Happy New Year and thanks for reading, commenting, and writing me during the year. Since 2004 the blog’s growth has been robust but 2009 was the blog’s best year for readership, reader loyalty, and penetration. A blog without readers is just a diary, so thank you.
A few odds and ends to close out 2009:
Stephen Sawchuk continues to do great work staying on the trail of state and local resistance to Race to the Top. This is an important issue for reformers to follow. In both counterinsurgency and education reform don’t assume that because the statues in the capital come down the resistance is over. And in many ways the school reform movement is not well positioned in state capitals.
All around the blogs, on Twitter, and on some listserves this Washington Post story on Arne Duncan’s record in Chicago is being made out to be a great repudiation. I dunno, seems like a fair story to me and one that — if it’s the hardest hit on Duncan — means he can phone it in from here on out. It’s not a bad story and to make sure I wasn’t missing Waterloo as it happened I bounced it off a few media pros who had the same reaction. Besides, if Duncan isn’t touting Chicago as an unqualified success is there much of a story? If there is a complaint here, it’s the one voiced publicly and privately that the circumstances in Chicago shielded Duncan and his team from some of the political challenges urban superintendents elsewhere face. That would be an interesting story.
The Baltimore Sun excerpts Kalman R. Hettleman’s new book (I’ve seen the galleys, well worth reading he has an interesting background on urban ed reform). First of three excerpts here. Speaking of Baltimore be sure to have a look at the Urban Teacher Center and their new white paper, “Rethinking the Teacher Lottery (pdf).
And here’s an entertaining transcript from Tutor.com.
Finally, unrelated to education but related to the end of 2009, check out the Rolling Stone article on Springsteen’s decade. Happy New Year.