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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, December 03, 2004

Phillip Howard On Too Much Law, Sara Mead On New IDEA Law

Be sure to check out Common Good's Phillip Howard in today's NYT.

...Law is brilliantly ill suited as a management system. Law is rigid and leaves no room to adjust for the circumstances. Once the idea of rule-based management takes root, the bureaucracy grows like kudzu. Teachers and principals spend the day tied up in legal knots.

...Schools depend on the energy, skill, judgment, humor and sympathy of teachers and principals. Liberate them to draw on all their human traits. Then liberate some of us to hold them accountable. Throw most of the rules overboard. Let law set the goals and basic principles, not dictate daily decisions...

Elsewhere, superintendents sure don't last too long in Cincy.

In The Gadfly, PPI analyst Sara Mead recaps the new IDEA bill.

Here's a short update on San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales' attendance challenge. And, if you missed it, this John Merrow News Hour report on dropouts in Florida is well worth checking out.
Posted at 8:31 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Another Exit

“Wild” Gene Hickok has announced his resignation as the #2 person at the Department of Education. Couple of quick thoughts:

*This was hardly unexpected, as soon as the President nominated Margaret Spellings as his next Secretary of Education the question became when, not if.

*This will only fuel more conservative angst; they viewed Hickok as a big ally. Too bad for them...(unless President Bush appoints another conservative or school choice Kool-Aid type to the post).

*Say whatever else you want about Hickok (and Eduwonk will in a moment) he cared deeply about education. You could disagree with him but it was hard to doubt his passion for trying to improve schools.

*But, in Eduwonk’s view Hickok’s passion too often translated into a deterministic view of education policy. He believed too strongly in the invisible hand of the market, had too much faith that data would wake the public and policymakers from their slumber and galvanize action. His faith in these things meant that he viewed policy as more of a “what” than a “how” business, when in fact it needs to be both. The NCLB framework does provide a lot of important data, but educators must know how and be able to use it. Likewise, choice does offer benefits but any education marketplace must be carefully regulated for quality and even Adam Smith cannot obviate the need to ensure that schools have the “how”, too.
Posted at 5:34 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

More Sandi Silly
If the teachers' union in San Diego put the effort into educating kids that they do into tormenting superintendent Alan Bersin, the place would be a fount of little Einsteins...

For background you can't do much better than this paper (pdf).
Posted at 3:49 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Bait And Switch On Ed Funding?
Eduwonk notes sadly that fishing season is about over in the mid-Atlantic region but nonetheless, here's a little bait and switch for you.

Education spending has increased dramatically during the past few years. On the campaign trail President Bush liked to point out that spending for No Child Left Behind related programs was up about 49 percent in his first term. Fair enough, though one can quibble about allocations (for instance why Washington is not investing more in assessments) the overall numbers are pretty big which may be why Democratic attacks about "full funding" for NCLB fell flat.

But, the numbers in the budget that Congress is about to pass, the first since the President's reelection, are less robust:

Department of Education: FY05 level is $56.6 billion, an increase of approximately $900 million, or 1.6%, over FY04. This is the smallest percentage increase in 9 years (since FY96). It’s almost $2.3 billion below the FY05 Senate bill level and almost $800 million below the FY05 President’s budget request.

No Child Left Behind: FY05 level is $24.5 billion, an increase of $58 million, or 0.2%, over FY04. This is almost $1 billion below the FY05 Senate bill level and almost $400 million less than the FY05 President’s budget. This means that No Child Left Behind Act spending is about $9.8 billion less than the authorized amount in FY05.

Title I: FY05 level is $12.7 billion, an increase of $400 million, or 3.2%, over FY04. This is $700 million below the FY05 Senate bill level and $600 million below the FY05 President’s budget.

IDEA: FY05 level is $10.6 billion, an increase of approximately $500 million, or 5.2%, over FY04. This puts IDEA spending at about 19% of average-per-pupil-expenditure and less than half the “full funding” level of 40%. The final figure is $600 million less than the FY05 Senate bill level and almost $500 million below the FY05 President’s budget.

Title V Innovative Education State Grants: $198.4 million, a cut of $98 million from FY04.

Granted, the increases of the past few years mean that education will surely survive a slowdown but these numbers indicate that perhaps the high water mark for Bush Administration spending on education has been reached. We'll know more when the President's FY06 budget comes out in February.

To be sure, we can't spend our way out of some of the educational problems we face, but there is a role for money.
Posted at 7:34 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Still More Conservative Angst On Spellings, Great Teachers In AZ...And, Equity And Dirty Secrets In NYC

This story on Margaret Spellings and school choice by Ed Week's Hendrie has it all. Choice advocate Clint Bolick goes on the record saying, "Rod Paige was a tough act to follow, but certainly the president could have chosen someone who has a strong track record on school choice, and Margaret Spellings does not" and Fordham's Finn says basically the same thing. Department of Education's resident choicenik Nina Rees tries to paper over any controversy but it's clear that voucher folks in Texas didn't consider her an ally and that the D.C. voucher folks don't either. Of course, her pragmatism on all this is why Eduwonk thinks she's a good pick in the first place, but watching all this conservative angst sure is fun anyway! (At her confirmation hearings will any Republican senator ask her, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a Democrat?")

