Much as I love the New York Times' weekly Sam Freedman column on education, or the Post's Jay Mathews, what I'm really liking right now is Will Okun's weekly posts about teaching high school on Chicago's rough West Side. Published on Nick Kristoff's New York Times blogsite, Okun's posts (and their accompanying pictures) are at their best like little scenes from "The Wire" -- vivid, unsentimental, and complex. Last week's profile of a smart, independent student has generated 200 comments so far and the creation of a scholarship fund (Nicholas, pictured). This week's post is about a different student who ...

Another seemingly overlooked article comes from the most recent NYT Sunday Magazine, in which Ann Hulbert charts the growing tide of interest and action towards universal preschool (Universal Prekindergarten). We all know that, of course. But Hulbert points out a couple of worthwhile reminders. First, that increasing access creates quality problems (spending per pupil is going down, see chart). Second, that the kind of preschool that advocates would design for low- and middle-income children is not the "free play" preschool that progressives (and wealthier families) seem to want for their own children. Advocates are pushing UPK in "notably wonky, rather ...

Bush administration turnover plays like Survivor: Texas Houston Chronicle With Karen Hughes' resignation announcement Wednesday, nearly every prominent Texan who came to Washington with President Bush has left the administration. Wis. teacher protests NCLB law by sitting out testing; discipline threatened AP A middle school teacher is protesting the federal No Child Left Behind law by refusing to administer a standardized test to his eighth-grade students. Md. keeps tests as graduation requirement but allows alternative AP High school students who fail one or more of Maryland's exit exams will have the option to earn their diplomas by completing projects in ...

The Daily Show's Demetri Martin shows the latest "advances" in standardized test prep (Princeton Review podcast tutorials, Kaplan MySpace pages, comic books with words like "alacrity" in them, bad pop songs with the same): "I know this test seems like a big deal that will determine your entire future. And it is. Because it will."...

A quick spin around the block before I head out in my Reading First costume to get as many razor-filled apples as I can find: Over at Early Stories, RLC digs out an overview of Where the Democratic Candidates Stand on Child Care and Preschool. Meanwhile, Charlie Barone writes from his hidden lair about educational triage and NCLB: Is the NCLB "Bubble Kids" Theory About To Burst? The AFTies win the best headline of the day award for their post about how NCLB is affecting Chicago area schools: Give Us Growth Models...Or The Nation Will Explode. EIA Mike keeps ...


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