Friday, July 29, 2005
SOB turns up an interesting nugget in the NYC mayoral race.
Attention Simpsons fans, this is the harshest NYT editorial ever!
Connecticut has one of the worst achievement gaps and an abysmal history when it comes to educating poor and minority children. It is the last place that should be challenging the most important educational reform of the last half-century.
Ouch. That's throwing at the head.
Good editorial though Eduwonk disagrees that the assessment provisions are funded as well as they could be though the funding isn't low-enough to justify this sort of thing. The Bush Administration is just missing a great opportunity to take assessment to a new level.
BTW: On a similar issue Fox fans, don't miss the most recent episode of When Piche and Wiener Attack!
This one has all the ingredients for a really good spat: Start with a heaping cup of ideology, add a melted stick of the Arkansas Education Association, a reduction of the National Education Association, a pinch of The Manhattan Institute, a dash of Waltons and a heaping spoonful of lefty bête noire Jay Greene!
Going to be fun to watch. More seriously, just one thought per the AEA-NEA attack on Greene. Sure, you can criticize some of his studies, Eduwonk has, but the teachers' unions don't. Instead, it's his generalized support for vouchers that is causing the angst. It sounds suspiciously like a litmus test. Academic freedom anyone? Agree or disagree with them as a policy prescription, it seems like promoting vouchers falls pretty squarely within that tradition. This is, after all, an unsettled issue.
Per the item below, it seems that with No Child Left Behind on the scene suddenly state accountability systems that were previously vilified (though not without good reason in some cases) are now pretty popular.
Essentially, even among their former critics, state accountability systems are a convenient foil against NCLB. "Our system was just great until this damn NCLB came along…"
It's a natural dynamic in politics so here's a freebie idea for Earth Mother and the President to turn it to their advantage: Propose that Adequate Yearly Progress be required globally by the United Nations! John Bolton as global superintendent!
Would likely make the NCLB debate obsolete in no time…
Bonus Freebie Idea: Make Lyndie England a global school inspector. If the NCLB consequences scare people…
The battle over FL's accountability evasions is heating up...Piche and Wiener into the breach!
Handy Eduwonk Translation Guide: When FL officials say "disconnect," it is eduspeak for "our old accountability system didn't look after minority kids and now the feds are nailing us because there is a thirty point gap separating white and black students in reading and math statewide..."
The Citizen's Commission on Civil Rights is looking for interns and legal clerks. You'd work on education and other civil rights issues. Ideally they want a J. D. candidate or college graduate pursuing an advanced degree in education, political science or public policy or recent college and law school graduates for immediate, temporary assignments.
High impact organization, great opportunity. Email here for more information or to send a resume.
Except for the last two grafs which are hopeful, this is quite possibly the most delusional education commentary that Eduwonk has ever read...and that is saying something considering the competition...
SOB is reporting, and others confirm, that faced with the prospect of a likely Bloomberg win, UFT head Randi Weingarten is dealing. CW is that the UFT can't afford not to back a winner again after the past several elections and that despite his heady lead, Bloomberg wants to cinch the deal.
Possible big losers: #1 Joel Klein if the contract is weak. Wouldn't be the first time an urban sup't gets sold down the river for political peace before an election. For instance, see the case of Vallas, Paul, Philadelphia 2004. #2, all the Ds in the field. #3 Weingarten herself, what if the members won't take this? The dissident crowd will go batty...
From The Trenches
Mr. AB over at From The Trenches points out the abusurdities of too much of what passes as "professional development":
...We want to learn like we are in law school or grad school. That means no gimmicks, no games, no group work, and no, absolutely no, teacher-voice. If you could end that sentence with "Boys and girls," don't say it. Do not play chimes or a recorder to get my attention, do not make me sing, and do not make me sit on the floor. I teach elementary school, that does not mean I am in it!...
...as professional lesson-planners, we know how much time it should take to teach a single concept. Do not take 30 minutes to teach a 5 minute idea, even if someone has budgeted you that. Fight with the budget before you waste our time...
Well worth reading the entire thing.
...But Kauffman Is Optimistic!
New Kauffman study on charter school real estate says it's not such a risky scheme!
Being pimped just ain't what it used to be! Communities for Quality Education, an NEA funded anti-No Child Left Behind front-group did an event in Pennsylvania recently and Mark Guydish, a columnist for the Times Leader, had the temerity to point out that the group was on the take!
It's actually a must-read column and it's a shame that reporters working for much larger papers haven't figured out what Guydish has...and it's not only Communities for Quality Education walking the streets...
There is nothing wrong with taking NEA money per se, that's democracy in action. The problem is the lack of transparency and candor from most recipients. If it's OK to take it, it's OK to disclose it!
The increasingly frisky Title I Monitor reports on the case of Wiener v. Texas.
Indy Star's Staci Hupp looks at some new virtual charter schools coming there soon.
Good a time as any to note that though these schools are all the rage in some circles, they seem to raise a lot of questions about accountability and what a public school is. Not a reason not to have them but a tough challenge for authorizers...high potential for abuse. Ball State is a strong authorizer though with good leadership so those concerns may not be applicable in this case...
PS--The ed "establishment" has been fretting for some time about the link between home-schooling and vouchers, but isn't the real problem delineating home-schooling and these virtual charter schools in places where the charter authorizers aren't so good?
Dear friends and former colleagues,
Last summer I made the acquaintance of five Iraqi students who were chosen as winners of the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY) competition. They were an exceptionally bright and motivated group, and were the first representatives from Iraq in the program's 40-plus year history.
I was particularly impressed by a young woman named Diana who sat at my table during the closing dinner. Diana charmed me with her earnest enthusiasm for what she had experienced during her week in Washington DC -and her hopes and ambitions for the future. She wanted to come to the US for college. After corresponding with Diana for some weeks, I decided to help.
As a trustee at Franklin Pierce College, a four-year liberal arts college in Rindge, NH with a unique focus on the relationship between the individual and community, I thought this was the right place to start.
I am excited to report that Diana, the young Iraqi woman I met in Washington, met the entrance requirements and was accepted at Franklin Pierce College for the coming fall. Then, this month, I was awarded the Good Housekeeping magazine Women in Government Award and have donated $12,000 of that prize to initiate a new scholarship (the Freedom Fund Scholarship) at Franklin Pierce for a student from a country making the transition to self-government. A total of $40,000($10,000 per year) will support non-tuition costs of one student through his or her studies at Franklin Pierce College.
In the future, this scholarship could benefit students from Afghanistan, Palestine, Bosnia / Croatia, independence-seeking Russian republics and other countries. It is my hope that those who benefit from this scholarship will take what they learn about America, about participatory government, and about individual responsibility, and use this to become part of their country's future leadership. That is why I am writing to you. I hope that those of you who worked in Iraq, or who followed my journey there and back, will want to include this new scholarship fund in your immediate charitable giving. I see offering education to deserving students as another level of insurance, a promise that the freedom now on the march in so many places will continue well past our current lifetimes.
Please join me in supporting the Freedom Fund Scholarship by donating online or sending your check, made out to Franklin Pierce College, and designated to the Freedom Fund Scholarship to Evelyn Buchanan, VP College Relations, 20 College Road, Rindge, NH 03461. Or call 603.899.1132.
Thank you, in advance, for your generosity. Your donation is tax deductible and you will receive a formal notification from the college.
All the best,
USA Today's Ed Board takes a far-ranging look at the recent NAEP report and calls out Harvard Civil Rights Project's "duh" study of a few weeks ago.
Paragraph 11 of this Washington Post story has some good news for D.C. kids...More on SEED here.