April 12, 2017

What Makes A Strategic Plan Strategic? College Costs And College Plans, ESSA Plans, ESAs In AZ, Rhames & DeVos, Congrats Houston Chon , More!

Here’s Bellwether’s take on what makes a strategic plan actually strategic and not just a bunch of flashy slides with pretty graphics.

Details and debate on the NY free-tuition plan. And here’s a really interesting analysis of who pays what for college (pdf).

Marilyn Rhames talks with Betsy DeVos.  Arizona is going big on ESAs.

Hope and concern about ESSA plans via The 74. (Remember Bellwether is undertaking a systematic review). This quote is noteworthy, this guy works for a former governor…

“You can see states taking ownership of the flexibility that they have in the new law, and you can see that they’re really trying to drive toward more equitable systems of education,” said Phillip Lovell, vice president of policy development and government relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education.

But, he cautioned, “details matter, and those details don’t always add up to the equity vision that most states have.”

D.C.s ESSA plan. And can Fitbits be the 5th indicator?

Michael Jonas with a counterintuitive voc-ed take.

Houston Chronicle wins a Pulitzer for its special education coverage.

Reasons that promising ed tech innovation goes awry.

How much money should public pensions have to keep on hand given that unlike private companies government probably isn’t going anywhere? It’s a subject of a lot of lively debate. Here’s a public pension Goldilocks story via Megan McArdle looking at the issue. This is one where the devil is in the details. Yes, there are some unique things about public pensions, but some of the assumptions that get baked into plans in terms of investment returns are just absurd. And people know this, it even gets talked about at the sparsely attended public meetings of these funds. Pew tracks the funding ratios. There is a happy medium here of responsible funding but also a realization that the exact same standards that govern the private sector are not strictly applicable to government as a budgeting matter. It’s hard to get to any middle ground though because pension politics  are brutal and policymakers have made a lot of irresponsible choices over the years.

Country music isn’t dead: Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies). Not all SFW but she’s got a new album coming out later this month and is on tour. Polar bear attacks penguin backpack.

April 10, 2017

Truth In Local Control Labeling, BAs For Early Ed, Eugene Lang, DeVos Security, Choice, Race And Ed, LA Election, Baby Eels! And More…

Scroll down the main page for some edujobs.

Sara Mead on training for early-childhood educators. Not everyone agrees on upgrading credentials to B.A.s or the strength of the evidence-base.

Andrew Cuomo gets the inside track in the Bernie Bros primary.

Eugene Lang – who not only sparked a foundation he sparked a trend and a set of policy ideas – has passed:

Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers at the time, observed: “Lang put up a lot more than money. He put himself on the line, too.”

A change in how Washington, D.C. accounts for runaways set of alarms that there was a spike in black girls running away. That wasn’t the case. But this isn’t just a story of instrumentality and hysteria,  Stacey Patton unpacks the episode and some underlying issues. 

Everyone chirping about the cost of Betsy DeVos’ security arrangements. But shouldn’t this, buried in the article, be the greater concern?

The [US Marshals] said it has determined that a threat to DeVos’s safety exists, but declined to describe the nature or intensity of that threat.

This is education so – whatever you happen to think of Betsy DeVos and I’ll be the first to say she hasn’t inspired confidence or offered much of a vision so far – that’s a sad state of affairs.

Speaking of the Trump administration here’s an interesting story: The Justice Department, under its new management, wants to revisit an Obama-era reform agreement that the Baltimore Police Department entered into after a federal investigation into police abuse there. Yet the police leadership, city leadership, and even the governor would rather just implement the reforms already agreed to. A court just agreed with the locals officials. Not an education story really but an excellent reminder that, right or left, “local control” or “I defer to what local communities want” should usually come with an asterisk that says “*when what they’re doing happens to comport with my views.”

Last week I mentioned that choice keeps spreading, that’s true overall but Texas is an interesting exception.

Can our sector discuss race and education productively?

Inside the contentious LA school board race, what’s Steve Zimmer doing?

Discord at iconic school. Hidden figures and NAEP.

Baby eel smuggling.  Jane Pauley feature with Joe Bonamassa at 13.

April 7, 2017

School Choice Is Expanding, Disney Fines, Edujobs, Classroom Champions, Teacher Race, Teacher Eval, Shopping Iguana, More!

Scroll down the main page for several new edujobs.

Betsy DeVos and Pitbull. I don’t really have much to say about it but feel this blog wouldn’t be doing its job if I didn’t mention it. So there you go. Betsy DeVos and Pitbull.

Here’s a look at Classroom Champions (I’m on the board so biased) and the power of Olympic caliber mentoring for students. 

Big voucher expansion in AZ.  You can find a bunch of people in D.C. who think the choice debate is over and the anti-voucher folks basically won. And I guess that if you only talk to other people in D.C. or pay attention to votes in the Senate it might seem that way. President Trump’s effort is stalled, outside of D.C. vouchers it’s unclear what might happen there, and there isn’t a lot of traction right now with even conservatives split over an appropriate federal voucher role. But around the country state after state is expanding choice in various forms – vouchers but also charters, ESAs…

Somewhat related: If you’re going to Disney World it’s gonna cost ya extra in the U.K. The Times looks at a fine for skipping school for a Disney trip. I’m on record as being pro-school skipping – I just wish we’d do more to level the playing field for parents who lack the means for Disney trips, so more field trips and other experiential opportunities for students.

This is a England story but the trend toward schools becoming more of an a la carte experience seems pretty clear on our side of the ocean. Earlier this year Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have let homeschool students play high sports as is allowed in some other states. (Longer background on that issue here $) History won’t judge that one well, practices like that will be commonplace before too long. Parents want more flexibility, customization, and personalized learning experiences and the public system will learn to accommodate that or become irrelevant. I’m strongly hoping for the former. A worse, and unfortunately quite foreseeable, outcome would be a further class stratified system where the affluent get the customization and everyone else doesn’t. Making attendance policies more flexible while still effective is just one piece of getting ahead of that.


Matt Barnum reviews the new research on black students and black teachers and the growing body of evidence on that issue. Again it’s NC and TN research because of their data systems. Striking how frequently you see that….

Teacher eval in Connecticut. Classic lede:

State test scores will no longer be used in teacher performance evaluations – though, after five years of contentious debate and unremitting delays, the requirement to do so was never actually implemented in the first place.

