After seven years of hard work, Richard Kahlenberg's long-awaited biography of AFT founder Al Shanker is finally coming out, and -- according to small schools guru Mike Klonsky -- it's got things for both Shanker admirers and detractors to like. As Klonsky writes, Shanker foreshadows things like the Green Dot charters that are now on everyone's minds -- and reminds us how progressive ideas (small schools, charters) can get hijacked by even the most well-intended. Officially out in September, you can order it here....


Charter opponents tend to think of charter school folks as one big happy family, while in reality they are anything but that. One of the key dividing lines among charter advocates has to do with quality and accountability -- one side emphasizing it, the other more focused on choice and competition. Following up on yesterday's announcement of the strong test scores in New Orleans, NACSA's Greg Richmond -- strongly on the side of quality and accountability -- sent out an email touting the city's accomplishments....


This post from edspresso about a school that fails to make AYP -- but gets rated highly by Newsweek -- gives us a good preview of just how confusing things can get when there's more than one way of measuring school success (edspresso.com: Exposing an Ugly Paradox). The school misses AYP due to special ed kids, but Newsweek is only looking at AP and IP scores. The district of course likes Newsweek's rating better. Who wouldn't? Of course, nothing quite this simplistic is likely to get into NCLB, but it's a good reminder that we already have competing -- ...


Schoolchildren Struggled to Escape NYT They all said the same thing: It was as if they were suddenly in a movie...One of the scariest sights of all was a yellow school bus sitting atop the rubble. Inside were 50 small children — some as young as 4 years old — who had been on their way to a swimming pool, but now were screaming and crying....


"The President intends to nominate Margaret Spellings, of Texas, to be a Representative of the United States to the 34th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, for the duration of the conference." (Personnel Announcement)...


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