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Reviews of Eduwonk.com

2007 Winner, Editor's Choice Best Education Blog
-- Performancing.com

2006 Winner, Best K-12 Administration Blog -- "Best of the Education Blog Awards"
-- eSchool News and Discovery Education

2006 Finalist, Best Education Blog
-- Weblog Awards

Least influential of education's most influential information sources.
-- Education Week Research Center

"unexpectedly entertaining"..."tackle[s] a potentially mindfogging subject with cutting clarity... they're reading those mushy, brain-numbing education stories so you don't have to!"
-- Slate's Mickey Kaus

"a very smart blog... [if] you're trying to separate the demagogic attacks on NCLB from the serious criticism, this is the site to read"
-- The New Republic's Ryan Lizza

"everyone who's anyone reads Eduwonk"
-- Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media's Richard Colvin

"full of very lively short items and is always on top of the news...He gets extra points for skewering my high school rating system"
-- Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

"a daily dose of information from the education policy world, blended with a shot of attitude and a dash of humor"
-- Education Week

"designed to cut through the fog and direct specialists and non-specialists alike to the center of the liveliest and most politically relevant debates on the future of our schools"
-- The New Dem Daily

"peppered with smart and witty comments on the education news of the day"
-- Education Gadfly

"don't hate Eduwonk cuz it's so good"
-- Alexander Russo, This Week In Education

"the morning's first stop for education bomb-throwers everywhere"
-- Mike Antonucci, Intercepts

"…the big dog on the ed policy blog-ck…"
-- Michele McLaughlin, AFT Blog

"I check Eduwonk several times a day, especially since I cut back on caffeine"
-- Joe Williams, fallen journalist, Executive Director, Democrats for Education Reform

"...one of the few bloggers who isn't completely nuts"
-- Mike Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

"I have just three 'go to' websites: The Texas Legislature, Texas Longhorn sports, and Eduwonk"
-- Sandy Kress, former education advisor to President Bush and former chairman, Dallas Board of Education

"penetrating analysis in a lively style on a wide range of issues"
-- Walt Gardner, champion letter-to-the-editor writer and retired teacher

-- Susan Ohanian

Education News and Analysis

American Educator
Chronicle of Higher Education
Education Next
Education Week
eSchool News
Inside Higher Ed
Jay Mathews' Class Struggle
Phi Delta Kappan
New York Times Education
School Wise Press
Teacher Magazine

Policy and Political Blogs

The American Scene
Andrew Sullivan.com
Booker Rising
The Corner
Daniel Drezner
Dangerous Thoughts
The Democratic Strategist
The Has Been
Huffington Post
Loose Cannon
Matthew Yglesias
The Plank (TNR)
Political Animal (Washington Monthly)
The Politico
Post Global
Real Clear Politics
Taking Note
Think Tank Town
Volokh Conspiracy
WSJ's Blog Federation
Washington Whispers


Collective Bargaining in Education: Negotiating Change in Today's Schools

Edited by Jane Hannaway and Andrew J. Rotherham

Why Newsweek's List of America's 100 Best High Schools Doesn't Make the Grade

By Andrew J. Rotherham
and Sara Mead

A Qualified Teacher
in Every Classroom

Edited by Frederick M. Hess, Andrew J. Rotherham,
and Kate Walsh

America's Teaching Crisis

By Jason Kamras and Andrew J. Rotherham

Rethinking Special Education For A New Century

Edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Andrew J. Rotherham
& Charles R. Hokanson, Jr.