This iguana just wanted to save money and live better.

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 @ 11:51am

Edujob: Managing Partner of Innovative Schools @ NewSchools Venture Fund

Here’s a great role and the kind that does not come open often in our sector: Managing Partner of Innovative Schools at NewSchools Venture Fund. From the JD:

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that supports and invests in promising and innovative entrepreneurs and teams of educators. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the students, educators, and schools they serve. We are committed to helping students finish high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investments, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine K-12 education.

The Managing Partner of Innovative Schools will be a member of the NewSchools leadership team, and co-lead the Innovative Schools team with Managing Partner Scott Benson. As the largest investment area at NewSchools, this group supports teams of educators who are planning, launching and redesigning schools with a focus on an expanded definition of student success and personalized learning. The work of the team has grown rapidly, and the leader in this new role will bring expertise and capacity to ensure the schools we invest in have the support they need to reach their ambitious goals for serving students.

In the co-leadership model, the two Managing Partners will be responsible for the overall success of the strategy, while prioritizing distinct activities within the team. Scott will continue to focus primarily on pipeline building, diligence, and the investment process, and the new Managing Partner will focus primarily on providing these ventures with a robust, thoughtfully-curated suite of best-in-class learning experiences and management assistance, thereby optimally positioning the entire Innovative Schools team to make informed investment decisions and ensure that NewSchools’ ventures get the support and connections they need for success.

Learn more and be considered via this link.

April 6, 2017

Edujob: Director Of Research And Learning @ NewSchools Venture Fund

Here’s a great opportunity at NewSchools Venture Fund, based in Oakland, CA: Director of Research and Learning:

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that supports and invests in promising and innovative entrepreneurs and teams of educators. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the students, educators and schools they serve. We are committed to helping students finish high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investments, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine K-12 education.

The Director of Research & Learning will lead a portfolio of research projects designed to better understand an expanded definition of student success and personalized learning. The projects will help NewSchools strengthen its progress and impact across its three investment areas. The Director will also partner with investment teams to share what we are learning quickly, in order to deepen the knowledge of current ventures, continually reflect on our investment strategy, and accelerate learning across the field.

Learn more and apply via this link.

Bellwether ESSA Review, Chicago Teacher Pension Lawsuit, Student Journos Get Results, Rural Teachers, Badgers, More!

Bellwether is partnering with the Collaborative for Student Success on a project to review state ESSA plans to highlight innovative ideas and promising policies and call attention to problematic proposals that work against the goals of greater equity and better student outcomes.

Heres The 74 on that.  And here’s a lot more detail about the project.

Charles Lane takes a look at the Chicago pension lawsuit. It’s great to see this issue getting more attention – it’s a big one. Three quick reactions plus a bonus general point to his take:

  • I’m not sure the Brown v. Board frame is either helpful or accurate. The suit, and the pension issue, is a big deal but Brown v. Board was, well, Brown v. Board. In addition, Brown was about an explicitly segregationist system. The pension issue – as it plays out in Chicago, more on that in a second – is part and parcel of the myriad structural issues that continue to perpetuate inequality as an effect but are not explicitly designed to. They’re harder to solve because the normal political alignments fall apart. How many self-described social justice activists do you know who are involved in trying to make the pension system more equitable?
  • In Chicago, there is pretty clear evidence that the way pensions work systematically shifts dollars from poor communities to more affluent ones. Look for more from Bellwether’s teacher pension team on that soon. It’s a big deal. And pensions are not the only education finance scheme to have this effect. But, again, the politics are complicated so groups you might think would be interested in getting more dollars to poor communities – for instance the teachers unions – are on the other side of this issue for institutional reasons.
  • Lane focuses on 401k plans as a reform. That’s one option, yes, but there are others and the framing of the issue as traditional pensions versus 401k plans not only obscures the range of options, it plays into understandable concerns that pension reform is a smokescreen to undercut benefits. Every option, traditional pensions, cash balance plans, or 401k-style plans carries a host of choices about how they’re structured that can make plans more or less effective as a retirement policy.
  • Finally, just a more general reminder that while this debate is often portrayed as greedy teachers versus beleaguered taxpayers, it’s worth remembering that teachers are not big winners under the pension system either. Most don’t get full pensions, only 1 in 5 do nationally. And most of the reforms today are making these plans worse in terms of their benefits for teachers rather than better.


Great moments in student journalism.

Rural teacher shortages. This is an issue Bellwether works on as part of our rural work more generally. 

As a rule, forcing people to argue viewpoints they don’t agree with helps develop thinkers. Also, as a rule, assignments that are pro-Nazi are a bad idea.

This honey badger wants to corner the cattle market.

April 5, 2017

Adjudicated Youth, Equal Pay, Early Ed Pay, School Bus Drivers, ESSA, Campus Politics, Accountability AWOL, And More!

Hailly Korman on what a robust transition support system might look like for adjudicated students. Kirsten Schmitz says pay teachers more. Marnie Kaplan on equal pay and early childhood workers.

Jessie Woolley-Wilson (Bellwether board member) profiled in Times on her leadership style.

Matt Barnum looks at the legal action around schools.

The next big shortage: Bus drivers! Bellwether is actually hosting an event on school transportation in May.

C4C on ESSA opportunities.

Stanley McChrystal on why PBS matters.

William Deresiewicz of Excellent Sheep fame is back with an essay on political correctness in today’s discourse and its campus roots. Real political correctness, not the Trumpian distortion of it. Short version, illiberalism is a problem even among self-identifying liberals. The “moral majority” hijacked government entities, the illiberal left is taking colleges. Long version is worth reading.

Also, related, mugging on Vermont campus.

Questions about a common school leadership test.

Earlier this week I said Utah was the first ESA state, that’s a mistake, it was AZ.

Sandy Kress sees an accountability mirage.

Check out Sarah Shook and the Disarmers.

April 3, 2017

Examples And Anecdotes? We’ve Got Examples And Anecdotes! Social Mobility Bracket, Accountability, Plus OCR Staffing, Haskins And Gordon On Evidence, Homeschooling, Fitzhugh Profile, More!

Ed Next forum on test-based accountability and what’s next. NCAA social mobility bracket via The 74.

