March 2007 Archives

The universal pre-K juggernaut is facing a few rifts, according to this EdWeek story (Scholars Split on Pre-K Teachers With B.A.s and Richard Colvin's post in Early Stories calling Bruce Fuller the bete noir of universal pre-K. Fuller is just putting out a book called Standardized Childhood. As both pieces point out, the seeming unanimity surrounding the idea of universal pre-K leaves out key programmatic and -- even more important -- ideological issues. Previous Post: The Coming Pre K Quality Crunch...


Check out what's going on in America's heartland, which includes the defeat of a bill to allow current charter schools to "clone" themselveswithout violating the charter cap in Chicago, as well as ongoing debate surrounding local school councils and their right to choose principals. New York City may not have community school districts anymore, but parents, community members, and a couple of teachers give principal contracts in Chicago, and have since 1988. It's amazing, and messy, and currently under seige....


EdWeek's Technology Counts, just out yesterday, shows that computerized testing like that Oregon was using before its troubles with Vantage Learning has been relatively slow to spread (Tracking U.S. Trends): "The number of states that offer computerized statewide assessments is relatively small, with 14 states making that opportunity available on a limited basis, such as within certain districts, or for students retaking pencil-and-paper tests. And only nine states offer computer-based testing to all students." Make that thirteen....


Study gives teachers barely passing grade in classroom USAT The findings, published today in the weekly magazine Science, take teachers to task for spending too much time on basic reading and math skills and not enough on problem-solving, reasoning, science and social studies. They also suggest that U.S. education focuses too much on teacher qualifications and not enough on teachers being engaging and supportive. Many Illinois schools dodge federal warning list CNN.com Almost 300,000 reading and math tests taken by Illinois students in 2006 weren't counted because the state relaxed a rule under the federal No Child ...


As of Friday morning, the Forhdam Gadflies must still be perfecting their usual April Fool's wit. In the meantime, check out the latest PEN NewsBlast, which includes stories about kids being separated by race for assembly, more about how to transform low-performing schools, the usual provocative quotes and useful grant announcements, and -- most interestingly -- findings of a panel on education and American democracy: "Both Democratic and Republican pollsters reported that education is indeed a top priority of voters. However, other concerns, such as the war in Iraq, creating affordable health care, and protecting the environment compete for public ...


"No smoking. No drinking. No talking on cell phones while driving. Now, the latest no-no in state laws aimed at underage teens is indoor tanning,"begins this Stateline.org story (States say no to teen tanning). "Spurred by worries about skin cancer, Utah and Virginia this year joined 25 other states in placing limits on teens seeking a bronze glow from the ultraviolet lights of a tanning bed. North Dakota's Legislature is putting the final touches on a measure to also clamp restrictions on tanning salon patrons under age 18."...


What have been the biggest education stories of March? Who have been the month's biggest winners and losers? What have been the most over- and under-reported stories? What's coming up next month? These and other mysteries will be addressed in tomorrow's "Month In Review" roundtable, in which three real live journalists -- the NY Times' Diana Jean Schemo, USA Today's Greg Toppo, and the Chicago Tribune's Stephanie Banchero -- will share their ideas and observations....


In telling the horrifying story of a student who'd pushed through all sorts of obstacles but was killed just before graduation, yesterday's Sam Freedman column in the NYT (here) is essentially a reflection on the meaning of accountability both inside schools and outside. "Jeffrey had proved accountable to the state by passing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. But what about the accountability the state had to keep Jeffrey alive?"...


Extended learning is all the rage these days, but as these posts and articles collected by contributor Regina Matthews illustrate, folks in the field aren't necessarily buying it: School districts discuss longer years (Year-Round Schooling Recommended Salt Lake Tribune) and days (Longer Day For Young Pupils? Pittsburgh Leader Times). But kids don’t like it (Students Decry Extended School Year Maine Morning Sentinel), and some adults aren't sure it's effective (Summer Academics Not Always a Good Idea, Professor Says Newswise). Among bloggers, American Thinker thinks those plans are just punishment ( A Longer School Day?...


Over at The Quick And The Ed, Kevin Carey says that salary increases for Master's degrees make up roughly $8.5 billion per year in costs to school districts that most seem to agree doesn't help kids learn more (A Question for Teachers Unions). Via Eduwonk....


"With Congress beginning to wade into the turbulent waters of reauthorizing No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Title I Monitor asked five of the nation’s top education experts and policy wonks to evaluate the leading proposals submitted thus far." (Experts Weigh in on NCLB Reauthorization)...


How to get more good research out to the public and to educators in the field is an important and vexing issue. Over at Paul Baker's Education PR blog, Baker (Communicating research) mentions what I hope will be a useful and engaging session at AERA that the Tribune's Stephanie Banchero and I (among others) are going to be at. I'm also doing a session later in the week about how policymakers (don't) use education research. [Apologies to Baker for getting his name wrong the first time out.]...


Out-of-Favor Reading Plan Rated Highly EdWeek Reading Recovery, a popular one-to-one tutoring program that Bush administration officials sought to shut out of a high-profile federal reading program, has gotten a rare thumbs-up from the federal What Works Clearinghouse. No Child law faces medley of changes Stateline.org States are among the chief stakeholders clamoring to leave their stamp on a new version of the education law, which has riled some state lawmakers and educators to the point of rebellion over its costs, penalties and unprecedented federal oversight of school policy. 2007 All-USA Teacher Team USAT USA TODAY seeks 20 teachers, ...


Little did I know last week (Think Tanks Battle For Candidates' Ears) that the Center on American Progress has so many Obama ties to go along with its obvious Clinton connections (ie, John Podesta). Newest on my radar is Cassandra Butts, a CAP domestic policy guru who is moonlighting as an Obama advisor on her personal time. "Yes, there is a healthy competition among the think tanks to gain the ear of presidential candidates," writes Butts in an email earlier today. "And CAP is well positioned to participate in those conversations." I'll say. Forget Hillary -- how are the other ...


The NYT gives a big writeup (Teenager Casts Light on a Shadowy Game) to "the choking game" (also known as The Fainting Game, Airplaning, Dying game, Sleeper Hold, Space Cowboy, Space Monkey, Suffocation Game, Suffocation Roulette according to Wikipedia). It's nothing new, but may be spreading (isn't everything?) via YouTube. Click below for a news video about a San Antonio student who died doing it....


Click here for news about how humorist David Sedaris may have done more than exaggerate his supposedly nonfiction stories, including one about how an elementary school in Raleigh set up a program "cynically designed to identify and cure young homosexuals by erasing their lisps." Apparently it's not true, and the New Republic published a story about it last week called "This American Lie: A midget guitar teacher, a Macy's elf, and the truth about David Sedaris." Not that The New Republic has always been so great on facts....


There's a new Hechinger in town, or at least new to me. He's John Hechinger, who's been covering education for the Wall Street Journal for two years now (John Hechinger) and has already won some awards for his coverage. If the name sounds familiar, that's because the Hechinger Institute at Columbia University runs seminars and briefings for education reporters, and is named after a famous NYT education editor, Fred Hechinger. Apparently, John's father. Nice....


"CREDIT THE No Child Left Behind Act for this: It helped to reveal how little learning was going on in many classrooms, especially those with poor and minority students," begins this LA Times editorial (Son of No Child Left Behind). "This is no small accomplishment. Still, the law has not yet achieved its key goals...Flaws in the law have held back real educational progress and unfairly placed blame on public-school teachers for everything but the weather."...