Interesting debate brewing in the higher ed community about data collection. For background on the impetus check out this paper (pdf) by the Ed Trust's Kevin Carey.

Senator Sessions takes a victory lap on IDEA discipline on the AP wire.

The Rodel Foundation has been honoring outstanding teachers, the Arizona Republic is profiling each one, too.

Don't Know Much About History: The NEA says too many schools are being identified as needing improvement under NCLB (but funny, they don't mention either the really low cut scores in some states right now - for instance, schools needing only one in three or one in four kids proficient to make adequate yearly progress - or that even more were identified under the previous law but that nothing happened to most of them. Probably just space constraints.). Note to Democrats, choosing producers over consumers is dangerous and risky politics.

NYT's Freedman again visits the small schools issue in NYC. NYT's Winter and Cooper and Herszenhorn write up the latest chapter in the NY equity fight. Punchline: NYC to get more money but no one ponying up to pay yet.

Dirty Secret Alert: NY Post's Sager tracks down some teachers to get their views on the teacher contract in NYC. Anecdotal but well worth reading.
Posted at 10:58 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Too Much Law...And Not Enough In VA (And Don't Forget To Vote)

Jenny D. has more RFK on education, good reading. Eduwonk's only seen these transcripts in print so kudos to Jenny D. for taking the time to type them in.

Common Good has a new webpage that illustrates the excesses of legality in public schools and how law can thwart educational goals. NY Daily News' Williams has more here.

Need more evidence that there is a health care problem for kids? A new study in VA reports that almost one in four children in the state's foster care system are there because their parents are seeking, and cannot afford, mental health care for them.

Man, it just sucks when you don't have choices in the public system...

In The Washington Post, Jay Mathews looks at reading instruction in the early grades.

Finally, totally unrelated to education policy, but please take a minute and vote for Pat Tillman as sportsman of the year over at SI. Some of the others like Lance Armstrong and Emeka Okafor are certainly class acts and deserving, but this year Tillman is a big cut above (and he's only 3rd in the voting right now...). Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for calling attention to this.
Posted at 10:07 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, November 29, 2004


Jenny D. is posting parts of the transcripts from debate over the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now No Child Left Behind) in 1965. Key point is Senator Robert Kennedy's calls for standardized testing as part of the accountability plan. As Eduwonk understands it from people who were there, he was even more vehement about this point during the private meetings and the conference finalizing this bill. Today's Democrats could do a lot worse than take some domestic policy cues from RFK, he was unafraid to talk about poverty but also unafraid to seriously attack it even it meant displacing various institutional interests...
Posted at 10:19 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Is Your Child A Cusp Child? Cool Social Entrepreneurs! Homeric Feats From Spellings? And, Wild Eugene Hickok?
Yesterday's LA Times writes up the alleged rise of "cusp" or "bubble" students - students at or near proficiency on states tests that schools focus on at the expense of students further behind because they're more likely to pass tests and help schools make "adequate yearly progress" under No Child. It's catchy (any panic needs a catchy name) and this could be the next three-ring circus about the horrors of NCLB. Unfortunately though, it's a problem that preceded the law. In fact, could addressing this problem be why the bar for making "adequate yearly progress" goes up over time and why sub-groups of students must make progress, too? Of course, many of the same folks now raising this as one more reason to jettison NCLB don’t like those provisions either.

Elsewhere, NY Daily News' Williams looks at some up and coming social entrepreneurs. This is a must-read. Joel Klein's interest in these folks is the peg but there are national implications.

In Education Next, PA journo Brad Bumsted examines NCLB lawsuit fizzle there (and, with a seriously buried lede, he also outs Deputy Education Secretary Eugene Hickok as kin to "Wild Bill", a minor fact which still explains so much...).

He may have bigger problems, but he does have strong feelings about teaching methods.

Signaling even more angst among the Kool-Aid drinkers, NY Post worries about incoming Ed Secretary Margaret Spellings' chops on school choice and proposes a Trojan Horse strategy... Let's see, a pick for Secretary that George Miller and Ted Kennedy like and that Bill Bennett and conservative ed boards don't. Hmmm....

Interesting article on risk and fear and schoolchildren from the U.K. Incidentally, it was a Brit who created Outward Bound. Via Jacobs.
Posted at 9:50 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Job Opportunity
Charter schools are:

a) A silver bullet for what ails American education
b) The greatest threat to public education since Milton Friedman put pen to paper
c) A promising idea and work-in-progress that will require great effort going forward
d) A full-employment program for education reporters at The New York Times

If you answered 'c' then this job might be for you:

The Charter School Leadership Council is looking for a Vice President for Operations and Finance. This person will manage the Council’s day-to-day operations; collaborate with the President to establish and accomplish organizational goals and objectives, including long-term financial growth and sustainability; and provide advice, guidance, and direction on business matters. The successful candidate will have substantial management experience (5-10 years) with responsibility for finance and operations; keen understanding of the nonprofit finance and compliance environment; and excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills. Familiarity with education policy and charter schooling is a plus. An MBA or Master’s degree in a related field is required. Salary and benefits are competitive. For a full position description, contact CSLC at info@cslc.us.
Posted at 8:19 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post