Friday, February 25, 2005
Here's a courageous story.
Tom Toch writes in The Baltimore Sun today, plus these from yesterday. Wash Post ed board here. Big kiss for Achieve and the HS Summit, gulag time for NCSL.
Per this, reader DW writes to say:
...you left out Bill Clune. He was part of the original crew that made the school funding arguments in the 1970s. Gotta give props to Wisconsin profs.
Right. No slight intended!
Very important Chronicle of Higher Ed article on the new randomized trials issue. Note the back and forth between Ed's Petrilli and AERA's Sroufe, that's the nub of the issue. This link is only active for five days so read fast. See also this piece by Rick Hess, who sits on the relevant board.
More action on NCLB in Utah. Is this the fig leaf/teacher quality for accountability strategy (or stategery as the case may be) or the beginning of the big walk back? You can bet these guys are watching very closely...
By the way, can we pause for a minute to enjoy the irony of all the self-proclaimed progressives cheering on Utah for this? Marty Peretz is right...
Here's an informed guess: There will be a lot of op-eds and editorials on high school reform in the next 72-96 hours...
For now, David Broder weighs in here, NYT ed board here.
Another Assist For Dave Bing!
And, Bob Thompson's back in the game in Motown! But will the teachers' union call foul?
New ETS analysis on the dropout problem...prepare to be depressed (though there are some hopeful models, too).
National Council of State Legislatures has released a new report on NCLB. Nothing unpredictable in there, they don't like any of it (except the goals, everyone supports the goals!) and want it basically gone. But don't miss this response from the Ed Trust...hot.
Per the below item, a reader writes:
Dear Eduwonk -As you know, I share Ted Sizer's passion for school choice and applaud his attempt at reclaiming that banner for Progressives, where it began.
Sizer teaches at Brandeis, as does one Robert Reich. Reich once wrote an influential "supersized and means-tested" pro-voucher WSJ op-ed in 1990s. When he ran for MA governor in 2002, however, he not only disavowed it, he went whole hog teachers-union - i.e., use code words to signal that charters were a no-go for him, too.
It was a Howard Dean preview: pragmatic, often moderate but innovative and super-bright Dem tilts left to grab the low-hanging fruit of educated NPR listening activists and the accompanying early surge, but loses the moderates - and the nomination - in the process.
I'd be intrigued to sound out Reich about this issue today.
Eduwonk would, too, though he disagreed with the op-ed and, if memory serves, it was basically a rip-off of Jack Coons and Stephen Sugarman with no credit to either of them.
The Honest Debate
There is a legitimate critique of No Child Left Behind, and in this Boston Globe essay Ted Sizer lays it out. But just being against NCLB isn't much of a reform, because it begs the question, if not standards then what?
To his credit, Sizer goes on to lay out his solution, too. But don't look for the NEA or their various bankrolled front groups to be trumpeting this Sizer idea. That relationship will end at the critique. Sizer understands that some leverage for change, beyond just good intentions, is necessary. He just doesn't like NCLB's levers.
Though Sizer explicitly rejects it, there is a Third Way, marrying some choice with standards and public accountability (and some choice programs today desperately need both of those). But what Sizer's essay implicitly shows is that the generic anti-NCLB argument is barren. Even if you don't agree with his remedy, illustrating that is an important contribution to this debate.
Afterthought: Enough Sizer praise! What's the "serious research" dig toward the bottom? In education, as soon as someone says that pseudo trump card, without offering any up, be suspicious...
TLN previews a coming debate in education about work rules and teacher quality.
Here's a transcript of the comments that landed Harvard's Larry Summers in hot water. Slate's Saletan makes his call here. Well worth reading.
As a consumer of - or paranoid about - this blog, here's some news you should be aware of. Last week, Virginia Governor Mark Warner, appointed Eduwonk (in real life Andrew Rotherham) to the Virginia State Board of Education. It's an honor to serve, particularly because I have benefited from the state's public schools and universities. Virginia has a nine-member appointed board and this is Warner's final appointment to it. Virginia has a one-term limit for governors so he is not on the ballot in November's gubernatorial contest.
How will this affect the blog? Probably not too much. Posting will be lighter from time to time. Although I enjoy writing the blog, it can't take precedence over other obligations and the really important stuff like time with the Eduwife, fishing, or best of all, fishing with the Eduwife - who is a noted menace to Virginia's smallmouth bass with spin or fly rod.
Other conflicts? Well, it's no secret that Eduwonk is a big fan of Warner's work on education. See, for instance, posts here, here, here, and here. So the record is already pretty clear there. In terms of perceived conflicts with national issues that also bear on Virginia, if you think one exists and hasn't been adequately addressed, please feel free to send email to "education AT dlcppi.org" with feedback. Many of you helpfully do this now. Thoughtful and/or humorous feedback is often posted.
Of course, without breaking professional confidences, I write on what interests me, what I have time for, and what I think interests readers based on your feedback and traffic patterns. So, as in the past, it's useless to infer much from things that do or don't get posted beyond those basic parameters.
Finally, there may also be a few more guest posters from time to time. We'll take those on a case-by-case basis and they'll obviously be clearly flagged as other voices.