Via the New York Times here’s a museum quality piece about how we argue in education (and, by extension, why we can’t have nice things): Look look look at this example. It proves my point! In this case, David Kirp is arguing that who needs more choice, because he found this cool district in Oklahoma. Betsy DeVos should visit! Case closed!

The problem, of course, is that in a system with about 100K schools, 13K districts organizing them, plus 50 states, each with their own idiosyncrasies, you can find just about anything that works somewhere or proves some point. By this logic voucher proponents should just show some compelling examples of how vouchers have changed lives for kids and so we should just do that. Or, you can find under-resourced schools still succeeding, so should we cut funding? The action is in the aggregate data and trends when you’re thinking about things at a policy level. It’s a joke in education that is funny because it’s true, the plural of anecdote is not data.

No one argues that there are not great things happening in many school districts (or more specifically no one in what might be called the broad swath of reasonable people in the education world, and I’d include many voucher proponents in that). And these days among serious analysts hardly anyone argues that there are not great things happening in a lot of charters, too. The debate turns, or should turn, on optimal ways to organize the system and governance of schools to maximize the good and minimize the bad as much as is possible in a human and political system in a liberal democracy.  Reasonable people can disagree on the best way to that and plenty of particulars. But hopefully everyone can agree the way to do it is not to just lob isolated examples at one another?

Right now, fewer than one in ten low-income or black youngsters in this country can expect to get a college degree by the time they are 24. That the most powerful newspaper in the country and leading education analysts think that’s either not a social catastrophe or that the solution lies in highlighting interesting conversation pieces and examples just baffles me. Examples are not a theory of change in a system this large and sprawling.


Ron Haskins and Robert Gordon on the Trump budget and evidence. They pretend it’s a serious exercise to make what is actually a serious point.

Jeff Jacoby profiles Will Fitzhugh in the Boston Globe. Here’s a look at African-Americans and homeschooling. 

New assistant secretary  at OCR?

ESAs are spreading but in the first state to adopt them it’s very contentious still. *Update: Matt Ladner points out that it was AZ not NV to go first. The article is about NV.

Raising standards for child care workers in DC. 

What Duke alums are reading today.

March 31, 2017

Ed Politics, It’s Betsy DeVos V. Denver, Aspen SEL, Mathematica And Spec Ed, ESSA, Charter Schools, Spacewoman! And More…

In U.S. News I take a look at the question of whether education reformers ought to expand their political base.

With all the problems in the American public education system Betsy DeVos has decided to declare war on Denver  - a city where 40 percent (I think) of the 8th-graders are in charter schools and charters and choice has taken hold without some of the acrimony of other cities.  And also a state where one of its senators (a former Denver school superintendent no less) didn’t support her nomination but would certainly support good ideas from her department. Unbelievable.

Mike Petrilli points out that DeVos really has turned into a one-trick pony. OK, he’s joking, one day early.  Still, it’s closer to the mark than you might think. Related: The last part of this video is funny because it’s true, it’s always the big stuff that reaches your desk. Betsy DeVos’ poll numbers are not good. A big piece of this is obviously name recognition, still it’s unusual to have an education secretary in that position in the first place.

Elsewhere in ed secretaries, Arne Duncan is wading into the hot LA school board race. Some conservatives don’t want the feds wading into school choice.

GE’s Jeff Immelt on automation and why every company will have to invest in education.

Census data matters a lot to education policy. Here’s a sober walk through of the issues about including LGBT questions on the census that has flared up.

Whitmire with context on this week’s charter letter.  Greg Richmond is worried about charter schools – and if he is you should read what he has to say.

Girls rocking robotics competitions. And more here.

Breaking: School boundaries influence housing and vice versa.

Mathematica deep dive on special education and secondary students. Nelson Smith and Brandon Wright see a chance for ESSA to leverage an increase in the supply of good schools.

Aspen Institute with a new look at SEL and career and college ready standards. And if there was a betting market on college and career standards and probability of success then this tool from Penn might give you an edge. 

Greg Toppo wrote this about choice. Matt Ladner then wrote this.

Not allowing students to use their student loan money for booze could undermine the entire lending regime or even higher ed more generally.


March 30, 2017

Are Ed Reformers Ignoring Key Voting Blocs?

Two demographics defined much of the last election: Rural voters and the political behavior of college educated and voters and those with advanced degrees. Something else they have in common? Ed reformers don’t have much to say to them. That’s a problem. I look at that today in U.S. News & World Report:

The defeat of the Republican plan to overhaul President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act last week offered a stark reminder about how much coalitions, persuasion and raw self-interest matter in politics. President Donald Trump failed to persuade almost anyone to join his side, there was no coalition for reform and the health care law’s benefits for millions of Americans made it in their self-interest to oppose a plan that would have reduced access to health care.

I’m glad that bill failed, but it’s hard to miss how education reformers are making the same strategic mistakes in their approach to politics…

Regardless of your voting demographics you can read the whole thing right here. If the Republicans figure out health care I might have to rewrite this, but in the meantime tweet at me about your favorite voter demographic @twitter here.

March 28, 2017

Charter Schools And Trump’s Budget, Mitchel On Charters And Early Ed, Barnum On ESSA And Evidence, Bradford On Awkward History, Plus That 90s Show, More!

Listen to Ashley Mitchel talk about charter schools and pre-K on C-Span.  Matt Barnum goes deep on evidence and ESSA plans. Derrell Bradford on the complicated history of public schools that doesn’t lend itself to some of today’s shibboleths:

Our relationship with public institutions — and schools in particular — is only in balance when the individual can wield equivalent force against them. Achieving a state of balance with the nation’s public schools rests not in the constant altruistic acquiescence to them, but the strategic self-interested defiance of them. And as a culture whose debate with public institutions is currently colored by protest and the desire to exit at every level, this dynamic isn’t just obvious, it’s critical.

There is a lot going on in this Malcolm Gladwell interview – some of which pertains to education.  Well worth reading.

Naomi Schaefer Riley pushes back hard on Christopher Emdin. Features John McWhorter and Checker Finn. It’s like the 90s all over again!

