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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.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Charter Schools: Lessons In Straw Men

In Wednesday's Washington Post charter school critic Amy Stuart Wells writes what she hopes will be the obituary for charter schools entitled: Charter Schools: Lessons in Limits. It's really more of a lesson in straw-men but a couple of things in particular jump out. [For another view, see this post on A Constrained Vision (via Jacobs).]

First, Wells writes that:

I have seen some excellent charter schools, with well-trained educators and solid curriculums. They tend to be in more middle-class communities, where private resources augment the low level of public funding that charter schools receive. I have also seen charter schools run by people who collect the public funding while providing minimal services for low-income students who have few other options. And I have seen a lot of the charter schools that fall somewhere in between -- not stellar, not awful, but no better than the public schools nearby.

Huh? While the entire paragraph could use some documentation, one assertion in particular stands out. The best charters tend to be suburban ones? What's the evidence for that, (holding constant prior achievement of students, of course)? With a noteworthy exception, charters are disproportionately located in low-income communities. That's actually an example of the market working; there just isn't much of a market for charter schools in places where the public schools are doing reasonably well -- the suburbs. Of course, to the consternation of many, the opposite is also true. Besides, in a growing number of urban communities, for instance, Los Angeles, Washington, and Boston the top open-enrollment high schools are charter schools.

Wells also chocks up the support for charters to conservative think tanks and free-market types. This tired canard has a debilitating effect on the left's ability to coherently argue against ideas like vouchers or even charters. First, it ignores the substantial support that existed, and in many cases still exists, on the left for choice-based reforms. In the late 1960s and early 1970s it wasn’t the right pushing choice, it was the left.

Moreover, this line of argument ignores the substantial support for choice-based reforms that now exists in the minority community. Eduwonk would argue that the most lasting impact of Politics, Markets, and America's Schools, the seminal pro-choice work by Chubb and Moe, was less the ideas in the book itself than the reframing of the choice issue that resulted from Brookings publishing the book in the first place. That helped launch the current wave of minority organizing around school choice. To chock all that support up to "conservative think tanks" is naïve at best and patronizing at worst.

Finally, Wells also notes that charters will fall prey to the broader disillusionment with free-market ideas now gripping the country. Again, huh? We just re-elected a president who made no secret of his desire to privatize and use market forces to reform our most widely used social insurance program and is now trying to do just that. It's entirely possible that such disillusionment is sweeping the halls of Teachers' College, but it's not a national trend yet.

Re the studies that give Wells such certitude, more on them here, and this useful and apparently ignored disclaimer from one here.

Eduwonk agrees with Wells when she concludes that, "free markets in education, like free markets generally, do not serve poor children well." But that's less an indictment of charter schooling than a call for better quality charter school authorizing. After all, monopolies don't serve anyone very well either which is why the most promising reform policies are found somewhere between purely market-based ideas and the system we have now.

The almost blind-adherence to market-based education reforms on the right is certainly frustrating, but as this op-ed shows, the right doesn’t have the monopoly on predictable ideological rigidity.
Posted at 11:57 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, December 27, 2004

Washington Post Holiday Break Must-Reading

Two important corrections ran in the Christmas Day edition of the Post. Apparently the Hoxby one, per this, involved lawyers. On the Pell Grant one, per this, it does change things a little...

Michael Powell takes an interesting in-depth look at "intelligent design" v. evolution. Sure, there are distinctions between intelligent design and creationism, but it sure seems like at least as much an example of political reframing as it does an entirely distinct theory.

And, Washington Post education reporter Michael Dobbs was vacationing in Sri Lanka and offers this harrowing first-person account of the waves that have caused so much devastation in that part of the world.

Also, from Reuters, a write-up of the portfolio approach in action.
Posted at 1:44 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post