Good Reading – Now With More Polls!

Interesting paper from Bridgespan on next generation learning initiatives. Tom Friedman hearts Waiting for Superman.  And an op-ed from the President of Strayer lays out the contours of the debate over for-profit higher education and accountability.  If nothing else that debate is going to finance the college tuition of a lot of lobbyists’ children.

Plus Gallup/PDK poll v. Ed Next poll (pdf) again this year.   Release event for Gallup/PDK today, it’s improving a lot to their credit and has the Gallup brand but Ed Next still has the mojo.

Update: More on the polls.  First, while Gallup/PDK find low-approval for President Obama on education and a drop in support it does not seem keyed to his policies.  Why?  When Gallup/PDK or Ed Next digs down on a host of those you find bipartisan support.  Rather, the education approval numbers seem to be referred pain from his overall low-approval numbers. If you only look at the (in my view badly worded) question on turnarounds of course it will look different.  Update: Unfair to only pick on Ed Week, others bit on this, too.

Second, although the number has remained roughly consistent over time, about 4 in 10 public school parents say they’d change schools if they could.  From a pure loyalty and market share perspective that should be a troubling number for the public school establishment but instead they take comfort from the 60 percent.

Third, my friends in the charter world are gaga over the record high support for charters in the PDK/Gallup poll.   But I wouldn’t pop the champagne just yet, that support seems fragile.  Indeed, check out Ed Next’s poll and some other polls that are out there.  The public may like charters but it’s unclear they have any idea what one is!  In Ed Next even 1 in 4 teachers said charters charge tuition.

12 Replies to “Good Reading – Now With More Polls!”

  1. Bob Somersby rips into Thomas Friedman’s column

    Do you think Friedman even knows that a scandal has just taken place in the state? Do you think he has even heard about the blow to the “Scarsdale-Harlem” thesis which was alleged in last week’s report in the Times? Do you think he has heard about this recent matter, let alone puzzled it out?

    As he nears completion, Friedman uses the language that is found in almost all such high-minded cookie-cutter pieces—pieces written by pompous bags who are simply reciting the latest views of the “educational experts.” We know what works, this blowhard recites. But does Tom Friedman know anything?

    FRIEDMAN: Because we know what works, and it’s not a miracle cure. It is the whatever-it-takes-tenacity of the Geoffrey Canadas; it is the no-excuses-seriousness of the KIPP school (Knowledge is Power Program) founders; it is the lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way ferocity of the Washington and New York City school chancellors, Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein.

    Do you think Friedman has any idea whether Rhee is producing real long-term gains? As you see him extend the Standard Requisite Praise of Klein, do you think he knows that “outraged” parents drove Klein from a public stage one week ago, chanting slogans about a vast embarrassment to New York City schools?

    Do you think Friedman has any idea about any of these serious matters? We doubt it.

    FRIEDMAN: Although the movie makes the claim that the key to student achievement is putting a great teacher in every classroom, and it is critical of the teachers’ unions and supportive of charters, it challenges all the adults who run our schools—teachers, union leaders, principals, parents, school boards, charter-founders, politicians—with one question: Are you putting kids and their education first?

    Like all pompous blowhards of his class, Friedman is eager to challenge every societal group—except his own. He wants teachers to get their asses in gear—and everyone else, including those parents! But how about our ratty pseudo-journalists, Friedman’s own under-performing class? You know? The wind-bags who type this column each year, then disappear into the ether?

    A final point: We greatly honor the work of Geoffrey Canada, which doesn’t mean that he will be right on every single question. (Canada thought Superman was a real person until the fifth grade, Friedman ominously says.) Beyond that, we don’t mean anything we’ve written to be construed as criticism of Rhee or Klein. But can we talk? Unlike Canada, Rhee and Klein, mainstream journalists don’t give a rat’s ass about the interests of black and Hispanic kids. For the most part, neither do editors of your “liberal journals,” even as they prance about the land, name-calling tens of millions of bigots and proclaiming their deathless racial perfection, and that of their own lofty tribe.

  2. phillipmarlowe:

    Did your linked article really ask, “Does Tom Friedman care about black kids?” And yet you’re still implying it is a good response to Friedman’s article? It’s a revealing article for other reasons than I think you intended.

  3. Chris Smyr Says:
    August 25th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Did your linked article really ask, “Does Tom Friedman care about black kids?”

    You read it didn’t you?
    I thought the ability to read was required for grad school.
    Maybe not all.

  4. Chris, could you elaborate? I am curious as to what you think the article reveals.

    I read it as condemnation of Friedman and journalists who don’t think much before they write.

  5. You read it correctly, TFT.
    Bob Somersby, who writes the Daily Howler, is very hard on lazy journalists.
    He has a companion site about what he dubs the War On Gore, which details the way journalists got things seriously wrong about Gore, whether it be from laziness or malice. Journalists like Ceci Connelly of the Post, Kit Seelye of the NYT, and those who laughed and jeered at Gore during the presindetial debate with Bush back in the fall of 2000.
    He also goes after journalists who are very sloppy when it comes to discussing the education of poor minority children in urban areas:
    Charlie Rose allows Wendy Kopp to utter banalities much like what Thomas Friedman wrote.
    Jay Mathews highlights test scores at Maury Elementary and gets things wrong.

    Bob taught minority children in an urban area. He taught in Baltimore back in the late 1960s and early 70s. He still lives in the Baltimore area.
    You can search on his site for more details.

  6. phillipmarlowe:

    You linked to an article that, as often done here, initially brings up a stupid question about the supposed interests of someone you disagree with. Does Friedman hate black kids? That is such a great question, and it of course adds greatly to the Daily Howler’s credibility and reputation for objective analysis.

    Your quoted passage also gives us a bearing on the usefulness of the article in addressing Friedman’s article, which is about as useful as had the article not been written at all. The article raises lots of points of discussion but fails to deliver on any of them, and instead tosses about a bunch of horseshit claims about how these people and those people don’t care about kids.

    Do you have something you could perhaps add to your comment, about why Friedman is wrong? I would suggest not linking to the Daily Howler.

  7. “Horseshit” is your elaboration, Chris?

    People who care about kids try to help them–and not for just 2 years.

    Many have dedicated their lives to helping kids.

    You could give it a go! You even have a tiny bit of experience to get you started!

  8. TFT and phillipmarlowe:

    You both are being annoyingly childish about this. If you want to discuss the topics that the Daily Howler tries to address, do so (or try to do so). It would give your potential arguments some credit if you were to refrain from linking to articles that question whether an official “cares about black kids” or not. The article could even address some of the topics that it attempts to bring up.

  9. Chris,
    Just add us to list of commentators that you find not serious or annoyingly childish; eg linda, billy, ed, melody, and skip over us when you read, click and respond.
    That way you won’t waste time that would be better spent on your grad studies.
    Problem solved.
    World makes sense again.

  10. interesting how the debate is shaded by one’s bias. I wasn’t sure what to think. I had to set aside my preconceptions and re read it seveal times

    Still not sure where i’ll end up on this issue

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