Get Good Grades! But…Plus: Srinivasan, Cerf, Vo, Jackson, And More! School Choice & Mental Health…Weather Report…

Last few days at Bellwether:

Last week I wrote about George H.W. Bush’s education legacy.

Bellwether’s Cara Jackson and AIR’s James Cowan on teacher evaluation via CALDER. And Bellwether’s Truc Vo on the variance in outcomes among various Asian populations and some texture to the “model minority” idea. Also, Chad Aldeman checks in on Texas pensions and teacher retirement. You missed Ashley LiBetti’s paper on early ed and teacher prep? Here’s a cheat sheet via Ed Week.


I had a few reactions to this Adam Grant Times piece on straight A students and life in general. First, all else equal, get good grades. That’s a classic “well, what’s the worst that can happen?” piece of life advice. But, very much second, the last few grafs are key. I was talking with a student who leads the Black Student Alliance at her university, a pretty elite one, and despite some race problems on campus was having trouble recruiting students to run for office in the organization because they recognized (probably correctly) that grades and transcripts were a better play for many kinds of jobs than an interesting and impactful resume of activities and wanted to guard their time. That’s one example of a problem employers should think about. Third, it brought to mind again what I see as a glaring blind spot in the education reform community – and often the education community at large: We don’t spend a lot of time with and around people who hated/did poorly at/had bad experiences in school.

Bruno Manno on George H.W. Bush. 

LaVerne Srinivasan on why fragmentation is the enemy of progress in education.

Chris Cerf with a good reminder on how fast all the self-flagellation among reformers can go off the rails. Never forget how faddish this field can be and that we’re talking about other people’s’ kids here so faddishness is a problem to keep in check.

School choice is clearly deleterious to the mental health of some adults, just check out Twitter. But for students, here is some early evidence that more choices for parents may help with mental health issues. Here’s a non technical take.

Willingham on audio books versus print ones.

Janus may not be good for teachers unions but it’s good news for their lawyers and other lawyers around the education sector.

And here’s a new look at collective bargaining agreements.

The Trump Administration School Safety Commission is wrapping up its work.

Cold, Rain, and Snow. Late capitalism.