Friday, November 04, 2005
Planning to spend the beautiful weekend figuring out the deal on this Alito fellow? Save time and read Bruce Reed's primer and then go outside.
Passed, but not by a lot as these things go...Times here, NY Post here...
The Times reports on the state of play and the pivotal Sen. Kennedy. Sure seems like voucher supporters get a precedent here, not the program itself which is extraordinary, but an agreed upon framework for how to send public aid to private schools for tuition that goes beyond Zelman despite the language about no proselytizing in this bill. Changing edupolitics...
Not sure you need a survey to figure out what TFA'ers think since most of them seem to have blogs...nonetheless, now there is a formal survey (pdf) about their attitudes and it offers a lot of very interesting and against the grain stuff, especially in terms of the raging debate within education circles about whether or not schools contribute to the achievement gap or merely reflect it. Also some interesting pre-and post-TFA data shedding some light on how the experience changes views.
Yes, you knew it was coming…it is a must-read. But, while you read it bear in mind that these teachers are working in the nation's most challenged schools. Columnists searching for ideas, there are about a half-dozen good ones in here starting with the low-hanging fruit of comparing the TFA'ers views to what the public thinks and a lot of politicians say...
Also, the Eduworld is indeed gossipy. Eduwonk got more than a dozen calls and emails yesterday because people noticed that TFA founder Wendy Kopp and her husband Richard Barth (an edulegend in his own right) were on the guest list for the State Dinner with Prince Charles and Camilla. It surely was not Kopp's first WH turn, President Clinton was and is a big TFA fan. But, readers wanted details and so after some prodding Kopp agreed to dish a little about the main questions readers want to know (what she wore, who they sat with, etc...).
Here's the dirt: She wore a black cocktail dress, her husband a tux. They sat at the President's table, he tipped them off to this during the receiving line with a joke. They sat next to actor Kelsey Grammer and Charles and Barbara Bush (update: in response to several reader queries the answer is no, not the hot one.) were also at the table. The conversation was wide-ranging but included how to help New Orleans where TFA is a presence. Kopp was complimentary of the President's remarks and also said: "Let me just also use this opportunity to say that it's downright embarrassing to see what the media and the public are doing to Camilla. She's great -- very nice -- " So there you have it.
TX Gov. Rick Perry used executive action to create a merit pay plan there. Needless to say, not everyone is thrilled. Supporters of incorporating performance into teacher pay should be skeptical as well, the ram it down their throats strategy shifts the debate from substance to process and there is something to be said for the buy-in and authority that comes with mustering a legislative majority...
School and school district consolidation is always a contentious issue. A new analysis (pdf) from Deloitte Research argues that consolidating services, not schools and districts, may be a more cost-efficient solution. (Summary here). Some of this happens now with ESA's (also called BOCES, which though cited, particularly NY's, get short shrift overall in this report) but the report argues for more activity in this area.
NCLB is obviously causing a movement of decisionmaking away from school districts and toward states and finance litigation is doing the same. Service aggregation should be less controversial because it's voluntary and more about add-ons than core activities but it does speak to the same trends and evolution.
LA Not Confidential
LA Daily News takes a look at the Gates Foundation and LAUSD.
Two trends worth watching, both helpfully reported by the NY Times. In Colorado, the TABOR movement took a big hit. With a lot of states running structural deficits (pdf) of varying degrees of severity, this is politically and substantively important for schools.
A little more below the radar, The Times' Michael Janofsky reports on SMU's new Ed School and the not so hidden hand of the Bushies in it. Keep an eye on this issue...there are various proposals to greenfield new ed schools or take existing ones and infuse more rigor and traditional content (for instance Core Knowledge) floating around and some serious money interested in seeing some changes in preparation. It's an essential issue to address though not an easy one as it involves all of the greatest hits of why educational change is hard: serious regulatory capture, vested interests, inertia, and ideology...
The Broad Foundation is hiring. Interesting work, great people, and LA cool at least by association...
Reader JG notes that if one were to combine the data on Schoolmatters.com with this mapping service it would be a handy one stop school shopping site for parents, especially parents in the process of relocating. Good idea.
Bonus idea: Combine it with Russo's map of where edubloggers live (which is right up there with a sex offender registry in terms of people you don't want to live near) and then you've really got something useful.
The new issue of The Education Sector is now online. Read about the new flanking strategy for voucher proponents, Edison Schools, NAEP results, Teach For America and a whole lot more.
Better yet, subscribe to get it by email by clicking here, it's free and your email will never be sold, traded, ransomed, etc...so no spam.
If you're following the UFT contract saga, take note of this nice break for UFT honcho Randi Weingarten. One of her fiercest critics, leader in this group, has been fired and now she gets to go to bat to defend him.
Update: More back and forth at Edwize showing what an interesting tale this is.
Buckeye Fever...Catch It!
Seriously, be honest, who doesn't spend hours upon hours wondering about what people in Ohio think about education?
Thankfully, someone has responded and filled this void. The Fordham Foundation gets back to its Buckeye roots with some help from the Farkas Duffett Research Group and examines what Ohioans think about schools (pdf). Farkas and Duffett, two key Public Agenda alums, are some of the best in the business so there is some actual texture and nuance in here worth checking out and unless you believe that Ohioans are completely freakish there's some food for thought for elsewhere, too.
Update: Cleveland Plain Dealer catches Buckeye Fever.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are visiting the SEED school in Washington today. (Do it yourself...Eduwonk will leave the jokes about sleep-overs, boarding schools, etc...which are already coming in via email, to readers.)
On Noon Monday Nov. 21, Urban Institute and CRPE are hosting a forum on charter schools to mark the release of: Hopes, Fears, and Reality a new annual analysis of charter schooling from CRPE's National Charter School Research Project. The speaker line-up is:
· Paul T. Hill, Chair, NCSRP
· Robin J. Lake, Executive Director, NCSRP
· Andrew Rotherham, Co-founder, Education Sector
· Joe Dominic, Program Officer, Heinz Foundation (invited)
· Todd Ziebarth, Policy Analyst, Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates (2003-2005)
The event starts at noon, you get fed at 11:45, and you can RSVP and save yourself a seat and a sandwich by emailing here. Copies of the report will be available.
It's funny, when outsiders say stuff like this they're called teacher bashers, but how to explain this cold shower from local teachers' union head (and NEA New York Board of Directors member) Morty Rosenfeld?
If the United States is to preserve our system of free public schools, teacher unions are going to have to stop accepting the status quo and making excuses for the poor performance of our students. Most of us know that contrary to all of the talk about how we are raising our standards, in most of our schools they continue to decline. The low scores on the so-called high stakes tests are testimony to the fact that large numbers of students leave school knowing next to nothing and ill equipped for any but the most menial of jobs.
More...and well worth reading.
Never a dull moment in the edublog world. First This Week's Russo took on Fairtest calling them a "fringe" element. Now he's taking it to the mainstream and picking a fight with the Council of Chief State School Officers over copyright law...stay tuned...
Governing Magazine names Boston sup't. Tom Payzant one of its 2005 Public Officials of the Year.
Eduwonk has two edupooches, Madison and Monroe. But on Halloween Monroe (left) thinks not of presidents from Virginia but rather of kings...The King.
No, it's not a superhero, rather it is part of NCLB. Title I Monitor takes a look at where things stand with the initiative and whether it will/should continue. Interestingly, this was one of the most contentious parts of NCLB but it's been a snoozer since passage.