What Makes A Strategic Plan Strategic? College Costs And College Plans, ESSA Plans, ESAs In AZ, Rhames & DeVos, Congrats Houston Chon , More!

Here’s Bellwether’s take on what makes a strategic plan actually strategic and not just a bunch of flashy slides with pretty graphics.

Details and debate on the NY free-tuition plan. And here’s a really interesting analysis of who pays what for college (pdf).

Marilyn Rhames talks with Betsy DeVos.  Arizona is going big on ESAs.

Hope and concern about ESSA plans via The 74. (Remember Bellwether is undertaking a systematic review). This quote is noteworthy, this guy works for a former governor…

“You can see states taking ownership of the flexibility that they have in the new law, and you can see that they’re really trying to drive toward more equitable systems of education,” said Phillip Lovell, vice president of policy development and government relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education.

But, he cautioned, “details matter, and those details don’t always add up to the equity vision that most states have.”

D.C.s ESSA plan. And can Fitbits be the 5th indicator?

Michael Jonas with a counterintuitive voc-ed take.

Houston Chronicle wins a Pulitzer for its special education coverage.

Reasons that promising ed tech innovation goes awry.

How much money should public pensions have to keep on hand given that unlike private companies government probably isn’t going anywhere? It’s a subject of a lot of lively debate. Here’s a public pension Goldilocks story via Megan McArdle looking at the issue. This is one where the devil is in the details. Yes, there are some unique things about public pensions, but some of the assumptions that get baked into plans in terms of investment returns are just absurd. And people know this, it even gets talked about at the sparsely attended public meetings of these funds. Pew tracks the funding ratios. There is a happy medium here of responsible funding but also a realization that the exact same standards that govern the private sector are not strictly applicable to government as a budgeting matter. It’s hard to get to any middle ground though because pension politics  are brutal and policymakers have made a lot of irresponsible choices over the years.

Country music isn’t dead: Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies). Not all SFW but she’s got a new album coming out later this month and is on tour. Polar bear attacks penguin backpack.

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