I guess that whole Internet predator stuff only works so long, if you're an embattled US Attorney General (Gonzales Runs Out Of Conference To Avoid Scandal Questions). Would that the same were true for newspapers and TV newscasts, which insist on freaking us out all the time with the same tactic. Maybe the Internet predators are preying on all those abducted children from a decade ago. Remember them?...


Apparently not content with being the last state in the nation to turn around its 2006 test scores (they came out at roughly the same time that kids were taking the 2007 tests), Illinois has made the news again for jimmying with student eligibility criteria in ways that generally help schools pass AYP (State uses test loophole). No, it's not the subgroup size loophole -- that's so 2006. It's the date of enrollment loophole, which Illinois moved back to May 1 of the PREVIOUS year. Nice. Result? Thirteen percent of scores not counted, or 283K kids (one in four African-American ...


States Again Weighing Proper Enrollment Age for Kindergartners EdWeek Lawmakers in at least three states are debating whether to move the cutoff deadline for kindergarten eligibility to an earlier date so children will be at least 5 years old when they start school. Rural schools prepare for proposed cuts AP An emergency spending measure would provide $400 million nationwide for one year, but it’s tied into a contentious Iraq war funding bill that requires President Bush to bring combat troops home next year. The Democratic-led House approved the bill Friday, 218-212, despite a veto threat from Bush. Trying to ...


Following up on his efforts to debunk the Times' Reading First story, D-Ed Reckoning takes aim at the Post's recent article on testing (Round up the anti-testing nutters). "WaPo is really giving NYT a run for its money for the goofiest education articles as of late." Agree or not with his views on testing, it's hard to argue that the piece (by Valerie Strauss) includes an expert or researcher who has anything good to say about testing. Not that I have any idea who that would be (nominations?). But at least the story identifies FairTest appropriately. So that's progress, of ...


Apparently news in the Chicago Tribune of a high school student in Texas being given up to seven years in jail for pushing a hall monitor has generated quite a reaction (see here). "A 14-year-old black girl from the small Texas town of Paris, was sent to a youth prison for up to 7 years for shoving a hall monitor at her high school. A 14-year-old white girl, convicted of arson for burning down her family's house, was sentenced by the same Paris judge to probation."...


Maybe Colvin was right. Reading this headline from Jim Romenesko's MediaNews site (US attorneys scandal intrigues journalists, but not the public), I can't help but think about the Reading First scandal. Like "Gonzalez-Gate," Reading First may in the end be more interesting to some (education insiders) than others (mainstream journalists and the public). Even if the public isn't that interested, at least Gonzalez-Gate is interesting to reporters and their editors. Despite recent coverage from the Times and most recently AP, the story hasn't exactly taken off like education stories sometimes do. (Just last year, there was the AYP "loophole" story, ...


Over at EIA, Mike says he likes my Hype Warning System, which I appreciate. "I need something similar for stories I read this week," he says (Sometimes I Just Can't Believe What I'm Reading). "Maybe a scale of 1 to 4 eyeballs popping out of heads, or double-, triple-, and quadruple-takes."...


To me, the most interesting point made in this impressive USA Today roundup of mayoral control from last week (More mayors move to take over schools) is the reminder that mayoral control has risen during a time of unusual mayoral longevity. What happens in places like Chicago and Boston and New York when City Hall isn't occupied by the same person for a long period of time? It's a good, though not immediate, question....


I've got nothing against any of the three blogs mentioned in this Fast Times article about "front of the class" education blogs. The three -- 2¢ Worth, Moving At The Speed Of Creativity, and JoanneJacobs -- are all good blogs. But the article (here) written by Michael Prospero is just so slim and shallow it's frightening. I should talk, I know....


There was a guy on last night's PBS News Hour (President Urges Ethanol Cars) making the case that, when it comes down to it, ethanol is a mighty weak strategy for energy conservation -- -- a highly subsidized, but ultimately too weak a solution for the underlying problem. This made me wonder, what's education's version of ethanol -- propped up by government or private subsidies but ultimately too small or weak to get the real job done? I'm guessing lots of ideas and programs come to mind....


School strives to provide safe haven USAT A troubled kid who straightened out after less than a year at the school, Vic was on track to graduate and study accounting. Last fall, in USA TODAY's first story on Talent Development, he cited the school's "positive peer pressure" as helping him finally get focused on school. Tennessee Lawmakers Push to Restore Civics Education to School Curriculums WaPo Since the federal No Child Left Behind law was passed in 2002, schools have focused on reading and math, and that has squeezed out other subjects like arts, music and civics, educators say. So ...


Though the title of this NYT story (Milken Wants to Sell Stake in His Education Company) makes it sound like Michael Milken is getting out of education, actually he's just bringing more people in -- to the tune of $1B in new investments, half of which is already in hand according to the article. Knowledge Universe, the private -sector education group Milken runs, owns KinderCare and has a big stake in Nobel Learning Communities....


Tired of not knowing what to believe and suspecting that you're being manipulated? Me, too. Oh, you mean about all those think tank reports? I thought we were talking about something else. Read FactCheck.org's new book, UnSpun, which tells you how to know when you're being spun, and what to do about it. Like they say, "you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."...


Like them or loathe them (I know people on both sides), give credit to the folks at the Broad Foundation for at least trying to address what's going on at the core of the education machine (political leadership, district leadership, school leadership). Give them credit, too, for this week naming maverick SEIU president Andy Stern to their board of governors, along with Rod Paige. See here for a good overview from last year in EdWeek. See below for the full press release....


For the second time in recent months, the folks who read and comment on my Chicago blog have -- with very little help from me -- surfaced some serious problems going on in a school. Both times, it started with an email from a reader raising a concern or posing a question for discussion on the blog. Both times, the participants themselves -- the teachers, parents, and administrators directly involved -- have ended up writing in to relate their experiences. Check it out here. For some background on crowdsourced journalism, link here. Or for more on citizen journalism, here's the ...


Those of you interested in the business side of education may want to check out Marc Dean Millot's new blog, Edbizbuzz. He's taking a business look at NCLB reauthorization proposals, and has interesting and controversial things to say, like Big Grant to KIPP Houston Dooms Charters to the Margins....


We check them out ... them so you don't have to: Deadbeat Parent Mugshots Coming To Pizza Boxes Huffington Post: Customers at some suburban pizza parlors are getting something extra with their pepperoni and mushrooms. Kennedy on NCLB AFT Blog: So why would Sen. Kennedy write this op-ed now? Fooling the College Board Inside Higher Ed: An MIT professor coached student on how to get a good score on a lousy essay -- and pulled it off. Associated Press Series on Unions Mike Antonucci: There's something for every viewpoint here and well worth the time to read them all. Here's what ...


Once in a while, strange little crazes start in schools, often making adults crazy in the process. Showing his roots as an education reporter, This American Life's Ira Glass included a segment about a video-making craze that overtook one set of kids in the show's video premier, which aired last week. Not surprisingly, the craze turned out badly, and the grownups had to step in. It's shown here for free: Video: embedded. I think you can also watch the full segment online here....


Experts: Testing companies "buckling" under weight of NCLB CNN.com A handful of companies create, print and score most of the tests in the U.S. and they're struggling with a workload that has exploded since President Bush signed the education reform package in 2002. Failing Schools See a Solution in Longer Day NYT States and school districts nationwide are moving to lengthen the day at struggling schools, spurred by grim test results suggesting that more than 10,000 schools are likely to be declared failing under federal law next year. To Be AP, Courses Must Pass Muster WaPo The ...


