About Eduwonk & ES Media

About Eduwonk
ES Blog Editorial Policy
Education Sector
The Education Sector Digest
The Quick and the Ed

News Feeds & More



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.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

In This Corner Weighing-In At....

Two new edublogs to keep an eye on:

MO's Sager is going to have his hands full now! The UFT has started a blog called EdWize. It's only a few days old but they're off to a fast start with posts on the contract situation, our friends at SOB, and teacher mobility. Sure to be a handy way to keep tabs on one view of eduhappenings in Gotham.

Meanwhile, Mike Antonucci of EIA who writes the widely read Communique and School News Monitor is dropping SNM and now focusing his energy and wit on the blog Intercepts. Agree or disagree with Mike, he's well regarded for his accuracy and breadth of coverage so the blog should be worth your time.

Update: NY Daily News on EdWize.
Posted at 11:09 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Friday, August 19, 2005

Eduwonk Focuses On Negative Behavior!

Financial contributions come to mind, but who doesn't enjoy a weekend getaway?(pdf) Full story here. Via Intercepts.
Posted at 3:42 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

I Am Cathy Small?
If you didn't like the recent Thomas Wolfe take on undergraduate life, try this book on for size.
Posted at 12:31 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Comparable Worth
Per this new report from U of W's Roza, check out this front page article in yesterday's Washington Post about racial disparities in health care. It's a vitally important issue, but don't the racial disparities in education deserve equal treatment? Granted, medicine is further along than education in terms of a willingness to measure and quantify (sadly, if medicine were education we'd still be having a debate about whether blacks can really be healthy at all...). Still, there is a not-insignificant body of evidence about disparities in education, some clear causes, and steps policymakers could take.
Posted at 10:12 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

SOB On Teachers' Unions
Over at School of Blog Julie points out that teachers' unions are not always opposed to what's good for kids and many things on their agenda are good for both students and teachers. This is, of course, true and outside the ranks of the cranks it's hard to find anyone who argues that everything that teachers' unions support is adverse to the interests of students or society or even that there are not many policies which are not good for both teachers and students.

However, she then implicitly takes an equally extreme position dismissing the criticism altogether. This argument doesn't hold up either. Just because teachers' unions are not always at odds with the public interest doesn't mean they're not sometimes pursuing policies that are. For instance, it's pretty hard to square the seniority and bumping provisions in most contracts and the refusal to allow challenging schools to pay their teachers more with what's best for poor kids.

Interest groups are not one dimensional. The NRA does a lot of good work on gun and hunter safety, that doesn't mean their position on assault weapons isn't ludicrous. The teachers' unions are no different.

Update: For more context also read this important follow-up post from SOB drilling-down a little more.
Posted at 10:01 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

One More For The Gipper?
There are plenty of reasons why Rep. Henry Bonilla's (R-TX) idea to rename Washington's 16th Street "Ronald Reagan Boulevard" is spectacularly silly (don't take Eduwonk's word for it, VA Republican Tom Davis called it "ridiculous").

However, an Eduwonk correspondent sends along one reason why there would at least be a redeeming comedic value: The NEA's address would be 1201 Ronald Reagan Boulevard...so they'd be left opposing the so-called No Child Left Behind Act from the so-called Ronald Reagan Boulevard...
Posted at 9:38 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

The Chronic Problem
NY Daily News reports on kids and drugs, meanwhile LA Times says Snoop's youth football league taking off...
Posted at 9:00 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Lost In The Averages
Very important new report (pdf) from U of W's Roza about Title I funds. Punchline: Often rather than augmenting poor schools, these funds are merely compensating for inequitable intra-district resource patterns.

Says Roza:

The problem is two-fold: First, district funds-allocation practices are so murky and complex that it is difficult to determine how much money is spent at any individual school. The assumption that non-categorical funds are spent equitably is incorrect. Second, the spirit of the law—that these federal funds are used only to augment services for disadvantaged students—is easily broken. This is true even when school administrators are committed to the intent of the law and make every effort to follow it to the letter.
Posted at 6:56 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

If you want to work at Education Sector here are three ways, right now. Development, editorial and web production and communications. More listings soon.
Posted at 6:52 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, August 18, 2005


The HCRP has lost Mark Kleiman...via Kaus.
Posted at 5:16 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Live From New York...
Per this item, here's what NYC Mayor Bloomberg had to say today. It's significant on the work rules comment and politically clever on the vacation dig...

