Friday, March 25, 2005
No posting today, Eduwonk has one of these and is chasing some of these rather than thinking about policy. But, on a related note, considering Republican environmental policies, why are Democrats having so much trouble getting the support of the hook and bullet crowd?
Dana Scully, where are you when Eduwonk needs you?* There is a massive conspiracy afoot in public education! Read about it if you dare!
Incidentally, what on earth was David Steiner talking about?
*Speaking strictly in a policy sense, of course.
New CEP report on NCLB implementation, they've been tracking some indicators since the law's passage. Some spin but worth reading, interesting data throughout and no one else is taking this cut at it.
NYT here. Nutshell: Some achievement gap closing (which is of course the aim of the law) mentioned in passing...but then...enough about that! Let's get back to all the carping, complaints and problems! This graf is a standout beauty:
Indeed, federal money for educating poor students has increased by several billion dollars in the last five years, the department's records show. But while those dollars have grown, Mr. Jennings said, they have been increasingly focused on urban districts with high concentrations of poverty, leaving many others with dwindling shares of money.
Oh brother, where do you start? The Department's records? Eduwonk doesn't trust the department's "records" nor would most NYT readers....but wait, we can look in the annual congressional appropriations bills...this is not a dispute about differing records or accounts, it's public record! And, for the record, funding for NCLB has increased by $8.9 billion since 2001 (that's billion with a b) isn't that more than "several"? Must be that inflation we're hearing about, it's impacting language, too. And, yes, federal education dollars are more targeted to urban and high poverty communities because of NCLB. But hello? Shouldn't the money be targeted toward poor kids? The federal treasury is not a bottomless pit after all and overall it's poor communities that have the most trouble raising state and local funds anyway. Shouldn't liberals/progressives and Democrats be for such targeting? Oh wait, right, Bush is in office, gotta burn the village to save it...
Targeting Overkill (now with free bonus variables!):
Possible outcomes of the complaints about targeting: (a) More funding overall. Would be nice, probably not going to happen. (b) Loosening of targeting to spread the money around a little more and assuage the political angst. More likely if the yelping gets loud enough.
But, since option (b) is (1) a lot more likely with Bush in office and Republicans controlling the Hill and (2) not really good for poor kids, what's the upside of constantly carping on it? With Democrats raising issues like this, who needs Republicans?
Jenny D. is hosting a carnival of edublogs at her site. A lot of interesting stuff.
Two NY Anecdotes
It’s basically the kids' fault, they’re poor so don't expect too much...one in four reading okay...good enough! Of course no mention of other similar schools in the city that are doing much better. Ruins the narrative huh?
Or, just perhaps, something is wrong with much of the system that’s supposed to work on their behalf…
Eduwonk goes sleuthing...
Has House Ed and Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner lifted even a finger to investigate the Armstrong Williams incident? Didn’t he say at the time that he would?
Also, reliable tipsters say the Department of Education’s IG office is investigating the Follow The Leaders Project…could be nothing but stay tuned…apparently they’re examining how subcontractors were chosen…
Choice Renaissance In Buffalo!!!
The local teachers' union in Buffalo has been fighting tooth and nail against public charter schools there. But at last they've found a choice they like...school uniforms. A principal there wants to institute a uniform policy; the head of the Buffalo teachers' union is opposed.
Philip Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, said a mandatory uniform policy could be unfair to nearby residents who want to send their children to Highgate Heights but don't agree with the dress code.
"I find that troubling," he said. "I think people should have a choice."
Supporters of public charter schools surely agree...
This letter to the San Francisco Chronicle should lay to rest any misconceptions about where George Miller is on No Child Left Behind:
Editor -- The No Child Left Behind law did not set "federal standards" for education, as you asserted in the editorial, "Test confusion" (March 17). The law requires each state to set its own standards for ensuring that all children are able to read and do math at grade level by the 2013-14 school year.
California set its standard so low this year using the state discretion allowed under No Child Left Behind that only one-quarter of students would be required to perform reading and math at grade level.
California's earlier standard, known as the Academic Performance Index, is even less ambitious, which is why it's far easier for schools to meet the modest goals of that state standard. I doubt many parents would be satisfied with a school where 75 percent of students cannot do basic reading and math at their grade level.
If parents are confused by two systems, the solution is simple: They should reject the old system, the Academic Performance Index, which allows schools to be considered as doing their job successfully even when most students never learn to read or do math at grade level.
That's why we needed No Child Left Behind in the first place, and why it's time for proponents of the state standard to shift their time and resources away from fighting for the status quo and toward raising achievement for all of California's children.
Rep. GEORGE MILLER
House Committee on
Education and the Workforce
Thanks to reader AF for the heads-up.
The pushback on Dave Bing's efforts on behalf of charter schools in Detroit is starting. Via A Constrained Vision.
In Sunday's LAT, two California Teachers debate breaking from the single-salary schedule there. One, Hailly Korman, is a former fellow at the 21st Century Schools Project.
Also, more here from the LAT Ed Board.
In NYC, the UFT has become a supplemental services provider under No Child Left Behind. Interesting development...and probably a good bet that they'll do a good job. Sort of a paradox for foes of the program...