If you have absolutely nothing better to do, check out my latest screed over at the Huffington Post (Spellings Does Comedy), which combines my last few posts about Spellings and the media into one big pile of misogyny and anger (hence the ominous picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker in the upcoming Batman movie). I promise to write about something other than Spellings next time. In the meantime, for lighter fare, check out Gerald Bracey on education research, or Ravitch on history. Man, don't those two ever shut up? (The promised irony.)...

Dear Jon: Here are some questions you might ask Secretary Spellings tonight on the show: In an all-out brawl between you and Secretary of State Condi Rice, who do you think would win, what is your preferred fighting style, and can I watch? How come that guy Alberto is getting such a hard time from Congress while you're sharing laughs and brownie recipes? Is it because he's short, or just because he's Mexican? So basically Reading First is being fixed and you've got a commission studying student loans, so we shouldn't worry or anything, right? What are we to make ...

In even the most troubled big-city school systems, I like to think that there are at least a few folks who have a combination of institutional knowledge, big-picture savvy, and organizational and interpersonal skills to get useful things done. Sometimes these gems are old hands who have been in the system forever and somehow managed not to get crushed or narrowed or made mean. All they need is to have their energies and inner entrepreneur unshackled. Sometime they are newcomers, fresh out of biz school or somewhere else who manage to pick up what they need to know about how ...

Always looking for vivid details to open and close their otherwise mundane education stories, reporters and their editors often glom onto little things that may or may not really make much of a difference to students' lives and school improvement. In this reporter's notebook, NPR's Larry Abramson comes clean about his own tendencies towards snap judgments and first impressions, and the effects reporters' feelings have on their coverage. He compares his impressions of two New Orleans schools, one favorable and the other not so favorable, and wonders how much his first impressions really matter and whether they cloud his ability ...

For a while now, especially in Texas, reformers and advocates like Peyton Wolcott (here)have been calling on school districts to publish their check registers online so that everyone can see what they're spending their money on. However, as this Dallas Morning News article points out, not every district that is participating does it for the right reasons -- and not every check register is easy to find or to understand (here). Does your district post its checkbook online, and if so what does it tell you about how they're spending their money?...


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