TNTP is irreplaceable? You should take time to read the new TNTP report, “The Irreplaceables.” In a nutshell it shows the gap between how we talk about performance in education and the reality of how high-performing teachers are treated and the role performance plays. The data on page 11, for instance, is completely at odds with much of the rhetoric and accepted wisdom about teacher effectiveness.
And in a related vein the also irreplaceable, Public Impact has some ideas on how to pay teachers a lot more by redistributing resources.
Thoughtful and provocative Peter Schrag column, resonates beyond California.
Speaking of debates a good reminder of why many journalists have a thinly veiled contempt for education ones. On Twitter AFT head Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) took issue with this WSJ op-ed by journo Campbell Brown (@campbell_brown). The dispute quickly turned personal when Weingarten and the AFT tweeted that Campbell was compromised because her husband, Dan Senor, works for Mitt Romney in this year’s campaign. Campbell said it was sexist. I don’t know about that, but it’s a ridiculous and ad hominen argument with nothing to do with the issues in Campbell’s op ed. But, the question was then raised about whether Senor has any ties to various groups in the education debate. That’s more legit as a disclosure issue, if true, but so far no evidence he does. Stay tuned though. Senor, senor, can you tell me where we’re headin’?
Three on testing. In PA they are dropping the hammer on cheating and scores are dropping, too. New JFF report looks at college placement tests and the evolving conversation about them (pdf). And Catherine Gewertz catches up with the simmering controversy about tests that are similar to what the two assessment consortia are working on. My take is that the concerns about turf should be secondary to meeting the enormous challenge these consortia have before them. Besides, the idea of Common Core was to create a platform for all kinds of innovation, seems a little ridiculous to try to kill that off before it’s even off the ground…And this is going to play right into the hands of Common Core critics, it’s a gift for them. (Full disc, Bellwether provides policy analysis and strategic advice for one of the key players in this dispute, ACT, but is not involved in that part of their work).
Two charters. This article about allegations of fraud at a Pennsylvania charter school is obviously appalling. Leave aside that fraud, unfortunately, happens in all kinds of schools there is a more subtle lesson here. The more than 5K schools that fly under the charter school banner are so diverse the term is almost meaningless these days. What does this school, for instance, have in common with Mastery, a Philly charter school that delivers good results for the kids it serves? They’re both charters but the similarities stop there in every way. Just as the national conversation about traditional public schools too often treats them as more homogenous than they are in terms of their performance we need to find ways to talk about the different kinds of charters in a more fine-grained way.