Q: Weingarten?

A: I didn’t hear what she had to say. I mean, I hope there’s a contract soon. If she does not hope there’s a contract soon, I think she should tell her members. Everyone who I meet wants to have a contract. And we’re trying very hard to negotiate one. There’s been a lot of back and forth, she’s been on vacation and last week was a little bit hard to reach. I know our labor commissioner tried two or three times; so, that probably held up negotiations a week. But the fact finding by the arbitration panel has been proceeding. We’ve been testifying. So, did the UFT. It’s an advisory thing. So, you know, anything they can suggest would be helpful. But the city, you know, look, the city needs teachers. We have great teachers. We’d like to pay ‘em more. The same rules apply, however. We do need to have some changes in work rules that are inhibiting our ability to educate our kids, which is the fundamental purpose that the Department of Education exists for. It’s not a, the Department of Education isn’t there to create jobs. It’s there to educate our kids, and, so, we need to get some changes, which, I think, would not be onerous to teachers. And, then, if they want to get paid more than the pattern, they have to come up with some work saving, productivity enhancements, money saving things because that’s where the money is going to come. It’s where it’s come on every other contract and it’s where it’s going to come on this. We do not have any extra money, and, as you know, the ‘07 (budget) is going to be problematic, I think, for all of us. So, we’re sticking to trying to do everything we can to negotiate a contract. And I’m still optimistic. I don’t know why she’d say that. She is a woman who wants to get a contract, as far as I know. Everything I’ve ever heard from her says she do (sic).

Update: Clever, but perhaps not quite right? From the NY Daily News:

The mayor's comments infuriated Weingarten, who said she wasn't vacationing - she was on jury duty and City Hall officials knew it.

"I haven't been the one that is hard to reach," she said. "The mayor's representatives know I served on federal jury duty and was completely available when not empaneled."
Posted at 4:34 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Reed On Roberts

Eduwonk has long believed that Democrats would be in stronger political shape if they listened to Bruce Reed more. And, on the same day that panic about the Roberts nomination is seizing the Left, Reed offers the most promising line of attack yet (and it involves education, no less...).
Posted at 8:49 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Lakoff's Small Victory In Education
It's the time of year when states are reporting results state tests and whether schools made "adequate yearly progress". Two quick thoughts:

First, the media often does a lousy job of unpacking these figures so they make sense for the average person. Assuming that a sufficient number of students took the assessments, then whether or not a school made AYP depends on several things notably the test used, what the cut score to be "proficient" is, and what percent of students in a particular school must score proficient in order for the school to make AYP (for instance, in some states its as few as about one in three while in others it's as much as seven in ten). Then there are the secondary issues. Is a state averaging school scores over several years, using confidence intervals, or are schools combining scores across grade levels? These variances are all allowable under the law and central to understanding how the AYP figures are arrived at in different states.

Second, how the media talks about these things matters, too. This story from today's Wash. Post is instructive. According to the Post, offering parents public school choice or tutoring constitutes "penalties." They don't arrive at that verbiage by accident, Virginia and many other states, too, refer to "sanctions" and "penalties" for schools and it's the common way the issue is framed. The media is merely, albeit uncritically, passing along a cue. But, it's a cue rooted in the dubious assumption that the schools exist as an institution of their own right rather than one intended to serve students and parents.

In fact, Eduwonk doesn't care much for the supplemental services provisions as they're currently employed; too often they're a throwback to ineffective pull-out programs rather than a coherent instructional program raising serious questions about the wisdom of financing them through Title I. Yet participating parents don't view supplemental tutoring or a broader choice of public schools as a "penalty" or "sanction," at least not in the common usage of those terms. And, like the provisions or not, surely there is more neutral language to describe these provisions outside of the editorial page.
Posted at 8:11 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

NCLB Sucks, Now Play Free Bird!
Looking for a chance to share your views with an influential reporter in a relaxed setting? Well, unknown to most readers, on weekends Ed Week's usually reliable Robelen puts down the notebook and picks up the guitar. He's an accomplished musician.