SCHOOL LIFE Who's On Your Hitlist? Peppermint & Stinky Shoes The Wisdom Of Children (In Three Parts) TEACHERS & TEACHING "Bloody Claws" -- Impressions Of NCLB's Logo What Educators Can Learn From "American Idol" WASHINGTON UPDATE School Reform May Go Better Out Of The Limelight Former USDE Deputy Sec. Turns Self In, Pays Up Where's Maggie? Think Tanks Battle For Candidates' Ears NCLB NEWS State Supe Says Testing Co. Threatened State More Hearings Than You Can Shake A Stick At GOP Hopefuls ore Supportive Of NCLB Than Others MEDIA WATCH Sex Predator Scare Tactics Not Just For Journalists Anymore NCLB Is Falling ...


This notice from the Center on American Progress Action Fund reminds me that the Center, like pretty much every think tank and advocacy outfit in town, is vying for visibility and at least the appearance of influence over the Presidential candidates and their positions. ("Look, candidate X has proposed something like what we told him or her to!") However, contrary to early impressions (mine, at least), it seems like CAP is not just going to be Hillary's shop. Obama and staff have participated in CAP education events, as well. Which makes sense, given all the Clintonistas and experience they have ...


I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, but I'm hearing that EdSec Spellings' agenda for this morning includes not only her public appearance and speech at a big teachers conference in NYC but also a private meeting on technology, ed tech, and competitiveness issues, which haven't really been her strong suit. If you're there, and bored, snap a pic of the proceedings on your cameraphone or send us a text message at [email protected]..


"On MySpace three weeks ago, one student told anyone who cared to read, “I made a hit list.” The student added, “It was so fun to write their names down saying I want them dead.” Readers took turns guessing the names on the list." From Hitlists, a disturbing but generally hype-free NYT article that explores the topic while making clear that there's not much correlation between the lists and actual violence. Below is an example:...


Check it out -- Sherman Dorn has found the State High School Exit Examination database -- looks very useful. From a quick look at the map of who has and doesn't have them, it seems like midwestern and plains states have resisted the exams, which are common south, west, and to some extent in the NE....


It's not just newspapers and TV news that like to use scare tactics to scare and distract us with stories about kids and sex and drugs. According to this from the Huffington Post, embattled AG Al Gonzalez is going to "talk with local media in dozens of cities Friday about keeping kids safe from sexual predators." Conveniently, this means getting out of DC (Gonzales PR Strategy)....


There's not a lot of praise out there for the hard work that education reporters do, so here's Mike Antonucci in praise of a couple of education stories: Scott Elliott and William Hershey of the Dayton Daily News examine the conventional wisdom that school district consolidation saves money, and conclude the savings are ephemeral. Alison Kepner of the Wilmington News Journal looks at efforts in Delaware and elsewhere to create a teacher career ladder that doesn't lead to administration....


State Takes Control of Troubled Public Schools in St. Louis NYT A spokesman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jim Morris, said the three-member panel was expected to run the district for the next six years, although the State Board of Education could elect to extend the panel’s term indefinitely. NY battles student loan kickbacks CNN.com Last week, Cuomo announced that an investigation into student lending practices, spanning hundreds of colleges and at least six lenders, found that lenders routinely paid kickbacks to colleges and their employees for steering business their way. These are among ...


Three big issues in and around Chicago these days are whether to ban "cloned" charter schools -- spinoffs and other campuses created to get around the 60-school charter cap (Banning Cloned Charters), whether a local columnist went too far in bashing local school councils for their occasional troubles running schools (Did The Tribune's Eric Zorn Go "Agley" In Criticizing Local School Councils?), and the resentments of public school parents when private school parents try and get their kids into elite public high schools (When Private School Parents Go Public). See picture, right. Click on a link to see the details, ...


Scroll down today's edition of The Hill and you'll see an interesting little bit about where the GOP presidential hopefuls stand on NCLB (GOP candidates divided on No Child Left Behind), which points out that, in contrast to some House Republicans, the main GOP contenders (McCain, Romney, and to some extent Giuliani) are much more "muted in their criticism of what has been heralded as one of the Bush administration’s flagship achievements."...


Bill Would Protect Against Cuts WaPo Virginia Sens. John W. Warner and James Webb introduced legislation yesterday to protect the state's schools from Bush administration threats to withhold millions of dollars in aid in a clash over federal testing rules. Utah heats up over long-simmering school voucher debate CSM For one thing, the law has hurdles to clear: Opponents have launched a petition drive to postpone it and let voters decide the issue in 2008; legal challenges are also likely. Gates Foundation to Give D.C. Students Push to College WaPo The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will announce today ...


Having lived through the last five years of "sky is falling" news about NCLB's imminent demise -- look back and you'll see it's been about to fall apart since almost the beginning -- I'm deeply skeptical about the premise of Gail Russell Chaddock's Christian Science Monitor piece ('No Child Left Behind' losing steam). To be sure, NCLB isn't winning any popularity contents. But it never really did. Moreover, the piece leaves out just how awkward it would for many Republicans to buck their President and explain why they voted for NCLB in the first place. There's lots of jockeying going ...


You know it's a slow week when nobody can resist peppermint and stinky feet stories: "A middle school in Maryland is using a unique method to help kids do better on their tests" (School Backs Peppermint for Student Alertness NPR). I think they got it from here: "Along with smart teaching, careful preparation, a good night's sleep and a full stomach, peppermint candies are said to improve test performance" (The power of peppermint is put to the test Wash Post). "Thirteen-year-old Katharine Tuck's sneakers smell as bad as they look. Now, the Utah seventh grader is $2,500 richer because ...


So it looks like Head Start's "National Reporting System" may finally bite the dust, according to this Valerie Strauss piece in the Washington (Preschoolers' Test May Be Suspended). This despite longstanding concerns about the quality of some Head Start programs, the near-impossibility of closing ones that aren't doing a good job, and the spread of standardized assessments used for formative purposes in the early years. To me, this occurrence represents not only an obvious cloud over prospects for national testing for K12 education but over the chances for strengthened test-based accountability in NCLB. Sure, the Head Start lobby is stronger ...


For the second week, the Carnival of Education has opened at it's home, The Education Wonks. This Week In Education's submission made it into the first category, EduPolicy. Check it out for tons of great education posts!...


If this isn't big news, I don't know what is. A couple of kind folks have told me that a recent post from this blog is mentioned in today's Ed Daily (which costs a lot and I can't afford). The mention, "NCLB Rorshach," refers to my cribbed-from-a-friend description of how the USDE's new NCLB logo resembles bloody claw marks, or declining NAEP scores. Old logo on the left, new logo on the right....


Early on in the Bush administration, former USDE official Eugene (Wild Bill) Hickok was one of the point men on NCLB enforcement -- talking tough during the Paige era and making states do all sorts of horrible things. Last I remember, Hickok had moved into the private sector and was being given what some thought was too much space in the Washington Post to talk about the importance of tutoring (see here for all about that). His outlaw ancestry rearing up, Hickok's now back in the news, having just settled with the US Government over having not sold 800 shares ...


'No Child Left Behind' losing steam CSM Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate introduced bills last week that allow states to opt out of most of the law's requirements, while keeping federal funding. Backers of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) say that move would gut the law. Fighting Over When Public Should Pay Private Tuition for Disabled NYT Almost seven million students nationwide receive special-education services, with 71,000 educated in private schools at public expense, according to the United States Department of Education. Usually school districts agree to pay for these services after conceding they cannot provide suitable ...


