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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, August 03, 2006


Why do people keep writing me emails about how they disagree with me? Clearly my ideas are a constant source of brilliance for the world and my opinions are always 100% correct and incomprehensibly well thought-out. Readers are lucky to even have me around to dish out these hot plates of sizzling fajitas made from the chicken of excellent thinking and the tortillas of hilarity!

The message, friends and neighbors: stop messing around with my deeply held beliefs!

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
Posted at 11:56 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Where's the Love?
New York City is having trouble finding space for all its new small schools, and many of its existing schools feel they have no room to accomodate them. One public school in Lower Manhattan went nuts when a charter school was slated to move in. That charter school will now be housed in the Tweed Courthouse, below the offices of Chancellor Joel Klein. I liked that because it was gutsy and shows he cares about charter schools and wants to give them a chance to educate kids.

Competing for shared resources is always a tricky deal, but it seems to be exacerbated by a sense of institutional rivalry when there are charter schools involved. My own school's administration often has difficulties with the administration of the public school we are attached to. This summer our students had to use the other school's cafeteria (because the Board of Ed refused to deliver hot lunch to our cafeteria since it was only a "warming kitchen" and not a full-fledged cafeteria). This was not our choice, but our students still had to eat, and there were only a handful of students at summer school in the public school. But instead of letting us walk through the hallway (mind you, we walk in silent, straight lines), which really makes the most sense and creates the least disturbance, the other school's principal made us go through the basement or around the outside of the school. When asked, she had no explanation for this demand. I hate that kind of bureaucratic, power-play nonsense, especially since we are all working toward the same goal (or should be): to create better lives for the students in our community. Can't we all just get along?

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
Posted at 11:40 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Mmm. Science.
Huzzah! This New York Times article reports that Kansas voters just knocked out the School Board members who supported the teaching of intelligent design in Kansas schools. See, I can have some respect for creationism, because it's part of a religious belief system, and no one tries to argue differently. On the other hand, intelligent design, the theory that the complexity of living beings proves the existence of a 'guiding hand' in evolution, passes itself off as a scientific theory. The problem is that intelligent design has no hypotheses that can be proven or disproven and, therefore, is not science and should not be taught in a science classroom alongside legitimate scientific theories. Certainly evolutionary theory has its problems, primary among them being the lack of a coherent fossil record. But just because we don't understand everything about evolution and how it happened doesn't mean it should be scrapped! I'm glad people are finally standing up to this political hijacking of knowledge. Kudos to Kansas!

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
P.S. This blogging thing is hard! Big ups to Eduwonk for doing it every day!
Posted at 11:24 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here's what I mean

I am currently attending the KIPP Summit 2006 in New Orleans, attended by all the KIPP schools as well as other excellent charter schools and charter school networks (for example, Uncommon Schools and Achievement First). It is awesome. Compare some of the AERA presentations I talked about yesterday with these, presented over the last few days here in New Orleans:

--"Basics on Advising College-Bound Students"
--"Analyzing Test Scores"
--"Activities and Questioning with Bloom's Taxonomy"
--"Informal Assessment of Reading Difficulties"
--"Overview of Expository Writing, Parts I and II"
--"A Typical Day in Math 8"
--"Developing Number Sense"

These sound a little more practicable and useful than a session on Taiwanese mail-order brides, don't you think? Yesterday I learned a ton of great strategies for creating a safe, calm, effective learning environment and how to deal with students with difficult behavior. Today in 1.5 hours I learned exactly how to teach my kids to write summaries from fiction or non-fiction and how to highlight text effectively (college, hello!). THIS IS WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED from grad school and NEVER GOT. And was so sad about that I had to write an angry blog full of tirades. It's $30,000 worth of tragic.

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
Posted at 7:50 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Eco-racism as an example of misplaced energy in teacher training
Several people emailed me about the definition of eco-racism. Basically it is racial discrimination in environmental policy, as in dumping toxic waste in minority communities. I appreciate this as a valid and serious issue. Our society has many such disturbing tendencies, and all citizens should educate themselves in order to make democratic choices based on their beliefs. However. Macro-society issues like eco-racism, or gender inequality, or class differences, are often prioritized in education schools ahead of the actual business of education, which is teaching and learning. I believe that an educated society is a better society, and that educating people (particularly those who have traditionally been powerless) can help to solve a lot of these troubling issues (for example--educated people are better at advocating for themselves and their communities politically). Thus, I am troubled that teachers (or teachers in training) are forced to learn about HUGE societal issues that they cannot possibly solve by themselves before (or in place of!!!) the techniques necessary to become a great teacher.

