After all these years, some education entrepreneurs are still struggling with the need to engage with "them" -- the public and political entities that govern public education. You'd be amazed (or maybe you wouldn't). For that reason, the tone was calm, but the challenges presented at the opening NSVF session that just finished this morning in New Orleans were actually quite pointed. Moderated by Andy Rotherham, the session focused on whether and how the education philanthropy community and its beneficiary groups can more so in the future engage with and make a difference in the rest of the education world, ...

There are two great fac t-check sites out there, but we need a third. The first,, is already up and running fact-checking the presidential candidates' claims and ideas. Amazing what those guys try and get away with if they think you're not going to know the difference. For this, the site just won 2 Webby "People's Voice" awards in the categories of politics and government categorie. And now there's a new site,, because kids need access to accurate and unbiased information, too. It lists official sources, expert views, and flags potentially biased and unreliable sources. The ...

So to speak... Obama takes US auto industry to task, offers help Detroit Free Press He said he would add funding to help with the No Child Left Behind school accountability law, increase block grant funding to cities and organize nonprofits to build “innovative mixed-income housing.” Teen arrested for essay is reinstated A high school senior arrested for writing a violent essay for an English class can return to school and will be allowed to graduate with his class, his attorney says. To raise an alarm, use cellphones? Christian Science Monitor Colleges weigh text messaging as a tool ...

One of the things that drives me crazy in journalism and in policymaking is what the New Yorker's James Surowiecki calls the "vividness heuristic" (It’s the Workforce, Stupid!): "the tendency to give undue weight to particularly vivid or newsworthy examples." His example is CEOs deciding to downsize based on the few successes that downsizing has created, ignoring the widespread reality that downsizing doesn't seem to make that much of a difference. Try and avoid glomming onto the vivid and ignoring the larger truth. Please....

I'm down in New Orleans at the New Schools Venture Fund annual summit -- the Davos weekend of education, some would say. (Others would say it's the convening of fancy suits out to destroy public education, starting with NOLA.) So far, everyone's been nice to me, and I did have to beg to get an invitation, but of course that won't stop me from biting the hand that feeds me if the self-importance level gets too high (or my sugar level gets too low). So far, I've seen NLNS's Jon Schnur, tanned but not rested, he tells me, run into ...


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