What should we make of the growing number of education policy think tanks and education reform/advocacy organizations? Weeks ago, A-Rus asked, and Dean Millot answered.All of this chatter made me wonder how these organizations are connected. After all, there are a lot of them, and many of them are advancing similar reform proposals. Are these a million different points of light, or multiple organizational outposts for a small group of people?To answer this question, I looked up the Boards of Directors, Advisory Boards, and senior staff of 16 big ticket education policy think tanks and advocacy organizations. ...

Last year my slogan was "Cupid Must Die." This year I'm having a poetry contest. The valentine poems are a flowing - don't forget to write early and often below. Here's a sampling of submissions:Some desire rosesor tickets to Parisbut if she’s an educrat,just give her ARIS.(Ms. Frizzle)A mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Ette left:Violets are blueRoses are redEducation policyOut of my bed!Mike Bloomberg has received the most candygrams, including:Roses are red,I like them fine,Mike buys votes,but he won't buy mine.skoolboy chimes in:Candy is dandyBut liquor ...

The latest NCLB splosion already has the blogosphere assigning battle names, i.e. Trail of Tears, Wonk Wars, or the I-95 Knockdown. I prefer Panic at the Disco, and you can watch eduwonk and I get down courtesy of David Bellel.In his most recent post, eduwonk asks me to bring it:My challenge for Eduwonkette is to offer up what sort of requirements for school accountability she'd support. How many kids, or what percent, should a school have to teach reading and math to, well, in order to make "adequate yearly progress?" What's the bar below which no school ...

Jeff Henig is a Professor of Political Science and Education at Teachers College. He shares insights from his new book, Spin Cycle, published this month by The Russell Sage Foundation.Public discussions about education research are often highly polarized. Advocates often wield their own studies and slam their opponents’ devious misuse of science. In my new book, Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools, I explore more the relationship between politics and research as it is - and as it might be.My example: The 2004 AFT charter school report and its aftermath. ...

Valentine's Day is on the horizon, folks. Given how much you liked writing haiku about NYC's Progress Reports and suggesting costumes for the Halloween Edu-Parade, we're due for a contest.Fire up your amorous feelings for our education policy makers (or bloggers), and submit a "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue..." poem. As always: poking is awesome, nastiness is not. I'll get us started:To Margaret Spellings:Roses are blue,Violets are red,Sexy librarian glassesLook swell on your head.To Diane Ravitch and Debbie Meier:Roses are red,Violets are blue,Why aren't there menAs smart as you two?To...

A wise woman once advised that name-calling is a poor substitute for a good argument. In my view, it is the feeble tool of last resort for desperate men who cannot win arguments on their own merits. It has no rightful place in policy debates.Let me wrap up this debate over NCLB's unintended consequences by recapping my central argument:1) By mandating an escalating series of sanctions for schools that fail to demonstrate adequate yearly progress in reading and mathematics, NCLB has created incentives for schools to focus on reading and math, rather than other subjects. As our fearless ...

skoolboy wraps up his posts on Quality Reviews. His first two posts can be found here and here.Do quality reviews lead to increased student achievement? There’s been surprisingly little research that addresses this question. Most research on quality reviews has examined the school inspection process in Great Britain managed by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), a national agency which reports to the Parliament. Since school inspections for primary and secondary schools were instituted in 1993, there have been several iterations in the school inspection process. But I haven’t found any persuasive evidence that inspections improve ...

skoolboy returns for part II on Quality Reviews. You can find his first post here. The year is 1975. Coach John Wooden of UCLA has just won his 10th NCAA men’s basketball championship in 12 years, a record that will likely never be matched in collegiate sports. Cambridge Associates sends Clive Wingtip to conduct a Quality Review of the UCLA program. Over the course of a day and a half, Wingtip talks with Coach Wooden, his assistant coaches, the players, and other staff, and observes the team practices. He also observes a collaborative activity: a meeting between Coach Wooden ...

Scott McLeod, a professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State, blogs at Dangerously Irrelevant. Many thanks to Scott for this guest post!When eduwonkette asked me to guest blog about data-driven decision-making in schools, I eagerly agreed. Why? Because in my work with numerous school organizations in multiple states, I have seen the power of data firsthand. When done right, data-driven education can have powerful impacts on the learning outcomes of students.Unfortunately, most school districts still are struggling with their data-driven practice. Much of this is because they continue to think about using data from a ...

Thank you, Scott, for providing insight into how schools are using data to improve learning, not just test scores. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed less cheerful data-driven decision making. Some schools are using benchmark tests and other newly available data to play the system and up their numbers. Let me mention a few of these bad and the ugly uses of data.When I was teaching, my school ran a Saturday program for kids who were close to passing state tests. At the time, I patted myself on the back and thought we were helping our students. Now I understand that ...


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