Great upcoming event on data and Head Start improvement. Rare live appearance by Bellwether’s Sara Mead! Yes, the same Sara Mead who today is coming for your mortgage tax deduction in US News. Plus she’s great at math!
All your education news curated here, every weekday, 8am and mid-afternoon.
Robert Pondiscio has sparked quite the debate with an essay entitled “The Left’s Drive To Push Conservatives Out Of Education Reform.” Marilyn Rhames responds here. Patrick Riccards is here. And Justin Cohen and a gaggle of folks here. Other stuff around. Update: Stacey Childress here. Jay Greene is here. Greg Richmond via Twitter here.
Hopefully a useful debate but we’ll see. Seems like a few things are true. Education reform won’t succeed without more diversity – of a variety of kinds – in its leadership. Education reform won’t succeed if it becomes a partisan issue or if people on all sides can’t work with those with whom they disagree on some or even a host of other issues. Education reform will not succeed without an effective middle class politics. And the more education reform becomes about a host of other issues the less people will be able to work together. Focus and being able to agree to disagree are vital to coalition building and effectiveness and it’s unclear how much appetite there is for either in many parts of the education world right now.
It’s also a political moment and there are plenty of politics swirling around. That hardly makes things any easier. It is hard to miss, though, on all sides the extent that a movement/effort/whatever originally about disrupting adult-focused politics has come to organize itself around a new set of adult focused politics. Some would say that’s inevitable and, to be fair, some predicted it.
Pondiscio on the new NACPS report on backfilling at charter schools and the complicated questions about policy design on that issue. EdBuild has a finance map that is not to be missed – plus context!
The New Yorker takes a look at campus politics.
The FT on pension/hedge fund politics. Includes this gem:
In 2005, the number of times Yale and Harvard were mentioned [as a model for other institutional investors] was incredible,” says Amin Rajan ,chief executive of Create-Research ,and an expert of the fund management industry. “But they had the governance and skills to go after risky asset class. Big pension plans didn’t.”
I mean really, what could go wrong? Also, pensions are crowding school finance. A look at Chicago.
Vergara still going (pdf).
Mixed results for the edTPA:
“This is a study where middle-ground findings make it harder to interpret,” said Dan Goldhaber, one of three researchers who conducted the study
Gates Foundation CEO letter includes Common Core. Peter Thiel gave a commencement speech at Hamilton. Thankfully he didn’t start by telling the assembled graduates they had just wasted four years and tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, his advice is pretty good.
Paul Tough has a new book out, here’s a taste via The Atlantic .
The situation, however, isn’t hopeless. Districts like LAUSD can escape this downward fiscal spiral.
They can start by restructuring their school budgets to automatically expand and contract with enrollment. Instead of apportioning a fixed number of staff to each school, allocations can be made in per-pupil terms. In dozens of districts including in San Francisco, Denver, Boston and Houston, district money is equitably distributed in per pupil increments across schools, weighting for factors like poverty, homelessness or English-learner status.
The First Lady on youth sports. Am I the only one who thinks a Michelle Obama – Amanda Ripley sports debate would be fantastic?