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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.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Another TFA'er Blog…And Be Careful What You Wish For…

Another group of TFA'ers have started a blog: Class Context. They're off to a fast start and a good one, check it out.

One thought, we keep hearing from the usual suspects that the education debate would be different if only people listened to teachers more. That's probably true but perhaps not exactly like they think. Getting teachers' voices out there is important and the blogging medium gives teachers a pretty democratic way to air their views. But curiously enough they all don't say what the usual suspects do! While some of it's generational, some of it is just that interest groups are sometimes misaligned with significant parts of their membership.
Posted at 8:59 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rank? Or Just A Fat White Elephant From The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce?

Word is that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is going to start ranking public schools in some way. This should set off a really entertaining food fight with lots of over the top rhetoric from both sides since the ed interest groups will hate it.* Problem is, for now you're going to be hungry because the Chamber is offering no details about how they're going to do it! We have to wait six weeks for those. A lot of ways this could be misleading or at best redundant...though some ways it could be helpful, too.

Perhaps they're not really going to do it at all but just want to scare off anyone else who might be thinking about doing it? Probably not, just sounds like a half-baked idea (we need to do something on education!) that caught the ear of someone at the Chamber.

*Incidentally, Eduwonk thought the anti-testing line was "you don't fatten cattle by weighing them." It's a good rhetorical line (however a friend who raised award-winning cattle for 4-H and state fair competitions says it's not true in the sense it's intended since you do in fact measure). But in any event, what the hell does "You don't fatten an elephant by weighing it" mean?
Posted at 6:21 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

FL Vouchers...Victory Or Opiate?
The Florida Supreme Court has struck down that state's flagship voucher program which allowed students at schools identified as persistently failing to attend private schools at public expense. Decision here (pdf). First the irony. Though this program has received a lot of attention there are a lot more students in the McKay special education voucher program (which has problems of its own).

The implications? Well, the pro-voucher crowd is outraged and the anti-voucher crowd is celebratory. Over at Boardbuzz they're probably drunk and running around with no pants on right now.

But, no one should get too excited. That's because although the Florida program had some problems, and Eduwonk's skeptical about the promise of vouchers overall anyway, there was both political support and demand for this program. In other words, if in the haste to celebrate a legal victory (in a friendly venue no less) voucher opponents fail to recognize the more basic lesson here then that's bad news for public education. Any industry that has to rely on court decisions rather than loyalty to keep its customers is an industry in trouble over time. Consequently, there is a real risk in over-reading what this decision (and the similar one striking down Colorado's voucher program) mean over the long term. Without some real improvements this issue is not going away at all.

Besides, there are real problems for a lot of kids in Florida's schools anyway, so celebrating seems a little obscene regardless what one thinks of the voucher program.

Update: Outstanding write-up of the case by Ed Week's Richard. Just about all you need to know.
Posted at 6:16 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

More Gapology
Jenny D. weighs-in about gapology. Update: Kindling Flames is back to posting and they didn't think much of the piece either.
Posted at 6:11 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


...to DC Education Blog's Nathan.
Posted at 5:26 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Haycock And Wiener's Secret Strategery Exposed!!!
NASBE's blog says that Ed Trusters Haycock and Wiener have a coordinated good cop - bad cop routine. Not sure it really holds up, the context of the quotes matters a lot. But it's a great conspiracy theory and gosh we don't have enough of those in education...

The post also is an indication of the general angst in the ed community about the oxygen that Ed Trust sucks up on this issue and the bitching whispering about the Trust that goes on. In fact, some quiet lobbying going on from lefty usual suspects to try to isolate the Trust but safe bet is that it’s not going to happen. As is often the case after a policy change, NCLB changed the alignment of the players on education.
Posted at 5:08 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Co-Ed Education In Afghanistan
This is really horrible.
Posted at 2:35 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Bill Taylor: Iconoclast
In a piece that's sure to have Michael Winerip's partisans crying into their portfolio assessments, Sam Freedman profiles CCCR's Bill Taylor in today's Times.
Posted at 12:12 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

The Geezer War...Begun It Has.
In the December 25th Wash. Post Outlook section Stan Hinden discussed the impending retirement of the baby boomers. It's an enormous issue in terms of the shifting demographic burden.

It also matters for schools. Yet rather than preparing, the spending trajectory of the past thirty years has created an assumption that we can just spend our way to better schools and in any event is unlikely to continue. And, for a couple of reasons especially tax structures and entitlement spending schools are particularly vulnerable if indeed there is a Geezer War.

In today's Baltimore Sun, Eduwonk writes about some implications for schools as the burden shifts and what to start doing about it -- namely addressing the dreaded P-word: Productivity. For instance how Governor Warner started to in Virginia or by getting serious about teacher quality.

Another interesting question, aside from the structural pressures created by entitlements and state tax problems, is whether an aging population will be less likely to support public schools. The extent of a behaviorally driven "grey peril" is unclear (and existing research varies based on how aggregated the data are). James Poterba found that a greater proportion of people over 65 resulted in less spending on schools, all else equal. However, Helen Ladd and Sheila Murray found that the geographic distribution of seniors within a state had greater impact on school spending. In other words, if they're concentrated somewhere watch out! There is also some evidence that racial composition matters which portends trouble for No Child Left Behind-style efforts to focus resources on minority students and demographic trouble more generally considering the trends in the country. A study of preferences (as opposed to actual voting) by William Duncombe and others concluded that though seniors are unlikely to vote in block against school funding as a value issue per se there is nonetheless a risk that personal economic circumstances will fuel anti-tax sentiment. Only actual voting patterns over time will answer this question definitively but it bears watching because any time people have less direct connection to a service, in this case public education, it can be trouble.

Also, worth remembering, that school finance suits are not a panacea here because of some increasingly complicated politics ($) and because to the extent that large settlements start causing cannibalism among various social programs that's going to make it harder to build coalitions to support these suits.
Posted at 9:35 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Remedial Gapology

A lot of readers have sent along this Forbes column "Gapology 101" about the futility of achievement gap closing efforts. The writer, Dan Seligman, concludes that: "It is not possible to close the achievement gap."

Three quick thoughts: First, Seligman notes that everyone hits a wall at some point. That's true, not everyone is going to do advanced physics, for instance. But Seligman then cites long division as an example of a wall people can hit. Is he saying that it's unreasonable to teach that to poor kids? There are brick walls and paper ones.

Second, Seligman seems to be taking an expansionist view of gap closing, which not coincidentally is the same rhetorical view many of No Child Left Behind's critics take (further bolstering British PM Tony Blair's contention that educational change is so hard in part because there are conservatives on both sides of the debate). But NCLB is not about eliminating all gaps, it's merely about working to ensure minimal levels of performance in core academic subjects.

Third, again the dismal and counterproductive politics. Seligman happily touts Vermont school superintendent William J. Mathis as a soothsayer for saying that gap closing is unrealistic. Great. When the profession starts saying that it can't teach all kids the basics what's the argument for more funding or more equitable funding? What's the argument against universal school vouchers? What then do you say to parents if you're basically saying, sorry, can't do it? The harmonic convergence between demographic determinists like Seligman and lefty critics of No Child ought to be a cause for grave concern not a rallying point if you care about public schools. And what's most worrying is that the lefty critics don't seem to see the box canyon they're merrily walking into...
Posted at 7:42 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post