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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, September 01, 2005

Katrina Relief

Instapundit has a handy list of Katrina relief sites if you want to give. The Red Cross site is difficult to access, probably overloaded. In any event, you can send a check to the Red Cross at this address: American Red Cross, PO Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

And, if you send a check rather than use your credit card online you save the charity the percentage fee, as much as 5 percent, that the card companies take off the top. Might be a nice gesture if they suspended that in emergencies, no?

Solid local coverage of the catastrophe unfolding in N.O. from the Times - Picayune here.
Posted at 12:44 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

School Can Be Day Care!
Interesting article from the Chicago Trib about offering a different kind of bene for teachers: Child care.

There is this:

Gail Purkey, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, sees day care as a way to attract and retain teachers."

If you see the companies that are the best to work for in the corporate world, it's those that provide child care," she said. "Sometimes a day care sets one company apart from the pack. It can do the same for a school."

And this:

Staci Maiers, a spokeswoman for the National Education Association, sees it a little differently. On-site day care, housing subsidies and signing bonuses are among the ways school districts across the country are trying to make up for lags in salary, she said.

"We're seeing a trend," Maiers said. "Teachers are looking at the benefits. But the bottom line is, good salaries attract good teachers. If you are going to recruit teachers for the long haul, we have to give them what they are worth."

Isn't the NEA always saying that differential pay or performance pay are bad ideas because teachers don't respond to money?
Posted at 11:56 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Richard Colvin Throws Gasoline
on the oil spot strategy in Ed Next...
Posted at 11:27 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

NY Post Anon
This NY Post op-ed is bouncing around and sparking some discussion on Edwize.

The teacher makes some good points about the challenging conditions, but these grafs:

Maybe if the city worried less about test scores and more about improving all aspects of the school system, conditions would improve. Maybe teachers aren't writing on that Web site about how to improve schools or help children because we have tried everything we can think of and nothing has worked.

We are decent, educated, hardworking people who simply are frustrated and exhausted by what we have to put up with day after day in order to educate the minority of students in this city who want to learn and succeed.

Have we really tried everything? On the contrary, the change-averse nature of education, Cuban's "grammar of schooling" speaks to that. And a lot of what we do try is superficial not deep changes.

And, only a minority of students want to succeed? How about some expectations...seems pretty self-fulfilling.
Posted at 10:34 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Long, Or Not So Long, Goodbye

Looking at this another way, one could argue that anyone fully compatible with this school board is not going to be all that helpful for the students in San Fran...

Regardless, more evidence that it's a good time (always a good time???) to be in the urban sup'ts search business...
Posted at 4:36 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Sam Freedman, Jedi
NYT's Freedman offers an interesting profile of George Lucas' education efforts.
Posted at 3:13 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Edublog Carnival Time
Over at the EdWonk blog.
Posted at 12:40 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Ed Week Delivers Inside Ball
Kudos to Ed Week's Karla Scoon Reid for catching the story that has thus far eluded her allegedly more savvy national colleagues at the big media outlets: there is not unanimity among various Civil Rights groups on No Child Left Behind:

[CCCR head Bill Taylor], a veteran desegregation lawyer and longtime activist, characterized the split within the civil rights community as harmful to achieving the law’s goals.

“It’s a war on the whole idea of reform. [Harvard Civil Rights Project's] Gary [Orfield] wasn’t opposed to sanctions when it came to dealing with segregated schools,” he said. “When public officials are not carrying out their duties, you sanction them.”

Note the tone from the NEA...polling shows this is not great PR for them and they're trying to "re-frame" the issue, as they say...and behind the scenes...there is a wedge already...

Very rich vein for follow-up on this might be following the money...not going to jump to any claims of causation but there sure is a uncanny correlation...also, big political implications, too, going forward...

Also in Ed Week Fordham Chieftain-in-waiting Mike Petrilli discusses No Child's teacher quality provisions, provides some inside dope, channels Commodore Roza, and offers some ideas for policy reforms.

Update: Several readers write to point out that NYT's Staples also wrote on this issue. Fair enough, but Reid's take is more granular and this is still very under-reported regardless considering the stakes.
Posted at 11:38 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bill Taylor, Iconoclast

From today's WSJ ($):

"The fact of the matter is that a couple Democrats, in particular [Senator] Ted Kennedy and [Representative] George Miller, helped twist the arm of this administration and brought about a really large increase in appropriations for No Child Left Behind," said Mr. Taylor, dismissing Connecticut's plea for more money. "I also think the National Education Association," which agitated for the suit, "is really doing damage to the interests of kids and to the interests of its own members. We've got to figure out a way to get really good teachers into central schools, and this law pushes for that."
Posted at 5:53 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Barbara Davidson, Optimist
From today's Washington Times she writes:

There is good reason to believe [District of Columbia Public Schools'] brightest days lie ahead.

Let's hope so...