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher

Posted at 7:34 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

teacher certification

Here's another article by Frederick Hess, Tear Down This Wall: The Case for a Radical Overhaul of Teacher Certification. This dude has a good sense of humor and some good points to make. He argues that to be qualified to teach, people should only be required to have a bachelor's degree, pass a test in their subject area, and have a clean criminal record. This would not eliminate teacher training programs, but it would mean that they would have to offer something that principals, teachers, and schools would value since they would all be competing with one another for students and respect. OH NO! INTRODUCING MARKET FORCES! EVIL! But a good idea. I would love to be able to choose from teacher training programs that have been shaped by competitive value. I was going to quote from the article, but when trying to paste from the Adobe document instead of words I got 1000 little boxes, which I'm guessing you're not interested in. If you click on the link, go down to the conclusion on page 29 and read the last paragraph. It's funny and true.

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
P.S. Thanks for those of you who emailed me with ideas! Keep those suggestions comin'! newoldschoolteacher@gmail.com
Posted at 7:48 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

100% hilarious and 100% sad
This article, Silly Season for the School Scholars, by Frederick Hess at the American Enterprise Institute and an education researcher named Laura LoGerfo, is hilarious. It's about the titles of research papers presented at the April conference of the American Educational Research Association. My favorite titles include:

--Resisting Resistance: Using Eco-Justice and Eco-Racism to Awaken Mindfulness, Compassion, and Wisdom in Preservice Teachers
[If someone has a creative guess as to what "eco-racism" is, I would like to hear it]

--English-Language Learning in a 3-D Virtual Environment: Native/Non-Native Speaker Dyads Co-Questing in Quest Atlantis
[Do you know that "dyads" means "pairs"? I heard "dyads" used all the time at grad school. What's wrong with "pairs"? And if you don't like it, can't you say "two students"? Someone needs to let these people know that making up new words does not make you smart. Or, as I like to say, "making up new words does not make you comalius."]

Maybe some of this silliness wouldn't be so bad, but, as Hess and LoGerfo point out, we have real educational crises on our hands right now. Do articles on eco-racism and Taiwanese mail-order brides (that was another one they mentioned) really help educators search for solutions to these crises, or are they a way of keeping busy to avoid the real and difficult problems facing education in our country?

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
Posted at 7:16 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, July 31, 2006

first post!

So I just read the letters from the "Kindergarten Playtime" article the Eduwonk referenced below. It seems to me that these readers are getting a little hysterical. I don't think anyone wants to take all play away from kindergartners or other young children. The point is that once kids start school, it shouldn't just be about the child's "creative potential" but about his or her educational or learning potential. Many children enter kindergarten lacking the language skills that will help them develop essential literacy skills. Kindergarten teachers have to play catch-up so these children will be on track to college. It may be hard on young people to do math drills and phonics exercises, but adult poverty is even harder.

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
Posted at 12:24 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Hi everyone! It's a pleasure to be a guest blogger. For those of you who don't know me, I'm 24 and just finished a harrowing year in a master's program at ed school. I went into the program knowing what I wanted to get out of it in order to be a good teacher, and I got almost none of it. Read my blog if you're interested in the details of my year of shame.

By some miracle of science, I recently landed a job with a high-performing, fun, great, fantastalicious, SUPER charter school in New York City. I am so lucky that they were willing to take a chance on me. It's my dream job. We just finished 3 weeks of summer school, and I love it already. The kids are great, the parents really want this kind of education for their kids, and everyone in the school works so hard and is so smart. So happiness has arrived.

Over the next few days I'll be posting entries about articles I see and whatnot. I'm not used to this format wherein I have to "read things" and then "comment intelligently." For my blog I just spewed out random thoughts that came into my head, which usually consisted of nonsensical cursing at the nearly unbelievable stupidity and wastefulness of the education establishment. Saying something constructive is more difficult. So if you see any interesting articles or news, PLEASE send them my way! You can email me at newoldschoolteacher@gmail.com . And don't worry, the eduwonk will be back before I can do any real damage to the good reputation of this blog. :)

--Guest blogger Newoldschoolteacher
Posted at 12:06 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post