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Reviews of Eduwonk.com

2007 Winner, Editor's Choice Best Education Blog
-- Performancing.com

2006 Winner, Best K-12 Administration Blog -- "Best of the Education Blog Awards"
-- eSchool News and Discovery Education

2006 Finalist, Best Education Blog
-- Weblog Awards

Least influential of education's most influential information sources.
-- Education Week Research Center

"unexpectedly entertaining"..."tackle[s] a potentially mindfogging subject with cutting clarity... they're reading those mushy, brain-numbing education stories so you don't have to!"
-- Slate's Mickey Kaus

"a very smart blog... [if] you're trying to separate the demagogic attacks on NCLB from the serious criticism, this is the site to read"
-- The New Republic's Ryan Lizza

"everyone who's anyone reads Eduwonk"
-- Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media's Richard Colvin

"full of very lively short items and is always on top of the news...He gets extra points for skewering my high school rating system"
-- Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

"a daily dose of information from the education policy world, blended with a shot of attitude and a dash of humor"
-- Education Week

"designed to cut through the fog and direct specialists and non-specialists alike to the center of the liveliest and most politically relevant debates on the future of our schools"
-- The New Dem Daily

"peppered with smart and witty comments on the education news of the day"
-- Education Gadfly

"don't hate Eduwonk cuz it's so good"
-- Alexander Russo, This Week In Education

"the morning's first stop for education bomb-throwers everywhere"
-- Mike Antonucci, Intercepts

"…the big dog on the ed policy blog-ck…"
-- Michele McLaughlin, AFT Blog

"I check Eduwonk several times a day, especially since I cut back on caffeine"
-- Joe Williams, fallen journalist, Executive Director, Democrats for Education Reform

"...one of the few bloggers who isn't completely nuts"
-- Mike Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

"I have just three 'go to' websites: The Texas Legislature, Texas Longhorn sports, and Eduwonk"
-- Sandy Kress, former education advisor to President Bush and former chairman, Dallas Board of Education

"penetrating analysis in a lively style on a wide range of issues"
-- Walt Gardner, champion letter-to-the-editor writer and retired teacher

-- Susan Ohanian

Education News and Analysis

American Educator
Chronicle of Higher Education
Education Next
Education Week
eSchool News
Inside Higher Ed
Jay Mathews' Class Struggle
Phi Delta Kappan
New York Times Education
School Wise Press
Teacher Magazine

Policy and Political Blogs

The American Scene
Andrew Sullivan.com
Booker Rising
The Corner
Daniel Drezner
Dangerous Thoughts
The Democratic Strategist
The Has Been
Huffington Post
Loose Cannon
Matthew Yglesias
The Plank (TNR)
Political Animal (Washington Monthly)
The Politico
Post Global
Real Clear Politics
Taking Note
Think Tank Town
Volokh Conspiracy
WSJ's Blog Federation
Washington Whispers


Collective Bargaining in Education: Negotiating Change in Today's Schools

Edited by Jane Hannaway and Andrew J. Rotherham

Why Newsweek's List of America's 100 Best High Schools Doesn't Make the Grade

By Andrew J. Rotherham
and Sara Mead

A Qualified Teacher
in Every Classroom

Edited by Frederick M. Hess, Andrew J. Rotherham,
and Kate Walsh

America's Teaching Crisis

By Jason Kamras and Andrew J. Rotherham

Rethinking Special Education For A New Century

Edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Andrew J. Rotherham
& Charles R. Hokanson, Jr.

