Brilling Down

Journalist Steven Brill made the list of 11 education activists for 2011 because his unsparing new book will shake things up when it comes out later this year.  I just noticed that the book now has a Facebook page so you can keep up as it rolls out.

5 Replies to “Brilling Down”

  1. “Dr?” Deasy?

    It is a portent that a quitter like Deasy (PGCPS?) is heralded as a “reformer.”

  2. Also, Deasy hoisted America’s Choice on the middle schools (it failed) and brought in incompetents to run special ed.

  3. Failures

    Brill’s Content: Launched in 1998, this mediacentric mag was supposed to capitalize on America’s insatiable thirst for news about the news! Turned out not that many people really care about the news about the news. Not enough to pay money, at least. Stopped publishing in 2001. A website selling “a variety of content ranging from thesis papers to ebooks.” Closed in 2001. The legendary media site that launched the careers of many top media reporters and also failed to make any money. The magazine version of Inside was merged with Brill’s Content, and the website was part of a convoluted plan with Primedia to corner the market on media trade publications, but the whole thing was shuttered in 2001.

    Clear: In the post-9/11 world, Brill noticed, airport security sure was a hassle. People would pay to be “verified” beforehand so they could breeze right through! Right? 165,000 people did, reportedly, and Clear raised more than $100 million from investors, but now it’s dead, unable to afford to keep going.

    Brill also wrote a couple books which didn’t sell all that well and a column for Newsweek, but you can judge those on their own merits. He’s not out of the game, though—his other ongoing venture is Journalism Online, a company that plans to help various magazines and newspapers charge readers for online access. Bet on it!

  4. Thanks for the introduction to Revolution Foods, and highlighting Stand For Children’s influence in state education.

  5. News from Indiana:
    Ind. Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Bennett Sold Out, Refused to Follow His Own Ed.D. Research

    Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett sees teachers and their unions as worse than Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) snaking throughout the locker rooms and hallways of Indiana’s public school buildings. Yet, after setting out on his pilgrimage to prove in his doctoral dissertation that teachers’ unions and teachers’ contracts were negatively influencing Indiana education, the former principal and basketball coach stumbled across a rude awakening. His research suggested the direct opposite.

    In The Effects of Just Cause Contract Language on Teacher Dismissals in Indiana Between 1999-2004, Bennett (2005) discovered that school corporations in the Hoosier state “have not encountered measurable resistance by teachers’ unions against their recommendations to dismiss teachers” (p. iii). Additionally, Bennett wrote: “Just cause contract language has not presented insurmountable hurdles for school corporations as they work to improve teachers’ performance and behavior” (p. iii). Neither did he find administrators claiming they were in any way handcuffed from holding teachers to high standards (iii-iv).

    Given that many doctoral candidates statistically analyze survey data, one can give Bennett the benefit of the doubt for not doing enough preliminary work before embarking to disprove his own thesis. Yet true scholars change their arguments to fit the data, elaborate on those arguments, add more sources to back up those arguments, and put that knowledge into practice in the real world. If anything, you’d think that after confirming his ideas wrong, coach Bennett would be out in full-force tailgating for the teachers and teachers’ unions every step of the way. Sadly, this will never happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.