SIG, Spending, And Lawrence MA! Your Future Wind Turbine Job Will Have Great Views! Ed Politics & Barricading DeVos. Cooney On Early STEM. Anyone Who Can Afford To Read This Blog Is Welcome Here! Plus More!

Scroll down for some edujobs including a new one at Fordham.

Max Marchitello on how employee benefit costs are creating some serious downward pressure on education spending. Important issue not getting the attention it should.

Via the great Susanna Loeb some context on SIG. The basic pattern on a lot of federal programs – favored by Democrats or Republicans at various points – is the large mandated evaluation of the program that is, in fact, an evaluation of a funding stream. Not surprisingly these evaluations rarely turn up much in the way of effects given how initiatives are implemented. Then, later, we get more micro-stuff that offers some lessons and learning but the caravan has already moved on.

I’m not arguing that SIG was a big success. That’s a hard case to make. I am arguing that we should think smarter about evaluation and interpreting the results of evaluations given how federal dollars work. (I’m also betting that’s not going to happen.)

Betsy DeVos tried to visit a D.C. public school today but the door was blocked by protesters. So she went around back. I’m all for protest, that’s what this place is about. But when you argue that the big problem with the incoming Secretary of Education is that she is unfamiliar with public schools and then block her efforts to visit one, well that’s cartoonish and why people roll their eyes at education debates.

Related, here’s a smart take on the shift in education politics. But, voters have an appetite for authenticity these days that should not be overlooked or minimized. And here’s a look at Betsy DeVos and Elizabeth Warren by Michael Jonas.

Speaking of the home of the Boston Red Sox (who are almost all in Florida already to tune up for the 2017 campaign but I digress) Lawrence, Massachusetts is a success story worthy of some attention and Jeff Riley and others leaders involved at the state level deserve a lot of credit for a good touch. But…in the telling the contextual factors tend to get overlooked, namely a powerful state takeover function that meant changes were coming for kids one way or another. Funny how people get in board in those circumstances and suddenly collaboration breaks out. Absent that context the warm milk narrative of how if everyone just sat down we could all get this done breaks out. It’s so appealing! But in education, as in life, things that sound too good to be true usually are. At least closer to the warm milk version? Take a look at what’s happening Springfield, MA.

Here’s some good news: We’re going to need a lot of wind turbine technicians in the next decade. One of of the fastest growing occupations. Plus it’s a cool job – just listen to this guy talk about it – pays OK, and the views are fantastic. 108 percent growth says the Department of Labor! Except, that growth is really less than 5,000 jobs. Why? Automation. Turbines basically run themselves once they’re up and going. You can play this scenario out across a range of fields and it highlights a major education and economic challenge that is on the horizon and is obscured by the debate about globalization and immigration as well as by percentage estimates on new jobs.

Cooney Center on starting early on STEM. 

From Fordham’s Ian Rowe here’s a lede you don’t read every day on an education essay:

When I was a Senior Vice President at MTV, my job was to lead the network’s efforts to use its “superpowers for good.”

Provocative piece, worth reading.

There are some problems with the way the construct of “white privilege” is weaponized and casually tossed around these days, but there are real issues at play as well in terms of the structure of American life. In any event, this is one of the most unintentionally ironic things I’ve read in a while:

Residents like Bari Reiner, 72, say the question is offensive because the town welcomes anybody who can afford to live here.

The question was about privilege in a tony Connecticut town. Because, you know, housing is equitable and there is no history there….and the school finance system is surely fair! Oh, never mind. Anyway, the article itself is worth reading, though, it’s about an essay contest for young people that stirred things up.

Lexington Institute on military students.

“You Can Have The Crown”

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