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 ...


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