In response to recent reports surrounding the further spread of KIPP, the Threat Awareness Office at the Department of Homeland Security has just posted the following adjustments to the National Hype Warning System. Hold onto your bags: KIPP Is Our Savior NCLB Has Destroyed / Saved Our Schools National Standards Universal PreK For All (get it?) Bring On The Growth Models The HPV Vaccine Will Promote Sexual Activity "Human Capital" Is Where It's At (Teachers, Principals) The 65 Percent Solution (A Bad Dream?) Pedophiles and Stalkers On MySpace (& Other Techno-Fearmongering) For previous editions of the HWS from last spring and summer, ...


It is perhaps an inconvenient truth that there are several other issues that take attention away from school reform -- today's Congressional appearances by Al Gore on global warming being just the latest example -- not only potentially delaying consideration of NCLB but also diluting attention towards reducing the achievement gap, reining in the testing companies, or whatever else might need doing. Walter Reed and Alberto Gonzalez are recent examples. Health care and entitlement reform are even more relevant, since at least some of their work takes place in the same committees that cover education. But the good news is ...


The AFT, Ed Sector, and Alliance For School Choice aren't the only organizations that have decided that blogs might be a good way to go, and the Washington Monthly, Washington Post, Ed Week, and Pre-K Now aren't the only folks who've decided to look outside their staff for a blogger. However, things are really heating up now. I just got a call from someone looking to fill a full-time (salary, benefits) blogging gig based in DC for a large and reputable public-interest organization. Wow. If it was focused on education, I might do it. Except for that living in DC ...


Today, Oregon state supe Ed Dennis (or someone with his authentic-seeming email) wrote me with a letter (below) about what's going on with Vantage learning and OR's testing woes -- basically apologizing for the massive inconvenience and blaming it all on Vantage Learning, the test vendor whose online offerings apparently fell short, and then way short. As you'll see, Dennis accuses Vantage of some shady-sounding negotiating tactics (fake invoices, essentially), and raises the possibility of losing NCLB funding if online testing fell through with Vantage, which I think would have been unlikely. Makes me wonder what Vantage has to say ...


No sooner do I say there's nothing going on than I read the FritzWire from yesterday, in which Fritz lists a bunch of hearings on the Hill and brings up the possibility of a faster, rather than slower, reauthorization: "Things are heating up with hearings on No Child Left Behind. Is this a signal that the statute is on the fast track to get reauthorized rather than dragging it out for 2 or more years?" He lists hearings today, tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. Hearings are one thing, action is another. But it's an impressive list of events he's compiled. To ...


There's not that much of interest going on in education this week, but I'm going to keep you interested anyway. For example, here's the New Yorker's Simon Rich humorously describing the adult world from the younger generation's point of view (Shouts & Murmurs: The Wisdom of Children). I especially liked the first section, "A Conversation at the Grownup Table, as Imagined at the Kids’ Table."...


Trained to think of Bill, not Bob, when seeing the name "Gates" in a headline, I must admit to being at least momentarily started when I come across headlines like "Gates declines comment on Pace's gay remarks," or "Gates: So far, so good." But maybe it's just me. For the record, that's Defense Secretary Bob Gates on the left, Miscrosoft zillionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on the right....


Read about L. A. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s most recent power politics versus Los Angeles Unified School District (L.A. Board Race Hinges on Runoff EdWeek)…New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, having dismantled local school boards, may get less than stellar grades from some curiously nostalgic voters (New York City Public Gives Klein A Failing Grade Edwize)...In Philadelphia, officials try desperately to control school violence (As violence flares in schools, Street is a man of few words The Philadelphia Inquirer)... Chicago schools may be leading English language learners to improved test results (Latinos lift scores, shrink ...


Charter School Effort Gets $65 Million Lift WaPo The donation will create 42 schools in Houston, TX and will make KIPP the largest charter school organization in the country. Project Launches 10-Year Initiative to Link Early Education, Economy EdWeek The $3.1 million project is the latest signal of corporate America’s increasing interest and involvement in young children’s education. Lawsuit Says Education Dept. Overcharged on Student Loans WaPo A computer glitch apparently caused more than 3 million student loan borrowers to be billed hundreds of millions of dollars more than they owed, said lawyers who brought the class-action ...


According to a recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education , there's lots educators can learn about students and evaluating student achievement from watching American Idol -- of all things -- including "a veritable hunger for realistic evaluation," "a respect for expertise," and (this won't surprise anyone) that students are often poor judges of their own ability. Check out the story here (Schooled by 'American Idol'), and Joanne Jacobs' postings on this meme going back more than a year here....


We read them ... so you don't have to. Does NCLB need a major overhaul, tweaking or something else? (Tweaking the Ivory Soap AFT Blog)...This 13-year-old Ohio kid vicious little miscreant is charged with allegedly committing 128 felonies, including beating up the child who turned him in (The Bad Seed: 13-Year-Old Andrew Riley Education Wonks)...After the disaster with Venture Systems' online testing system, the Oregon Department of Education has decided to return to paper-and-pencil testing for the rest of the year (Oregon moves back to paper- and- pencil tests Sherman Dorn)...I got a kick out of looking back ...


Like many others, Pulitzer prize winning Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts (who also wrote the book Becoming Dad, left) eventually got sick of hearing about problems related to poverty and kids, and starting looking for solutions. On NPR's Talk Of The Nation (listen here), Pitts talks with Neil Conant about programs he's found -- some new, some familiar (ie, Harlem Children's Zone) -- and takes listener calls about their ideas.Or, read the first couple of his columns here: Finding what works for kids, and What works. As you might expect, not all the programs are proven, replicable, or politically ...


You never know what issue is going to pop up in the news, but today there are at least a couple of articles about school buses, of all things -- their safety (Little Consistency in Bus Safety Standards NYT), and -- yikes! -- their potential use by terrorists (FBI: Foreign extremists sign up to drive school buses AP). From the AP story: Members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States, counterterror officials said Friday, in a cautionary bulletin to police. An FBI spokesman said "parents and children have nothing to fear."...


Preschoolers' Test May Be Suspended WaPo Congress is moving to end a standardized test backed by the Bush administration and given to hundreds of thousands of preschool children in Head Start programs each year, amid complaints from early childhood experts that the exam is developmentally inappropriate and poorly designed. Utah Sets Rigorous Rules for School Clubs, and Gay Ones May Be Target NYT Next month, a 17-page law will take effect governing just about every nuance of public school extracurricular clubs, from kindergarten jump rope to high school drama. How groups can form, what they can discuss in their meetings, ...


Policy Watch DonorsChoose: Micro-Donations Go Macro The Coming Pre-K Quality Crunch Teachers & Teaching Reading First Defenders, Unite Denigrating Teachers...Or Just Disagreeing? NCLB News Dissecting The NCLB Hearing Views Of NCLB, Pro And (Mostly) Con A Long, Boring Hearing? The Perils Of Being Against NCLB Business Of Education Schmoozing The New Guy What Can You Learn From SEC Filings For Education Companies? Media Watch What Makes A "Real" Education Story? Sen. Alexander Reaches Out To Education Bloggers The Weekly Magazines Take On Education Issues American Educator Spring 2007 School Life High School Student Council Passes Nonbinding Resolution Black-Hispanic Tensions On ...


