April 13, 2018

21st Century Skills, Discipline, Education Media Bias, College Debate, School Names, And Has Reform Worked? More!

For a while education has been animated by the idea that with all this technology around us who needs to know “mere” facts. You can just look stuff up. That ignores how people learn, but more troubling it may lead to things like this: A startling number of millennials don’t know some of the basic dynamics of the Holocaust.

Also leads to this:


Here’s a content analysis of education coverage and partisan lean, both national and trade coverage.

An analysis of Newark’s school enrollment system.

This article is about the ongoing debate about Broward school discipline / Parkland shooting, but this line is something to keep an eye on:

“Teachers come to me and tell me, ‘My principal’s making me feel like it’s my fault when students misbehave,’ and ‘I’m asking for help, and they’re still putting it on me,’ ” Anna Fusco, the Broward County teachers’ union president, tells me the following day. We are at a downtown café between sessions in the all-day school board meeting, and she is describing a form of negligence that doesn’t show up in any documents. “Management denies it,” she says, but hundreds of teachers have complained to her about the district’s “unspoken” rule to avoid referrals.

Marc Tucker on the “has reform worked?” question/debate.

Area successful college-educated man questions benefits of college.

Cornell fire cold case. Engaging read.

Even accounting for the dislike hardcore “lost cause” types have for the cavalry officer, it seems weird that it’s easier to rename schools named after J.E.B. Stuart than Jeff Davis. But here we are. Anyway,  J.E.B. Stuart High School has a new look as Justice High (but same achievement gaps unfortunately). Debate continuing elsewhere about what to do about Confederate-themed schools. (Spelling updated via a very good tweet).

Love child.

April 12, 2018

Is Teacher Prep Improving? Plus Pearson, Chu, NCTQ, & Anderson. More!

Some education types on this list of women changing Silicon Valley – including New Schools alums Wayee Chu and Jennifer Carolan of Reach Capital. 

ICYMI – concerns about the NAEP modality with the shift to digital. NAGB says they’re on top of it, a lot of skepticism out there that goes beyond just state chiefs complaining.

Pearson efficacy reports out.

Cami Anderson on the discipline debate. Here she is with Soledad O’Brien on the same issue.

Noah Smith on why education matters beyond the credential.

NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review is updated with new data.

David Crane on pension crowd out. That’s a debate coming to more places soon.

A lot of Nation at Risk remembrances going on – and some revisionist history.  I’d recommend checking out the relevant parts of Lou Cannon’s Reagan bio for a good take of how it happened at the time.

No cellphones in school? No problem. Go vinyl.

April 11, 2018

NAEP! Teacher Pay, Charter Facilities, Goodbyes, Good Dogs, More!

Chad Aldeman on teacher salary and teacher benefits and why it’s essential to understand the distinctions. And Kirsten Schmitz with an equal pay day mash up of Kentucky, teacher pay, and gender.


Jamie Davis O’Leary farewell note.

New charter facilities funds.

You’ve got walkouts…and then you have this.

Dog chases Google car.

April 10, 2018

Posted on Apr 10, 2018 @ 12:19pm

April 9, 2018

Denver 2008 V. Denver 2018, Plus Lots Of Finance: Pensions, State Spending, Omnibus Bill. And The Great 8 DIY’s, New Line, Sup’t Searches, Food Searches, More!

Edujobs below, scroll down the main page.

Kirsten Schmitz with some background and context on pensions and the teacher walkouts. Chad Aldeman on pension reform in Kentucky.

This is a smart take on the geezer war and what it means for debates over teacher pay. I’ve been doing this work for a couple of decades and the relative shift in state spending on Medicaid and schools is one of the most pronounced changes over that time.

Speaking of money, don’t miss this webinar on the federal omnibus led by Whiteboard’s David DeSchryver. Thursday at 2pm.

Help wanted.

Denver innovation 2008. Denver innovation 2018.

This EverFi initiative is interesting. And I think Alexander Ovechkin writes his own quotes.

New issue of The Line is out.

I was wondering when someone was going to write this story – school gun clubs are pretty popular and pretty widely ignored in a debate about guns and schools that’s mostly coastal.

Today in pensions: Don’t do this.

“I think there are a lot of wealthy, lazy kids that don’t want to go down the elevator to pick up food,” he said.

Wild elephant. Wild Horses.

April 5, 2018

The Teachers Union Strike Strategy Is A Smart One, GAO On Discipline, White On Reading, Free Range Parenting, More!

The teacher strike in Oklahoma is ongoing. There is some chatter that this is a bad play for the teachers unions. I disagree. Yes, if history is any guide, it’s a safe bet at some point they’ll overplay their hand, but for now this works for them and is a smart strategy for four reasons.

First, they’ve got some legit grievances. Teachers are underpaid in some places (variance is the real story on teacher pay) and health care costs are effectively creating pay problems in others. Pension costs also create a crowd out effect on school finance but don’t look for them to take the lead on that. In general though these are not off the wall issues. Plus, because when these strikes end teachers usually get made whole for lost wages while they were on strike – yes that’s usually how it works even though you don’t hear about that in the media – it’s a low-risk strategy internally.

Second, they’re picking their spots well. They’re getting people in red states fired up about teachers and these issues and it’s also a smart play in advance of the 2018 midterm election where expanding the field will be key to Democratic success. And red state public finance is creating pressure they can seize on. Yes, with all these mass strikes it feels like we are living in France some days, but it’s a good moment for them. 

