Rick Hess takes a look at the recent MET data release from the Gates Foundation. Good points and worth reading. The more interesting conversation happening behind the scenes among some analysts – and spilling into the public some – is whether Gates is underselling some of what the MET data says in terms of value-added measures. I think they are to some extent, but not out of any nefarious scheme. Rather, they clearly think that the best way to progress on this issue is achieving broad teacher buy-in and are crafting a strategy accordingly. Call that the long-view approach, modest progress now in exchange for big shifts later. Others argue for more robust policies now, especially with regard to persistently poor performers, and that could be supported based on the Gates evidence and other data. Reasonable people can disagree on which approach will have more payoff for kids in a decade or two but we should acknowledge there are trade-offs and risks to both strategies. Not unrelated, a few years ago I noted that litigation is likely around value-added when it starts being used in consequential ways, keep an eye on that.
Roll public schools? Dan Ross discusses what lessons Alabama’s Nick Saban offers managers in public education. Ed Week reports on some important new research on the Moving to Opportunity Program. Mixed results, disappointing academic results. Interesting implications for both school improvement strategies and economic integration conversation.
Big get: USDOE Asst. Secretary and Arne Duncan confidante Peter Cunningham is joining Whiteboard Advisors.