A week after the fact, Richard Lee Colvin finally posts something about Reading First (here). Really getting into the blogging spirit, he mocks my (admitted) over-enthusiasm for the RF story and (mysteriously) my Beltway credentials, and then lectures us about whole language, the National Reading Panel, etc. He cites the pros and cons of whole language, debunks the notion that RF is as prescriptive as some see it to be, and yet is delightfully polite in refusing to name Diana Jean Schemo, the NYT reporter who wrote the story he's criticizing (below right). Clearly, Colvin could have written this story ...


For better or worse, the national weeklies (Time, Newsweek, USNews) occasionally take on education issues. Here are a couple of this week's offerings, both interesting: Is a Top School Forcing Out Low-Performing Students? Time Jasmine Boulware was forced to leave Myers Park High School in February 2005 because the school did not believe she was performing well. She was subsequently told that she could not return. Via CJC. States Lax in Overseeing NCLB Tutoring US News More than two thirds of states told CEP they have a tough time monitoring SES programs for quality and effectiveness, and three said they ...


As I've said before, it seems to me that there is just too much hype and too much growth in state preK programs -- leading to a bandwagon mentality and an almost inevitable quality crunch: Many states don’t track pre-K students AP Fourteen years ago, Georgia launched a publicly funded pre-kindergarten program, the first in the nation to offer free classes to all 4-year-olds. But don’t ask state officials for data on how many of those students graduated from high school and went on to college this past fall. They didn’t keep track. Via CJC. New National ...


Seattle Offers Lessons in Bridging Achievement Gap NPR In Seattle, the public school system's efforts to bridge that gap, despite limited resources, offer a window into the challenges facing school districts across the country. No Child Left Behind law faces change AP Key Democrats who control the federal purse strings are demanding changes. Moderate Republicans say the law must be more flexible. Yesterday, they were joined by dozens of GOP conservatives who want an even more radical overhaul. Teacher’s Sex Trial Focuses on Etiquette Questions NYT A jury was asked to ponder some etiquette questions in the statutory rape ...


Lots of good stuff in the Spring issue of the AFT's American Educator, including: Get Real: Children from low-income homes are academically behind when they enter kindergarten. To reach the same achievement level as their better-off peers, they will need to learn much more—and they will need to learn it faster. Here's how we can help meet that challenge. In the Zone: In Miami, the union and the district have partnered to create a "School Improvement Zone" that gives the district's lowest-scoring schools the increased attention they need....


DonorsChoose, the innovative online outfit that matches up small donors (often individuals) with classroom projects, is going national this year, having experienced tremendous growth and success in Chicago, New York, and...some other places. Click below for some of my previous posts (from the old blog). Iif any of you have any experiences or thoughts about DC, feel free to weigh in. Congrats to the DCers. Keep on making the old school education foundations sweat....


Love him or hate him, Rush Limbaugh's got an infuriatingly good way with rhetoric, as illustrated by his riff on the idea of rolling back NCLB: "So they're out there lobbying Congress to reduce this 100% target and delay the 2014 deadline," according to Rush Limbaugh ( Democrats Demand We Leave Some Kids Behind). "I'll make a deal with them. I'll be glad to make a deal. I'll say, "Fair enough. So we can stop with this 100% healthcare coverage, then, for every child in America?...Well, let's eliminate the whole goal of 100% elimination of poverty. And how about this? ...


I'm not sure I get exactly what all the hullaballoo is about The Princeton Review's selling off one of its subsidiaries, as chronicled in this Insider Higher Ed story from last week (MyRichUncle's Under-the-Radar Buy), but I love knowing where education companies' SEC filings are, and what they look like (they're linked in the story). I'd actually never seen one before. Not that I can make heads or tails of this one -- an 8-K it's called -- but still. Anyone know if these filings are posted or kept anywhere central, or if they ever have interesting information in them? ...


Dozens in GOP Turn Against Bush's Prized 'No Child' Act Wash Post More than 50 GOP members of the House and Senate -- including the House's second-ranking Republican -- will introduce legislation today that could severely undercut President Bush's signature domestic achievement, the No Child Left Behind Act, by allowing states to opt out of its testing mandates. Have Your Children Been to the Library? Wall Street Journal Countless adults have fond memories of the day they received their first library card. But many children today have a far different relationship with their library -- if they go there at ...


Over at Ednews.org, Jimmy Kilpatrick has collected a bunch of Responses to NYT Reading First article, most of them defending the program or questioning DJ Schemo's reporting, including from Reid Lyon, Bob Sweet, Tim Shanahan, and others. The gist of what they're saying isn't much of a surprise -- they're trying to salvage the program -- but some of the details in the letters to the Times are quite interesting. However, there's a new DJ Schemo article in the Times out this morning that describes Congressional criticism of the program, a Spellings mea culpa of sorts, and the much-anticipated ...


Watch out, mainstream education reporters. The bloggers are catching up with you. Earlier today, Senator Lamar Alexander might have been the first US Senator to reach out specifically to a group of education bloggers. The half-hour telephone press conference focused on Alexander's America Competes Act (PDF) and NCLB. About 10 bloggers participated, and it mostly ran like a "normal" press conference -- people asking questions based on their interests and concerns as much as anything else, no big news made. [Alexander still sounds PO'd about the TIF funding having been blocked, and has that politicians' habit of referring to long-ago ...


The 110th carnival of education blogs is up and open for business over at The Education Wonks, including some interesting posts about where education fits into the Presidential campaign....


Reporters who are new to the education beat have several challenges in front of them, including learning a ton of new information, figuring out how to get and keep their editor's and readers' attention, and figuring out who's who and who to trust in the education world -- all the while being schmoozed and pitched by everyone in town. Taken together, the challenges are not unlike arriving late to a party, trying to figure out who's friends with whom and what's being discussed around the room, and then having to report out accurately what happened when you get home. That's ...


Below are some more responses to the NCLB hearing, both first-hand (delicious!) and via the papers (more ideological). Who cares what anyone else has to say, though -- we want to know what jumped out at you, or seemed interesting or strange or funny about who spoke, what they said, how the members responded, or who was in the audience?...


There aren't many big differences in how media folks covered yesterday's hearing that I can see -- it sounds like a long, boring hearing -- but here they are: 'No Child' target is called out of reach Washington Post In Virginia, schools have achieved universal proficiency on reading and math tests 45 times since 2002, officials said. Congress Gets an Earful on No Child Left Behind NPR Members of the House and Senate asked concerned citizens Tuesday for ideas on how to improve the No Child Left Behind education law — and they got an earful. 'No Child' education act under ...


Report: More kids in state preschools USA Today But while many states are spending more, the larger enrollment, combined with inflation, means that overall, states are actually spending less per student in constant dollars — $3,482 last year vs. $4,171 in 2002. A Teacher’s Adventurous Life, Distilled Into an Unlikely Book NYT “The Mountain Man’s Field Guide to Grammar" is the brainchild of a man who loved to write, but hated learning the rules. Teenager’s Science Project Wins $100,000 Scholarship NYT Mary Masterman, a senior at Westmoore High School in Oklahoma City, won the top ...


About six weeks ago, I started getting emails and comments about a conflict between the African-American principal of one of the city's high schools and the Latino head of the local school council, which is in charge of hiring principals in Chicago, on my Chicago blog, District 299. Since then, the Curie crisis has been just about all anyone wants to read or comment on at the site, and the turmoil finally burst onto the front pages of the city's newspapers last week when the local council voted to oust the principal and the Mayor intervened -- unsuccessfully so far ...


