Have you noticed that presidential debates are a bunch of loosely related thoughts haphazardly pulled together? Kind of like this carnival. To pregame tonight’s debate, I let our fine candidates speak. I’ve done my best to give all of them, irrespective of party affiliation, a hard time - though may not have been entirely successful in achieving parity, and for that you will have to forgive me. Snippets of the candidates' real policy plans are drawn from McCain and Obama’s excerpted speeches in this month’s Phi Delta Kappan. Will McCain “whip Obama’s you-know-what?” Only time ...

As a public service to the central district offices everywhere (and especially the NYC Department of Education), readers have proposed new names for administrative positions. I've chosen two winners:* Senior Director in charge of All Senior Directors ($190,000) - Diane Ravitch* Chief Student Incentivizer ($175,000) - GPSend me a tee shirt size and a preferred color to claim your prize!...

I'm hosting the carnival on Wednesday, folks. Send your posts to me at eduwonkette (at) gmail (dot) com by 7pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 14th, or use this submission form....

In this interview with Simon Doolittle at AfterEd, Sol Stern explains where mayoral control went awry, tries to sell you some stock in Lehman Brothers, and gives Mayor Bloomberg a gentleman's C. Watch a clip below, or check out the whole 15 minute interview here....

Ceci Rouse is a labor economist who teaches at Princeton. She has evaluated the effects of vouchers in Milwaukee, and more recently has studied the effects of accountability in Florida with fellow cool person David Figlio.With Lisa Barrow, Rouse has a new literature review out (School Vouchers and Student Achievement: Recent Evidence, Remaining Questions) about the effects of vouchers on both the students who receive them and the students who remain in public schools. Basically, the take home story is that we shouldn't expect much from vouchers. No surprises there for those who have watched vouchers closely, but do ...

If you just got laid off from Lehman, do I have an edu-job for you!Michelle Rhee needs a "safe, prompt, reliable and comfortable driver to assist [the] Chancellor with her daily schedule and a variety of duties. The incumbent’s primary responsibility is the safe operation of DCPS vehicles for the purpose of transporting the Chancellor to and from events in accordance with the daily itinerary of events."Do all superintendents of big districts get drivers? I had no idea. But just think about the splashy, tell-all book you could write! I'm out of the running as I have ...

Thanks to everyone who's participated in the spirited discussion below on the Art Siebens case. Commenters have raised a number of important questions, among them:1) Will eliminating tenure increase the quality of teachers in DCPS? Where will this fleet of new exceptional teachers come from? Do principals have incentives to keep the best teachers? Will principals nix “bad” teachers, or will teachers who are outspoken take the fall, too? Might it not be prudent to make investments in improving the teachers that we have, rather than just replacing them in large numbers?2) What are the implications of arbitrary ...

Reporter: “The teachers’ union is saying that their concern is arbitrary firing…. that it just isn’t possible to give everyone sort of a level of fair scrutiny.Rhee: “It’s interesting because, I mean, the bottom line is that people are saying, ‘Well, great teachers could be fired arbitrarily.’ My answer to that is, ‘Why would I ever create a system where we were arbitrarily firing great teachers? That would not benefit me or the school system.’” - Michelle Rhee on NPRAll along the Eastern corridor, folks are buzzing about firing teachers. In New York City two weeks ago, ...

You have to hand it to the New York City Department of Education's Department of Assessment and Accountability. You really do.Yesterday morning, the NY Times reported that the DOE will now distribute teacher value-added reports to teachers and principals.* Here's the thing - the value-added reports don't just report that a teacher performs at the 65th percentile, the 25th percentile, etc. Instead - as they should - the DOE reports a confidence interval around each teacher's value-added to represent the uncertainty of the estimate. And unsurprisingly, these confidence intervals are quite wide. A 65th percentile teacher in this example ...

It is a rare talent that can filter the mass of information around us, process it, and spit it back out to shed new light on things we thought we already understood. Among educational researchers, few share Jonathan Zimmerman's knack for cutting to the core of the issues of the day.A historian who teaches at NYU, Zimmerman is the author of three books that examine cultural and political conflict in our schools throughout history. His first book, Distilling Democracy: Alcohol Education in America’s Public Schools, 1880-1925, reviews conflicts over how children were taught about alcohol during the temperance ...


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