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July 11, 2007

Do AP Incentive Programs Skew The Challenge Index? Yes, Says Benton

Dallas Morning News education columnist Josh Benton isn't the first to raise questions about Newsweek's High School Challenge Index (aka "Uncle Jay's List'), but the fact that two local Dallas high schools -- both in the same building -- got ranked #1 and #2 this year does give him an interesting pe...

July 10, 2007

Capturing The Current School Reform Moment ... Down To The Granular Level

Though I usually find articles in The Nation tiresome and predictable even when I agree with them, I knew I was going to like LynNell Hancock's recent article on school reform in New York City when she started out making fun of the word "granular," which is currently being over-used in certain cir...

June 29, 2007

Is Student Violence Necessarily School Violence?

Something like 34 school-age children in Chicago have been killed in the past year, and the deaths have created a lot of media coverage and political posturing along with serious concern. Here, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn asks whether CPS officials and the media should be linking the deaths...

June 28, 2007

Supreme Court Strikes Down Deseg/Diversity Plans

I can't bear to think about it, and probably don't have anything interesting or new to say anyway, but here are more stories about the Supreme Court's deseg decision than you could ever hope to read, courtesy of Google News.

June 25, 2007

Cristo Rey Schools Take Over The World

The first Cristo Rey schoolin the DC area is opening up this fall , according to Jay Mathews (UPDATE: Before School, A Cram Session on Work) -- a low-tuition private school model first tried out in Chicago 11 years ago and since spread to 19 other locations. Besides the fact that the kids work one ...

June 21, 2007

Severance Pay For Vallas Might Be $500K

Folks in Philly are understandably dismayed at the notion that the school reform commission there might give departing superintendent Paul Vallas a $500K severance package -- especially since he's leaving the district in dire financial straits and there's no requirement for any payment under his con...

June 19, 2007

Boston Gets Memphis Chief; Balto Gets NYC #2

For a time, it seemed like Memphis might succeed in pulling supe Carol Johnson (left, at center) back into the fold after Boston announced she would be the permanent replacement for Tom Payzant, who left over a year ago. That would have been Boston's second near-miss. But now it seems like she's r...

June 19, 2007

Franchising Magnets (Just Like Charters)

We're all already familiar with the idea of networks of charter schools (like KIPP) and small groups of private schools (Cristo Rey), but what about franchising magnet schools as well? That's the idea that Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan is apparently floating, according to this Catalyst Magazine...

June 18, 2007

Vallas Ditches Own Going-Away Party

There's a great overview of the Vallas years in Philly by Susan Snyder from Sunday's Inquirer (Vallas in with roar, out with rancor) that details the tumultuous last days of Vallas in Philly, plus the deterioriation -- ignored nationally and in the press -- of Vallas' tenure there.

June 18, 2007

High-Tech Paycheck & Report Card Problems In LA and Chicago

All teachers in LA and Chicago want is to get paid on time -- and in the right amounts -- and not to have to write end-of year grades and report cards by hand. As Andrew Trotter describes in this EdWeek story (Glitches in Los Angeles Payroll System Spark Furor), problems switching to a new payroll ...

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