Charter school groups are speaking out against the Trump budget (which isn’t very good in my view either). It’s a smart political move, the Trump Administration didn’t do charter schools any favors by making them about the only winner in a budget proposal that creates a lot of losers. And now is the time for coalition politics around education spending levels. But, at the risk of being cynical, I’ve watched and/or worked on federal budget politics for years and have never seen anyone turn down federal money simply because someone else wasn’t getting it. So this kind of signaling is great during the budget process, but when we get to actual appropriations, well that’s where the action is. Also, anyone who thinks this move will help with teachers union politics by buying some goodwill just hasn’t been paying attention.

Alaska kid wins big competition in New York City.

March 27, 2017

STEM, SCOTUS Special Ed Dissents, Charter Growth, Discipline With Cami Anderson, Remediation With Checker Finn, Hockey Dog! Plus More!

I talked with Ron Ottinger of STEM Next about STEM, equity, and what he wants to see happen.

Non-discriminatory laws are key to a dynamic business climate these days – but so are great public schools and some choice for parents amongst them. The Richmond Times-Dispatch makes that point in relation to the veto of a bill that would have slightly expanded charter schooling in Virginia.

Nationally charter growth is slowing, a lot of theories about why. Here’s Ben Lindquist.

Guys, you’ll never believe this..the Trump Department of Education is off to a slow start. 

Kalman Hettleman dissents from the CW that last week’s SCOTUS decision was a big win for students with disabilities. Robin Lake mostly concurs in the dissent.

Last week I mentioned CSU’s new approach to remediation. Checker Finn is not a fan and sees a broader problem.

Cami Anderson on discipline.

RAND on open source through the lens of EngageNY.

Cornfield steamships full of stuff.  STEM, amok. Kevin Kosar went fly fishing. This dog just wants to play hockey.

March 24, 2017

Smith Honored, Rhames Vouches, Moskowitz Talks, Plus More On Schools And Immigration, KIPP – UFT Lawsuit, Betsy Arons Says Ditch The NY Test, Good Stories And More!

It’s Friday and Kevin Kosar caught a trout, but you have to go to Twitter to see it. Scroll down this page for several edujobs that are open now.

UNC honors Preston Smith and their magazine talks with him. Marilyn Rhames on the pro-voucher reality for a lot of parents.

Yesterday I mentioned the unique and tacit role of schools around immigration enforcement. Politico with a lot more on that today. Homeland Security officials saying the status quo of not doing enforcement actions around schools absent extraordinary circumstances will remain in effect.

Eva Moskowitz interview via Chalkbeat. Deep dive on KIPP v. UFT suit. And Betsy Arons says that New York made the right move by dropping its literacy test.

Quick overview of the budget bidding from Whiteboard’s David Deschryver.

All this can be yours for about $47K a year.

That Time Sturgill Simpson Gave Me His Door Money.

March 23, 2017

Trump’s Budget Cuts, Reading, ICE And Schools, Endrew F, Ian Rowe, Rick Perry And A & M, Suspension Debate, Maryland Debate, A Lot Of Jalen And More!

Kate Pennington says Trump’s call to cut Title II funding should instead open up a discussion about how to spend it.  Sarah Silverman and Elizabeth Combs say the cuts are a mistake.

From where I sit this about covers the Hanna Skandera situation.

Miami Sup’t Alberto Carvalho says no ICE in the schools there.  See NYC, too. The political reality is that if you’re a school system CEO in many parts of the country and you’re not saying this then you’re way out of step.  I’m very sympathetic on a human level and not that long ago even conservatives who wanted much tougher immigration rules wanted it done in a way that didn’t wreak havoc on families or adversely impact kids. Times have changed and both compassion and a tacit understanding of some grey areas seems to have evaporated. Hopefully, ICE would/will show some restraint rather than brinksmanship and painting anyone into a corner – we’re talking about schools here after all. And creating a situation where school officials have to openly defy legal orders isn’t something you want to force if you can avoid it. Remember back when the Obama Administration issued a guidance on transgender students and bathroom access and some state officials said no way we will enforce this? People cheering school officials now jeered them then. And vice versa. This is dangerous ground.

More than the minimum. SCOTUS unanimous in the Endrew F case on IDEA quality (pdf). The Times links it to the Gorsuch confirmation debate. Behind the scenes a lot of speculation about what this might mean for already pressured special education finance. The SCOTUS decision, penned by Chief Justice Roberts, made clear it’s not a blank check but there will be implications.

Nevada ESA data and debate.

Really provocative Ian Rowe on reading, myopia, and reform.

Suspensions are down, discuss!

Maryland is debating ESSA accountability. And this Baltimore charter school is struggling. I’m leery of grand theories of why schools thrive or struggle – the work is difficult and contingent on a host of factors. That said, hard to miss that these ed school sponsored charters have a rough record. All these ideas work great in theory but sometimes not so well in practice?

Edsall on “soft skills” and character.

Department of silver linings: The Trump presidency is just filled with teachable moments!

Energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry is questioning the validity of the presidential election – the one at Texas A & M.

Two things about Jalen Rose. A lot of kids are named after him, and that will make many readers feel old. He also launched a charter school in Michigan.

Moose ball.

March 22, 2017

Charter Schools And Fake News, Brookings And Real Analysis, Remediation Reform, Structural Inequality, More Middlebury, Hassels, More!

Looking for a new opportunity? Scroll down this page for a lot of edujobs including Educators 4 Excellence, Building Excellent Schools, and a bunch of others.

Charter schools were the focus of a lot of “fake news” way before fake news was a thing. 74′s Romy Drucker is moderating a panel to talk about that today in California. You can watch here. It’s a real issue. We don’t pull our punches on charter quality problems (pdf), or quality problems in the education sector overall, but I’m amazed at the misinformation we also get media inquiries about.

Meanwhile, Derrell Bradford notes that while the charter debate rages most parents are sidelined.

NAPCS out with a new ranking of the nation’s charter school laws.  KY has a new charter law as of this week, btw.

Travel alert: The fight against reform is migrating to Africa. A whole continent’s worth of new junkets and adult on adult fights.

More attention to how much non-credit remedial classes at colleges can set students back or off-track. CSU taking a new tack.

Brookings Brown Center annual education report is out today. This one is always a must-read if you like your thinking home-grown rather than outsourced.

Everyone wants to talk about structural inequality these days, but this is what it looks like and a lot fewer seem to have the appetite to root it out because that’s a lot more contentious and alienating than virtue signaling.