His current band, the Paul Minor Band, plays gigs all around the Washington Metro area. You can check them out Friday at the Fox Chase Tavern.
Posted at 8:01 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Progress And The Just Society!
In the 19th Century, schools caused Bible riots. In the 21st, laptop riots:

Jesse Sandler said he was one of the people pushing forward, using a folding chair he had brought with him to beat back people who tried to cut in front of him.

"I took my chair here and I threw it over my shoulder and I went, 'Bam,''' the 20-year-old said nonchalantly, his eyes glued to the screen of his new iBook, as he tapped away on the keyboard at a testing station.

"They were getting in front of me and I was there a lot earlier than them, so I thought that it was just,'' he said.
Posted at 7:54 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

...are all posting over at the Carnival of Education Blogs.
Posted at 7:49 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

You Can't Keep Him Down
Goldstein, still going wild, writes to note the following:

Results from the California standardized tests (STAR) from 2005 were published August 15. One note: the Achievement Gap in Algebra II proficiency was 27 percentage points....58% vs. 31%

Snooze, right? But that's not the black/Hispanic to white gap. That's the Asian to white comparison! The black/Hispanic to white comparison is actually SMALLER, where Algebra II proficiency is 9% black, 15% Hispanic, 31% white.

Scholarship on the Asian-American "high end gap" is not that common. Harvard Scholar Vivian Shuh Ming Louie has done some work but it's still relatively unexplored.

None of this is to say that the Achievement Gap does not primarily remain one that describes the difference between black and Hispanic kids on one hand, and white and Asian kids on the other. As a noted Achievement Gap author says: "Still, those numbers have Asian students 1.9 times as likely as white students to gain proficiency, whereas white students are twice as likely as Hispanics and 3.4 times as likely as black students to gain proficiency."
Posted at 7:19 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Decode This, Part II

Per this from February, Success For All and its fellow travelers are now fighting back and getting an investigation of the federal Reading First program says USA Today's Toppo and Ed Week's Cavanagh. Backstory from Ed Week's Viadero here. Hmmm...if true, such cronyism seems shockingly out of character for the Bush Administration...keep an eye on the fleet of feet Earth Mother and whether she moves to hang this on Paige, that's a good gauge of how serious it all is...

Interesting edupolitics sidelight: Some folks who hate Success For All and similar programs (and Reading First for that matter) have apparently decided they hate George Bush even more and are now the cheering on the investigation and demanding fairness...
Posted at 9:38 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Charter Schools In UT, TX and NC
Per this article in the Salt Lake Trib. it seems like UT could use some of the tough love charter operators applied in California and elsewhere. May not be illegal, but it sure smells.

Remember that study on charter school finance in Texas? Well, according to the Dallas Morning News the state education agency now acknowledges that it was fatally flawed because of some reporting errors. One charter apparently reported a budget of $66 million when in fact its budget was $9 million. That's enough to skew the average results statewide. Also, close-reading reveals something in this article that Eduwonk's more literary friends might call "foreshadowing."

Meanwhile, a well-connected Tarheel reader writes to say:

The NC Senate and House have signed off on the state's two-year budget, and unless Governor Easley vetoes it (he is expected to sign it), there is NO chance for the cap on charters to be raised this year. (While the bills to raise the cap in NC never made it out of committee, a change in the cap could have been amended to the state budget.)

So, all 100 charters are taken. No more new charter schools in North Carolina, unless an existing charter school has its charter revoked.

BTW, in NC, the very top performing schools are charters; and charters are among the worst performers. There is a strong demand among parents for charters, but all in all, NC just "doesn't do" charters well! No charter school resource center, no lobbying force, etc.
Posted at 9:05 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, August 15, 2005

New Home

As you can see, Eduwonk is in the process of moving to a new home. Please excuse the glitches while we get it all worked out. The blog itself isn't changing, just the host.
Posted at 7:11 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post