Bellwether Is Hiring, Charter School Politics, DeVos Prioritizes, Aldeman Analyzes, Broad Retires, Miles Gambles, Does Moskowitz, Too? Plus Pensions, Expectations, Free Speech, Teachers Unions, More!

We are hiring at Bellwether.

And here’s an analysis from Bellwether of teacher pensions in Louisiana  – where again you see the story that teacher pensions are an expensive way to do retirement, which would be okay if it were a really effective way, but as the data show in Louisiana and elsewhere, it’s not (pdf).

Pension costs a problem in CA, too.

Patricia Levesque on personalized learning.

Betsy DeVos on her plans for education policy. Here’s a list of the priorities, it’s a lot of priorities. Only ponies inexplicably left off the list. And Chad Aldeman says on ESSA pay no attention to the lady behind the curtain – no seriously, pay no attention he says. He also discusses the new priorities with ABC.

Karen Hawley Miles has a gambling problem.

Eli Broad is retiring. Quite a career that guy has had.

This, from Panic about Success Academies, is interesting:

When I told [Checker Finn] of Moskowitz’s action, he said “Gutsy and much needed. If schools and parents are truly to share responsibility for educating children, each needs in some way to be accountable to the other.” Another Moskowitz fan I mentioned it to was also impressed. “Holy s—t, talk about cojones!” he cheered. “The anti-reformers have forever said we should hold parents accountable. They will surely find a reason to oppose this anyway.” Without question, but so might some of Moskowitz’s best and most loyal supporters: her parents. If the small handful of Success Academy parents I’ve spoken to about this are an indication, Moskowitz might for once be overplaying her hand.

Meanwhile, Mike Petrilli says charter school supporters should stop antagonizing Republicans. Maybe, but the idea that charters have been successfully rebranded as a lefty idea seems to fall apart with even casual scrutiny of the political landscape today. More generally, wouldn’t it be great if education conservatives stopped acting like snowflakes and getting triggered every time someone says “social justice” or points out that race is an issue and at the same time if education’s social justice lefties decided that actually getting things done to change the facts on the ground was as important to them as making points or getting people to say the “right”  things and think and signal the “right” way? Then, perhaps we could get back to figuring out how to address the formidable array of interests fighting against a reform that’s shown enormous benefit for urban students – who are disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities?

New York charter schools are being allowed to credential teachers – and the legal authority underpinning that is being challenged in court. Some of this is the usual turf war over any effort to break up the iron triangle teacher prep protection racket and I can’t speak to the legal merits under New York law, but it’s nonetheless a good time to revisit an idea we discuss from time to time: Context. In this case, New York – like a lot of places – is screwing around with cut scores on teacher tests and there is no evidence that credentials matter that much (as a practical matter outside of emergency credentials all the different training routes are mostly a wash). So it’s hard to take seriously the claim that allowing charter schools flexibility here undermines teachers quality. Rather, we might just see the kind of innovation and competition that could spur some change. Maybe now is too awkward a time to point out that some of the most interesting innovations in teacher prep right now – High Tech High, MATCH, Relay, are all charter school born…

Euphemism of the day for all that, “historically surprising”

“This whole issue of quality assurance and accreditation is proving particularly vexing for them in ways that are historically surprising, because obviously teaching has been around for a long time.”

You don’t say…

Michael Roth on ideological diversity and campus life.

Ian Rowe says we need to aim higher.

Good thing the teachers’ unions are such progressive stalwarts!  But at least they play it straight with dues.

Almost impossible to give a book talk these days without disruption.

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