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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, October 14, 2005

Show Me The Vouchers? (And The Harmonic Convergences And Dirty Secrets…)

A conference this week at Harvard (agenda here in pdf) should be getting a great deal of attention. Ostensibly a look at education adequacy lawsuits (with some really interesting papers about that issue and the intersections with No Child), it also portends a potentially pivotal moment for this litigation and the coalition that supports it….namely, what if greater school choice, in particular vouchers, becomes a remedy in these suits along with more funding? The man who brought you Zelman is thinking exactly that way…worth watching...

Afterthought -- Interesting moment: Rocco Testani channels Richard Rothstein. Introducing one panel, veteran school finance litigator Testani, who defends states when they're sued to spend more money on schools, parroted the argument put forward by Richard Rothstein about the inability of schools to meet these performance targets because of all the out of school influences on kids…essentially attacking the standards as a reasonable basis for boosting school funding…someone please remind Eduwonk again why this is such a great argument for public school supporters to be making?

Bonus afterthought -- Another moment that caught a lot of ears at an on-the-record conference was school finance guru Jim Guthrie calling the recent New York finance case a "deep professional embarrassment" and saying (a) that these cases are out of control with plaintiffs starting with a figure they want to land on and working backwards rather than determining actual spending needs and (b) bustin' the teachers' unions for heavy handed power plays during the process...
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Pre-K Now
If you're interested in the pre-K issue, a swing by Pre-K Now's new website is well worth your while, a lot of information.
Posted at 11:06 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

New Visions
New Vision, a new think tank/network of young scholars, has produced their first product, a look at housing options in post-Katrina New Orleans. Worth checking out, they're going to tackle edupolicy, too.
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Adding Value
In the new Washington Monthly, Ed Sector’s Toch takes a look at value-added accountability. He makes the case about the shortcomings of the current No Child Left Behind provisions (though notes that they were what was at hand considering the state of play in 2001 in terms of what states could do) and argues forcefully that value-added measurements, if integrated with the absolute standards that No Child forces states to set, provides a better way.

It’s obviously a good way to go looking forward at the next generation of these policies but for now pragmatism intercedes…most states have a lot of work to do before they can actually do this and technical issues still abound. And, the question remains, when it comes to actually displacing adult interests in chronically under-performing schools, is the problem one of measurement or political will?
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RAND On Edison
Long-awaited RAND report on Edison Schools is out. Lots of out of context quotes from critics being emailed around. Read the report yourself. It's not a slam dunk for Edison but surely not a scathing indictment either.
Posted at 10:25 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Mathews Special

Jay Mathews looks at special needs students and NCLB, must-reading but a shame that this graf is buried:

To those who say the law requires children with disabilities to take tests they cannot pass and forces them out of school, Smith says "most children with disabilities are able to keep up with their peers academically and take standardized tests successfully, some with and some without accommodations" such as readers or extra time. She says there are already many exceptions allowing districts to remove children with disabilities from the accountability system, and the tests for such children can come in many forms, with many kinds of accommodations.
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Public Service Ad(d)
If you're not reading Newoldschoolteacher, you are missing out...
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Matt Yglesias worries about the potential for pseudostandards (the lowering of standards) as a result of leeway under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). He's right to worry though NYT's Michael Winerip is not the most reliable source of information on this issue. Nonetheless, downward pressure from NCLB is a potential problem and a hard to detect one because states can use obvious and less visible ways to lessen the rigor of their tests since they get to chose the assessments (within some broad parameters) and decide on the definition of proficiency. Unclear, however, just how much of this has actually happened and how much is hysterical NCLB mythology.

Unfortunately, the compromise that lands us here was no accident. The solutions all raise their own issues, and did in 2001. For instance, the obvious remedy is national standards and a national test. Yet, desirability aside, nobody seems to have a good idea of how to build the political coalition necessary to support that or a convincing argument about why the outcome would be any different than when Bush I and Clinton went down that road and liberals and conservatives found something they could all agree on.

[For what it's worth, Eduwonk's theory is that the best way to build national consensus is through governors working together and a bottom-up, consortia approach. This would over time save money, improve the quality of tests, and defuse the politics. There are fledgling steps in this direction now but there should be money in NCLB to create incentives for such projects. Sadly, the Bush Administration will not touch anything that smacks of national testing because it drives the conservatives nuts.]

Another idea is to use the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as an actual yardstick with consequences. However, it's generally agreed this would corrupt the NAEP's validity as an independent gauge of trends over time or as CGCS' Mike Casserly once quipped, why sully the almost only unsullied thing in education? In addition, there is serious disagreement about NAEP's standards, an issue that would have to be addressed if NAEP were to be used in this way. And, though NAEP has a curricular framework, is it the one we want for a national curriculum? In other words, is teaching to the NAEP desirable?

In the meantime, it's going to be public analyses of the relative rigor of state standards such as this one from Paul Peterson and I'm Rick Hess Bi*ch or a forthcoming one from S & P's Schoolmatters.com along with NAEP itself that help inform this conversation. And, it's up to advocacy groups and activists in the states to keep an eye on things and hold the line on rigor.
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One More
Over at EdWize Leo Casey turns in a well-worth-reading remembrance of Sandra Feldman. Others: Ed Sector's Toch here, Schoolnet's Doyle here, Post and Times here.
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MI Charters
Governor Granholm puts a shot across the bow of those opposing public charter schools and public school choice in Detroit:

"The Transition Team instead should remain focused on finding ways to improve the Detroit Public Schools to give parents more, not fewer, opportunities to choose good schools for their children."
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Monday, October 10, 2005

More New York

Is 6-1 on passage too generous? NY Daily News reports some concern about whether the new teachers' contract in New York will be ratified. UFT head Randi Weingarten blaming Chancellor Joel Klein for "gloating" before it was ratified and in the process breaking a cardinal rule of negotiations. But wait a minute? Assuming that what Klein did constitutes gloating, then didn't Weingarten's own staff gloat, too, on the house organ Edwize? Yes, they did!

The contract still looks likely to pass and this gambit seems more like the laying of some groundwork just in case it doesn't: Easier to blame Klein than admit that members rejected a pretty reasonable deal, all things considered...
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TFA And Charters
Washington Post ed board weighs-in on Teach For America pegged to their alumni summit. A lot of energy at the summit and a lot of alums...congrats Wendy Kopp.

In the NYT, David Brooks calls for bigger ideas and real innovation from both political parties and gives a shout out to charter schools:

I hate the forces of the education establishment, which protects its system even though after years and billions spent, African-American students still graduate from high schools at academic levels four years behind their white peers. But I love the charter schools and the forces of reform.

The entire column should appear here before too long if you're not a subscriber.
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