The rhetoric about IMPACT in DC is at odds with the evidence in a bunch of ways (look for something on that from Bellwether later this week). But that rhetoric keeps the idea from traveling. Jason Kamras says it’s not coming to Richmond.
I don’t trust “Project Veritas” as far as I can throw them given their past work (and if they’re journalists then it means I’m an astronaut because I have some space memorabilia in my home office), but regardless of all that, this is still not a good look and can’t just be shrugged off as editing tricks. It’s probably indicative of why there is legal wrangling between teachers union leaders and Project Veritas in a few places over releasing videos like this. (Also, everyone in the ed game knows this stuff is a problem, but most are too scared to say so and/or do the difficult work of balancing legitimate due process concerns with a big step forward here. You know, kids first and all that.)
Whether by design to spin up parents about guns and electoral politics or because of a lack of expertise in security, districts are responding to concerns about school shootings with measures that, however well-meaning, are doing more to scare kids than genuinely protect them.
Speaking of the strikes, there is some confusion about various data being tossed around about teacher pay, state spending and so forth. When thinking about teacher salaries and comparisons it’s important to account for actual days worked – eg comparing a 190 or 200 day with a 260 day work year is problematic. Many analyses don’t account for this. Non-cash compensation, in particular health care and retirement benefits can also be a misleading point of comparison – thogh teacher retirement isn’t as good as commonly assumed it’s often just expensive. Basically, as with any comparison you want to go for apples to apples. And basically, you can do a lot worse than just follow @chadaldeman, who will break this all down for you in real time.
One other thougth on this. I’ve always been struck at how reformers have consistently allowed themselves (not always undeservedly) to be painted as being against school spending. Money matters – and of course how it’s spent matters, too. And many reformers get that inequitable intrastate finance policies are a huge problem for students (and teachers), disadvantage low-income communities, and that the budget choices some states have made are a big problem, too (though that’s a more partisan issue). Reform + resources has always seemed like substantively and politically the way to go. Bill Clinton used to say we should invest more in our schools and demand more from them. Hard to argue with that.
When I started reading Elif Batuman’s recent New Yorkerpieceon Japan’s rental family business, I expected it to be fascinating. What I didn’t expect was that it would offer striking insights on the currentdebate over credentials and compensation for early childhood workers in the United States…
…the first time I set foot on the UVA campus, I absolutely fell in love. I felt there was nowhere quite like it — from the research and extracurricular opportunities to the academic rigor, UVA had everything I was looking for. I moved into my first-year dorm excited about the four years to come but quickly found myself feeling isolated. My hallmates and new friends would speak of the groups from home who had matriculated with them at UVA, and of the flexibility in their schedules thanks to the credits they had already earned because of the opportunities at their high schools. The majority of them came from affluent backgrounds, with parents who had gone to college.
I, on the other hand, was all alone. There were two of us from my high school, and we were not prepared in the same way…
Did you know Bellwether has an evaluation practice? We do, and they are sold-out most of the time. So we’re hiring more team members to join a great team led by Allison Davis that includes Beth Tek, Katrina Boone, and others. Two openings below:
This idea of turning Impact Aid into a voucher program completely misunderstands why Impact Aid exists and is the kind of idea that discredits school choice rather than advances it. If people want a voucher program for military families – not a totally off the wall idea given concerns about the quality of schools around some military facilities, then do that. But that requires new dollars not raiding Impact Aid.
New America’s Education Policy program uses original research and policy analysis to help solve the nation’s critical education problems, crafting objective analyses and suggesting new ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large. We combine a steadfast concern for historically disadvantaged populations with a belief that better information about education can vastly improve both the policies that govern educational institutions and the quality of learning itself.
Pew with some troubling data on how scared kids are about gun violence at school. Troubling in no small part because it’s a level of anxiety entirely disproportionate to the threat. You might be surprised at the many things, from the too common – cancer and car accidents – to the unusual – becoming a child bride – that are more likely to happen to young people than being shot in school. It’s terrifying when it happens, yes, and we should improve policy here, yes, but we shouldn’t let that cloud our judgement in how we present this to kids.
These kinds of pension stories about outliers and weird spikes are hard to lay off of, so they get headlines and illustrate that pension plans are a lot more arbitrary than people think. But they’re not the core problem – the core problem in education is that traditional pensions are just a poor fit for the labor market today and need some updating.
If you just think the voucher program is bad policy, then join the campaign against it. That’s the right way to voice your judgments about the merits of educational policy. You don’t want to sacrifice your son’s education to abstract principle, especially given that you’re not going to end the voucher program by failing to make use of it.