Making The Cut: How States Set Passing Scores on Standardized Tests

By Andrew J. Rotherham

Education Blogs

A Constrained Vision
Andrew Pass
a schoolyard blog
Assorted Stuff
Mr. B-G's English Blog
Barnett Berry
Bill Jackson's Education Blog
Bridging Differences (Meier and Ravitch)
Bulletin Board (NASBE)
Campaign K-12 (Ed Week)
Chaos Theory
Charter Blog (NAPCS)
Charter School Policy Inst. Blog
Chez Dormont
Chris Correa
Class Context
The College Puzzle
College Ready Blog (Athens Learning Group)
The Common School
Conversation Starters
Core Knowledge Blog
Critical Mass
Dangerously Irrelevant
Daryl Cobranchi
Dave Shearon
Dave Saba (ABCTE)
DC Education Blog
Dems for Education Reform
The Deputy Head
Early Ed Watch
Early Stories
Educated Nation
Educating One Mind
The Education Network
The Education Wonks
Edwize (UFT)
Eponymous Educator
Essential Blog
Extra Credit
Flypaper (Fordham)
Fordham Fellows
From The Trenches
The Gadfly
Get On The Bus (Dayton Daily News)
Get Schooled (AJC)
The Gradebook (St. Pete Times)
Grumpy Professor
The Hall Monitor
Higher Ed Watch
Hip Teacher
I Thought A Think
In Other News (Ed Week)
Inside Pre-K
Jay Greene
Jenny D.
John Merrow
K-12 Hotlinks
Kindling Flames
Kitchen Table Math
Learning Now (PBS)
The Life That Chose Me
Mathew K. Tabor
Media Infusion
Ms. Frizzle
Moving At The Speed Of Creativity
NCLB Act II (Ed Week)
NSBA's BoardBuzz
NYC Educator
Paper Trail (USN)
ParaNews (NCP)
Paul Baker
The Portable Princess
The PrincipalsPage
Principal's Policy Blog (NASSP)
Quasi Dictum
Roy Romer
Running on Empty
School of Blog
School Zone (MJS)
Schools for Tomorrow
Science After School
SF Schools
Sherman Dorn
SITE Mentor
Small Talk
Special Education Law Blog
Starting Over (Ed Week)
Swift & Change Able
Teach and Learn
Teacher Voices
Teachers At Risk
Teachers' Lounge
Teaching in the 408
Teaching Rookie
Think Lab
This is how I Swim
This Week In Education
Tim Fredrick
Up The Down Staircase
Urban Angle
What up, Mz. Smlph?
Whitney Tilson
Why Boys Fail
Why Homeschool

Educational Resources and Organizations

AALE Charter School Accreditation
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of School Administrators
American Educational Research Association
American Federation of Teachers
American Institutes For Research
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Aspen Institute
Asia Society
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Broad Foundation
The Brookings Institution
Building Excellent Schools
Center for American Progress
Center for Education Reform
Center for School Change
Center on Education Policy
Center on Reinventing Public Education
Citizens Commission On Civil Rights
Coalition of Essential Schools
Community College Research Center
Community Training and Assistance Center
Council of Chief State School Officers
Council of Great City Schools
Core Knowledge Foundation
Data Quality Campaign
Democratic Leadership Council
eSchool News
Education Commission of the States
Education Evolving
Education Sector
The Education Trust
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Haberman Foundation
Hechinger Institute On Education and the Media
Joyce Foundation
Just for the Kids
Knowledge Alliance
Learning Point Associates
Local School Directory
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
The Mind Trust
National Academies Center for Education
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Center for Postsecondary Research
National Center on Education and the Economy
National Charter School Research Project
National Council on Teacher Quality
National Education Association
National Education Writers Association
National Governors Association
National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
National School Boards Association
New Leaders for New Schools
New Schools Venture Fund
The New Teacher Project
New Vision
Pre-K Now
Harvard's Program On Education Policy and Governance
Progressive Policy Institute
PPI's 21st Century Schools Project
Public Agenda
Public Impact
Reading Reform Foundation
Rick Hess' World HQ
The Savvy Source for Parents
Scholastic Administrator
School Data Direct
Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services
Standards Work
Teach for America
The Teaching Commission
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Trust for Early Education
Uncommon Schools
United States Department of Education
The Urban Institute

Opinions on Eduwonk reflect the views of the author, Education Sector does not take institutional positions. Outgoing links do not constitute an endorsement.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Friday's News...Special Extra Patriotic Edition

New teacher recruitment initiative in Virginia. Teach for Virginia will help steer aspiring teachers to high-need schools. The New Teacher Project has their able hand in this.

