Odds and Ends, And Edujobs (Including One @BW)

From LA – the new California data is out.  Looks like seven of the top ten high schools in the city are charters as are the two top middle schools.   Four of the bottom ten schools in the city are charters, too.   So (a) how are averages here very useful in the “on average they do…” sense?  And (b) aren’t there some things to be learned from the schools at the top?

Also worth noting that Aspire Public Schools are basically the best large school district in the state. Meanwhile, ICEF in LA has elementary school  students outperforming schools in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, high performance overall, and the best SATs among charters and neighborhood high schools.  But no, nothing to learn here!

From Indy, analysis of charter school achievement there (pdf).  Indy’s interesting because of the role of the mayor’s office.

Speaking of generalizations that obscure complicated issues, great new CRPE report looking at teacher attrition.  Again shows that conversation about teacher turnover is confused by the variety of factors causing turnover and bad comparisons.  It’s an issue, especially at some name-brand schools, but the rhetoric is often disconnected from the reality.

Important Ed Week write-up of where possible House Ed and Labor chair Kline (R) is on education. But here’s one thought on the Administration’s ESEA strategy and perhaps why people tend to be bearish on their ability to move a bill.  A big 8?  President Bush got his version done with a big 4 (Miller (D), Boehner (R), Gregg (R), and Kennedy (D)).   These days you can’t get eight people in DC to agree on anything.

Stand for Children, a great grassroots organizing group Bellwether provides policy analysis support for, is looking or an ED for its new Illinois chapter.   And, here’s a great (non-political) edujob at The Department of Education:  Managing the National Charter School Program. Meanwhile, at Bellwether we’re hiring another person for our D.C. office.    Thank you to all the great people who applied for the other openings, this role is a little different but still a great opportunity.

And here’s a great opportunity in Detroit for someone who really wants to be involved in something important there.

Think you want to launch your own organization like Stand or a state EAO?  Here’s a how-to from PIEn.

And Rick Kahlenberg is after legacy admissions again! This should be a good session.

6 Replies to “Odds and Ends, And Edujobs (Including One @BW)”

  1. There may be 4 charters in the bottom now, but I thought the point of a charter school was it’s ability to be flexible. If charters are underperforming, we can close them and start fresh. Charters allow for innovation, and this innovation does not ALWAYS work, but definitely has high potential (hence 7 charters can be found in the top!).

  2. Yeah–don;t worry about how the closings disrupt the lives of kids and families. Its ok–they aren’t rich and influential families. Nothing like experimenting on other peoples’ kids.

    Hmm–what SHOULD we do? Number one–LISTEN to the people in the community and ask what they want and how they think things should be changed. Number two–use some of this innovation money to invest in the local neighborhood school which is often the community heart and soul (something charter reformers don’t seem to get).

  3. What we can learn from the high-performing charters:
    1) cherry-pick the hardest-working kids and most ambitious parents from the local school;
    2) Don’t enroll ELL or special ed kids–they cost too much and are too difficult to teach within the current school configuration;
    3) Kick kids out who don’t cut it or whose parents don’t cut it;
    4) Push out those lower-performing kids (but don;t tell anyone about how many kids leave, just clam that 100% of your graduates go to college even though over 33% of the 9th grade cohort left the school’
    4) Don’t enroll any really low-performing kids–just the slightly below average and average kids; and,
    5) Spend lots and lots of extra time on instruction; and
    6) Don’t do extra-curricular activities.

    At least that is what they are finding in Texas.

  4. Andy,

    Massachusetts numbers were released on Tuesday. Similar trends re: charters. A lot near the top, some in the middle and some at the very bottom.

  5. It’s worth noting that there are serious limitations to the CRPE report looking at teacher attrition. In their analysis of teacher turnover in charter schools, the authors look only at turnover data from Wisconsin, a state which has very unrepresentative labor policies for charter schools. The majority of charter school teachers in Wisconsin are covered by the same union contracts as public school teachers, removing what is usually a central difference between employment at a charter school versus public school.

    I’ve written more about this in a post for Taking Note, the blog of The Century Foundation: http://takingnote.tcf.org/2010/11/why-do-charter-schools-have-high-teacher-turnover.html#more

    I agree, however, that teacher turnover is affected by a variety of factors and that we need better research to separate out the effects of each.

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