Odds & Ends

I mentioned Carolyn Bucior’s book on substitute teaching in my summer books TIME School of Thought column.  Summer is over but she’s still going. She talks with CAP’s Raegen Miller about the issue here.

In case you missed it over the holiday weekend The New York Times’ look at education technology deserves reading. If anything the piece was too kind and ought to be a wake-up call on some of the boosterism accompanying this latest round of ‘technology as savior’ in education. The history is littered with lessons (here’s an obvious one – instructional quality matters) but it’s unclear if anyone is paying attention.

And here’s some exclusive video from the first day of the Department of Education’s back-to-school bus tour. Here is some from last night.

A lot of new reader content posted at the Eduwonk Facebook page.

Finally, The Washington Monthly’s new college guide is out, always worth a look if you follow that issue – and the methods are interesting.  This past weekend Daniel de Vise took at look at the US News college rankings in the Wash Post. Couple of thoughts on what is a generally thoughtful story.  First, the article alludes to some internal critics at U.S. News without really giving the full context including some masthead changes and larger issues, there is a more to the history.  Second, I can’t speak for the college rankings – and do think the critics of the methodology have some very valid points – but I did help U.S. News design its high school rankings (and also used to write an education column for them).  In creating the high school rankings there were multiple opportunities to design things in a way that would have sold more magazines and online ads but not been as methodologically defensible.  We were never pressured to do that in any way.  Outside of things like baseball standings rankings are inherently subjective so these disagreements generally stem from different interpretations of what matters and should be measured rather than bad faith.

4 Replies to “Odds & Ends”

  1. Gosh, I said all this first, but Sirota said it soooooo much better! Thanks for the reference, Lou.

  2. From the article; “This trend is no accidental convergence of economic disaster and high-minded policy. On the contrary, it is a deliberate strategy by corporate executives and their political puppets, a strategy that uses the disaster of recession-era budget cuts as a means of justifying radical policies, knowing that the disaster will have shellshocked observers asking far fewer questions about data and actual results. As the Times sums it up, the recession’s “resource squeeze presents an opportunity” for corporate interests.”

    Then again some don’t think there’s any evidence of these vested economic interests that sow doubt about public education. Just more seeding of doubt to keep anyone from looking.

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