Data Infrastructure Matters! Schools And Ski Slopes, Suburban Charters, More!

Better data infrastructure sounds pretty sleepy and wouldn’t even make much of a band name. But as Hailly Korman explains, it’s awfully important.

Also, on data – DQC overview of legislative activity.

Tim Daly wants to rate schools like ski slopes, green, blue, black, and double black…based on their degree of difficulty in terms of the work students do. It’s an intuitive and plausible idea. Except what happens when the gaming starts, and a school starts telling parents, don’t worry, we’re a Rocky Mountains blue, which would be a black or double black back east? (And then the unschooling folks would claim they are like Europe where you can ski more on your own where you want…but let’s not torture this too much…) I’m good with any rating system that helps parents make heads or tails of what’s going on better than they can today, and Tim’s idea or something like it to measure power is a good one, but we shouldn’t confuse better reporting systems with solutions to the allergy to transparency and accountability that plagues the sector.

Speaking of, this Chris Minnich op-ed is important as is the underlying analysis. But, even when everyone can agree a school needs to improve, say a school with low status and low growth, little to nothing seems to happen more often than not. Arguing over the best measurement system is not a trivial issue, it matters a lot. But, we shouldn’t confuse better measurement systems with solutions to the allergy to transparency and accountability that plagues the sector…

Usually for-profit school providers hang together on the assumption that so much of the opposition is ideological that there is more to gain from strength in numbers than trying to win over the small crowd willing to parse different providers on their individual merits. Plus there is a little of the ‘who will sit with me at lunch’ thing going on. Anyway, maybe it’s because ECOT, the scandal plagued online school in Ohio has fallen apart, but in any event this op-ed putting distance between another Ohio virtual school and ECOT is interesting.

PPI on why the suburbs need charter schools.

Whatever you think of this batch of contemporary Sokal hoaxes, it’s a good reminder that although we hear a lot about “peer review,” it’s sometimes not as robust as one might think or hope. Never hurts to actually look under the label.

Affilia, a peer-reviewed journal of women and social work, formally accepted the trio’s hoax paper, “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism.” The second portion of the paper is a rewrite of a chapter from “Mein Kampf.” Affilia’s editors declined to comment.

Nirvana.

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