurst gave the example of ...


1) We Can Fix AERA!: Sherman Dorn has thought a lot about how the AERA rating system stacks the deck against presenters lacking tacit knowledge.2) Marry Me, Eduwonk!: Boys, watch and learn from a Clinton-certified Don Juan - the passive aggressive flirting, truculent pet names, salacious locker room gossip, and wonky bickering all make me hot. Sure, you're already married - but after #9, polygamy is the new prostitution in New York.3) E.D. in '08: This is What 60 Million Gets You: Fordham goes funny....


In the fall, the AP reported that 1 in 10 US high schools are “dropout factories.” At AERA, Robert Balfanz provided an overview of Hopkins Center for the Social Organization of Schools' research that led to the AP article.Central to the “dropout factory” is the idea of promoting power. “Promoting power” compares the number of 12th-graders in a high school to the number of 9th-graders three years earlier. While this is not a direct measure of the graduation rate, it is a decent indicator, and can be calculated for every school in America from the NCES Common Core of ...


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