Testing! Money! Quality!

Diane Ravitch says Arne Duncan wants too much testing, likes charters too much, is mean, and is more or less Margaret Spellings with a tie.  I don’t buy it, he’s not mean…Meanwhile, Tom Loveless says too much attention on the wrong testing.   Ed Week on that here and don’t miss Dane Linn’s take at the end if you follow this closely.

What would you do with $5 billion dollars?  

This coming student loan debate is necessary and will be fierce.  But, a good time to take this on given the banking situation more generally.  This is a pretty clear case where a government program is more efficient than the private one and better for students.   Big winner:  Lobbyists.  Almost five years old but this backgrounder is still pretty timely…And the President’s Budget (pdf) has some other smart higher ed proposals, let’s hope this debate doesn’t swamp them.

And, Usually Reliable Robelen takes a look at the charter school quality.  Well-worth checking out although I’d date the quality discussion earlier than he does.  There were meetings, conversation, and work on this in 2001 and 2002.   What took longer, obviously, were solid policy and practice responses, for instance the work that NACSA has done on authorizing.  It’s also worth noting the support from some charter groups for closing down low-performing charters, that’s not something you see on a systemic basis in this field…

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