Making The Cut: How States Set Passing Scores on Standardized Tests

By Andrew J. Rotherham

Education Blogs

A Constrained Vision
Andrew Pass
a schoolyard blog
Assorted Stuff
Mr. B-G's English Blog
Barnett Berry
Bill Jackson's Education Blog
Bridging Differences (Meier and Ravitch)
Bulletin Board (NASBE)
Campaign K-12 (Ed Week)
Chaos Theory
Charter Blog (NAPCS)
Charter School Policy Inst. Blog
Chez Dormont
Chris Correa
Class Context
The College Puzzle
College Ready Blog (Athens Learning Group)
The Common School
Conversation Starters
Core Knowledge Blog
Critical Mass
Dangerously Irrelevant
Daryl Cobranchi
Dave Shearon
Dave Saba (ABCTE)
DC Education Blog
Dems for Education Reform
The Deputy Head
Early Ed Watch
Early Stories
Educated Nation
Educating One Mind
The Education Network
The Education Wonks
Edwize (UFT)
Eponymous Educator
Essential Blog
Extra Credit
Flypaper (Fordham)
Fordham Fellows
From The Trenches
The Gadfly
Get On The Bus (Dayton Daily News)
Get Schooled (AJC)
The Gradebook (St. Pete Times)
Grumpy Professor
The Hall Monitor
Higher Ed Watch
Hip Teacher
I Thought A Think
In Other News (Ed Week)
Inside Pre-K
Jay Greene
Jenny D.
John Merrow
K-12 Hotlinks
Kindling Flames
Kitchen Table Math
Learning Now (PBS)
The Life That Chose Me
Mathew K. Tabor
Media Infusion
Ms. Frizzle
Moving At The Speed Of Creativity
NCLB Act II (Ed Week)
NSBA's BoardBuzz
NYC Educator
Paper Trail (USN)
ParaNews (NCP)
Paul Baker
The Portable Princess
The PrincipalsPage
Principal's Policy Blog (NASSP)
Quasi Dictum
Roy Romer
Running on Empty
School of Blog
School Zone (MJS)
Schools for Tomorrow
Science After School
SF Schools
Sherman Dorn
SITE Mentor
Small Talk
Special Education Law Blog
Starting Over (Ed Week)
Swift & Change Able
Teach and Learn
Teacher Voices
Teachers At Risk
Teachers' Lounge
Teaching in the 408
Teaching Rookie
Think Lab
This is how I Swim
This Week In Education
Tim Fredrick
Up The Down Staircase
Urban Angle
What up, Mz. Smlph?
Whitney Tilson
Why Boys Fail
Why Homeschool

Educational Resources and Organizations

AALE Charter School Accreditation
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of School Administrators
American Educational Research Association
American Federation of Teachers
American Institutes For Research
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Aspen Institute
Asia Society
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Broad Foundation
The Brookings Institution
Building Excellent Schools
Center for American Progress
Center for Education Reform
Center for School Change
Center on Education Policy
Center on Reinventing Public Education
Citizens Commission On Civil Rights
Coalition of Essential Schools
Community College Research Center
Community Training and Assistance Center
Council of Chief State School Officers
Council of Great City Schools
Core Knowledge Foundation
Data Quality Campaign
Democratic Leadership Council
eSchool News
Education Commission of the States
Education Evolving
Education Sector
The Education Trust
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Haberman Foundation
Hechinger Institute On Education and the Media
Joyce Foundation
Just for the Kids
Knowledge Alliance
Learning Point Associates
Local School Directory
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
The Mind Trust
National Academies Center for Education
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Center for Postsecondary Research
National Center on Education and the Economy
National Charter School Research Project
National Council on Teacher Quality
National Education Association
National Education Writers Association
National Governors Association
National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
National School Boards Association
New Leaders for New Schools
New Schools Venture Fund
The New Teacher Project
New Vision
Pre-K Now
Harvard's Program On Education Policy and Governance
Progressive Policy Institute
PPI's 21st Century Schools Project
Public Agenda
Public Impact
Reading Reform Foundation
Rick Hess' World HQ
The Savvy Source for Parents
Scholastic Administrator
School Data Direct
Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services
Standards Work
Teach for America
The Teaching Commission
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Trust for Early Education
Uncommon Schools
United States Department of Education
The Urban Institute

Opinions on Eduwonk reflect the views of the author, Education Sector does not take institutional positions. Outgoing links do not constitute an endorsement.

Friday, July 09, 2004


A Buffalo teacher and union activist speaks out on charter schools there, don't miss this one.

Here's the lede:

The problem with Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore's distaste for charter schools is that he does not acknowledge his own role in creating Buffalo's market for them. As I see it, there would be no particular need for charter schools in this town if he tried to work with them rather than fight them.

My knowledge of charters leads me to believe they are not a simple answer to educational problems. However, they move school reform from conversation to action - with accountability - which is healthier than staying hopelessly stuck.
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More Charter School Flip-Flopping In WA State
Former WA State Superintendent and onetime charter supporter Judith Billings is signaling that she's going to jump in the race for the state sup't slot there. It's no secret that the incumbent isn't popular with the state teachers' union (WEA) because she -- gasp -- supports the state's standards program and --double gasp -- public charter schools, too.

Billings, a one-time charter supporter (she co-chaired the pro-charter referendum in 2000), has had a change of heart.

Seattle Times:

Billings also said she now opposes charter schools, a hot-button issue for the WEA, which is working to repeal [charter school] legislation passed this spring...

