News Roundup…

Important NYT story on the Texas “Talented 10” higher education plan. Read the whole thing but here are a few lines that sum it up:

The dispute shows how hard it is to come up with a system for doling out precious but scarce spots in elite universities without angering someone…Any change in the rule raises the touchy subject of class, because those demanding change tend to be concerned about students at the state’s elite high schools in wealthy areas, while defenders of the rule say they are worried about students from poorer rural and urban neighborhoods.

Also in the NYT Aspen Institute’s Robert Shireman writes that the federal direct loan program is working pretty well and that claims of a scandal are unfounded. Bob worked for Clinton though, so you might expect him to say that. But the accompanying column by Republican Representative Thomas Petri provides pretty strong validation…Petri writes:

“…too many of my colleagues believe private enterprise is always better than a government program. But the direct loan program, which lends directly to students from the United States Treasury, has proved to be far less costly. Greater use of this program would free up resources that could be used to provide students with more money.”

They’re both right.

From Florida concern about public school choice under No Child Left Behind. NEA president Reg Weaver says, “This is nothing but a setup for young people to be moved from public school,” said Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association teachers union group. “It gives the appearance that public schools are not successful.” Here is data on Florida’s reading and math achievement, note the achievement gaps and evaluate that statement for yourself…(by the way, whether the public schools are successful or not is a rhetorical standard, of course many are…the real standard ought to be whether public education is successful for all students, and demonstrably for poor and minority students it’s not in too many communities right now…)

They’re still badgering the superintendent in Alexandria, VA, according to this Washington Post story. Now there is rumbling about whether she should receive a standard annual raise or not…the local teachers’ union says that only teachers who pass performance evaluations receive raises. Fair enough, but what percentage of teachers is that? Good question to ask.

From Philly, an overview of new test scores and a more detailed look at Edison’s role there. Registration required for both.

This News Journal story from Delaware looking at school resegregation and achievement is being feverishly emailed around. Richard Rothstein says that the notion of high poverty high performing schools is, “a fraudulent claim. These places just don’t exist”…over to you Education Trust

NYT readers respond to Samuel Freedman’s literature review on Brown.

Andrew Wolf’s NY Sun take on what new data from New York means is a must-read. Via

The New York Post ed board weighs in on charter schools there. They (a) like the Bloomberg-Klein charter initiative and (b) do not think the UFT does.

The AP takes a different view of the D.C. voucher program than The Washington Post. It’s two sides of the same coin, total applicants versus qualified ones but an interesting study in how the same issue can be viewed in different ways. Doesn’t obviate some problems for the program though.

In the CSM, Jim Bencivenga writes that law is tying teachers and schools down Lilliputian-style.

The Washington Post Magazine does its quarterly education review.

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