The report said that “hold-harmless policies” protecting elementary schools from budget cuts as well as concentrations of the most experienced teachers in wealthier neighborhoods, who earn the highest salaries, are “systematic barriers to achieving budget equity.” And increased pension obligations, plus a double-digit salary raise after years of no increases, “make real change difficult,” the report said.

Interesting take on Middlebury and the rampant income inequality in elite higher education:

The quintessentially liberal commitment to free and open dialogue is indispensable for building mutual understanding and respect in a diverse society. Cultural separation fueled by economic inequality, however, undermines that dialogue and respect. The spectacle of rich, “progressive” protestors refusing to hear a lecture on the roots of their own privilege; well, it tells you how much work there is to do. The class gap in American today is economic, educational and residential. Perhaps most dangerous of all, it is cultural, too. Mutual distrust across class lines is one of the causes of our current toxic politics. Greater understanding, shared learning and self-reflection are all needed now more than ever. And you don’t learn anything by shouting others down.

The Hassels with a reality check on class size reduction.

Life as a lookout. 

Posted on Mar 22, 2017 @ 11:25am

Edujob: Vice President of Growth Strategy and Development @ Educators 4 Excellence

Great job at a high impact organization focused on empowering teachers: Vice President of Growth Strategy and Development.

The Position of Vice President of Growth Strategy and Development presents an exciting opportunity for a seasoned professional and leader to shape E4E’s growth strategy and development functions, affirm and celebrate E4E’s mission, support its ongoing successes, and ensure the organization’s sustainability as a leading vehicle for teachers’ voices during a rapid period of growth. Just as E4E is building a movement of teachers leading change, we are building deep partnerships with a community of donors and partners that support teacher leadership with a variety of resources.

Educators 4 Excellence is implementing an ambitious three-year growth plan. Currently operating with an annual budget of $15M, the organization anticipates continued budget and new site expansion over the next few years. Reporting to the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, and serving as an E4E National Team member and a Senior Leadership Team member, the Vice President of Growth Strategy and Development will play a critical role in establishing an overarching organizational growth strategy, funding priorities, and systems that support E4E’s programmatic goals and objectives, in addition to raising essential support that will sustain the organization’s efforts over the long-term.

Building upon the strengths of existing advancement endeavors and aggressively pursuing new opportunities for site expansion, funding, and engagement, the Vice President’s efforts will include leading, managing, and developing a highly capable fundraising staff responsible for building relationships and soliciting funds nationwide from a wide range of fundraising channels. S/he will also be charged with assisting chapter Executive Directors and their local development teams to fundraise and strategically seize opportunities to achieve sustainable growth at the local level, as well as support fundraising of new site expansion launch funds as needed.

The Vice President will thrive in a cross-functional, collaborative, goal-oriented environment. S/he will build a positive team culture focused on professional development, individual opportunity, and growth.

Learn more and apply via this link.

March 21, 2017

Betsy DeVos Speaks! Budget News, ESSA Flex, Duncan On OCR, More!

On this date in 1963 Alcatraz closed. Not so well known, it had a pretty robust CTE initiative.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos defended the President’s budget to an audience of state officials yesterday. I listened but still basically think this.

Behind the scenes more and more people shifting from “give DeVos a chance” to “this isn’t going to work.” In a town where perceptions can become reality she needs to get in front of that.

This story has a lot going on: The teachers union official doing double duty in the state legislature is just a small piece of it – and a more common story than you might think. We also have people who thought the states would just jump at the ESSA opportunity to do cool things learning otherwise, our cargo cult approach to things – project-based learning! – plus our field’s aversion to difficult conversations, and more. So it’s basically why we can’t have nice things in one bundle.

Education got a cameo in the Gorsuch hearing.

NASBE with some questions you might want to ask about your state ESSA plan. DeVos is basically saying, do what you want! One former state officials said after her talk to CCSSO yesterday that the key standard for whether a state plan passes muster seems to be whether it has enough postage to get to D.C. (but presumably not with these stamps).

Bellwether will be reviewing state plans as they come in and highlighting really strong and really ineffective proposals – stay tuned for that.

Arne Duncan says keep OCR. Will we see some creative policy ideas in the post-NCLB, post-ESSA regs world?

This looks like an interesting event on accountability design. 

Sadly, soon after they arrived they watched it fly straight into a wind turbine. Hey kids, Red Bull + vodka = trouble. Rabbit punches back.

March 20, 2017

Books! Plus Trump Budget, Ohio ESSA, KIPP – UFT Legal Wrangling, ICE And Schools, Autism And Sesame Street, More!

It’s March 20th, spring is coming! On this date in 1852, the abolitionist classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published as a serial. Today the book is controversial because of some of its language and portrayals and sometimes is part of fights about what students should read in school. But in the 19th-Century it was considered subversive and widely credited with helping the abolitionist cause. It’s said that President Lincoln called Harriet Beecher Stowe the woman who started the war but like many quotes attributed to Lincoln it’s unlikely he actually said it. Still, Stowe’s work trailed only the Bible in sales as a 19-Century bestseller. 

Don’t forget to check out TeacherPensions.org for the latest on that issue. And here are 16 still timely education policy ideas if you’re looking to get something done.

Ohio is hitting pause on its ESSA plan.  KIPP and UFT are tangling over union representation there.

Gerard Robinson on reactions to President Trump’s budget proposal: Sure, the president is punching you in the face but he’s also giving you this nice vanilla wafer! Mark Keieleber looks at the ICE/sanctuary/schools issue. Sandy Kress says they’re lowering the bar in Texas.

New muppet on Sesame Street, Julia, and she’s autistic as part of Sesame’s focus on that issue.

Policy thinker and reinventing government maven David Osborne has written a novel of historical fiction, The Coming. It’s based on the life of Daytime Smoke, the Nez Perce child of Virginia explorer William Clark. Compelling story but the novel bogs down in places when Daytime Smoke tries to reorganize the bureaucratic operations of the various Native American tribes in the west. OK, no, that doesn’t happen. This is an interesting work of historical fiction and a cool new direction for David. Check it out!

Mike Petrilli on Eureka Math. 

Sweet story on reading the weather.

March 17, 2017

Edujob: CEO Building Excellent Schools

Here’s a high-impact edujob: CEO of Building Excellent Schools:

BES seeks a visionary and strategic CEO to lead the organization through its next phase of growth and impact by expanding the Fellowship program to train and support more mission-driven leaders to create the best urban charter schools in the nation.

