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.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Meet Vernice Jones

She's blogging from New York where she's got a 4 1/2 year old...she's skeptical of the public schools there and of Charles Murray...check her out.
Posted at 2:40 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

A First
Joe Williams' new book has apparently hit the sweet spot. Has a writer ever been compared to Jonathan Kozol and Checker Finn at the same time?
Posted at 11:27 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Born Again!
She is back, and she continues to rock.
Posted at 9:39 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Ewers On Whittle...And, Build A Better Mousetrap And They'll Beat You A Path!
U.S. News' Ewers gets Chris Whittle to stay still long enough to be interviewed about his new book. Some background here. Worth reading, Whittle is genuinely brilliant. Here's a taste of the interview:

The greatest intellectual property that Edison currently owns are all the mistakes we've made over the last 15 years. In fact, if you go back and read a little bit about Thomas Edison, at one particular point, when they were taking the furniture out of his house, they asked him, "What did you learn from all this?" and he said, "I've learned the 500 ways not to make a light bulb."

One of the things I want to be clear about is: We've been far from perfect, but we've been incredibly relentless in our pursuit of what the answers are. We've done 15 years in the trenches. Very few people actually get to be in the trenches for very long in this. [The average tenure of big-city school superintendents is less than four years.] I think I'm the longest serving head of a major system of schools in the U.S. And that is incredibly valuable. If you're in it, and you stay in it, you learn every year. I'm not saying that I'm the only voice that should be listened to, but it's one voice.

Yet several answers still make Eduwonk wonder if Whittle and Edison have absorbed the fundamental lesson of the last 15 years. Education is not a build a better mousetrap or build a better light bulb industry right now. Political rules not economic rules drive things. To be clear, that's not all bad at all in Eduwonk's view, though guys like this think it is, because our schools are political creations and that's OK since they belong to all of us.

However, it does mean that even if you do build a better mousetrap most of the people beating a path to your door will be there to tell the world why your mousetrap really isn't what it seems, why it can't possibly work except in isolated cases, or that mice aren't much a problem anyway. And meanwhile, behind the scenes, the folks who make their living using lower-quality mousetraps or have a stake in those mousetraps will be trying to burn your house down. That's a tough environment for any entity to operate in (especially one that needs profits to survive) and one reason our urban school systems look the way they mostly do.

But perhaps they have absorbed this and for political reasons Edison still can't just come out and say that because this is the environment they have to operate in as a company. Regardless, makes you wonder whether the non-profits that can absorb philanthropic support and consequently have more stability and longer time horizons actually are a better bet over time in terms of building new school models.
Posted at 9:08 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, September 29, 2005

From The New Jack

News Hour's Merrow profiled NYC Chancellor Joel Klein last night. Transcript and videos can be found here. Judge for yourself, but it didn't seem to help the UFT's case much...
Posted at 5:45 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

From The Heartland (PAC)
Governor Vilsack has a group blog going on his website, interesting stuff including a long post by Virginia's Mark Warner, Eduwonk chimes in here.
Posted at 5:33 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

The Whole Bing
Per this item, thanks to Mickey Kaus for locating the entire article free online.
Posted at 1:08 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Legal News
No, not the DeLay indictment (DeLay involved in shady dealings...it's a shocker, who knew?), rather Eduwonk refers to the certification of this class action suit on appeal in Florida. Worth watching. Via Jenny D.
Posted at 12:20 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Book Banning
It's Banned Books Week courtesy of the American Library Association. You can celebrate by checking out one of these books, the 100 most frequently challenged according to the ALA.

Interesting tidbit...according to ALA data (pdf) it's parents, not politicians, local officials, interest groups, etc...initiating the challenges.

In 1902 Mark Twain sent a letter to the Denver Post on this issue, specifically the banning of Huckleberry Finn, a book that still attracts controversy. Not stale yet:

There's nobody for me to attack in this matter even with soft and gentle ridicule--and I shouldn't ever think of using a grown up weapon in this kind of a nursery.
Posted at 11:40 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Another Bomb Thrower Is Born...Briefly...And Born Again!
Uh oh...the blogosphere is proving to be quite an outlet for young teachers with something to say. TFA blogs are popping up like mushrooms after a rain and here is another new blog...Newoldschoolteacher. This one is going to be fun to watch. Here's a taste:

So I am at a school of education, home of teaching people how to give urban kids a crappy education. I am currently using all my powers to ward off the incessant doctrinal attacks on being oldschool.

Jeepers! Plenty more...agree or disagree it's well written and hard hitting.

Also, while you're looking for interesting teacher blogs have a look at What Up, Mz. Smlph who has been busy and has a great blog going. Plenty more linked over there to your left.

Update: Academic freedom? Fearing retribution Newoldschoolteacher has decided to go dark, and though Eduwonk now knows her identity he's not telling it nor the way to find her new site. Sorry for the tease.

Update II: Reborn! The blog is back, try the link above.
Posted at 8:16 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Must-Read Freedman...He Doesn't Grade On A Curve

In today's Times Samuel Freedman turns in an absolute must-read about No Child Left Behind. Read the entire thing:

..."If you scratch the surface of this town, a lot of contradictions are going to emerge," said Ron Plummer, a project manager for a technology company and a co-chairman of the school district's minority education committee. "I do have some suspicions when measurements come from standardized tests alone. But if it's going to shine a bright light on the inadequacies of the system, especially as it regards children of color, then I'm all in favor."

