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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
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Education Next
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Teacher Magazine

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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)
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Chaos Theory
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The Common School
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Critical Mass
Dangerously Irrelevant
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Eponymous Educator
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Extra Credit
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Inside Pre-K
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Jenny D.
John Merrow
K-12 Hotlinks
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Kitchen Table Math
Learning Now (PBS)
The Life That Chose Me
Mathew K. Tabor
Media Infusion
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NCLB Act II (Ed Week)
NSBA's BoardBuzz
NYC Educator
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ParaNews (NCP)
Paul Baker
The Portable Princess
The PrincipalsPage
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Quasi Dictum
Roy Romer
Running on Empty
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Schools for Tomorrow
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SF Schools
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Swift & Change Able
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This is how I Swim
This Week In Education
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What up, Mz. Smlph?
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Why Boys Fail
Why Homeschool

Educational Resources and Organizations

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Citizens Commission On Civil Rights
Coalition of Essential Schools
Community College Research Center
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Council of Chief State School Officers
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eSchool News
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Education Evolving
Education Sector
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Hechinger Institute On Education and the Media
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Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
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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, January 20, 2006

Oh Baby!

Interesting facts about Baby Einstein stuff for getting your kids off to a good edustart.
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Show Me The Monet!
Interesting debate going on about what to do with the windfall from the painting found at New Trier High School and it's even got a TFA angle...
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SEED's national expansion tour is underway. First stop: Baltimore where the Baltimore Sun's Bowie writes-up the happy talk. SEED gets something of a pass on the "nothing is as annoying as a good example" backlash that greets some other good charter schools because its model is so exceptional, but nonetheless you can bet it won't be too long before all the critics start crawling out from under their rocks.
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Hammer, Meet Anvil
Uh oh...back in October Eduwonk said that the convergence of vouchers and school finance suits was nigh...and indeed it is, in the form of one Ms. Dianne Payne of Queens, New York who wants some of the money from the big settlement up there to pay for some vouchers. NY school finance rock star Michael Rebell sufficiently not-dismissing-out-of-hand to probably terrify the folks bankrolling his finance work...

Says her unusually funny lawyer:

The two children, 10 and 12 years old, he wrote, "are not cryogenically frozen, waiting to emerge from a state of suspended animation when the state gets its act together to fulfill its constitutional duty."
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

What Do Derrick Frost And NSBA's Legal Team Have In Common?

Eduwonk's been wondering about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito...when it comes to his edulaw thinking should he be confirmed, rejected, filibustered, loved hated, or what? Naturally, the place to turn for help thinking about the answer is the National School Board Association's well-regarded legal team...but again they're no help because on the big calls they punt more than the Redskins!

Recall that after comparing now-Chief Justice John Roberts to Socrates (pdf) NSBA declined to take a position on his nomination to the SCOTUS and now they're similarly non-committal on Judge Alito! C'mon! Sure, the NEA opposes Alito, duh, that's as predictable as the sunrise, but some actual analysis and opinion about this edulegal thinking from the top lawyers in the school law business would be helpful especially because there is some evidence that Alito is something of a judicial activist on educational issues.
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It's A Gusher!
Jay Mathews revisits KIPP in The Washington Post. Includes some bonus social entrepreneurs in love features that will excite the conspiracy-oriented paranoids!
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Hot Charter School Demographic Action!
New RAND study (pdf) about the demographics of charter schools, worth reading if you follow that debate. Based on data from CA and TX, the RAND team concludes that:

We find that black students in both states are more likely to move to charter schools and tend to move to charter schools with a higher percentage of black students, and those schools are more racially concentrated than the public schools they leave. We also find that students who move to charter schools are on average lower performing than other students at the public schools they leave and that this performance gap is largest for black students...

...In both states little evidence can be found that charter schools are systematically cream-skimming high-performing students, and indeed in Texas the opposite appears true.

There is a lot more including interesting demographic information on CA and TX which are not insignificant states because almost one in four charter school students are in them.

Probably won't settle anything though because despite a general consensus that integrated schools are more desirable than segregated schools, a lot of disagreement about whether that desirability should trump a parent's desire to get their child in a good public school regardless of its racial composition. Also, recall that during the halcyon days of the Catholic school - public school debate critics of the research about a "Catholic School Effect" would argue that there were intangible characteristics, that could be indicative of skimming, that made students choosing Catholic schools different than other students in ways that the research methods couldn't pick up. Fair enough, but reverse skimming is an equally plausible scenario and could be the case here.

Incidentally, look for more work and more textured work like this as better data systems allow researchers to look more at students and less at schools and consequently drill down a lot more.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Education Sector

In your edujaunt around the web today be sure to stop by and see Education Sector's new website. Plenty of new content including a review of the new Frank McCourt book by Sara Mead and some new analysis from Kevin Carey about why, financially, it's good to be an affluent student and not so good to be a low-income one on campus today...Plenty more, too.
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Where The Boys Aren't
If you only have time to read one article this week make it Richard Whitmire's outstanding look at the overlooked issue of the underachievement of boys in The New Republic (free reg.). Whitmire delved into the issue while on a sabbatical from his post as an editorial writer at USA Today.