Eduwonk Flashback: Advice For Dr. Janey.
Posted at 5:50 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

New U.S. News rankings include information on Pell Grant usage. Won't assuage the critics, but it's progress. It's not, however, encouraging in terms of economic diversity in higher education, pretty depressing really. You have to dig a little to find this info but it's on the U.S. News site.

Meanwhile, in an interesting twist, Washington Monthly ranks colleges and universities based on student propensity for public service. Well worth reading.
Posted at 5:10 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

It's On Baby!
The NYC edublog wars, begun they have...

ICE, the dissenting caucus in the UFT has set up their own blog to challenge EdWize! Here's a taste. Will Lukewarm Joe Williams write about this one, too?

Meanwhile, though the blogs have plenty to say, NYT's Herszenhorn says the Democratic candidates for mayor up there don't.
Posted at 4:32 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Checker Finn, Panhandler
The NY Post was not as amused as Eduwonk by Fordham's change of tune on the funding issue.
Posted at 3:26 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Dead Enders? You Don't Have To Go To Iraq To See 'Em!
Andrew Sullivan says go with the oil spot strategy on education policy --and on gay marriage, too. Mickey Kaus, however, sees a quagmire:

I'm not sure the oil spot strategy works that well when you are confronting geographically pervasive, deeply entrenched bureaucratic interests, as opposed to mere armed insurgents.

Mickey cites Milwaukee's voucher program, Saturn, and welfare reform as three examples of oil spots that failed to spread. Not sure we've had a real oil spot in education yet, seems like more droplets. While Milwaukee's program shows how one foundation, in that case Bradley, can change the policy landscape it’s not a great example of a real oil spot strategy because it was one marginal reform (and has produced mixed results). In the Krepinevich example, Milwaukee would be like going to Fallujah and just fixing the water or power while ignoring all the other issues.

(It's also worth noting that since Milwaukee there has been a landmark SCOTUS ruling on vouchers and programs legislated in 5 other cities and states. Considering the political opposition that seems noteworthy. Eduwonk thinks that regardless of the problems Milwaukee was a pretty big win for the voucher crowd).

In education, a real oil spot effort would have to be comprehensive, involving governance, delivery, and human capacity. Fortunately, in the social entrepreneurial sector there is plenty of talent that could be brought to bear. As a rule of thumb, anything touched by New Schools Venture Fund is a pretty good bet though there are plenty of others like KIPP. And, there are plenty of folks in the traditional system who would jump at the chance to do something aggressive and bold.

Mickey makes a great point about welfare reform but more people are touched by education than welfare so (hopefully) the political incentives are different. What's similar is that with welfare it took a consensus that different was needed and better was really possible to force action. In education there is still a substantial industry focused on all the reasons schools can't be expected to succeed. The media abets this because they generally do such a poor job of publicizing emerging education oil spots where they do exist -- it's just easier to write about the tiresome debate about NCLB or NEA and Soros funded "grassroots" groups. For instance Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson (D) is wildly popular in no small part because he's opening good public schools in the city over the objections of the usual suspects there. Yet you'd be hard pressed to find a dozen top national reporters who know about it. Oil spots won't spread all by themselves will they?
Posted at 2:56 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, August 29, 2005

Paul Hill, Ambulance Chaser...

New analysis from CRPE (pdf) looks at the legal issues related to the various disequities in teacher distribution and possible legal strategies for addressing them.
Posted at 12:21 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Let's Get Out Of This Quagmire
In Sunday's NYT David Brooks describes the thinking of counterinsurgency expert Andrew Krepinevich on how to win in Iraq:

Krepinevich calls the approach the oil-spot strategy. The core insight is that you can't win a war like this by going off on search and destroy missions trying to kill insurgents. There are always more enemy fighters waiting. You end up going back to the same towns again and again, because the insurgents just pop up after you've left and kill anybody who helped you. You alienate civilians, who are the key to success, with your heavy-handed raids.

Instead of trying to kill insurgents, Krepinevich argues, it's more important to protect civilians. You set up safe havens where you can establish good security. Because you don't have enough manpower to do this everywhere at once, you select a few key cities and take control. Then you slowly expand the size of your safe havens, like an oil spot spreading across the pavement.

Once you've secured a town or city, you throw in all the economic and political resources you have to make that place grow. The locals see the benefits of working with you. Your own troops and the folks back home watching on TV can see concrete signs of progress in these newly regenerated neighborhoods. You mix your troops in with indigenous security forces, and through intimate contact with the locals you begin to even out the intelligence advantage that otherwise goes to the insurgents.

Isn't this basically the same strategy that education reformers should pursue in the cities? Instead of just supporting often isolated politicians who are constantly under attack or fighting hopeless guerilla warfare inside bureaucracies, establishing some oil spots in big cities, winning victories, and establishing some proof points (and in the process expanding opportunities for disadvantaged kids) seems like a more promising strategy. Opening new schools would certainly be part of such an effort but also leveraging successful initiatives like Teach For America, The New Teacher Project, New Leaders for New Schools, the Broad Residents, etc...to drive broader change and win hearts and minds.
Posted at 7:09 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post