July 15, 2016
Bellwether And The 74 Live Blogging The Conventions, More Dem Platform News, Education’s Mirth Problem, Fish, McWhorter On Policy, Rosenwald Schools, Rhames on Violence, Pay For Success, And What Are They Doing In Wisconsin Right Now? Plus Bear And Health Care News!
Bellwether and The 74 are teaming up to live blog the conventions, starts now. Let’s talk about education! Also look for a very cool project release from Bellwether on Monday.
It’s Friday, but no fish pics today. Instead, Kevin Kosar who battles with Bellwether’s Alison Fuller for the mayor of fish porn title has launched a fishing blog. That’s a strong move, Ali. He fishes all the damn time and is somehow not unemployed as a result. Plus a magazine lets him write about boats now. What are the rest of us doing wrong?
In the ed world a lot going on, including some Governor Pence overviews, curated for you here at RealClearEducation.
What do education pay for success initiatives look like globally relative to the US? Revisiting Rosenwald schools. Marilyn Rhames looks at the collateral damage from all this violence.
More Dem platform news:
Democrats added a misleading reference to standardized tests to the party platform over the weekend, requiring they meet a reliability standard that doesn’t actually exist.“[W]e believe that standardized tests must meet American Statistical Association standards for reliability and validity,” the amendment reads, saying this would “strike a better balance on testing, so that it informs, but does not drive, instruction.”To most people this would seem like common sense; of course tests should follow statistical best practices and who could sound more authoritative on the controversial subject than the American Statistical Association. But there’s a problem: The American Statistical Association (ASA) has never published guidelines pertaining to the reliability and validity of standardized tests.“There are no such standards,” Jill Talley, a spokesperson for the ASA, told The 74.
Oh Jesus. Not that these platforms matter, but this should be embarrassing to the folks who got this crap in there. https://t.co/q7NqqmRUpI
— Morgan Polikoff (@mpolikoff) July 14, 2016
What if, instead of calling for a conversation, Mrs. Clinton had called for revitalized support for vocational schooling to help get poor black people into solid jobs that don’t require a college degree? Or an end to the war on drugs, which furnishes a black market that tempts underserved black men away from legal work. Or ensuring cheap, universal access to long-acting reversible contraceptives, to help poor women (who praise these devices) control when they start families. Or phonics-based reading programs, which are proved to be the key to teaching poor kids how to read. All poor black kids should have access to them just as they get free breakfasts.
Checker Finn on the education world’s fissures:
There’s reason, alas, to suspect that the center isn’t holding, even among those who have favored charter schools, and certainly among those who have differing views on a host of other items that have been prominent on the reform agenda.
Perhaps this was inevitable, considering what’s been happening in the wider worlds of politics and policy. I don’t know whether it’s fixable, or how much effort either side is prepared to expend trying to reconstruct a centrist ed reform movement. (I worry that each side would rather blame the other for today’s fissiparous tendencies.) I do know, however, that the price of disintegration in education reform will be heavy. We don’t need to worry overmuch about adult reformers paying that price, but we should care quite a lot about what it will exact from the millions of kids who deserve better, and from a society whose future hinges more on how well those kids are educated than on who occupies the Oval Office on January 20, 2017.
Also its lack of humor:
Exacerbating the disagreements on those questions is the self-righteousness that seems to have swamped this field in recent years. Education has never been a mirth-filled realm, but when I first got into it a lot of participants could still smile, occasionally giggle, even tell the odd joke—and the chuckles were, often as not, bipartisan. Today, however, practically nobody seems to have a sense of humor, at least not about anything bearing on ed reform. Is it because of our unfunny national politics? Because social media and 24/7 news mean that even a short chortle can be turned by one’s foes into evidence that one is making light of something? I’m not sure about the cause, but I can attest that it’s hard to make common cause with people who can never share a spoof or jest.
School lotteries create useful natural experiments. But more good schools would be nice! Scarcity understandably doesn’t make people fans of markets, which is an issue with school reform in some communities. That’s not an argument against school choice, and especially not against giving the poor the same kind of choices other Americans have, but it’s a political problem given the uneven educational terrain.