Too much to pull quote here but Whitmire walks through the available evidence, analyzes the landscape, and lays out the important questions researchers, educators, and policymakers need to figure out. It is, yes, must-reading.
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Auld Lang Hess!
2005 in education according to I'm Rick Hess Bi**h!
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Edwize Gets A Playmate: Williams In The 'Sphere

Important new blog on the scene penned by outstanding education journalist (and occasional Eduwonk guest blogger) Joe Williams who most recently wrote this book. The Chalkboard will chronicle education issues in New York and is hosted by the New York Charter Schools Association but will cover education, and education in New York, more generally. Edwize will have some company now.
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More NCLB...Is Milton Friedman Smiling Or Is Bill Taylor?
Over at the TPM Cafe Century Foundation's Greg Anrig worriedly weighs-in about No Child Left Behind pegged to Michael Winerip's typically misleading article the other day. Anrig makes two basic points, (1) that NCLB is a conservative victory because it's eroding support for public schools by making people think the public schools are failing and (2) that Winerip demonstrates the injustice of all this through his NY school example.

Let's quickly take the second issue first. The contention that a law is unjust to schools is simply not borne out by the Winerip column but does demonstrate how Winerip's perpetual motion machine of NCLB disinformation is causing a lot of confusion even among smart people who ought to know better. First, the bureaucratic problems encountered by the principal and described by Winerip were driven by state and city officials, not federal ones. Second, even accepting Winerip's contention, should schools not be held accountable for special needs students and English-language learners? And besides, it seems a little hysterical to say that a bureaucratic hassle (and an episodic one at that, this does not happen everywhere) or giving parents the right to transfer to a different public school, a right that none of them in this case exercised anyway, is a consequence worthy of indicting the law as unjust.

Anrig's notion that NCLB is a gift Milton Friedman could never have even hoped for is similarly over-the-top. First, Eduwonk interviewed Friedman for a book project recently and he's no fan of NCLB. But more to the point, we live in a country where only about half the minority students finish high school on time, where poor and minority students routinely trail their peers on state and national assessments (by four grade levels in high school), and where poor and minority youngsters are systemically given less in the way of resources like good teachers or state dollars (pdf). Those aren't conservative statistics or liberal ones, they're just stubborn facts. And, those students do go to school somewhere, and it's not just in our big cities. So while Anrig and the NEA fret that the law has forced states to say that 25 percent of public schools can do better than they're doing now for those children, considering the numbers above, a reasonable person might ask, against that backdrop only 25 percent need to do better?

The obvious dual-client issue in education policy notwithstanding (meaning you have to have policy for the schools because they serve the students), a reasonable person might also ask why there is so much concern about the schools and so little about the students in them. Here is one plausible explanation: Politics. Anrig praises "attentive" liberals for opposing NCLB when it was passed and fingers the DLC for its support while ignoring liberal groups like the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, The Education Trust, and others that supported and still support the law. He then cites UVA's Jim Ryan, who is a voucher guy, as a voice of reason. This illustrates the incoherence of the left on the public education issue because presumably Anrig isn't a voucher guy. Here's the thing: Guys on the left like Ryan and Ted Sizer, for instance, have an answer to the problems cited above. Though a different answer, so does the center-left coalition that supported NCLB. And the conservatives have one, too. The real debate right now is about these various theories of action. But the left is too often AWOL from this debate because there are a bunch of folks without much interesting to say about how to change things because they fear criticizing the public schools as an institution, are part of the institution itself, or see everything through a left-right prism. Unfortunately, rather than supporting an important liberal institution like public education this posture is actually debilitating for it over time, leaves Democratic politicians in a political bind, and it's not very good for the kids either. In fact, it's pretty illiberal really.

Update: The hard-to-please Russo wasn't impressed either.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

There Is Always An Educonnection!

Sooner or later everything comes back to education, even the scandal du jour!
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More Florida
More about what the Florida voucher decision means going forward from the St. Petersburg Times in an Eduwonk op-ed. Punchline: Dancing on the grave of the voucher program without seeing it as a wake-up call misses the point.
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More Future Shock?
The popular and pretty successful High-Tech High public charter schools are expanding in California to ten more sites. Uncharacteristically weak argument against this from the CA School Boards Assn:

Stephanie Farland, a senior policy consultant with the California School Boards Association, is worried that the lack of local school board approval would lead to a lack of local accountability. "The local community where these charter schools will locate will have no local body to turn to if issues arise with the charter school," she said.

Leave aside the very debatable notion that local communities can turn to local school boards when their local public schools aren't accountable to them now, some local boards in CA have not proven to be great shakes (pdf) with charter school authorizing either...
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