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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.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Narrowing Hysteria Returns!

Recall that last March a poorly constructed survey question coupled with a New York Times story in search of a punchy lede led to a week or two of great concern cum hysteria about curriculum narrowing as a result of No Child Left Behind. Now, analyst Craig Jerald has revisited the issue with additional data and offers a sensible walk through in a new report from LPA (pdf). Via Gadlfy.
Posted at 11:08 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, September 07, 2006


That's the actual (all caps) headline from a Dept. of Education press release today....and they have the nerve to say that President Clinton promoted small symbolic initiatives! This is just not sustainable or scalable. How is she ever going to get to the other 16 million plus with just 29 months left on the job?

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's actually a good organization and good partnership but still, where are you Kevin Sullivan? (Or for that matter Kevin Sullivan!)

Update: The release is now online. But they've modified it! New title: "Secretary Spellings Announces Partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc." Better, but hardly as fun...
Posted at 5:22 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

So, you really like public service, school choice, pastels, and strip malls? If so this job in Florida might be just for you.
Posted at 5:02 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

SAT Scores Down...FairTest Demands Higher Scores!
FairTest has joined the chorus of those concerned about the recent SAT score decline...Seriously, says this letter....
Posted at 10:15 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Pre-K Everywhere You Look!
In today's column, Robert Novak takes Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Bob Casey to task over fiscal discipline. Leave aside the absurd notion that this crop of Republicans have proven themselves good stewards of the federal treasury, he in part criticizes Casey for championing a universal pre-K proposal that would cost an estimated $8 billion annually. Casey's plan is based on the proposal put forward by Sara Mead, and it's a good idea. One of the real unfortunate side-effects of the fiscal policies of the last six years is that big investments in important initiatives, for instance pre-K, are so difficult. I certainly don't buy into the "no accountability until utopia" approach to ed policy, but there is no doubt that a more seamless start for kids is a vital complement to K-12 reform. I'm also not opposed to cutting and investing, that can be a true progressive approach to government spending. Reckless fiscal policies, however, create bad choices.

Also, New America has released a policy brief on pre-K (pdf). Much of it is related to this earlier paper they released in January (pdf), that Diane Ravitch and I reviewed at a NAF event. While it makes a good case for expanding access to pre-K education, like the January paper the new brief also calls for using new Title I money for pre-K. I don't care for that idea either in terms of the substance or the politics. While I'm not at all against redirecting money from some existing programs toward pre-K, there is no compelling reason to pit these two important programs against one another. There is a modest early-ed component to Title I now, but in terms of a lever for forcing action on low-performing schools, and a program to provide services to low-income kids, Title I is the best game in town and I don't get the logic of moving in the direction NAF wants to here. AFTie One-L doesn't like it either.
Posted at 10:02 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Goldstein's Gone Wild Again

in the Boston Herald:

Public school choice benefits children of all races. But it most helps the families who’ve been worst off. Instead of black families fighting for access to good schools, how about good schools fighting to enroll black families?
Posted at 5:53 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Nat'l Standards And Cut Scores!
Sherman Dorn weighs-in on Jay Mathews much chattered about Sunday front page Washington Post splash on national standards. Sherman raises the issue of cut scores on tests. This recent ES Explainer looks at that issue, which doesn't get the attention it should.

What I think is unfortunate is that Mathews' article has set off something of a false debate, namely about whether all these people who support using NAEP as a national test are right or wrong. Thing is, the Fordham report (pdf) looked at a multiple routes to national standards including my favored route of common standards developed by the states themselves. I actually think using the NAEP for this is a lousy idea and that the states are not going to enforce anyone else's standards anyway, hell they mostly won't enforce their own now under No Child. Worth reading the entire report not just the clips.
Posted at 3:26 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Hot Webchat Action
It's Virtual Back To School Day over at NAPCS. And there is even a webchat (going on right now) with bloggers featuring Joe Williams, Alexander Russo, and Eduwonk about charter schools.
Posted at 12:44 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More Stolen Laptops

The real reporters got on the stolen laptop story...must have been the handy illustration of the culprit...
Posted at 4:40 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Ivory Soap Or Lever 2014?
With Dick Riley it would have been Irish Spring. Last week Secretary Spellings compared No Child Left Behind to Ivory Soap, saying it was 99.9 percent pure.