Charters are proving to be a very potent tool for recruiting pliant candidates in Wash. State. Is the WEA sure it wants to get rid of them?
Posted at 7:05 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Innovative in Indy, Predictable at Heritage, and Trouble in CA
Two new charter schools in Indy. Why does this matter to you? Because Indy Mayor Bart Peterson is the only mayor in the country who can directly charter schools, and he's doing a hell of a good job of it.

Here is the new 21st Century Schools Project Bulletin. You can sign up to get it sent to you free here.

New Heritage Foundation report on federal education policy. What's the solution?...You're never gonna guess...Surprise! It's vouchers! The report also notes that states are sitting on "billions" in unspent funds...over to you Stilwell. Via Joanne Jacobs, who agrees with Eduwonk's assessment of the Incredible Shrinking GI Bill for Kids.

California Secretary of Ed Richard Riordan is in some trouble there...longtime Riordan watchers were wondering when a foot-in-mouth incident would happen. Whoever bet on last week, you're a winner!

New report on CA charter schools and special education here (PDF). Press coverage here. Worth reading, some good ideas, some less so.
Posted at 7:00 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Gayl on After-School
In this new PPI paper education analyst Chrisanne L. Gayl examines the history and current state of play on after-school programs and makes recommendations for policymakers. Punchline: After-school programs important, need more funding to expand, need greater attention to quality, too.
Posted at 6:55 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Ted Sanders Leaving ECS
After five very productive years at Education Commission of the States, Ted Sanders is stepping down next January as ECS president to spend more time with his family. Ted is a thoughtful fellow and important advocate for education. The increased ECS presence in several key debates is a direct consequence of his efforts.
Posted at 6:47 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, July 08, 2004

More Love for TFA

Cleveland Plain Dealer and Linda Seebach of the Rocky Mountain News both think the Mathematica study should lay some things to rest.
Posted at 6:40 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Five Stories -- Happy Endings TBD...
For your consideration, here are five education stories not getting the attention they should right now, each one has implications that could mean a major political or policy pivot in coming years:

*The increasing support for vouchers among African-Americans, now a solid majority overall and even more among younger blacks and families.

*How President Bush's mishandling of NCLB has created a mess for his signature education law, alienated even supporters, and potentially hamstrung some school improvement efforts.

*How important and significant it is that the entire Democratic ticket for president champions differential pay for teachers.

*The achievement gap. In personal terms it's catastrophic, in demographic ones if it's not the nation's top social policy challenge it's right up there.

*The teachers' union led referendum in Washington State to overturn the charter law there. Huge consequences for charters if this succeeds.

Two More Bonus Freebies! (A) Why No Child Left Behind is going to be a boon to efforts to make state school finance systems more equitable for poor kids and (B) The NEA’s membership woes and what that potentially means for the organization down the road.
Posted at 7:42 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

News Round-Up...Special NCLB Revolt Fizzle Edition
In WI they say more bark than bite on NCLB. Stateline says rebellion? What rebellion?

The AP's Feller looks at teacher "tenure."

CSM looks at a new KIPP school. Inspiring.

They've set a date for a new teachers' union election in Chicago. A 9/13 smackdown.

NYT's Freedman takes a counterintuitive look at the flip side of summer school.

NYT's Winter takes an interesting look at counselor greasing.

Kerry and Edwards spoke with the NEA conference by videophone after blowing them off on Tuesday. No news though. Sen. HRC pinch hit in their place on Tuesday.

Here is a wonky look at cross sector alliances involving charter schools.

More from the U.K. on Labor's new education plans there. More from BBC here.

If you follow school finance, you should be reading these memos.

And, if you are interested in teacher quality issues then bookmark this website developed by Learning Point Associates and Education Commission of the States.

New Mathematica study (PDF) on Up With People Upward Bound. Something for friends and foes alike.
Posted at 6:47 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Kerry and Edwards and Education...And, A No Show Slight Or A Shrewd Move?

This morning the question that everyone* is wondering about is, of course, what does Kerry - Edwards mean for education? The answer? Not that much that Kerry didn't already mean. As opposed to, for instance, Gore - Lieberman, there is not much daylight between these two on any major education issue so troublemaking reporters and opposition researchers will be disappointed. Their higher education proposals are similar, and solid, and they've both stepped out on issues like differential pay for teachers who teach in challenging subjects or those where there is a teacher shortage.

