Must Read School Finance, More Middlebury, Teacher Prep Regs Gone, Gorsuch, Turnarounds, CAP Reports, NEA Reveals, Yale SOM, And More!

Scroll down for edujobs at GreatSchools and elsewhere. And it’s Yuri Gagarin’s birthday. He and his colleagues had everyone in this country pretty freaked out in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Scroll down for JFK on the education aspect of that.

Must read on finance: Here’s Bellwether’s Jenn Schiess, Max Marchitello, and Julie Squire took a look at Ohio’s school finance situation for Fordham (pdf). Includes a set of recommendations for policymakers there.

Must read on finance II: Max Marchitello says Chicago is right and the pension system there is deepening systemic fiscal inequities. We’re crunching data on that and a few pretty remarkable things are apparent.

When even Senator Sasse, who has shown some real flashes of independence, is protecting teacher prep programs you know how hard reform is. If you’re looking for a silver lining I guess it’s that bipartisanship isn’t dead in the Senate. The protection racket for low-quality teacher prep programs remains bipartisan. Last fall Ashley Mitchel and I took a look at why the regulations, though far from perfect, represented an important opportunity for the sector. 

NEA press release today announces “Reports reveal Gorsuch repeatedly ruled against students with disabilities.” OK, we’ve talked about (here and here for instance) his take on those issues and reasonable people can certainly disagree on special education policy or his take on that and other education questions. I carry no brief for the guy. But the good news is that you don’t need “reports” to “reveal” his take on questions like this because the great thing about court opinions is that they’re almost always public.  Special education case law is, in fact, basically its own little industry.

Shep Melnick on the OCR challenges at ED:

The incoming leaders of the civil rights office will have a chance to improve its regulations, but only if they willing to be everything our President is not. Rather than act precipitously and unilaterally, they should demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law and public participation by following APA’s notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures. They should collect reliable information on such matters as the prevalence of sexual assault on campus and the effectiveness of proposed remedies. They should invite debate rather than shove disagreements under the rug, as the civil rights office has so often done in the past. They should show respect for Supreme Court interpretations of civil rights law, rather than devise clever end-runs around them.

Pushback on the four-day school week idea.  Traction for the three-year college idea?

Laura McKenna on Middlebury via the Atlantic. And here’s Johnathan Last on the same:

…And anyone who is so stupid that they can’t tell the difference between Charles Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos is too stupid to be in college. Period, the end…

…What Middlebury president Laurie Patton should have done was tell the students:

Look, if you’re here to protest you’re a doofus. This isn’t the Ann Coulter Power Hour designed to drum up outrage and sell books. It’s a sociology lecture by a distinguished scholar and if you’re too dumb to understand and are hell-bent on signaling your virtue by making a spectacle of yourself, then I will personally write up your expulsion papers. At this very moment there are a hundred kids in New Jersey waiting to pay full tuition and take your slot.

OK, but maybe scholarship students instead?

Joe Nathan on education customization. More Minnesota customization via Jennifer Ford Reedy. And through the wayback machine: JFK at the University of Virginia on U.S. education.

Mitch Chester and John White pushback on turnarounds and the narrative of impossibility. There are a bunch of ways to look at this question of the efficacy of turnarounds, but one lens might be what strategy is most likely to create the most good seats for kids in the shortest amount of time? But then a keenly related question is what do local communities want to do with their schools and how does that relate to the first question? The evidence to date gives a reasonably clear sense of the probabilities on the first question but the second one is pure values and politics and while choice helps it doesn’t fully answer the hard decisions policymakers must make.

CAP on school accountability. Plus CAP on different ways to classify schools in accountability schemes. Meanwhile, the high school testing situation in California is really interesting.

The Yale School of Management education conference, which is usually quite good, is coming up.

Textual reading of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.   And while I’m basically of the mind that the best STEM initiatives in the early grades are just really good public schools so kids have choices later on in their education – there are obviously specific things schools can do as well. Here’s a video look at one initiative from a coalition of groups working on this issue.

Big snakes.

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