Friday’s AM News

Must read Karin Chenoweth column on reading instruction in The Washington Post.

New Mathematica study on free/reduced price school lunch eligibility. The punchline? Fraud not rampant. Incidentally, program integrity obviously matters but generally in practice, when in doubt, school officials give a poor kid a free lunch (often the best meal they see all day). Is that really so bad?

Still can’t get enough Reagan? The Fordham Foundation has links to commentary on Reagan and education and links to speeches. More Gipper here.

Too late and too far away to help Rod Paige, but in Bolivia the teachers’ union really are terrorists… (in Spanish only, sorry)

The Washington Post reports that fewer students than expected qualified for vouchers. Couple of implications. First, as the article shows, more headache inducing back and forth between voucher zealots and foes. Second, some students already attending private schools will be able to participate.* Third, voucher proponents are able to dodge the research bullet for at least another year because there are not enough students to do a proper experiment. Fourth, more evidence that the market doesn’t work as cleanly and crisply in low-income communities as voucher proponents think. That will be ignored, of course, in future program design. *Eduwonk, though no fan of the program overall, is nonetheless not really troubled by this issue because almost anyone working professionally in Washington knows poor parents working multiple jobs or struggling to make ends meet to afford a private school. All program participants are poor, affluent parents are not being subsidized. In terms of making public education work for all children in Washington there are bigger fish to fry than that.

The New York Sun editorializes about a charter school that is being closed for low-performance but seems to have started to hit its stride (at the elementary level its 8th grade scores are still poor and the school apparently has some management/fiscal problems) and outpace other NYC schools with the latest round of test scores. Interesting debate, though The Sun goes way astray criticizing “political conservatives who mistakenly put “accountability” ahead of choice”…Eduwonk wishes there were more such conservatives. If New York officials reconsider, let’s hope they’ll be tough and extremely conditional in any action, recent action in NY, MI and elsewhere show that the charter strategy of governance works with resolute authorizers.

Amato looks to be coming out on top in New Orleans…

In Philly, a push to end seniority based teacher placements and move toward site-based hiring which the teachers’ union there says could lead to, “racism, anti-Semitism, nepotism… and discrimination”…oh my! Hyperbole anyone?

The CSM looks at teachers and free speech.

More USA Today on E-Rate here. Not so flattering. Still, mend it don’t end it.

Irony Alert: Labor unrest among NEA employees. Via School News Monitor

Writing about MCAS gains in the Boston Phoenix David Bernstein says not so fast. And, patron saint of fiscal inequities Jonathan Kozol doesn’t like neighborhood schools. Both via

Reuters reports on a new study on international domestic labor.

Finally, watch this lawsuit.

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