But, in a must-read, EIA reports that the NEA was not happy that Kerry decided at the last minute to skip their conference where he was scheduled to speak. Knee jerk reaction: It's actually a shrewd move on Kerry's part considering the NEA's favorable (read unfavorable) ratings among the general public and swing voters and the amount of (favorable) attention he was getting yesterday...More considered reaction: Same.

Too bad he missed all those good songs though...

*OK, just the dozen or so people who care...
Posted at 7:16 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

How Many Roads?
Probably a safe bet that this won't go platinum...

By the way, aren't protest songs supposed to argue for social change rather than against it? Perhaps there is some lost Dylan or Guthrie tune about why it's very important to organize to ensure that poor kids don't learn much in school, but Eduwonk missed it.
Posted at 7:04 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Holiday Weekend Blockbusters: Not Spidey! Instead...The Money Pit...And, Dumb and Dumber...

Last week, Ted Stilwill, the state superintendent in Iowa and president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, fired back at House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Boehner over the unobligated funds issue. Stilwill took sharp issue with the insinuation that states are sitting on federal funds that could be used for No Child Left Behind.

From Stilwill's letter:

As the nation’s chief state school officers, we write to express our strong objections with your recent comments regarding federal funding to support public education. You assert that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is adequately funded because states are "sitting on" billions of unspent dollars. You also state, "we are increasing federal education spending more quickly than states can actually spend the money." If these statements are meant to defend the current level of federal funding for education, they are deliberately misleading. Your statements ignore the budgeting practices authorized by Congress and misrepresent the quality work of our nation’s chief state school officers. As chairman of the Committee on Education and Workforce, we call on you to acknowledge that states are in fact following the federal laws and guidance regarding the expenditure of federal funds for NCLB.

Throughout the last six months, the Committee on Education and the Workforce has cited a U.S. Department of Education (ED) Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS) report that identified $5.7 billion in unexpended funds from fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002 and implied that states are not taking full advantage of appropriated funds for NCLB. It may be understandable for members of the general public to assume that federal funds flow immediately to states after an appropriation bill is signed, but you or members of your staff know better. Indeed, states could issue press releases expressing a concern that we have not been "paid $16.8 billion owed to us for more than a year." However both that statement and yours would be equally foolish since both disregard the budgeting regulations and practices authorized by Congress.

This is the nut of the matter:

It is also most inaccurate to suggest that because states and schools have not spent their funding, it is going unused. Of the funds that are still unexpended, most are already committed to pay for specific projects; they are in a queue waiting to be expended for ongoing contracts. The comments fail to distinguish between funds that have been obligated to support specific projects and activities and those funds that are unobligated.

But there is also this:

As the nation's chief state school officers, we particularly resent the implication that state education agencies, rather than Congress, are somehow blocking the flow of funds to local classrooms. Not only is the insinuation untrue, but state education agencies and their chiefs have cooperated fully with the administration and with Congress in a partnership to implement No Child Left Behind – indeed we are on the front lines of that partnership. Now you inaccurately suggest that any lack of resources appears to be of our own making.

Pretty strong stuff (and an early draft was even stronger...). To be sure, a lot of Democrats misread the public appetite for simply spending more on education without accompanying reforms. Yet surely a more grievous miscalculation is this apparent Republican strategy of arguing that states are awash in federal money. First of all it's not true. And second, state level fiscal constraints are causing discernable problems and most voters are not able to distinguish between local and state dollars and federal ones.

Whether the press catches on to the unspent funds gamesmanship on is an open question but if the Republicans end up getting pummeled on this, they have no one to blame but themselves. The penny wise/pound foolish approach to NCLB funding was pretty dumb politically, calling attention to it with stunts like this, even dumber.
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Monday, July 05, 2004

Breaking News! Exclusive! Must Credit Eduwonk! The NEA Doesn't Like President Bush

Yes, surprisingly enough, it's true. You can read all about it here.
Posted at 2:35 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

If an education story is written this weekend and it's not in the Wash. Post or NYT does it make Eduwonk? You decide...
More Chicago, the AFT weighs in.

In the Sunday NYT Book Review Daniel Swift reviews "History Lessons: How Textbooks From Around the World Portray U.S. History."

Colbert King writes about the plight of DC youth in The Washington Post, don't miss this one.

Also in The Post, David Broder discusses the hyper-partisanship in the House of Representatives, which is in no small part why little gets done these days. Another must read, this impacts education policy along with everything else.

In the NYT Michael Winerip gives a detailed and depressing look at special education in NYC.

More on Cosby here.

And, NYT's Greenhouse wraps up the just ended SCOTUS term.
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