This new teacher study out of LA has a lot of people talking, multiple findings at the flashpoints of today’s big debates.
Conservative state legislative organization ALEC will continue to stay neutral on Common Core. Big political win for supporters of Common Core. Business groups involved in ALEC played a role in heading off the effort to set the organization against the standards initiative.
Teach For America launching a military veterans initiative. Blue Engine is an innovative approach to serving students and staffing schools. Handy overview on what they’ve been up to.
Future of learning map from 2Revs (pdf), tries to roll up what’s happening out there. Good conversation starter.
In a new ES brief Constance Clark and Peter Cookson use NAEP data to see how challenging standards impact low-achieving students. Their answer? It helps. New report from Say Yes looking at education as part of community improvement efforts (pdf).
New NLNS report takes a look at how good principals build and lead teams. New Leaders CEO Jean Desravines; take via Eduwonk here.
Here’s a jack of all trades media relations job at a firm focusing on education. Fordham Institute needs media relations and events person as well. TN Score wants a state outreach coordinator.
4 Replies to “New Studies, Reports, And Two Edujobs”
The LA study is nothing new. What is kind of new is “Those with advanced degrees were no more effective than those without, although L.A. Unified pays more to teachers pursuing such degrees.” There is so much fail in this conclusion that it leaves me gasping for breath. But that also is nothing new. If one is so shortsighted and ignorant of how the process of teaching and learning is made manifest across subject areas and degrees of expertise to even begin to think this LA study is somehow valuable in any way then, please be my guest at the dismembering of education in the USA.
Re: Clark and Cookson
They report out a lot of data such as, “For fourth-grade reading, the decline in below basic students among high-standards states was 10 percent compared to 9 percent among low-standards states.” PERCENTAGE changes are granted the gold standard of relevance. Think I’M being the one who is too simplistic? Try this: “In eighth-grade reading, the results from the comparison indicated that there were no differences in the reduction in the below basic category between states with high standards and states with low standards; it was 10 percent in both cases.” How much is significant? Go fish.
So, the authors of that piece of work, tell us that “These results suggest that there is no evidence that high standards have hurt low-achieving kids; indeed, the evidence is that high standards have probably helped.” Probably? Really? Hey, that might be ok for some politician or school board member but y’all are playing fast and loose with, what do you call it, REALITY.
To add insult to injury the authors actually say this at the end of their tome: “To answer these questions, we conducted an analysis in each of the four categories to test whether a state’s economic resources might be contributing to the differences in below basic scores.1 Using median family income by state, we found no statistically significant evidence to support the notion that states’ economic resources are contributing to the reduction of below basic scores.” Do I need to point out the weasel-wording of these people? This is the same twisted rhetorical and statistical argumentation of the tobacco lobby. I challenge anyone to show me it’s not.
As for the authors: Cookson is really skilled at offering platitudes for a variety of liberal, left-leaning, non-educational venues. As for Clark, take a look at one of her recent articles, http://www.quickanded.com/2012/10/a-matter-of-access-and-equity-neighborhood-effects-on-student-achievement.html and tell me what the policy implications are. Does she advocate forced integration? She seems to say that geography determines destiny–to a point. There seems to be a point of poverty beyond which even integration cannot overcome. If so, a stunning admission of reality. But you have to read these kind of people really closely. They can seem like real researchers or academics to many stakeholders impressed by credentials. But let’s be real here, the process of getting credentialed is itself a growth industry in the Western world for many years now. It’s all about who you can hoodwink or persuade, as we used to say. And there are few better than the “luminaries” proffered to the educational establishment in the United States.
I think I might qualify for the media relations job. But gosh golly darn it, I really don’t want to make a mid-life career change. At least, not now. See, the other thing is, I’d have to conceal my own sense of intellectual ethics and morality to my client; be an amoral player in a game of persuasion, not the pursuit of truth aaaand, that’s just not something I’m prepared to do. At least, not now.
Look, I know Bellwether and its ken have been head-hunting me for some time now but really guys, I can’t be bought, ok? Who knows, maybe you could buy me; co-opt my sense of integrity. Wanna try?
Why is it that we are so ready to believe someone who is paid six figures to say “I love your child” and has never seen them and has never been closer to them than several thousand miles.
Isn’t it much like having a theater commander for Afghanistan operating from the deepest woods of Michigan?
Are we that lost? Where did this overwhelming guilt come from? And why are people paid to burden the rest of us with this profound neglect of children BY SOME PARENTS.
Is it really any of our business? Are our lives long enough to do all that the edu-reformers require. Are we not responsible for our own thoughts, deeds, and emotions? Do we have the capacity to do the same for others.
I think not. And I think we face a horrible dilemma. The crux of western philosophical thought is individual responsibility and autonomous behavior.
The school reform movement is collective action and collective responsibility. That, my friends, IS communism.