Cosby back in the news, AP here, local coverage here.

Come All Within: More teachers' union back and forth in Chicago. More Chicago here and here. Chi Trib ed board weighs in, too. They're shocked...shocked...You know you should be following this...

Come All Without: Quasi-anonymous groups attacking the teachers' union in Colorado.

In Gadfly Senator Lamar Alexander pitches the incredible shrinking GI Bill for Kids... and OH school board member Jim Fedako has a must-read essay about tests and accountability.

In Wisconsin, a state task force is calling for major changes including an overhaul of the finance system, new teacher compensation, and new ideas like a SEED school. Republicans are attacking the finance idea, ignoring the rest.

Todd Ziebarth and Alex Medler are at it again! This time they've produced an interesting ECS report (PDF) on the early implementation of the voucher program in Colorado. Of course, the program is now on hold, but it's still well worth reading as a study of change.

K-12 diversity news from KY.

Rod Paige praises a Voyager program...Educationnews.org smells a sweetheart deal...

A look ahead at new Labor Party education initiatives in England.

More on the principals in NYC, yesterday they were just annoyed with Klein. Today, well, they're pissed!

NY Post readers respond on behalf of small schools. Also in the NY Post, Jay Greene and Marcus Winters say the schools have plenty of money already.

In a Supreme Court wrap-up AP says that this term was a tough one for conservatives, education included.

Do you like to write? Know something about charter schools or educational issues that impact charter schools? Then you should be writing for this journal.

Finally, better late than never. Interesting House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on No Child Left Behind, testimony here. Worth reading. And, new proposed rule on LEP students here.
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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Dept. of Ed Sexual Misconduct Study, More Smoke Than Fire (Even They Say So!)

The much-awaited congressionally mandated study about sexual misconduct by educators is out. It's ready made for sensational headlines like this, less so for serious analysis. That's because it's not really a study but rather an elaborate literature review of existing studies, each with its own -- in some cases substantial -- methodological limitations. And, the primary finding is based on a conflation of all manner of misconduct, not just physical abuse that most people think of when they hear "sexual misconduct."

A good hint that this study is over-the-top? Even the Department of Education, lately not an organization spending a lot of effort on good PR for the public schools, is tamping it down.

That said, sexual misconduct by educators (and other adults) is a real problem, and when it happens to even one child that's too many. Unfortunately, a study of studies based largely on self-reported data and interest group driven (read agenda driven) research isn't likely to shed too much empirical light on the real extent of the problem (for a useful caution read this Atlantic article). Moreover, while incidence reporting obviously matters, it likely overstates the actual number of educators who commit these acts because, as with other forms of child abuse, it's unlikely individual perpetrators are not striking repeated times.

The report does have some interesting recommendations although many are already practiced in school districts around the country. It mentions, essentially in passing, that it's hard to get strong reporting and registry laws passed because state and local teachers' unions often fight them but, curiously, doesn't dwell on that issue. Apparently you can lead Ed School professors to water but...

Read it for yourself and decide if it's a parent's worst nightmare as AP says or perhaps a social scientist's worst nightmare...

Advocacy Afterthought: How long before this "data" shows up in pro-voucher arguments? All things considered could be a tough sell though...
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Thursday's News...Rumors...You Can Go Your Own Way?...And, Punchback on Unobligated Funds!
Kaus gives voice (and summons Ron Brownstein) to the increasingly high-decibel rumor floating around about the Kennedy NCLB corrections bill that George Miller wants no part of. The retroactivity bill is a good idea, but -- policy merits aside -- this next step seems very ill-considered because (a) The Republicans will never let it see the light of day legislatively so it's going nowhere this year (b) The press seems at least as likely to play it as an effort to gut NCLB than as some sort of grand improvement and (c) It's going to put Kerry into the accountability box that he's successfully stayed out of so far (conspiracy theorists can ruminate on that last one...)

