The Washington Post's education columnist Jay Mathews is at it again - soliciting reader input for his columns. If fact he is begging readers to help him identify the best middle schools in the DC-VA-MD area and any middle schools across the country that have "spectacular results or very unusual methods." You may notice the trend. Mathews just wrote a column about the best education blogs in which he solicited reader nominations. It's very web 2.0 of him to solicit "user content" as opposed to traditional news-gathering. But then again, Mathews has always done things a little differently. Go, ...

From all the laughter in the background, I think Mike Petrilli and Rick Hess must do some mid-day drinking as part of their weekly Gadfly Show. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, being on the show was a lot of fun, and they were kind and open-minded to have me on despite my being an early critic of the podcast (and generally skeptical about podcasts that aren't This American Life or the latest episode of "Lost"). They asked about how this blog came to be at EdWeek (I pitched it to them), and about whether I've changed ...

"Learning from your mistakes is a well-accepted practice in the world of commerce -- even a celebrated one," begins Ben Wildavsky's article in today's Wall Street Journal. "But the same mindset has yet to penetrate the philanthropic world, according to insider-turned-analyst Joel Fleishman....Why? Because, he says, they are arrogant, secretive and insular; they latch onto fuzzy, trendy initiatives without ever evaluating the results; and, above all, they resist transparency and accountability." Hmmm. Remind you of anyone who jumped boldly into the education mess around 2001? Me, too. However, it has to be said that the Gates folks have done ...

Here's the speech that we wish the President had given last night -- not about sending more troops to Iraq but rather about more gold stars for our nation's schools. Via The Onion. Bush Earmarks 1.5B Gold Stars For Education "Vowing to give the nation's public schools "a much-needed boost," President Bush announced Monday that his 2003 budget proposal would allocate 1.5 billion gold-star stickers for education." Caption reads: "Bush holds up a Dayton, OH, fourth-grader's gold-star-adorned book report on Ferdinand Magellan."...

Lynn Olson's article on the Dodd and Kennedy national standards bill (New Bills Would Prod States to Take National View on Standards) helpfully explains the similarities and differences between the two proposals and tries to tease out their prospects of enactment and background dynamics. However, the article leaves out two key facts: Kennedy's bill was dropped -- coincidentally or not -- the same afternoon that the Dodd announcement went out, and -- I'll say this as long as I have to -- Eduwonk Andy isn't really the best (most dispassionate or knowledgeable) source to comment on this. Click below to ...


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