Third, making themselves sympathetic and highlighting these issues in advance of what’s likely to be an adverse ruling for them in the Janus case later this spring at the Supreme Court is smart. These strikes are putting pay first and foremost in people’s minds, not collective bargaining by teachers, which is less sympathetic and splits even Democrats. I mean seriously, look at press like this.

Fourth, these big strikes work for them when done right. Karen Lewis showed that in Chicago and these recent ones follow suit. And the unions are stronger when they’re on offense about things like this than defense over personnel polices and issues like that. Plus, it obscures other issues that case friction within the union. For instance misalignment between national leadership and the rank and file over hot button issues like discipline takes a back seat to the immediacy of stuff like this.

John White: 

While Washington investigates Facebook data and Russian bots, the best shield most Americans have to fight off propaganda is our capacity to make sense of what we read. A literate citizenry is a matter of national defense.

The GAO has weighed in on school discipline disparities.

Utah now has a free range parenting law – will other states do the same thing?

Robin Lake – who is something of an ed policy superhero herself, tells LAUSD to stop looking for one.

NGA’s Stephen Parker on governors’ role on ESSA going forward.

Howard University students continue pushing back on their administration.

New leader at Data Quality Campaign.

Check out KIPP’s alumni survey. More here.

Amazon dropping TenMarks.

Tim Shriver, Terry MacAuliffe, and Karen Pittman at Aspen Institute on Friday to talk SEL.  Live event and webcast.

Everyone can relate to this bear wanting to get a few more winks in.

April 3, 2018

Zernike Vapes, Duncan Writes, Grad Rates, Financial Incentives, Budget Dogs, School Naming, Time Capsules And Timeless, More!

Max Marchitello cautions that financial incentives alone are not enough to address the ed sector’s challenges with recruiting and retaining teachers from diverse backgrounds.

Kate Zernike on the vaping beat.

Arne Duncan is not wrong about the trajectory of progress on education. Still enormous problems but the idea that nothing has worked or we’ve spent billions and nothing has come of it simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and is a counterproductive thing for public school advocates to say anyway. I’d also agree that even more than capacity and lack of a coherent knowledge agenda, politics is the number one barrier to improving schools. Not sure though, in a democracy, I’d want it any other way despite the headaches.

Womp womp womp….

Food stamp timing and student achievement.

Worth your time to read this CAP analysis on graduation rates and some of the problems / lack of transparency with how states handle diplomas.

As predicted, mass teacher strikes becoming a thing. Good reminder as Janus looms that things rarely are as linear in this sector as is sometimes assumed. Good offense / best defense, or something like that. Former Massachusetts teachers union chief Paul Toner on all this.

Related bonus for the unions: All of this is helping leadership distract from some very real tensions in their ranks around the student discipline issue.

New guidelines for how OCR will handle serial complaints.

This Rick Hess/Grant Addison idea is mischievous.

Today in school naming. Today in donation gaps.

High school time capsule in Richmond. Here’s a speech that still stands up a half century later.

Bettye Layette has a new album out. Here’s some past work.

Edujob: ED @ Roots Elementary

Here’s an interesting and impactful edujob in Denver, CO:  Executive Director at Roots Elementary.  From the JD:

The guiding spirit for Roots is to cultivate our scholars’ innate sense of wonder into a lifetime of opportunity. The Executive Director fundamentally ensures that this founding spirit of Roots is nurtured, developed, and delivered on a consistent basis to the families of our community.

More specifcally, the Executive Director sets the strategic direction for Roots in partnership with the board, ensures adequate resources to support the school and the achievement of its goals, manages relationships with external stakeholders, and develops leadership team members’ capacity to execute their responsibilities.

The Executive Director thinks and plans strategically and inspires community members to become more engaged in the work of the school.

The Executive Director implements and develops policies and plans, and organizes, coordinates, and manages the programs and activities of the school.

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

March 30, 2018

DeVos In Trump No-Man’s Land? ESSA Assessments, Student Growth Measures, Pensions, Incarcerated Youth, Ed Ideas, Emergency Goalie, More!

Edujobs below, scroll down the main page.

Bonnie O’Keefe says don’t expect much from the ESSA assessment pilot – and that might not be the worse thing. Kate Pennington on student growth measures in the ESSA era.

Chad Aldeman and I looked at why teacher pensions are a bad fit for today’s teachers and what can be done for Democracy.

As Trump churn continues it’s worth noting that the President seems to favor people who perform well on TV – a CNBC personality and Fox analyst for two senior White House roles in just the past couple of weeks. And a guy who is good in front of the camera to run the VA. That’s probably not great news for Betsy DeVos who no one is going to accuse of giving great interviews. She’s not one of the out of sight cabinet secretaries doing their thing under the radar – when is the last time you heard about Rick Perry or Elaine Chao? Even Linda McMahon is keeping a low-profile. DeVos is neither low-profile or competent on Trump’s favorite medium -TV. That’s a no-mans land that’s not a great place to be in this administration it seems.

Your episodic reminder that schools are pretty safe.

California innovating with education for incarcerated individuals. Florida implementing reforms for incarcerated youth.

CAP has seven education ideas for progressives in 2018. Conservatives are all about parsimony so they’ll have five ideas to respond? No, wait, wait, that’s wrong, they’re talking up education funding now.

“A few hours ago I was sitting on the computer typing on a 10-key, and now I’m standing in front of you guys having just finished 14½ minutes of N.H.L. hockey,”