I managed to pull myself away from Burger King's "grow your own mustache" site (I'm 'stashing Obama) to skim this week's ed policy posts over at The Carnival Of Education: Week 127 and saw that there are posts on zero tolerance, harassment, student obesity, and the gaps between research and policy. Check it out....

I'm finding it hard to get worked up about education reform these days when crazed but brilliant "Sicko" documentarian Michael Moore is taking on CNN's Wolf Blitzer, handsome medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, and mainstream coverage of health care issues (as well as missing the boat on Iraq, the treatment of veterans, etc.). It makes you think. Wouldn't it be horrifying and exciting and disruptive if someone in education -- a more charismatic and compelling version of Jonathan Kozol, Debbie Meier, Marian Wright Edelman, et al -- was pushing this hard on the school reform front, and getting this kind of ...

Dallas Morning News education columnist Josh Benton isn't the first to raise questions about Newsweek's High School Challenge Index (aka "Uncle Jay's List'), but the fact that two local Dallas high schools -- both in the same building -- got ranked #1 and #2 this year does give him an interesting perspective. In his column (here), Benton points out that at least some of the Dallas success is due to a local incentive program that pays kids and teachers for AP participation. In fact, Texas was the home of these AP incentive programs, which spread nationally and are now funded ...

Anyone dealing with kids this summer is probably dealing with water -- water balloons, water bottles, water guns. Here, Slate takes the time to rate the water guns that are out there, most of which are are far cry from the puny translucent pistols some of us may remember from long ago: Scouting out the best water guns. The top-rated Tarantula (pictured) is introduced as follows: "Packing a gun this well-designed almost feels like cheating....Its overdone space-age styling may seem a tad embarrassing, but its performance on the battlefield will teach your enemies to show some respect."...

OK, I think I understand at least some of the basics now, thanks to Gates spokesperson Marie Groark. Former Portland supe Vicki Phillips (right) will be the "new" Tom Vander Ark, heading the education initiative. However, the setup is different, too. Education is now going to be under US Programs, run by Allan Golston, and expanded to include special initiatives, which is being run by former JFF-er Hilary Pennington (left). Within education, Steve Seleznow (the white guy) runs the Western States plus Ohio. Jim Shelton runs the Eastern states and "new school creation and replications." A slightly outdated version of ...


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