The CEO will join BES at a time of transition and great opportunity. After two decades of charter schooling, an effective model for urban education has emerged. Thanks in large part to the work of BES, we now know how to close the achievement gap. BES is uniquely positioned to continue to evolve that model and bring it to scale across the country, affect the lives of tens of thousands of children, and powerfully contribute to the national conversation on the transformation of American public education.

BES’s founder, Linda Brown, is transitioning out of her role as leader of the organization. She will continue to contribute to the organization during the new CEO’s first nine to 12 months by cultivating and recruiting Fellows and ensuring a successful transfer of leadership and knowledge to her successor. This is a unique opportunity for an experienced and growth-minded executive who is excited to learn from one of the charter school’s pioneers while laying the foundation for her/his leadership of Building Excellent Schools.

The CEO will report directly to a seven to nine-member Board of Directors, and direct reports include the Chief Academic Officer and Director of Development. BES has a staff of 30 people, approximately half of whom are based in Boston and half who work remotely from over eight locations.

You can learn more about the role and how to be considered via this link.

Don’t Mess With The Zumba Lobby! Education Budget Politics, Dual Enrollment, Wisconsin’s Union Status Quo, And Nice Hockey Fighting. The Line Is Here! More!

Here’s Betsy DeVos’ statement on the President’s budget request, it seems lukewarm as these things go. ”I look forward to continuing to engage with Congress as we roll out the President’s priorities and put the needs of students first” she said. That’s (a) patently untrue. No cabinet official looks forward to this but (b) she’s hoping they fix some of this. That’s budget politics. A 13 percent cut to your agency in your first year on the job will make a great joke on the dinner speech circuit some day but for now is a problem. Not even a lot of enthusiasm from the Rs. It’s all fun and games until someone cuts after-school funding. (Also, in that article, the Zumba lobby is ferocious.)

Speaking of budget politics, yesterday was “the sky is falling!” day of anti-budget messaging. Today is “this is at odds with the research” day. Who knew all these programs had so much research?

My take, via USN, is that for a guy promising us greatness and boldness and action and all of that, this budget is small in every way and especially on big bold ideas. 

Be sure to check out The Line, a new publication in education led by John Deasy. I’m on the advisory board and some cool stuff coming.

It seems very likely that the SCOTUS is going to strike down today’s agency fee arrangements for public employees and basically make every state a right to work state. Teachers unions are preparing for this now. If you want to see how that might play out, Wisconsin is a good place to examine. Matt Barnum takes a look at the scene there.

Checker Finn says there is a standards problem with dual enrollment.  Jay Lynch and Nathan Martin on making ed research more impactful. J.D. Vance is heading home to the Buckeye State.

“We got to work on our cardio this summer, huh?”

March 16, 2017

The Trump Budget

President Trump didn’t do charter schools in any favors with this budget. He made them a target and the policy isn’t even that creative. In U.S. News & World Report I look at that and all the reasons today’s budget request is unimaginative and a missed opportunity overall:

The presidential budget request is always a mash up of policy, politics, signaling and negotiation. Yet even with the caveat that any budget request is best taken seriously but not literally, President Trump’s first budget stands out as an exceptional missed opportunity in education and across a range of federal agencies. Ignore the theatrics about Trump’s new battle with Big Bird, he won’t win that one. And remember that some of the programs the president is putting on the chopping block are ones that President Obama sought to cut, too. Instead, what’s most tragic about this budget is how profoundly unimaginative it is at a time the country needs big ideas…

You can read the whole column by clicking here. Or defend your favorite programs or tweet me budget tips @arotherham.

Posted on Mar 16, 2017 @ 3:46pm

Trump’s Budget, Small And Not Bold, Gulen, Flynn, And Charter Advocacy, Wells On Start-Ups, Hill On Vouchers, Marchitello Sees Opportunity. Bold Racooon! More…

Bellwether’s Mary Wells with some advice on start-ups and being an entrepreneur. Max Marchitello says Trump may give progressives an opportunity to regroup.

Turns out former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s firm is behind the anti-charter campaign the Turkish government has been waging and that anti-charter activists and think tanks here gleefully picked up. Stay classy everyone!

The President’s budget proposal is out. Big cuts proposed to education and a few large programs including after-school and Title II and it includes what looks like a Title I portability pilot as well as a private voucher pilot. But small increase for public charter schools relative to school choice overall – even though just creating more good public schools via chartering is both the most obvious and the best strategy to expand educational opportunity we have. The budget also cuts education programs elsewhere, including at NASA. And cuts across government in general. Budgets go through a lot of twists and turns but this is not a great opening bid for a serious forward looking budget framework. It’s striking in its lack of imagination, creativity, or boldness.

Bottom line, if you don’t like the President’s meat habits you’ll really hate the budget request.

Paul Hill on vouchers. Rethinking CTE in Detroit. Guns in schools.

Ladner on the disconnect between charter policy and NAEP scores.

Don’t drink box wine. Or something.

AIR has an ESSA website to track what’s going on.

This raccoon is not a bank robber.

March 15, 2017

Oh, Wait, You Meant Those Regulations? The DeVos Reality Settles In. Plus, Tackling Dummies Into Plowshares? Great Moments In Teacher Eval, Federal Budget Politics, Charter Growth, MA Charters, Tuck’s Running, Skywalker’s Feuding, Leafy AZ, McCluskey’s Consistency, Chaltain’s Talk, Plus Toads! More!

Today is March 15th! Beware!

Bonnie O’Keefe on the new ESSA regulatory regime. Also, breaking: Groups that recently cheered Congressional jettisoning of federal regulations now realize what that might mean….

Here are the regs, or rather the non regs.

This lede is quite true:

Washington greets the president’s annual budget release the way it does a forecast of a few inches of snow — which is to say, often with a huge overreaction.

But also true that various social programs are facing some real pressure under a Trump administration’s budget framework and what conservatives on the Hill want. That would have consequences. For a bit of historical perspective, though, welfare state spending grew under Reagan (and Thatcher for that matter) as well as George W. Bush. So you just never know how these things are going to play out.

Also, a Department of Education aide is feuding with Luke Skywalker. 