This whole Internet thing is getting better and better for those of us who want to know what's going on without going to DC or sitting in a hot hearing room. Check out this CPSAN video from yesterday's House Labor-HHS-Education spending hearing, featuring Obey and Spellings, and let me know if they said anything interesting. Maybe they'll do the same thing on the Senate side, too....


Morton Kondracke: No Child Left Behind deserves renewal Examiner There’s reason to hope that Congress will reauthorize, extend and improve the landmark 2001 NCLB Act school-accountability law. But, by itself, the federal program is clearly not going to solve America’s education crisis. NCLB Has Flunked Chicago Defender Is the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) working? If it isn't working, will it succeed by the 2014 deadline? The answers to both of these questions, unfortunately, are no. Outside the Beltway View of NCLBAFT Blog It's true that failing an NCLB-mandated tests doesn't necessarily mean a student will be ...


'In a move intended to send an "unmistakably clear message" to Barstow County High School Principal Robert McCluskey, the school's student council approved by a vote of 22-3 during seventh period Monday a nonbinding resolution criticizing the principal's recent decision to install three extra hall monitors.' From The Onion (High School Student Council Passes Nonbinding Resolution)....


School District Asks Teachers to Return Pay AP A total of about $75,000 was overpaid because a computer program mistakenly calculated the bonuses of part-time workers. OPRAH'S SCHOOL 'TOO STRICT' News 24.com via EdNews.org The rules at Oprah Winfrey's ultra-posh school at Henley-on-Klip near Johannesburg are apparently so strict they make a reformatory look like a holiday resort. Group To Offer AP Exam Extra Credit: $250 Washington Post The Advanced Placement program has long offered college credit to high school students who show mastery of a subject. Now, a group of educators and business executives plans to ...


It's all about events this week, I guess. Now the House has a Labor-HHS-Education appropriations hearing scheduled for Wednesday, and -- wowza -- they're having Bob Slavin (ie, the wronged party under Reading First) testify. Should be fun. "The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on "Federal Funding for the No Child Left Behind Act." Witnesses: Margaret Spellings; secretary of Education; Jack Jennings, president and CEO, Center on Education Policy; Paul Vallas, CEO, the School District of Philadelphia, PA; Jane Babcock, superintendent, Keokuk Community School District, ...


Uh oh. That's what it sounds like from this letter (PDF) from the big four on the House side. It's basically a call for input from stakeholders. Didn't we do that already? Or doesn't the whole Spellings Commission thing count? If not, I guess I can chuck my Aspen Institute report, too....


I find it hard to keep track of when things are happening in the education world -- hearings, conferences, report releases, etc. -- and have yet to find the perfect solution (ie, a calendar that not only includes just the big events I'm interested in, but is customizable and updates automatically into Outlook or Google calendars). I'm told that the EdWeek calendar is pretty good, and that seems to be true but there's almost too much there (and no mention of Congress or USDE schedules, for this week at least, or of ASCD starting this weekend in Anaheim). As recently ...


There's a post called The Deciders over at Teacher In A Strange Land that takes me to task for a variety of things, including belittling the experiences and advice of teachers when it comes to NCLB: "When did it get to be OK, even kind of hip, to denigrate the professional work, judgment and thinking of educators?" True, I am not always respectful of teachers' views on NCLB, but that's not any more denigrating in my mind than it would be to say that doctors shouldn't be the sole arbitors of Medicare policies (which they shouldn't). The experiences and perspectives ...


Don't forget -- there are two reasonably big events tomorrow in DC. The NCLB event, sponsored by the big four (Miller, Kennedy, McKeon, and Enzi) includes as witnesses mostly the usual suspects. The hearing, titled “Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization: Improving NCLB to Close the Achievement Gap,” will be held in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. Click at bottom to read the members' pull quotes. It's interesting to note that while there is no one from the USDE that is on the scheduled witness list, Spellings ...


Bush Claims About NCLB Questioned EdWeek The student-achievement results the president recently cited are from a single subsection of the National Assessment of Educational Progress and tentative Reading First data. Some parents pay to pull kids out of class for trips CNNTired of parents pulling their kids out of school for a ski trip or a visit to Disneyland, one local school system is billing them for the missed class time at $36.13 per day. Modern-Day 3 R's: Rules, Rules, Rules Wash PostAt Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, students can't just randomly stroll out to their cars ...


Best Of The Week Reading First Finally Makes It As A Mainstream News Story--But Does the NYT Get It Right? Campaign 2008 Obama and The Annenberg Challenge -- Is EdWeek Reaching? Education's Walter Reed Scandal Teaching & Learning The Focused Discomfort Of Learning Disaggregating Students, Not Just Test Scores NCLB News Hearing-Palooza What To Do About Negative NCLB Stories? Not Much. Everyone's Favorite NCLB Angles All In One Place Around The USDE Beware The Ides Of March (March 13 Events) USDE's Kerri Briggs Moves Up -- Again Think Tanks How To Tell All The Reports Apart Watch -- Don't Read -- ...


For weeks and months, I've been asking on this blog why Reading First wasn't a national (mainstream) education story -- only to be told over and over by my betters (Richard Colvin, et al) that the story wasn't big, or dramatic, or clear enough. Today, however -- perhaps emboldened by the Walter Reed coverage? -- the NYT finally gets around to covering the Reading First scandal (In War Over Teaching Reading, a U.S.-Local Clash), focusing on districts and states that opted out. Kudos to the trade reporters and publications who've been covering this closely from the start, and ...


If you've noticed a recent surge in education coverage from NPR, their "new" education guy Larry Abramson is a large part of the reason. "In 2006, Abramson returned to the education beat after spending 9 years covering national security and technology issues for NPR. Since 9/11, Abramson has covered telecommunications regulation, computer privacy, legal issues in cyberspace, and legal issues related to the war on terrorism. During the late 1990s, Abramson also was involved in several special projects related to education. He followed the efforts of a school in Fairfax County, Virginia, to include severely disabled students in regular ...


Things have been relatively quiet in the edusphere, but here's a roundup of some of the best blog posts of the week, including a little bit of back and forth between Sherman Dorn and Kevin Carey, and between Eduwonk and AFT John....


As per usual, it's too late in the week for me to do much more than point you to this week's Gadfly and NewsBlast and wish you the best. Some worthwhile-looking posts from the Blast include PLAYING SCHOOL IN KATRINA�S WAKE, about the "new tangle of independently operated educational experiments" in NOLA, MANY STATES ARE LAX IN THEIR OVERSIGHT OF CHILD CARE CENTERS, which makes you wonder about how well states are going to monitor universal pre-K programs, and -- why not? THE CASE FOR NATIONAL STANDARDS IN SCHOOL REFORM. Some interesting-seeming posts from The Gadfly include Three cheers ...


Kudos to the smart folks at the Center On American Progress for uploading this CNN clip about Leaders and Laggards, the latest report card out from the Center On American Progress and the US Chamber, to YouTube. You can see more of their uploads here. This one features John Podesta, who heads the center, and I got the clip from Edutopia (Leaders & Laggards: New Education Report Grades Are Grim). Edutopia online also has a little piece that I did on Barbara Boxer's after-school efforts and the growth of federal interest in afterschool programs (After School with Barbara Boxer). Question is, ...


Too many over-familiar names (Ravitch, Hess, Petrilli, etc) and somewhat predictable conclusions, but still there's lots of interesting stuff in the latest issue of Ed Next, including Selling Software (How vendors manipulate research and cheat students"), (Why Big Impact Entrepreneurs Are Rare (The dangers of challenging power), Debunking a Special Education Myth(Don't blame private options for rising costs), Blink. Think. Blank. Bunk. (Solid snap judgments are deeply grounded). Check it out....


