Thursday, December 01, 2005
Please Sir More NAEP
If you just can't get enough NAEP, now there is even more! Today the Urban NAEP was released. There is a ridiculous "fact sheet" from the Department of Education floating around but apparently not online, sorry. Ed Trust's take here. Only thing worth adding to their take is a nod to the Council of Great City Schools, the organization that first put this together. It's a valuable stab at transparency and improvement.
"The Boys of Baraka", opening now, tells the story of a program that helps Baltimore youths through a Kenya-based program. Small world sidenote: NCTQ president Kate Walsh helped found the school. She's played by Meryl Streep in the film. Yeah...one of those two things isn't true...
Update: It also turns out that Dept of Ed bigwig and Reading First director Chris Doherty was the school's first director.
Multiple sources tell Eduwonk that several people including Lisa Keegan, Kathy Madigan, and Checker Finn have been asked to leave the ABCTE board of directors and that others are resigning. Eduwonk decided to try his hand at this reporting thing and contacted Finn for comment. Finn, an old hand at this reporting thing would say only that his resignation was "involuntary."
If this does signal more disarray at ABCTE it's really a shame. A portable candidate-centered credential for teachers makes a great deal of sense and is one way to help address the teacher quality problem the nation faces. But, though the test instruments that ABCTE developed are pretty good the execution has thus far been such a hash that it threatens to discredit the entire idea. That's too bad.
Some interesting goings on in MA...
CCCR's Bill Taylor turns the knife on CT Attorney General Bluementhal over CT's No Child Left Behind lawsuit. Word is that Bluementhal was surprised by the reaction of some civil rights groups to the suit. It's almost as if the anti-NCLB activists didn't give him the full story...
USA Today's Greg Toppo sits down with Joe Williams to discuss his new book "Cheating Our Kids" and how guest blogging on Eduwonk changed his life in profound and unexpected ways...well, he does discuss the book. Complete with a glam shot of Williams suitable for collectors.
AZ Daily Star editorial board writes-up a Rodel Foundation initiative there aimed at doing just that. Rewarding excellence...there surely are a bunch of reasons why this is bad but can't think of any just now...
The NYT ed board takes the NEA to the woodshed over the recent lawsuit:
The teachers' union tipped its hand when it argued in the lawsuit that its members were being stigmatized when the schools where they worked were found to be performing poorly under federal law. Why does it put so much emphasis on the teachers? What about the children whose lives are cast into permanent shadow when they have to attend dismal, nonperforming schools?
A lot of buzz about D up and comer Antonio Villaraigosa who currently serves as LA's mayor. He wants to help fix the schools there and a lot of eyes are watching to see how far he'll go to accomplish that. San Diego Tribune ed board lays out the contours:
...The enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend ethos that has kept progressives and teachers unions working together for decades perhaps made sense a long time ago. There was something to their joint suspicion that conservatives' primary goal in the education fight was keeping spending down, not helping struggling schools.
But circa 2005, arguing that the parsimony of the right is the biggest problem facing schools is absurd...
It's that time of the year when almost everyone gets excited to watch the
But it turns out that it's not only the bowls that have lax standards. As Pete Thamel and Duff Wilson show in an outstanding New York Times story, the NCAA's efforts to raise academic standards for student athletes are still missing about as often as an Iowa State field goal try:
University High, which has no classes and no educational accreditation, appears to have offered the players little more than a speedy academic makeover.
Thamel and Wilson note that as fast as the NCAA makes a rule change, someone figures out how to exploit it. In this case players for a number of marquee Division I programs.
Update: As a result of the Times story an investigation has begun...
Good idea from the folks at New Visions, give kids extra help over the summer prior to third grade. Better idea: Move away from an agrarian calendar for schools. More realistic idea in the near-term: Summer Scholarships!