New report on food security/hunger and college students (pdf). Focuses on community college students but it’s a broader issue. Here’s one innovative initiative to address this issue from a Texas HBCU. Turn your football facility into a farm.The president of this college is in DC to speak at an Aspen Institute event tomorrow.

Frank Bruni (and Van Jones) think college students are too coddled. I’m not sure why it took Middlebury to wake people up to problems of illiberalism on campus and the ensuing effects on American life but here we are.  Also don’t miss Stephen Carter on the broader issues.

Charter schools still growing but the rate of growth is declining. NACSA with some important data on what’s going on. 

What did Massachusetts teachers unions think of their game plan to bottle up the state’s charter schools? All the details plus some forecasting here. Alternative and more clicks headline? The teachers unions put a ton of effort into defeating school improvement in MA and GA instead of focusing on key presidential states and you’ll never believe what happened next….

Can Randi Weingarten stop President Trump’s infrastructure plan? The flacks who planted this story sure think so – and she owes them a sweet raise because it’s a good one and a signal. Stay tuned…

Marshall Tuck announced this week he is making another run for Superintendent of Public Instruction in California. He outperformed expectations last time and came close to winning, keep an eye on this race. CRPE says the power of persuasion is key for state chiefs.

I was unaware the Arizona suburbs were especially leafy, all the ones I have visited were not. But, Matt Ladner says they can compete for students anyway.

Hat tip to Neil McCluskey of CATO. I don’t agree with him on some policy questions but in a town where people change their views to fit the prevailing political winds or advance their career he’s admirably consistent on questions around choice, federalism, and policy.

Seems like we read some version of this article every few years, it’s always treated as new and novel.

Presumably everyone in the education world can at least agree to please not bite the kids? It’s been a while since I did teacher prep but I think they covered that in the first few classes. Penultimate graf is awesome for eval nerds by the way.

Sam Chaltain on the future of learning (and movies).

This toad is fantastic.  Strangers ask him if he was wearing pants.

Posted on Mar 15, 2017 @ 12:02pm

March 10, 2017

Mead On Trump’s Childcare Idea, See Ya ESSA Regs! LGBT And Schools, Steele On Collaborating, Great Moments In Project Based Learning, And Edujobs!

Lots of edujobs down the page, scroll down – especially if your week was not what you hoped!

The Obama Administration’s ESSA regs are history. They were not perfect, this stuff never is, but it’s a lot of work out the window and needless uncertainty for states and school districts trying to implement the new law.  Also, huge blow for Democrats who tried to put lipstick on this pig when it first passed and now are left holding the bag. But education is merely a bit player in a broader tectonic political change that is happening right now. 

In U.S. News & World Report Sara Mead takes a look at problems with President Trump’s child care plans and some ideas for improvement.  Also in US News’ Lauren Camera on President Trump’s education chances.

Andrew Rayner on why the LGBT issue is more than the bathroom debate. Secretary of Education DeVos met with parents of LGBT youth this week.

There’s a Jacobin quality to the professional education left – so Jennifer Steele says they might as well work with DeVos. Well, not exactly but close enough! Read the piece, interesting take.

School project turns up German World War II plane with the pilot still inside.

March 9, 2017

Must Read School Finance, More Middlebury, Teacher Prep Regs Gone, Gorsuch, Turnarounds, CAP Reports, NEA Reveals, Yale SOM, And More!

Scroll down for edujobs at GreatSchools and elsewhere. And it’s Yuri Gagarin’s birthday. He and his colleagues had everyone in this country pretty freaked out in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Scroll down for JFK on the education aspect of that.

Must read on finance: Here’s Bellwether’s Jenn Schiess, Max Marchitello, and Julie Squire took a look at Ohio’s school finance situation for Fordham (pdf). Includes a set of recommendations for policymakers there.

Must read on finance II: Max Marchitello says Chicago is right and the pension system there is deepening systemic fiscal inequities. We’re crunching data on that and a few pretty remarkable things are apparent.

When even Senator Sasse, who has shown some real flashes of independence, is protecting teacher prep programs you know how hard reform is. If you’re looking for a silver lining I guess it’s that bipartisanship isn’t dead in the Senate. The protection racket for low-quality teacher prep programs remains bipartisan. Last fall Ashley Mitchel and I took a look at why the regulations, though far from perfect, represented an important opportunity for the sector. 

NEA press release today announces “Reports reveal Gorsuch repeatedly ruled against students with disabilities.” OK, we’ve talked about (here and here for instance) his take on those issues and reasonable people can certainly disagree on special education policy or his take on that and other education questions. I carry no brief for the guy. But the good news is that you don’t need “reports” to “reveal” his take on questions like this because the great thing about court opinions is that they’re almost always public.  Special education case law is, in fact, basically its own little industry.

Shep Melnick on the OCR challenges at ED:

The incoming leaders of the civil rights office will have a chance to improve its regulations, but only if they willing to be everything our President is not. Rather than act precipitously and unilaterally, they should demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law and public participation by following APA’s notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures. They should collect reliable information on such matters as the prevalence of sexual assault on campus and the effectiveness of proposed remedies. They should invite debate rather than shove disagreements under the rug, as the civil rights office has so often done in the past. They should show respect for Supreme Court interpretations of civil rights law, rather than devise clever end-runs around them.

Pushback on the four-day school week idea.  Traction for the three-year college idea?

Laura McKenna on Middlebury via the Atlantic. And here’s Johnathan Last on the same:

…And anyone who is so stupid that they can’t tell the difference between Charles Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos is too stupid to be in college. Period, the end…

…What Middlebury president Laurie Patton should have done was tell the students:

Look, if you’re here to protest you’re a doofus. This isn’t the Ann Coulter Power Hour designed to drum up outrage and sell books. It’s a sociology lecture by a distinguished scholar and if you’re too dumb to understand and are hell-bent on signaling your virtue by making a spectacle of yourself, then I will personally write up your expulsion papers. At this very moment there are a hundred kids in New Jersey waiting to pay full tuition and take your slot.

OK, but maybe scholarship students instead?

Joe Nathan on education customization. More Minnesota customization via Jennifer Ford Reedy. And through the wayback machine: JFK at the University of Virginia on U.S. education.

