October 27, 2017


October 26, 2017

Edujob: Director Of Policy & Research @ TN SCORE

Here’s a great edujob in a state with a lot happening on education: Director of Policy & Research at Tennessee Score. It’s Nashville-based (great town and good education scene), great team, well-regarded organization, big opportunities for creative work and impact. This role reports to SCORE’s president.  From the JD:

Key responsibilities for the Director of Policy and Research position include, but are not limited to:

  • Leading SCORE’s policy and research efforts
  • Ensuring SCORE’s advocacy, policy, and communications efforts are informed by research and best practice
  • Serving as a statewide expert on key education reform policy topics

You can learn more and apply right here.


October 25, 2017

Libertarian On Libertarian Violence! Basta! Edujobs! Pension Debates, Testing, And Chris Stewart Takes No Prisoners, Plus More!

Scroll down for a bunch of edujobs, more coming soon!

There is a lot of willful misunderstanding or weaponizing of data in the debate over teacher pensions. There are complicated issues and real trade-offs, but straightforward apples to apples comparisons shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Chad Aldeman on one recent report as an example.

Profile of Basta. In the vein of there are not 100 percent solutions but we can cobble together 100 great 1 percent solutions this is the kind of idea that is encouraging. And this is an org and a leader worth watching, will beat back your cynicism.

John King on equity and accountability.

Neil McCluskey tells Megan McArdle to look for someone else to blame in the school choice debate. Scroll down for her argument, linked the other day. This reminds me of the old adage that when libertarians fight it’s the legal weed that gets trampled.

John Grisham’s latest novel is about for-profit higher education.

“I told my kids, you get a rare opportunity to go to school in a wilderness area”

This, from Chris Stewart on New York’s ATR politics:

…Apparently, the usual noisemakers are taking a knee on this one. Without a billionaire to blame, or a school reform nemesis to rally against, this is a rare occurrence of outrage fatigue and activist dereliction. Social justice headquarters is filled with nothing but bystanders now.

Can you imagine what would happen if some enterprising journalist unearthed a secret memo from founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz to her Success Academy principals informing them that they would have to hire substandard teachers as a cost-cutting measure?

The community organizing machine would roar with dramatic accusations of greed, self-interest, racism, and malice.

I reject the cynical, political, and corrupt muteness of people who have never been unfamiliar with microphones, cameras, and theatrics when their pockets are light but hide in the back pews when their funders threaten our children…

Different issue in Chicago – bad information on possible hires as well as possibly insufficient hiring practices. 

Every now and again a study comes along that is so good you don’t want to dig into the methods: This new one on how booze helps you learn foreign languages is an example.

Phil Lesh and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.


Edujob: Director, Data Science & Insights @ANet

Great edujob here! Director, Data Science & Insights @ ANet. ANet has been quietly getting strong results in the assessment space. This role:

We are seeking a Director to join the Organizational  Effectiveness (OE) team.  The OE team ensures that ANet has the right goals that motivate and drive us to achieve our mission, spearheads our shared organizational focus on improving our core service model, and builds a research mindset and capability across ANet’s internal teams. This role reports to the Vice President, Org Effectiveness and is the ideal position for someone who has a passion for growing an organization’s confident use of data in order to shape strategic decisions and to deepen its long-term impact.

ANet is flexible to remote working, with occasional travel to ANet’s National Office in Boston. Therefore, proximity to the New England area and/or eastern time zone is preferable.

Learn more and how to apply via this link.


October 24, 2017

Racial Bias And Teacher Expectations, Demographic Burden, McArdle On Choice, CAP On Choice, Fallon’s Marketplace Take, Minnich To NWEA, More!

Racial bias and teacher expectations.

Chris Minnich from CCSSO to NWEA. This is a big deal for both organizations.

This blog has discussed the demographic burden and how in most of the post-war period it’s been investments in young people but that is changing to the costs associated with caring for the elderly as our population changes. Here’s a local look at that in one suburban community. Along with the demand for greater performance and more customization and choice this seems to be one of the three big trends that will impact education going forward.

CAP with a pro-charter school piece. Now the other side can beat them up for a while.  Here’s an interesting take on school choice from Megan McArdle.

And here’s Pearson’s CEO on the education marketplace and Pearson’s position.

This looks like the beginning of confirmation of one of the two theories laid out in this 74 column. Enjoy the documentary.

Allman Brothers, “Into the Mystic.”