Note to Democrats: If the NEA really had the party's best interests at heart why would they be pushing people to walk this plank during a very close election? Politically this is like the NRA asking Bush to brandish a bazooka at a gun show. Oh, wait, that's right, they have more pressing priorities...

New census data on high school completion, likely a little inflated, take with a grain of salt.

Yesterday's news roundup noted that the Department of Education was trying to score a few points on NCLB funding by highlighting unspent federal funds in state accounts. The AP story included some warm quotes from Council of Chief State School Officers staff to the effect that this was no big deal, everything is cool, and this was a courteous heads-up from the feds...Good enough except there is a stark contrast between those warm love-in vibes and quotes from the same CCSSO official in the trade paper Education Daily starting with,

"We are troubled that they are reviving this issue, because it’s one we thought we explained to the Congress and [ED],” said Patricia Sullivan, deputy executive director of
the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). "It's beginning to wear on my members, because their integrity is being questioned, and that’s very troubling."

Sullivan added,

[The Department of Education] "can’t report obligated and unobligated funds, because they don’t know," Sullivan said. "This level of obligation takes place at the district
level, so for the states to [keep track] is hard enough; for the feds, it's impossible."

Hmmm...that's a little different...and it's a little more like it seeing as Department of Ed is playing crooked pool here.

Another interesting story about District of Columbia schools. There is a raging debate (that keeps a handful of conservative analysts busy and otherwise out of trouble) about how much DCPS spends per-pupil yet it's hard to know what the right denominator is...more immediate implication is federal dollars.

NYT's Schemo looks at the ongoing Head Start controversy, if you're scoring at home the Bush Administration has completely lost the high ground here...Here's more (via Educationnews.org) from the Head Start advocacy group, they're understandably piling on.

Also in NYT, more on No Show-Gate. And, what looked like a routine fraud case may have a political angle.

Wash Post reports that Discovery Communications sees a rich vein in schools.

In California, possible movement on the equity suit there. Key quote: Kevin Gordon executive director of the California Association of School Business Officials and general CA ed policy maven, "we don't want a state rodent monitor..." Via School Wise Press.

More on Florida vouchers from the bulldog Palm Beach Post. Right! Still no voucher problems in Florida...

They're going to re-run the teachers' union election in Chicago. This is a must read, a lot of important implications.

NY Daily News likes Klein's new principal policy. The principals are less enthusiastic.

Boston Herald says do what is necessary to protect charters in MA.

Social Security technical glitches. Don't blame the teachers (as Heritage Foundation predictably does), modernize the system and offer teachers benefits more in line with the flexibility the private sector affords.

The DC Public Charter School Board is hiring for two positions involving NCLB and Washington charter schools. Please contact them, not Eduwonk, about these.

Finally, not exactly an education issue but there is a lot of concern among anglers and non-anglers alike about the snakehead fish that is infesting the Potomac River. So, as a public service, if you want to learn more about this fish click here.
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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

SEEDs of Change

Don't miss this Washington Post look at the SEED Public Charter School in DC, the only public boarding school in the nation. Critics will still grumble though... FYI -- SEED is planning to replicate to get at the question of what to do about helping more kids.
Update: More love for SEED, this time from CBS.
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Exit Interview
The DC Education Blog, a sharp blog covering education in Washington, DC, landed an exclusive interview with Carl Cohn after he turned down the DC superintendent post. There is an essay by Cohn about his decision, too! It's all interesting; in particular how obvious it is that the governance issues are a deterrent to good candidates for the job. And, just how much Cohn clearly likes Eli Broad! By the way, if for no other reason read it because how often do you hear the words "long-term commitment" and "urban superintendent" used together? He assumes he would've lasted a year!
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Today's News...No Filter Required: Guaranteed 100 Percent Pornography Free! And, No Show Jobs!
Jay Mathews takes a look at homeschooling and asks for more info.