Mitch Chester and John White pushback on turnarounds and the narrative of impossibility. There are a bunch of ways to look at this question of the efficacy of turnarounds, but one lens might be what strategy is most likely to create the most good seats for kids in the shortest amount of time? But then a keenly related question is what do local communities want to do with their schools and how does that relate to the first question? The evidence to date gives a reasonably clear sense of the probabilities on the first question but the second one is pure values and politics and while choice helps it doesn’t fully answer the hard decisions policymakers must make.

CAP on school accountability. Plus CAP on different ways to classify schools in accountability schemes. Meanwhile, the high school testing situation in California is really interesting.

The Yale School of Management education conference, which is usually quite good, is coming up.

Textual reading of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.   And while I’m basically of the mind that the best STEM initiatives in the early grades are just really good public schools so kids have choices later on in their education - there are obviously specific things schools can do as well. Here’s a video look at one initiative from a coalition of groups working on this issue.

Big snakes.

Posted on Mar 9, 2017 @ 1:10pm

Edujob: Director Of Research At GreatSchools!

Want to lead research on a treasure trove of data about parental engagement with school decisions? If so, don’t miss this opening for a Director of Research for GreatSchools. From the JD:

The Director of Research, reporting to VP, Growth and Strategy, will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Identify promising scalable, information-based interventions to pilot and study in the area of parent engagement in preK-12 education, in tight collaboration with product leadership. Outcomes of interest include increased demand for high quality schools and increased involvement in supporting learning at home.

  • Drive GreatSchools’ research agenda to better understand the impact of information on parents’ attitudes and behaviors in supporting their children’s education, with a focus on underserved populations.

  • Develop partnerships with external experts, researchers, and strategic partners and work with them to facilitate, design, and implement mission-aligned research and evaluation projects.

  • Create actionable insights for improving products and programs based on results of internally and externally-driven research.

  • Contribute to fundraising and partnership development efforts by effectively communicating about our theory of change, evidence of impact, and areas for further research.

  • Translate research findings for a broad audience and contribute to GreatSchools’ thought leadership efforts.

You can read the entire JD and learn how to apply and be considered here.

March 8, 2017

International Women’s Day And Education, ACA, Best Districts For Teachers, Worst Places For Pensions, Chance The Rapper, Partisan Realignment, Giant Rubber Bands, And More!

“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

- Canadian pol Charlotte Whitton*

Today is International Women’s Day and Kirsten Schmitz digs into some education data germane to gender issues in education – where are all the female superintendents?

Scroll down for some great edujobs including one in Oakland for Surge Institute.

Still the early innings but pay attention to the Obamacare repeal/replace debate in Congress, big implications for education depending how it goes.

LA School Board election results. Washington D.C. voucher politics.

Firsthand account from the Middlebury professor in the middle of the Charles Murray protest:

As the campus uproar about his visit built, I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgement on Dr. Murray’s work and character, while openly admitting that they had not read anything he had written. With the best of intentions, they offered their leadership to enraged students, and we all now know what the results were.

NCTQ looks at great school districts for teachers. This reminds me of the late J.J. Baskin who had an idea to do a “best places to work” for teachers magazine package like you see for other fields.

Chance the Rapper is meeting with Illinois’ governor to discuss education policy and now he’s donating to the Chicago schools. 

Elsewhere in dysfunctional education economics Puerto Rico’s teacher pension fund has some problems.

Here’s a video looking at how LIFO works in New Jersey.

Partisan politics drive a lot of the education conversation – but what if the party structure changes? New Brookings paper looks at the rare, but not unprecedented, occasions of party break-up.

If your students are fidgeting you can get these giant rubber bands for them. Then you don’t have to worry about the fidgeting, just the giant slingshots they can build.

*Yes, I know she’s controversial, but it’s a great line.

Posted on Mar 8, 2017 @ 4:02pm

Edujob: Executive Director, Oakland, For Surge Institute

Surge Institute is growing and hiring its first ED for an expansion city. From the JD:

Founded in 2014, The Surge Institute inspires and increases the trajectory of emerging education leaders of color so they may bring new ideas, perspectives, and solutions that positively impact the communities of color that make up our urban schools. The Surge Fellowship, the flagship program of The Surge Institute, is a one-year cohort-based fellowship program designed for these leaders. The vision of the Fellowship is to dramatically change the face of leadership in education reform by training, supporting, connecting, and elevating high-capacity African-American and Latino leaders across organizations seeking to dramatically improve education options and outcomes for low-income children. Fellows are exposed to role models who help them realize Surge’s four objectives: to dream big, focus inward, know the landscape, and make an impact.

As we support our third Chicago fellowship cohort and recognize a rising demand in other cities, Surge is growing and seeking new talent to support its evolution, ensure impact, and maintain a commitment to excellence in execution. Surge’s growth includes an expansion of the current Chicago program and extension into Oakland, CA, a community rich with homegrown talent and commitment to amazing outcomes for students, families, and community.

The founding Executive Director, Oakland will be chiefly responsible for all aspects of successful execution of the Oakland Surge Fellowship program. This includes being the chief brand ambassador for Surge in the Bay Area – building and maintaining relationships with partners and funders – while ensuring delivery of a high-quality Fellowship program. A successful Executive Director will be passionate about closing the opportunity gap for underserved students of color, driven by concrete outcomes and results, obsessive about details and organization, and exceptional in building lasting partnerships with Fellows, partners, connectors, and funders throughout the region.

Learn more and learn how to be considered via this link. 

March 7, 2017

Will The Senate Stall ESSA Reg Repeal? That Plus David Harris On The Indy Model, Pondiscio On Choice, Trucker Cats, And Valerie Jarrett On Working Across Ideological Lines. More!

It’s March 7th! On this date in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell received his patent for the telephone. More recently, in 1965 this date marked the start of the Selma to Montgomery marches during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, more commonly known as Bloody Sunday.

In the education world today that you may have missed:

Good bones! David Harris on what the Indianapolis story might teach the Trump Administration about school choice.

Republican Senator Portman (OH) says slow down on the ESSA rules repeal. 

Department of clarifications: Per yesterday’s mention of a Bloomberg story about left-leaning groups being targeted by hackers for ransom CAP’s CEO Neera Tanden pushes back on the Bloomberg account.

Valerie Jarrett on working across ideological lines to get things done. Panic at the Pondiscio on getting smart about school choice.

In my darker moments I wonder about this.

Trucker cat.