Maybe I'm the only one who's watching the coverage and impact of the Walter Reed scandal over inadequate care of Iraq veterans and wondering (a) where education's version of this story will come from, and (b) why it hasn't come out yet. Certainly, there are lots of things going wrong inside the education system. To be sure, there've been a bunch of contenders recently -- Reading First, the AYP "loophole," testing flub-ups, etc. But none seems to have had the same scope or impact. And I don't think that what's happening to American schoolchildren is necessarily any less dramatic than ...


Education Dept. Is Urged to Explain Loan Subsidy NYT Lawmakers from both parties are pressuring the Education Department to explain why it let a student loan company keep $278 million in subsidies that an audit found improper. Bill Gates calls for ed-data center eSchool News America needs a Center for State Education Data to aggregate student information and identify what works and what doesn't in our schools, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates told Congress on March 7. "Hire" education: A vocational model succeeds CNN.com Central Educational Center in Coweta County, Georgia must meet state standards and its students are required ...


Briggs is moving up -- again (President Bush Announces Intent to Nominate Kerri L. Briggs as Assistant Secretary of Education). As per usual, congrats, condolences....


There's lots of interesting stuff in David Hoff's EdWeek profile of Barack Obama and his education background (Obama’s Annenberg Stint Informs White House Bid), but the Obama-Annnenberg connection seems like a reach. UPDATED SEE BELOW...


The cool thing about the new USA Today education page, is, well, that there is one (Education). Now Greg Toppo's friends and family don't have to set up a Google alert to find his stuff. But more than that, there are all sorts of interactive and Web 2.0 features -- you can bump stories if you like them, or comment, of course. The postings all tell you how old they are ("2d 8h ago"). And -- my favorite part -- there's blog content from outside the paper in a section called "Other Voices From The Web." That ranks up ...


I'm the last to hear these things, but there's apparently a Senate HELP committee hearing today (Wednesday) with none other than Bill Gates as a star witness. "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will testify before the U.S. Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee on U.S. competitiveness. The testimony can be viewed live via webcast beginning at 9:30 a.m. EST. There's supposed to be a webcast here but I can't vouch for it. Here's the official site. Meanwhile, the teacher recruitment hearing took place on Tuesday, and featured all sorts of interesting witnesses like Bill Sanders, Jesse ...


It's a new national report a week, it seems, but this handy-dandy explainer from the Center on Public Education (part of NSBA) helps begin to sort things out a little: Round-up of National Education Report Cards. "The Center for Public Education has identified more than a dozen national "report cards" on various aspects of education from pre-kindergarten through college. While there is some overlap among many of them, they have different emphases and use different criteria for rating performance."...


The Science Goddess hosts the Carnival this week and it is as exciting as it always is! She does a fabulous job - just look at the comments section. Here's a glimpse: The Grading group immediately started their banter. There appeared to be a great deal of interest in this topic. “You know,” said DeHavilland, “maybe the issue isn’t grade inflation as much as it is the system. What would happen if teachers did the grading but there was an independent evaluator?” Joanne jumped in next. “That might at least be one way to take steps. I’m trying ...


Intel Competition Is Where Science Rules and Research Is the Key NYT More high schools around the country are teaching students how to do cutting-edge research, not just imparting textbook science, in some cases because they were inspired by the two old-timers. Companies match students with internships CNN.com A slew of businesses have popped up to help match students with internships, charging hundreds to thousands of dollars to help them write resumes, identify potential employers and find summer housing. Rural Schools Affected By Battle over Bush Plan NPR Rural schools in California are facing a crisis because of a ...


Ed school professor Sherman Dorn wonders why I and others might tend towards minimizing concerns about the impacts of NCLB raised in a recent Washington Post article (Some typical responses to concerns about test-prep), and suggests that there are political implications. The answer, put simply, is that stories like this -- a favorite among education writers and their editors -- have been coming out since NCLB was enacted, with little result. At the same time, the overall amount of curriculum narrowing and teaching to the test actually caused by NCLB is disputed -- as is whether its impact is necessarily ...


This principal took NCLB-required disaggregation a step further and divided up students to release test score results. School Separates Students by Race for Test Scores NPR "When scores were released last week for academic achievement tests taken at a Northern California high school, the principal separated students into ethnic groups. Latinos, Asians, whites and blacks were each assembled together." It wasn't the first time, not everyone thinks it's necessarily a bad idea, and the principal says she'd do it again. For better or worse, disaggregated test scores -- which before NCLB were often treated as a hush-hush "don't tell the ...


Homeschoolers Find University Doors Open Topix.net Under UC Riverside's new policy, homeschoolers can apply by submitting a lengthy portfolio detailing their studies and other educational experiences. Teens work late, long and in danger, study finds CNN.com U.S. youngsters aged 14 to 18 who work at retail and service jobs during the school year put in an average of 16 hours a week, often at jobs that are dangerous and unsupervised, a study said Monday. Council Assails Mayor’s Plan to Give Principals More Autonomy NYT City lawmakers yesterday harshly criticized the Bloomberg administration’s plans to give ...


Democrats Propose N.O. Teacher Incentives Times Picayune As President Bush heads to New Orleans to tour a school and talk about education, House Democrats are preparing to unveil legislation that would pour $250 million into the city\'s hurricane–ravaged school system over the next five years. Via ECS. New Orleans Faces Teacher Shortage NPR President Bush visited a charter school in New Orleans Thursday to praise the prominent role the independent schools are playing in the city. Thirty-one of the 56 schools now open there are charters. Both charters and public schools, however, are finding it difficult to ...


The big story of the week, so far at least, seems to be this Washington Post piece about principals at some local schools targeting 2nd quartile kids (aka bubble kids). Here's the story: A Concentrated Approach to Exams. Here are a couple of responses: The bubble kids (Sherman Dorn), Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't (AFT Blog). Here's the full list of blogs who have posted on this already (one of my favorie WPost features). As you'll see, the piece revisits pretty much all of the narrowing the curriculum/ teaching to the test / educational triage angles we've come ...


Your Booing Is Crushing The Souls Of America's Youth Deadspin The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association is in the business of protecting feelings, and they feel like your boos are going to make someone cry. The Conspiracy Of Pizzas? Ed Wonks Some folks seem to be convinced that Pizza Hut is orchestrating a top-secret scheme to make America's school children into Souless Automatons Pizza Addicts. The Vagina Controversy The Hall Monitor Three students have been suspended for saying the word “vagina” during an Open Mic Night Friday at John Jay High School in Cross River....


There are two big events taking place a week from tomorrow -- a joint House-Senate hearing on NCLB reauthorization and a higher ed Spellings Commission "what did it accomplish" event. The NCLB event, sponsored by the big four (Miller, Kennedy, McKeon, and Enzi) includes as witnesses mostly the usual suspects. The hearing, titled “Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization: Improving NCLB to Close the Achievement Gap,” will be held in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. Click at bottom to read the members' pull quotes. It's interesting to ...


There's a long NYT article on developing child athletes from this weekend that describes the dull, uncomfortable process of learning that is familiar to many teachers and parents -- but maybe not so obvious to others who think of learning as "natural" or merely a function of time, or who have forgotten how hard, how frustrating it is to learn something new. The story opens with the writer's description of her daughter's first frustrating (and unsuccessful) efforts to hit a baseball -- "Toss after toss, she missed. Five tosses. Then 10." -- followed a day later by sudden and unexpected ...