No show jobs! Get your no show job right here! But, in fairness, at least the NYC Department of Ed takes a firm line on this stuff: "People who are on the Department of Education payroll should not be cheating and stealing taxpayer money...It doesn't matter how close shopping areas are to the regional offices or to schools." Whoa...hardliners. Daily News has more including shopping details and this not-to-be-missed quote from one of the culprits:

Levantrosser, who allegedly dropped into Lord & Taylor during work hours, scoffed at the charge she was shopping at high-end department stores.

"Yeah, right, because we have the money for Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue," she said.

Wow! Talk about always being on message!

No show students in Florida. Right, no problems with the voucher program there...

No NYT education column today, but two belated letters on class size to tide readers over.

Sac Bee editorial board likes direct lending and says don't mess with student loans.

Ding! Next round of U.S. Department of Education versus almost everyone else over NCLB funding. Oh wait, not politics, it's just a friendly reminder...

You feed them, help raise them, create small schools for them, teach them to think for themselves, and how do they thank you? By saying something interesting! Then they get the mayor and the public on their side and win. And then they overplay their hand a few days later... By the way, the teacher quality issue rears its head again...the kids get it, but not the adults. Update: Klein draws the line...

At this school the teachers are the dissidents.

Some voucher debate from England. Via educationnews.org
NYT reports on Senator Kerry's speech proposing to expand college aid and access. And the Salt Lake Trib reports on a flurry of new ideas -- including the dreaded differential pay -- from the Democratic candidate for Governor in Utah, Scott Matheson Jr. NJ's governor is expanding access too.

New AYP results in MD. Punchline: Sky not falling.

But in New York Rupert Murdoch thinks it is...

Not so much brotherly love for Edison Schools in Philly...could this ultimately turn into a quagmire, lots of attrition, no clear exit strategy, hostile local population? Yup! Send in the foreign correspondents...

This Washington Post story is very Fairfax County-centric but it's useful reading if you think teachers' unions are a monolith.

Another case of charter school skimming! This one almost exclusively serves low-income children who are struggling. 92 percent of the first year's graduating class off to college...

In the Wash Times, Hoover's Zelnick writes on affirmative action and the critical mass mess citing O'Connor as the culprit.
This will make one hell of a Fed-Ex commercial...
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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Republican Wing of the Democratic Party?

Attention Republican Climbers! You too can run for office even when there is a logjam of more senior Republicans in front of you. How? Easy, become a charter school opponent!

For instance, back when Democratic NYC Councilwoman and longtime public education supporter Eva Moskowitz was first running for office, the teachers' union in NYC endorsed her opponent, a Republican, former Gulliani fundraiser, and voucher supporter who jettisoned vouchers and opposed charter schools to get the endorsement. Moskowitz was and is a charter supporter. She won anyway and in the process caught national attention from papers like the Wall Street Journal because of the shenanigans.

Now, in Washington State, which is turning out to be a real charter battleground, the state teachers' union, the Washington Education Association (WEA), is endorsing a former Republican recently turned anti-charter Democrat over a Democratic 33 year public educator who happens to be a charter supporter...

According to The Columbian, the "new" Democrat, "seemed to have a better understanding of what our issues are, what our goals are," Lynn Davidson, a Battle Ground teacher and member of the WEA's political action committee, said Wednesday. Indeed!

Incidentally, real Democrats support public charter schools because real Democrats put kids before adults. And, if doing the right thing doesn't sway you, smart Democrats also head off obvious wedge issues rather than aid and abet their political adversaries...
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Tuesday's News...Special Habeas Corpus Edition
One-stop shopping on Colorado Vouchers. Denver Post story here, the actual ruling here. Plenty of over-the-top dueling press releases but you'll have to find them yourself.

USA Today strongly endorses Teach For America in the wake of the Mathematica study and also says experiment with other reforms. In response NEA's Weaver ignores TFA but seems to come out against differential pay.

In this list of steps the Jacksonville NAACP wants taken to address low-performing schools and achievement gaps there, you will find differential pay.

