Higher Education, Learning And Chewing Gum, And That Is Not A Duck!

More on the new deal in Newark and a key player behind it.  But don’t call it merit pay! It’s bonuses! Yes, it may look like a duck, quack like a duck, but it is NOT a duck!  Or so I hear on Twitter where we’re furiously being told this is some bonus structure rewarding excellence but not merit pay!  We sure do spend a lot of time arguing semantics…

Dual enrollment on steroids in New York.  Smart and brave Huffie commentary from Sujata G. Bhatt.  If you want a primer on what’s happening on the innovation side of higher education last week’s TIME article by Amanda Ripley and Kevin Carey’s take on start-ups are where to start.

TNTP’s Tim Daly with an Eduwonk guest post on the Chicago strike fallout.  And Ezekiel Emanuel with a proposal sure to cinch numerous student body elections across the country.  Don’t tell anyone but charter schools are working pretty well in NYC.  That’s not by happenstance and there are some lessons for policy elsewhere.

As a parent of identical twins this Times op-ed caught my attention.  But it went in a different direction than I expected.  The score similarity is interesting and amusing (and happens a lot) but there are a bunch of possible reasons for the score drop the author discusses (changes to the test, actual decline in performance relative to the standards, or just a flukey result). What’s more interesting to me is that despite being genetically matched and quite similar my kids nonetheless have different experiences with school. It’s a daily reminder of how much we still have to learn about learning and how many different things can affect how we learn.

Speaking of reminders, the long Times look at the different experiences of students at New York private schools by race and income is a good caution.  Our education debate gets fought out with schools as the unit of analysis (average scores within schools, demographic composition of schools, school characteristics etc…) but different students can have very different experiences within the same school.  And, more generally, those differences can result from formal or informal practices and policies within a school.  That’s obviously even more of a problem in large schools, especially the huge factories we tolerate in some cities and suburban communities, but as the article shows it can be an issue anywhere.

*Photo via The Examiner.

5 Replies to “Higher Education, Learning And Chewing Gum, And That Is Not A Duck!”

  1. Charter schools in Mass:

    ¡Psst: Los Escuelos Charteros Have a Secret!

    Little Carmen cannot attend an outstanding escuelo chartero because she is still learning English. ¡Maybe next year, Carmen!

    Buenos dias chicas y chicos de EduShyster. Like you I am often confounded by a confounding problem: there are simply not enough words in the English language to describe how great charter schools are! That’s why I am pleased to introduce a new improved version of EduShyster, now in Spanglish. Let’s try it together shall we? ¡Los esquelos charters tienen muchas muchas mejores prácticas! ¡Excelente dear reader!

    Tragically though, like a telenovela our happy tale has a tragic back story. You see, los escuelos charteros may be innovador y exceptional but not all of our nation’s children are able to enjoy their muchos muchos beneficios—and not just because there more than 53,000,000 kids on charter school waiting lists. It turns out that los esquelos charters have a pequeño secreto: they don’t like los ninos who don’t speak Inglés.

    While public schools in Massachusetts cities have muchos muchos estudiantes who are still learning Inglés, these same estudiantes are mysteriously missing from los escuelos charteros. I too am baffled by this misterio dear reader. As we all know, los escuelos charteros have EXACTLY THE SAME estudiantes as los horribles escuelas públicas. Surely there is a misunderstanding. Perhaps we will find the missing estudiantes when we consult el data. Note to premium EduShyster readers: today’s featured caja de vino is a Spanish Tempranillo. ¡It goes very well with el data!


  2. Good stuff on why Michael Bloomberg et al are blowing cash (faster than Johnny Depp blew coke) into Louisiana’s Board of Education.
    Why Do Some of America’s Wealthiest Individuals Have Fingers in Louisiana’s Education System?
    Seven pro-education “reform” candidates for the BESE outraised eight candidates endorsed by the teacher’s unions by $2,386,768 to $199,878, a ratio of nearly twelve to one. In just one of these races, the executive director of Teach for America Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta, Kira Orange Jones, outspent attorney Louella Givens, who was endorsed by the state’s main teacher’s unions, by more than thirty-four to one: $472,382 to $13,815.

  3. Phillip, that link doesn’t work but we want to know! Actually, some of us do know what is going down, by the bayou. Not pretty. Katrina was very, how shall we say, convenient. Ahem. We all know that.

    You Louisiana reformers have your chance to make it seem like reform via choice and conservative principles is the way to reform. Go for it.

    You will still fail. The real lesson from Katrina is that real people die from the racism and prejudice of the powerful. Enjoy your brief moment in the sun.

  4. For higher education there are some great learning and teaching tools available online. One such tool is called virtual classroom and you can have a look at the tool at http://www.wiziq.com/virtual_classroom.aspx. Over 150,000 teachers and 2 million learners are already using it for online teaching and learning & they also offer 30-day free trial.

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