A call for separation of school and state Boston Globe Entitled to teach anything. That means, the judge ruled, that parents have no authority to veto elements of a public-school curriculum they dislike. They have no right to be notified before those elements are presented in class. U.S. Prosperity Will Demand Radical Action, 2 Groups Say WaPo The business group and the think tank, which had been at loggerheads on a number of other issues, said they came together because U.S. schools are failing children and putting the nation's competitiveness in the global economy at risk. Critics denounce ...


Best Of The Week A Third Way On National Standards Education Lobbyist Ellin Nolan On The HotSeat Foundation Follies Think Tank "Truthiness" How The Fordham Foundation Is Like Hillary Clinton New America Takes Old View Of For-Profit Universities NCLB Reauthorization Vouchers & Characterization Proposals Not Necessarily "DOA" Comparing Everyone's NCLB Reauthorization Proposals, Version 2.0 How Are These Reports Like All The Other Reports? Lotsa Ways Education Policy Which Is Worse - Test Scores, Or Class Grades? School Restructuring How-To Manual From Chicago Media Watch Education Writers Association Award Winners Announced Homework Game Show Reporter Refutes Claims Of Junk Journalism Meier & ...


A lot of folks seemed to appreciate Dave Deschryver's comparison of the seven (!) major NCLB reauthorization proposals from last week, and so he's gone back and made some additions and changes to make it even better and more complete. Check out the shiny new version below....


Back a few weeks ago when the Bush administration proposed a new voucher initiative and a controversial charterization option for low performing public schools regardless of state caps, the Democratic response often included the descriptor "dead on arrival." But as this edspresso post reminds us (The Scarlet H), the traditional Democratic position on vouchers is both awkward and not necessarily monolithic. I haven't had a chance to confirm the claim that former VP Gore has spoken so symapthetically on vouchers -- if you know where the quote is from, fill me in -- but it's almost irrelevant at this point. ...


We read them so you don't have to.  In addition to its do-over explanation of where Fordham stands on NCLB (The problem with nuance), this week's Gadfly includes a fascinating post about a proposed new contest for -- pace, Sara Mead -- really big education ideas (X-cellent!), complaints about the IG's report and EdWeek's coverage of the Reading First debacle (The language police), and a thing about how charters and parochial schools compete (Chartering a course to survival), and segments on 100 proficiency in athletics on the Gadfly Show (Forgive me, Father). "If it's a national standard, we're for it,"...


Some really good stuff dug up at Eduwonk this week, including a snippet from Obama on education at NPR (Education And Race), a link to a pro-NCLB retelling of the "football story" where everyone has to win the championship or else (NCLB: The Tilson Version), a thing about how TFA made it into the Oscars (An Inconvenient Truth), and some questions about how charter schools will play in the upcoming election (Harbingers). ...


By this point of the week, maybe listening to an education story in the background would be easier than reading one. Here are a few interesting audio and video segments from the past week: New Orleans Struggles to Revamp Public Education PBS From last night's NewsHour. Accused Teacher Denies Surfing for Porn at School NPR The saga continues. When a Story Tells Truths, Sources May Suffer NPR Finding the news in a Baltimore school -- without costing anyone their job. Opting Out of College for a Blue-Collar Life NPR Are too many kids being pushed into college? Writing Seminar Spawns ...


Before he was Borat, comedian Sasha Cohen was "Ali G," a hilariously ignorant and malapropism-inclined devotee of rap culture. Here he discusses everyone's favorite education issues -- sex ed and drug prevention -- with a bunch of folks who don't know he's pulling their legs: YouTube - Ali G - Sex Education...


Check out the new crop of Education Reporting Awards Contest Winners from EWA and you'll see a few familiar names -- Frank Bass, Ben Feller and Nicole Ziegler Dizon from AP for the NCLB 'loophole' stories, Stephanie Banchero from the Chicago Tribune for her Kate Boo-like "The Education of John Cobbins," and a slew of Philadelphia reporters for their coverage of the shooting in Amish country last summer -- and a lot of good work. There's also recognition for David Glovin and David Evans from Bloomberg news for their big package on the testing industry. Kudos to all -- check ...


Bush To Visit Indiana To Tout "No Child Left Behind" Indychannel.com President George W. Bush will make a stop in southern Indiana in support of reauthorizing "No Child Left Behind." Bush will visit an elementary school in New Albany on Friday afternoon. 6News will have a crew at the event. Seeing red lowers test scores, study says Democrat & Chronicle University of Rochester psychology research, done in collaboration with Germany's University of Munich, has found that the color notably affects how people perform on some standardized tests. It all started with the idea that the red ink used by teachers ...


There's only so long you can maintain an incoherent position let the blog-gnats keep biting at you before you have to swat them down, even if you're a big bad Washington think tank. (I mean "bad" in the good sense, as in powerful.) And so, barely beating the happy hour rush, Fordhamites Finn and Petrilli sent over a new commentary in which they, far as I can tell, re-explain their highly nuanced feelings on NCLB and describe how misunderstood they've been. Now this is fun....


There is a lot of really godawful content and cluttered webdesign out there online for teachers, who as a result are rightly suspicious about what they're usually being offered. But maybe the new PBS Teachers site will be the exception. Just launched today, the site has a nice, clean look -- with video and blogs up top where they shold be -- along with free lesson plans, local and national educator resources, teacher professional development, all that stuff. Check it out. Let me know what you think....


It's Thursday and I'm behind as usual, but here are some news and links that you may not have seen and I think are worth knowing about: Virginia Backs Down in Testing Showdown Learning The Language Charles Pyle, the director of communications for the Virginia Department of Education, told me that Virginia has decided to "move on" ... Democrats Pledge: No Vouchers in NCLB Heartland Institute Matthew Ladner, vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute, a free-market organization in Phoenix, said differing statements from leading Democrats such as Kennedy and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) highlight a potential divide ...


Kudos to Learning Matters (the folks who produce education segments on PBS) for putting out this original video podcast segment on learning disorders in college which, while not groundbreaking in terms of its topic, introduces us to "tray gazing" -- students scrutinizing each others' cafeteria trays as part of peer pressures surrounding food and weight -- and emphasizes that eating disorders aren't about the food but rather about anxiety or loneliness or stress....


Is standardized testing, like democracy, the worst of all forms of accountability except for all others that have been tried? The argument continues. But a recent study profiled in Inside Higher Ed suggests that standardized tests are at least more accurate predictors of future performance than that teacher favorite, class grades. "The last year hasn’t been a good one for the standardized testing industry, what with SAT scoring errors and more colleges dropping the test as a requirement," begins the story (A Defense of Standardized Tests). "But on Thursday, the journal Science published a study backing the reliability of ...


Hard recovery for failed US schools Christian Science Monitor Something had to change at Sobrante Park. Year after year, the elementary school in the poor flatlands of Oakland failed to meet test-score targets that, under state and federal laws, have consequences attached. US public schools rate overall 'F,' report says Washington Times The US Chamber of Commerce joined with a prominent liberal think tank on Wednesday to warn of potential long-term damage to the US economy. Bloomberg Picks a Parent in Chief for the City’s Schools NYT Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg named a veteran education advocate yesterday to ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Betsy Combier: Corruption is all about money, as we all know from read more
  • thegumbler: anyway anybody shootin off about video games blows solid read more
  • Martha: Obama is not for merit pay persay: he favors a read more
  • bob: he's ugly read more
  • Wilbert Moore: The following is a copy of the text of the read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here