LA Times' Anderson looks at NCLB as a campaign issue. He misses, however, the real CA angle and important national angle on the recent Hechinger Institute confab about NCLB: George Miller's passionate defense of the law which one attendee said "sounded exactly like [former Bush education aide Sandy] Kress and [House Education and the Workforce Chairman John] Boehner"...A good question is how the Bush Administration has managed to alienate strong NCLB supporters like Miller...so much for uniting and not dividing...[Brian Friel of National Journal tried to answer that question in a very good article a few weeks back but it's not free online.]

USA Today's Cauchon marshals new evidence to show what a lot of people have been saying for a while, college tuition isn't as unaffordable for the middle class as the CW leads one to think (for low-income Americans it's a different story...).

Denver Post's Sherry profiles the talented head of the Denver teachers' union, must read for the cognoscenti...

The Columbus Dispatch comes out strongly for allowing single-sex public education options.

Useful new product (PDF) from the Center for School Change about how charter schools can work with the media, though it's more broadly applicable than that.

Important new study (PDF) by Robert Balfanz and Nettie Legters about "promoting power" at high schools around the country. Don't let the term throw you, it's an important look at the dropout problem that isolates the challenge by region and school characteristics. It's at once more acute but more manageable from a public policy perspective.

And, speaking of charter schools, the Lodi News Sentinel ran a three-part series looking at charter schools and pretty much, deservedly, beatifying Aspire Public Schools founder Don Shalvey. You can read about the debate over charters here, Shalvey here, and another CA charter here. If you don't like charters, save time and just click here.

Joanne Jacobs notes a new kind of grade inflation in Iraq.

Columbia TC's Belfied takes a short but sweet look at drivers of home schooling.

New NCES report looks at language minorities, trends, and relevant labor market indicators.

If you: (a) are into education, (b) are not going to the Democratic Convention in Boston, and (c) aren't put off by a lot of lawyers, then there is a lot to recommend this conference in Portland, Maine, July 26-30.

Finally, a bunch of helpful comments and suggestions about state NCLB requests, but alert and well connected reader CC is now the proud owner of a brand new, genuine, U.S. Department of Education Collector's Quality Man Purse. Thanks also to reader JE for additional info that was useful.
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Monday, June 28, 2004

CO Vouchers Unconstitutional

This AM the Colorado Supreme Court struck down the school voucher program there 4-3 because it violates local control provisions of the state constitution. Early implications: (a) the issue will be put before the legislature again because the decision seems to indicate that a redesigned program could pass muster, (b) it could be an issue in the CO Senate race because Colorado AG Ken Salazar who supported the program is running for the open U.S. Senate seat there, and (c) hyperbolic cheering and jeering from voucher friends and foes.
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More Mystery Poll...And ETS Takes On Finance Equity
ETS says the mystery poll will be posted by July 2...you'll find more fireworks elsewhere...for example in this new op-ed by ETS president Kurt Landgraf saying that the organization is going to start arguing for lessening the reliance on the property tax to fund schools...
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Monday's News...Brief But Profanity Free!
The Chicago Trib looks at all sides of the debate over the mayor's proposed new school initiative.

Carl Cohn, the candidate the Washington, DC, schools were wooing for the superintendent slot, has said no. Back to the drawing board...

At last, the dog that didn't bark. AP's Feller revisits the NEA's threatened lawsuit against NCLB and finds, well, nothing...there is irony buried in there too...find it yourself...

Controversy over military recruitment at a high school in WI; Joanne Jacobs has more.

Wash Post's Connolly and Weisman look at the role domestic issues, including education, will play in the election.

NY Post's Sager takes some shots at New York's small schools but is still well worth reading if you're following the issue...

The NYT revisits the ongoing saga of the Belmont Learning Complex in Los Angeles. Also, NYT readers respond to last week's "Top Colleges Take More Blacks, but Which Ones?" story, and more pledge letters.

A new analysis (PDF) from Mathematica about children's health insurance for gap kids. Worth reading. It can be done.

Keep an eye out for a new Jay P. Greene, Marcus A. Winters, and Greg Forster study on high stakes testing forthcoming in Teachers College Record. No link yet, sure to stir some controversy.
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