Check out their new Team & Family Blog, here, for updates across the full KIPP network....


Ok, so I'm way behind in writing about this excellent recent Atul Gawande article on coaching. In the piece, Gawande makes the case that coaching--receiving individualized feedback and advice to improve one's performance from an objective, expert observer--is a powerful tool for improving performance of professionals--and goes so far as to subject himself as a guinea pig (he thinks it's working, even though it's challenging for him). This piece is, like most of Gawande's work, interesting, and he includes an example from K-12 education of coaching as a strategy to improve teacher effectiveness. I found the piece particularly timely because ...


My colleague Andy Rotherham, in a post about the new Senate ESEA bill, rhetorically asked: "Why are poor and minority kids so different from special education kids?" Andy's point is that many of those who rail against the "one-sized fits all" NCLB accountability provisions designed to advance equity for low-income and minority kids would never in a million years lob similar attacks at IDEA requirements which actually exert much greater federal influence on the day-to-day operation of schools. Good point--but I don't think Andy's as naive as the question implies. The reason poor and minority kids are so different from ...


Sincere apologies for being an incredibly lousy blogger the past month--I've been working on a very intensive, time sensitive project that's taken up most of my time and brain power and as a result haven't gotten around to blogging, or kept up with what's going on in the blogosphere. And, wow!, a lot has happened! Senators Harkin and Enzi released an ESEA bill. When both the NEA and the Ed Trust dislike your bill, that's not a good sign. The folks at Quick and the Ed and my colleague Andy Rotherham have some good analysis. For some reason, everyone decided ...


Earlier this week, the U.S. Departments of Education and HHS released an FAQ for the Early Learning Challenge RTT application, which contains useful information for states seeking to compete for the grant. This section of the FAQ, though, struck me as exemplifying so many things that are currently wrong with our current dialogue on both early childhood and standards: E-3. How will peer reviewers evaluate the content of States' Early Learning and Development Standards submitted in response to selection criterion (C)(1)? Applicants are expected to submit their State Early Learning and Development Standards as part of their response ...


Keep an eye on this one: Florida Governor Rick Scott isn't typically thought of as an early childhood guy--he's better known in education circles for ending teacher tenure and his ties to Michelle Rhee. But apparently Scott really wants Florida to compete for an Early Learning Challenge Race to the Top Grant--and is bucking members of his own party to make that happen. Previously, Florida wasn't eligible to apply for the competitive grants--which award funding to states to build aligned early childhood systems--because it did not apply for funds from the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program ...


Lots of other people are writing about the education-related components of President Obama's job speech last night, so I'm not going to say any more about that. But I do wonder why no one ever seems to think it's important to include child care assistance in jobs proposals. Yeah, I know, this sounds like the typical "why didn't you include my pet program?" whining. And I'm not holding my breath expecting $55 billion in school construction and teacher jobs money to appear either. But: Childcare is a job issue. Parents who lose their childcare subsidies because of state funding cuts ...


Dana Goldstein often has insightful things to say about education, but I don't quite think this piece about co-located charter schools supports the point she thinks it does. Dana writes: Visiting only co-located public schools would bias any reporter against traditional public schools. Why? More successful neighborhood schools are better able to resist co-location with charters, both because they tend to be oversubscribed ... and because successful schools also tend to have more politically active and connected parents, teachers, and administrators, who are able to lobby against co-locations. Fair enough, lousy neighborhood schools are more likely than high-performing neighborhood schools to ...


Early childhood education has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and is frequently promoted as a strategy for narrowing achievement gaps and improving children's educational and life outcomes. But achieving these outcomes is going to require improvements in the education and skills of the adults who currently work with our youngest children. Despite the lip service we give to the importance of early learning, the adults who work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are among the lowest paid workers--and many have very low levels of education and skills themselves. In a new paper published today by the Brookings ...


Interesting debate emerging in D.C. about whether or not closing the D.C. schools today, in response to yesterday's earthquake, was a good decision. Obviously the 13 schools that sustained damage need to be closed until engineers confirm it's safe for kids and adults to be in the buildings--but that's only about 10 percent of the system. Complicating this is the fact that DC schools only reopened for the 2010-11 school year on Monday, so a closure this early into the year is extra disruptive, since students are just starting to settle in--and teachers I've talked to are pretty ...


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