Odds And Ends

I think Newt Gingrich once again pointed out the kernel of an important trend while bungling the specifics – that’s today’s TIME School of Thought column.  At CNN Ruben Navarrette hearts him up and down on the same issue and praises him for saying kids are lazy. I see a big difference between habits of work and laziness.  Spend some time with kids including those considered at -risk or involved with juvenile justice and it’s clear laziness is not the issue.  Developing good habits of work and success is a distinct (and important) issue.

Elsewhere, important report from Fordham on charter incubators. It’s a good idea that is better in version 2.0. Might be choice on steroids in St. Louis? And Edmondo announces a big funding round with Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital.

Rick Hess thinks that I was unfair to his Times op-ed with LDH the other day.  On the use of consultants and Race to the Top point, which Rick revisits and clarifies, most state departments of education don’t have the strategy capacity to undertake that work on their own, it was a good use of consultants (and Bellwether helped several states, full disclosure).  The problem is that if you held the competition again next year you’d still have to use consultants in very much the same way in many of the same places. In other words, what has RTT done/will do to build the kind of capacity that state department’s need to more effectively function?  That’s a big issue, in my view, going forward.

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