Friday, June 10, 2005
New Leader At New Schools
Ted Mitchell the President of Occidental College is taking the helm at the New Schools Venture Fund. Current CEO Kim Smith will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board. Smith, truly one of the great people in this business, has built NSVF from an idea to a major force for change and the key ralling point for social entrepreneurs in education. Mitchell is outstanding and his commitment to what NSVF is doing is another strong signal that some positive change is afoot for disadvantaged kids.
The New Schools portfolio includes charter start-ups, human capacity initiatives like Teach For American and New Leaders for New Schools, data and information initiatives, and programs like Success For All.
Some movement in NY, off to the the full board...hints at a cap deal, too...
Palm Beach Post takes a look at Florida's accountability system and the federal "adequate yearly progress" requirements. Florida's system didn't hold schools accountable for disaggregated results, No Child does. A lot of confusion resulting.
Here's a link to FL data from www.schoolmatters.org. With gaps like that, don't blame the disabled kids if a lot of schools are not making AYP.
Good idea but bad audit Chronicle of Higher Ed reports...
A Teach For America teacher in LA keeps a blog of what's happening. Really interesting stuff ranging from this critique of his local teachers' union to this critique of TFA.
Celebrity graduation speakers are all the rage this year!
Continues today, NY Post's Sager on the attack here, key SUNY trustees respond here…today's the day for some action.
Can't sleep? Really into teacher quality? Got room on your I-Pod? Regardless, you can listen to or download the audio from the recent National Academies - NEKIA - PPI forum on teacher quality. Different perspectives and plenty of audience questions.
Stop These Schools!
Let's see...law school graduates, eschew lucrative career wreaking havoc in the corporate world, turn instead to opening a good public school in a city with far too few of them, and are now starting to send their graduates off to college.
This sort of thing simply must be stopped! It will wreck public education! Eduwonk rests easy though...thank goodness the teachers' unions, their fellow travelers, and some elected officials are paying attention to this, otherwise it might spread!
NY Post ed board weighs in on the plight of the UFT Two saying no
Still, all things considered, Eduwonk still says, free the UFT Two! A deal on the cap would be nice (and looks like it is coming, minority legislators are getting increasingly frustrated with the status quo), but this is a good project to allow because it's good to get teachers' unions in the business of formally running schools and because there will be plenty of scrutiny...
Update: An Eduwonk source in NYC writes:
The thing I can't get past, and perhaps this is too myopic on my part, is that we have a chance to give kids in East New York (one of the toughest and most underserved parts of the city) a better school. There are some conservatives who feel this is a set-up, that it is meant to fail to give charters a black eye. But the UFT is so insistent that this will prove their contract is OK that those theories are as wacky as the UFT's about conservatives are.
They will cheat [on the contract] if they have to, but they will make sure this school succeeds. There is not an ounce of doubt in my mind.
The problem is going to be when they start spinning their results a few years from now...
NYT's Sam Freedman returns to the NY schools computer system issue. Right before our eyes is he morphing from education wonk into guy with Mountain Dew cans piled floor to ceiling and '70s retro kitsch littering his office?
Interesting Slate article about the military personnel crisis, parallels for public education.
Human Events asked conservative scholars and policy types to rank the 10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Some obvious picks, Mein Kampf, for instance, and Marx gets two spots. But Dewey's Democracy and Education checks in at #5?
Sure, Dewey's ideas have been abused over the years, but it's hard to argue the book itself was all that harmful, and particularly on par with several of the books on this list. And presumably conservatives should be more outraged about other Dewey works...but wait...it's not really about Dewey, it's about Clinton! They blame Dewey for the "Clinton generation." Guess it would have just been too obvious to put "My Life" on the list...
Thanks to reader LC - who Eduwonk didn't have pegged as a Human Events reader - for sending this along.
Update: Jenny D. jumps in. Like Eduwonk she says don't blame Dewey for what others did with his ideas, but she says do blame him for not doing more to rein it in...
Some encouraging news in MD, some gap closing and progress. But why not release all the data, including NCLB data, at the same time? Might confuse parents less...
In VA, kids doing OK, too.
In the LAT, Naomi Schaefer Riley looks at the experiences of Broad Fellows in urban districts. Via Jacobs.
Truly remarkable pettinness in NH. Back story here. NH State Rep. Peter Sullivan blogs about it here.
For 81 years, all of Franklin's public schoolchildren, from tiny kindergarteners to graduating seniors, have marched in the annual Class Day parade down the city's main street. Yesterday's event was no different - except the school board's refusal to allow students from the Franklin Career Academy, the state's first charter school, to march in the parade left some feeling slighted.
Obvious point, or perhaps not, at a time when public schools are struggling to get resources, how stupid is it to alienate parents like this?
Shep Barbash responds to Robert Gordon's TNR article. So far the Gordon article has occasioned little public response, but much behind the scenes tongue wagging. Interesting generational split on responses...unscientific Eduwonk poll: Younger D's excited, older ones resigned to today's power arrangements...
Also, key Edward Kennedy aide Michael Dannenberg is moving to the New America Foundation to run the ed policy shop there. Their most notable education idea to date is a far-fetched plan to nationalize education funding and then distribute it through universal vouchers. Sort of a Milton Friedman meets Chaka Fattah sort of scheme. Dannenberg's not heretofore known as a voucher guy...probably reasonable to expect more grounded policy ideas with him at the helm...unless NCLB really was a stalking horse for vouchers, oh no!
CRPE's Paul Hill takes a look at Tony Blair's specialist schools (and draws some U.S. parallels).
SUNY's Board of Trustees has announced a meeting on Thursday, 6/9. Only agenda item...the proposed UFT charter school. Smart money says approval coming.
Hess Gets Personal!
AEI's Rick Hess, better known to Eduwonk aficionados as "I'm Rick Hess, Bi*ch" has a new article (pdf) in The Journal Of Teacher Education about the vitriolic and personal nature of debates over teacher certification. Worth reading...he recalls the mob like quasi-threats prior to his departure from UVA and spreads the blame for the current state of affairs around...
Must be the SAT writing test...Last week's NYT "Week in Review" featured an outstanding essay by high school senior Frank Paiva. This week's Wash Post "Outlook" includes an excellent piece by high school senior Paige Dearing about sex ed in schools.
Blogging at his new TPMcafe digs, Matt Yglesias sounds off on NCLB here and here. Much too sensible for this debate...