Leave aside that it's kind of a weird analogy (was she saying we need to clean up American education? Or was it subliminal because she finds reporters dirty?), I'm not sure it's right either. I think you can argue that the framework of the law is 99 percent pure, but not the law itself. The framework, the choice - accountability marriage, is inescapably the direction that American K-12 education is heading. While some dead enders don't want any choice at all, or conversely want a purely choice-driven system, greater choice married with am emphasis on common standards is the rough consensus reflected in policymaking today. So, the arguments are about the latitude of choice (public or private) and who gets to define standards (state or national). In other words, they're within that general framework.

No Child, for its part, is a rough stab at moving federal policy to reflect this new consensus. It would have been amazing for it to be 99 percent pure in terms of the policy. After all, what other large scale domestic policy legislation got it 99 percent right the first time? The original ESEA took a few reauthorization cycles to iron out the kinks (which, of course, created some new kinks). That's par for the course with national policymaking, especially for a diverse set of providers like the states and local school districts that make up our education "system."

The Secretary would be better served by offering the media and the public that context. Rather than falling into the rhetorical trap laid by the law's opponents about whether the law is perfect or not, she should put the issue in the broader context of ongoing policymaking: Of course there are problems, and the key thing is to work deliberately to address them and constantly strive to improve the policy.

Unfortunately, the Administration's on again - off again attention to implementation makes that a harder case to make, but they still have 29 months on the job and the need to get it right on substance and rhetoric as best they can.
Posted at 11:28 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Barr Blogged
A big thanks to Steve Barr for guest blogging last week, interesting and provocative stuff. A reader wanted to know who has guest blogged over the 2 + years of the blog's existence. Best I can recall, here's the roster: Michael Goldstein, Robert Gordon, Diane Piche, Charles Pyle, Richard Colvin, Joe Williams, NewOldSchool Teacher, Alice in Eduland (anonymous urban teacher), Sara Mead, and Steve Barr.

Think you might be a good guest blogger? Then email me. Open tryouts soon.
Posted at 11:25 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Charter Schools of the World, Unite!

Happy Labor Day! Can we make significant change in a 100 percent unionized industry withnon-union schools? I see too many of my fellow reformers spending too much of their time fighting union opposition through school boards. What saddens me is most of the successful schools in our movement practice beautifully what most teachers and their unions push for: Better work conditions with smaller schools and smaller class sizes, more say in what goes on in front of them, and streamline funding with less bureaucracy, which should transfer in high teacher pay. I know these basic tenets are part of our success. We pay better than LAUSD, despite the fact that we get 30% less money than LAUSD. If I had 30% more money I could start teachers at $55,000 a year! Some of our best innovations have come from teacher-led initiatives. Like our ninth grade reading intervention project, where forty percent of our kids-test well below fourth grade reading level, ninety percent rally to grade level by the end of their freshman year. Do you know what happens to a fourteen year old who learns how to read for the first time? These teachers are creating an army of world-beaters! And our teachers gladly give up tenure for a more relevant just cause. They want to be accountable too!

I know that our union partnership is one of the main reasons we are successful. I think teachers feel the same way. 800 teachers applied for 80 jobs this year at Green Dot. There is no teacher shortage; there is a work condition problem.

I think we can drive revolutionary change with mission driven, generational relevant unions that dramatically improve the work conditions by putting all the resources into the classroom. We cannot truly reform public education without reforming and updating our teacher unions and look at teachers as partners, not our enemy. But we have to lead.

Guestblogger Steve Barr, CEO & Founder of Green Dot Public Schools
Posted at 5:38 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post