The most interesting parts of this article on NCLB is its simultaneous call for more regulation of the testing industry -- and more different kinds of testing. Usually, folks call for one or the other, especially in the context of criticizing NCLB, but not these guys ( Ask This > The untested theories behind No Child Left Behind" href="http://niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=00256">The untested theories behind No Child Left Behind). Specifically, they call for computer-adaptive tests and formative assessments instead of the current proliferation of annual standardized tests....


Over at The Quick and The Ed, Kevin Carey riffs off a recent Malcolm Gladwell article in the New Yorker about the Enron investigation to make the point that analyzing and interpreting existing information (like the Education Sector does) is increasingly important in a world filled with lots of data but relatively little understanding. Carey's post (Mysteries, Puzzles, & Think Tanks) lays out an argument that is unusually elegant. What he leaves out, however, is how difficult it is for think tanks to do good analysis and be influential on policy and advocacy at the same time. The two functions do ...


"The human mind isn’t very well equipped to make sense of a figure like $1.2 trillion. We don’t deal with a trillion of anything in our daily lives, and so when we come across such a big number, it is hard to distinguish it from any other big number," begins this NYT article on how much the Iraq war has cost -- and what that money could have been used for instead (What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy - New York Times). It actually takes a fair amount of work to spend that much, even including high-cost ...


Illinois Senator Barack Obama's entry into the 2008 Presidential campaign has lots of potential implications for education, including most obviously making CT Senator Chris Dodd even more of a long shot than he already was, and, by extension, making national standards, Dodd's current education issue, even more of a nonstarter. But that's not all. Obama is an interesting, hard to read candidate on education issues, and is not only pro-charter but also -- maybe -- open to vouchers. (Hey, the guy smokes, too, didn't you know?). Here are some recent posts about Obama and his education agenda from over the ...


According to a recent Q and A with Ellin Nolan, president of education lobbying firm Washington Partners, the newly-passed rules on earmarks, gifts, and ethics will have a mixed but relatively benign effect on the education environment. "Most Members take pride in helping constituents get special consideration for federal funding," she says. "They are very willing to stand up and take credit for directing resources to their states or districts. " If anything, budget pressures not sunshine laws will have a dampening effect, she says. And the gift ban is not much of an issue for education groups and nonprofits. As ...


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