Great Moments For School PIOs, State ESSA Reviews, Buried Voucher Ledes, Charter Funding, Success At Success, RCTs V. Credo, Screaming Armadillos! Much More…

It was great having Michael Goldstein and Celine Coggins here to guest blog, scroll down if you haven’t read their stuff – or subscribe to the daily newsletter via the link at the right and get Eduwonk in your email box each day. Blogging has been slow, start of fall. More soon. For now, also scroll down though for job postings (and fish pictures!).

From Bellwether:

Bonnie O’Keefe and I point out in The 74 that the data policymakers need is different than what parents do – we have to address both.

In USN I took a look at Trump’s greatness paradox. He talks about making America great but actually seems to have little interest in or understanding of American greatness.

An important analysis showing that today’s approach to pensions can increase the inequities we already see for minority students. Structural inequality is not only stuff conservatives support…More here.

Sara Mead notes that schools really can improve and make a difference.

Bellwether did advance reviews of the draft state ESSA plans California and New York are working on – those two states are important and large enough that we believed the extra step would be valuable. EdSource here and LAT here.

This is a huge problem for LAUSD. Tomorrow’s crisis today courtesy of Chad Aldeman.


Interactive tool for Washington, DC school performance.

New data on charter funding inequities. One aspect of this report that is worth noting is that it’s the top quartile or so of charters that get a lot of philanthropic support, most get none. That’s important and usually overlooked context when people talk about charters and their funding.

Jay Greene says that RCT’s are the gold standard for evaluation of charter performance, not the CREDO method of evaluating charter schools. Few would disagree, I think? But CREDO has a lot of value and I’d argue this debate misses the point. The debate here is not really between different rigorous and serious methods of evaluating charter performance. Rather, it’s between people who want to engage with the evidence and those who don’t. To put it in Game of Thrones terminology, it’s the living against the dead, not the living against others who are the living. As a policymaker or policy advisor you’re looking for any angle you can find to understand what’s going on and while the RCTs show a clear charter effect for schools that are oversubscribed and on lotteries, CREDO currently offers a lot more geographic coverage (something that matters given the different policy environments for chartering around the country) and some evidence around different types of schools. That’s all important to know, and I’m not sure why we need to choose when the larger problem is that chaos is a ladder and too many people in the education world see a clown show article by Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post and an RCT or CREDO analysis as all having equal weight.

Speaking of evaluations on charters, here’s one now on Success using the lottery natural experiment. It’s a good reminder that years ago when Eva Moskowitz was a city councilwoman in New York City the teachers union basically told her that if she thought she had things figured out then she should prove it. The current mayor of New York felt the same way. Well, Eva can be bombastic, she’s pals with Ivanka Trump, Dan Loeb said a stupid thing the other day, but none of that changes that on the substance Eva’s won the argument. That probably explains why her critics want to talk about all the other stuff instead.

The “teacher shortage” hustle is one of the all-time great policy scams, and it still works.

If you’re a school public relations official you make sure that honor roll names and sports scores get in the paper. You interact a bit with local media. It’s all good and not unimportant at all in many communities where schools are a focal point. And then one day one of your principals goes and announces that young women who are not size 0 or 2 shouldn’t wear leggings to school. And this happens. Also, related, don’t do this.

There is a Trump effect hurting charter support but voucher support moving the other way. Paul Peterson points out a nugget you might have missed in all the pro-PDK press releases…

It’s surprisingly rare that you read a story about a teacher who abused or behaved inappropriately with students and it’s a one-off thing. It’s almost always part of a pattern. Something to think about the next time someone tells you nothing can be done and these things just happen.

Chipolte’s education initiative is working (and growing).

Screaming Hairy Armadillos are not fiction.

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