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July 08, 2015

Are We Paying Too Much in Taxes, or Not Enough?

Are we paying too much for education or not enough? As investments in public education continue to shrink, so, too, do our hopes of ever leveling the proverbial playing field.

June 24, 2015

Should Teachers Be Grading Common-Core Tests?

If the first things you think of when you think of scoring the tests associated with Common Core are cheeseburgers and Craigslist, then two things may be true about you: you have probably never been a teacher, and you probably work for Pearson. Why aren't teachers the ones grading Common Core exams?

June 09, 2015

End-of-Year Report: Grading My Kids' Schools

School's out, and that means it's time again for report cards. In the spirit of the season, I have decided to issue a report card of my own. I want to share the wealth and make sure the schools that my kids attend have a taste of that accountability too.

June 01, 2015

Quiz Time! Are You Ready for Kindergarten?

Think you have what it takes to send a kid to kindergarten? You may want to check your medical records and family vacation logs first.

May 21, 2015

The School Board Was Not for Sale After All, But the Fight Continues

The good news is that the local super-PAC candidates all lost their bids for seats on the school board; the bad news is that we pretty much sent the same board we already had back to work. There is plenty more work to do.

April 07, 2015

Social Studies Is Dead; Long Live Social Studies!

A former student of mine stopped in yesterday with a story to tell—and a good one, at that.

March 31, 2015

No, Really, Don't Become a Teacher... Unless You Do This

Nancie Atwell just one the "Nobel Prize of Teaching," and promptly warned young people not to become teachers. I don't blame her for the frustration, but here's my attempt to be a little more hopeful.

March 24, 2015

Is It Time to Abolish the School Board?

Maybe it's sour grapes, or maybe it's a great idea: I just can't stop thinking about the possibilities that would open up if we just abolished the local school board.

March 11, 2015

What Does the Research Say About Value-Added Models and Teacher Evaluation?

My last post of VAMs raised some questions about the credibility of the information I cited—and whether it was enough to support the conclusions I drew. So here's some research for everyone to consider, and a point to think about too: even if the research did confirm the effectiveness of VAMs, they would still be bad policy. Period.

March 07, 2015

Does the Teacher Matter or Not?

It's taken as an article of faith among proponents of value-added teaching evaluation that teachers are the single most important variable determining student success in school. But what if the statisticians inadvertently used their own research to undermine the central premise of their argument?

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