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October 14, 2012

The Magical Thinking of State-Level Education Goals

There's quite a controversy brewing over Florida's different academic proficiency targets for different ethnic groups. While most educators will be familiar with NCLB-style disaggregated student achievement goals (which are based on improvement over past scores, not lowered expectations for some gro...

May 14, 2012

The Downside of Focusing on Results

Author's note: This blog is on a reduced posting schedule until July 2012, when normal posting will resume. You can subscribe via email to be notified when new posts are added. Over the past 20 or so years, we've sharpened our focus on student learning: Formative assessment. Diagnostic assessme...

July 20, 2011

How to Fix Accountability in U.S. Schools

The Atlanta cheating scandal has sparked a national debate about the wisdom of accountability based on high-stakes testing. As I argued in my last post, I don't think tests themselves are the problem; it's our accountability structures that need to be rethought. Here's my take on what we should do t...

May 03, 2011

Data-Driven or Data-Drowning?

Guest post from Amy Baeder, who is a teacher educator and doctoral candidate at the University of Washington After giving birth to my daughter, who is now 6 months old, I decided that it was time to start working on shedding my remaining 10 pregnancy pounds. My first step? Start keeping track of th...

April 22, 2011

Smart Ways to Give Stupid Feedback: An iPad Manifesto

@eduleadership I recently presented at the NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) Convention in Tampa, and had the opportunity to talk to many people about using the iPad as a principal. Because of the topic of my presentation, I was contacted before, during, and after the co...

April 05, 2011

Buying Better Student Achievement

@eduleadership When we need higher student achievement on lower budgets, we're obliged to review all the money we're spending and ask: does this buy better student achievement? —Bill Gates, speaking to the Council of Chief State School Officers, November 19, 2010 How can education salary dol...

April 01, 2011

Cheating in DC: What Accountability Hath Wrought

@eduleadership Wired Magazine recently published a fascinating article on how lottery scratch-off games can be beaten and used for money-laundering. How did officials find out? Through the use of forensic statistics, which found unusual patterns of lottery wins among suspected mobsters. Earlier th...

March 23, 2011

"Doing What Works" Doesn't Really Work

@eduleadership What is effective professional practice, and how can we improve the performance of our students by influencing educator practice? There is a popular myth that we can bring about improvement by finding out "what works" and then making sure everyone does the things that work. Robert M...

March 06, 2011

The Halo Effect & The Quest for Easy Improvement

@eduleadership There is an increasingly popular narrative in the armchair-ed-reform community today which suggests that the primary barrier to improved student results is teachers' ignorance of effective teaching strategies, or their failure to implement them. If only—the thinking goes&mdash...

March 04, 2011

The Increasingly Strange Logic of Bill Gates

@eduleadership In an op-ed earlier this week Washington Post, Bill Gates offers a breathtaking series of assertions about how to improve the performance of our education system. Gates is putting his money where is mouth is, primarily through the MET (Measures of Effective Teaching) study, but his ...

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