October 23, 2017

Edujob! Founding Executive Director @ Sojourner Truth Public Charter School

Here’s a great edujob and opportunity for impact in Washington, D.C., Founding Executive Director for the Sojourner Truth Public Charter School: 

The Sojourner Truth Public Charter School (“Truth School” or the “school”) is an organization with the mission of fostering a lifetime love of learning and cultivating independence among DC school children, using the student-centered Montessori Method, an evidence-based approach to closing the opportunity gap.

Following that model of success, the school serves the culturally diverse urban population of Washington, DC, and anticipates eventually growing from 7th and 8th grade (junior high school) through 12th grade.

You can learn more about the school, the opportunity, and how to be considered here.


Teacher Pensions, Teacher Politics, WeWork Coding, Charter Schools Growing, DeVos And Special Education, Macron’s Dog, More!

Confused about teacher pensions in Kentucky – and who amongst us isn’t? Chad Aldeman and Kirsten Schmitz unpack the debate there. 

Union politics in the Trump-era.

WeWork – which has a large real estate footprint – moving into coding training.

Teacher diversity gaps via Brookings.

In eighteen states it takes ten years to vest for your teacher pension, half of teachers never vest nationally, and only 1 in 5 teachers get a full pension. Yet people still want to argue this is a sensible retirement policy for an increasingly mobile field like education. And the argument that because younger workers don’t accumulate much in the way of retirement savings then that’s OK in education, too, is insane. Lots of people also struggle with health care, that doesn’t make it something desirable to import into our field. And you can get young people off to a good start with savings though some basic steps like immediate vesting, portability, good employer matches to encourage savings (in the case of a 401k). In other words there are things we can do. Also, there is this.

This NAACP tax status move is going to have an impact on education politics, funds like this are harder to raise and the teachers unions are a key source. It’s a good reminder that if the SCOTUS curtails union power this session things will not be as linear as a lot of partisans on both sides seem to think.

Charter schools are one of those issues where the averages obscure the real story. For instance, did you know there are now 208 districts with more than 10 percent of students in charter schools, but only three with more than 50 percent? This NAPCS analysis provides some important context on all that and a textured picture of what’s happening out there in terms of enrollment share.

Betsy DeVos got rid of a bunch of special education guidance documents the other day and everyone is predictably going nuts. Here’s the deal:

  1. The way the Department did this is inexplicable, they just hung a kick me sign on their backs. A little context and this would have been a non-story. Unbelievable given that it’s late October now. We may yet have a special education debate but this really isn’t it.
  2. Most of the people complaining about this in the spirit of “it’s the latest outrage!” couldn’t name 3 of these memos if their lives depended on it.
  3. Christina Samuels at Ed Week does a nice job with context that has mostly eluded the hysterical coverage. The Post, not so much.
  4. The law remains in effect as do the key regulations. Worth noting that school districts and parents are often in different places on this issue – there is a whole body of law and army of lawyers due to that. So this doesn’t fit cleanly with the Betsy DeVos undermining districts storyline either.
  5. Special education law is really complicated, one of the most complicated education issues around. So it’s best not to learn about it on social media.  I did a book on it years ago, have firsthand experience in multiple ways, and wouldn’t begin to put myself forward as an expert.

Emmanuel Macron’s dog is the hero we need.


October 20, 2017

Sara Mead On Ivanka Trump, Kate Pennington On Teacher Diversity, How Do You Like Them Apples! Plus Art News…And More!

Sara Mead on the problems with Ivanka Trump’s tax ideas.  Kate Pennington on teacher diversity.

Let’s get more teachers in Social Security.

Maybe actor Matt Damon tolerates a lot of bad behavior despite his protestations or perhaps he’s just not that alert an individual, but either way don’t take his advice on schools.

Another edu issue where it’s important to look behind the label: It’s not just higher ed degrees that matter, majors, and non-terminal certificates do, too.

Free speech and the Gators.

One feel good thing:

A Basquiat sold for north of $20 million and KIPP is the beneficiary.



Friday Fish Porn – Canada

Here’s Jamie Rees. He was one of Bellwether’s first interns, a stand out soccer player, poet, and all around great human. Now teaching high school math in Baltimore for the past few years. Adventures in between – including fishing. A westerner by birth and inclination, this summer he was in western Canada and this happened:

Want more pictures of education types with fish? It’s OK if you do. Here are hundreds via this link.