In any case, there can be a tone of defensiveness, even smugness, among certain school leaders in Princeton. "We're proud of our F," said Lewis Goldstein, the assistant superintendent, referring to the contradiction between the district's overall success and its standing under No Child Left Behind. "It's as if you handed in your homework and the teacher handed it back and you got a 98 on it and an F. That's the situation we're in"...

And that there is what they call a tension...especially when according to Freedman that "98" includes:

Last month, the school [did not make "adequately yearly progress] for the second year in a row, this time because 37 percent of black students failed to meet standards in English, and 55 percent of blacks and 40 percent of Hispanics failed in math.

98? Guess they grade on a curve.

Update: Kindling Flames asks a good question.
Posted at 1:20 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Grab The Popcorn
Hedrick Smith's new documentary which is already causing plenty of chatter will be unveiled here tomorrow. If you want to go in person, it's at the National Press Club (529 14th Street, top floor) in Washington, 10-11:30. RSVP here.
Posted at 10:14 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Odds And Ends...And, Dave Bing Gets Fouled
The new Carnival of Edublogs is up, check it out...a lot of work goes into compiling this.

Thanks for playing, good try! This could be the most honest and straightforward Ed Week headline ever...is the transparency tide turning? If so it'll make a lot of folks nervous...For a more serious look at the high stakes issue research by Carnoy-Loeb and Hanushek-Raymond is a better bet, this new "index" doesn't really hold up.

The Bush Administration is clamping down on the ELC.

David Ethan Greenberg of the Denver School For Science and Technology gets RMN space to put forward an oil-spot strategy for New Orleans. Paul Hill does the same in Ed Week.

Jay Mathews re-discovers charter schools.

And, just in case you were not disgusted enough with how urban education politics screw-over poor kids, try this on for size: After he agreed to help Robert Thompson make his $200 million gift to Detroit to build new, smaller, high schools there, Dave Bing was rewarded with a "Sambo Sell-Out Award" from a group called the "Call 'Em Out Coalition." Local elected officials were on-hand and one actually made the award. Dave Bing of all people...Why is only the conservative press on this story? Backstory here and here.
Posted at 8:51 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, September 26, 2005

The World According To Schuyler

Here's a new student blog out of California, he's not shy...worth checking out.
Posted at 12:41 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

One Step Forward...One Back...
US News' Butler profiles Norfolk, VA, the winner of this year's Broad Prize. The print edition has more charts and data than the online one.

All we heard from San Diego for years was that if Bersin wasn't there reform would plow ahead and everything would be harmonious...well, apparently not...and this isn't even the really complicated stuff...
Posted at 9:49 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Katrina's Kids Or Vitter Vouchers? And...Fear The Parents...Set The Precedent!
Ed Week's Usually Reliable turns in an early and important story on the goings on about the "Hurricane Vouchers" issue. Key takeaway is buried, Senator Dodd signaling his support for some arrangement (he's not the only one) and Senator Landrieu floating a compromise.

But, in the precedent setting department, isn't direct general aid for non-public schools more of a precedent than giving money to parents? According to the article, that seems to be the compromise some of the school groups are now signaling they could live with. But aren't they actually setting themselves up here? They fear giving money to parents, but that doesn't really plow new ground as policy or a church-state issue, especially considering the exceptional circumstances here and if it is a one-year initiative. However, regardless of how long it flowed, more generalized aid would go beyond the settled issues about specific aid for secular purposes and plow new ground (besides, it's not great policy and cuts against the grain of what the voucher crowd has said they're about for a long time...).

As to what Democrats should do? A bunch of different pieces of advice and strategery from readers but rather than dump them all on you, they can pretty much be grouped under the three approaches voiced by readers below:

Sherman Dorn writes:

Combine Kennedy's first-impression "let's not play partisan games" approach with a strict "let's make sure that the money is accounted-for" approach. The advantage of going through public schools is that they already have to account for the cash they receive, and they're set up for it (or at least they're supposed to be). What we know from the history of Florida's voucher programs, esp. the corporate tax-credit scheme, is that neither clearinghouses nor private organizations can be trusted to even count kids properly without significant oversight. Who has the burden of oversight if funds go to private groups? It'll inevitably be the states.

"This will be one more unfunded mandates on states, to oversee private schools to make sure the money is accounted for properly, at a time when state departments of education will already be stretched to accommodate the Katrina survivors in public schools. This is unfair to states and unfair to taxpayers of those states. If there's one thing states don't need, it's another burden at this time."

Jim Stegall of Monroe, NC writes:

Here's a novel idea--Give them the vouchers and get the hell out of the way! This is nothing more than pure common sense. Government can't provide the needed services (education) at the moment, so contract for them like you would for anything else. Oh, and Senator Kennedy, it's only a political issue if YOU and your friends make it one!

And, a reader writes:

These kids come from a state that spends little on education and are among the most disadvantaged in that state. They will start out well behind and will have all sorts of problems that will make it hard for them to catch up.

Democrats should "jump on" this train -- insisting only that those using vouchers to attend private or parochial schools take the same year-end state tests as other students. They'll score incredibly low and vouchers will seem to have failed. There's no need to disaggregate the scores of transferee students from those in regular public schools, however, since doing so might show stronger performance among voucher users.

Update: Jenny D weighs-in.
Posted at 8:19 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post