Eduwonk tries to make light of being called smug (and intentionally bewildering) in a recent letter to the Washington Post (The Reviews Are In!). But the description isn't that far off. Ever more, Eduwonk's never wrong, never unsure, never not in the know. All that from a meager year spent turning off the lights at the end of the Clinton administration....

What to make of today's announcement that Michelle Rhee, until now honcho of The New Teacher Project, has been appointed to run the DC public school system? It's an interesting choice, to say the least -- exciting, a little bit nervous-making. Rhee is a standout, there's no doubt, and has accomplishments coming out of her ears. And she exemplifies the outside-in move that I've been whining about these past few months -- a nonprofit mover and shaker moving into the system and building her own experience (and hopefully improving the district), rather than continuing to work from outside. Previous posts: ...

USA Today's Richard Whitmire is all over the place these days, from a letter in the Times decrying the lack of education attention in the 2008 campaign to a recent announcement that EWA (the ed writers association) is ramping up the pressure. Current EWA board president, Whitmire says that EWA has got one of the top candidates to agree to a one on one sitdown on education topics. Maybe they'll be crazy enough to let me sit on the panel and tear into the candidates like you know I like to do. In the meantime, why isn't Ed In '08 ...

Style and hype aside, the big slam on KIPP schools has been that it can't keep its students -- they drop out or return to their old schools where things are easier and less structured, a dynamic that at a certain point sort of defeats the purpose. EdWeek takes a look at this in a recent article: KIPP Student-Attrition Patterns Eyed. "Critics argue that the loss of students at some of the network's public schools is alarmingly high." This is gonna make Uncle Jay Mathews very angry, indeed. Speaking of EdWeek, the 2nd Annual Diplomas Count is here, including a ...

Professor Dorn schools just about everyone in his recent post about accountability politics and national standards, focusing in particular on the issue of cut scores: "Whether one labels the tiers Expert, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue; or Venti, Grande, and Tall, tying values to ordinal tiers doesn't tell us anything about the tiers themselves other than that someone wanted to label them. Confusing cut scores with rigor is an act of policy machismo, not common sense. "Yo Mama's so wimpy, she's satisfied with Mississippi's cut scores." Nice....


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