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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, November 17, 2006

Mehta Cometh!

Next Monday to Wednesday New Vision leader Jal Mehta brings it right here for you with smoe guestblogging. I might pop in, too, but he'll be your regular programming and will be well worth reading.
Posted at 6:16 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman passed away yesterday. His work was wide-ranging, controversial, and agree or disagree with him, brilliant. In education Conservatives lionize him as the godfather of contemporary school choice. That's not inaccurate, but the narrative minimizes the extent to which school choice might be much more of an accepted idea in a country like this but for Friedman and the political association he created between choice in education and market ideology. One prominent left-leaning social justice school choice supporter once told me that “Milton set the effort to give poor parents more choices back 30 years.” More later.
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Friday Fish Porn! Howie Schaffer: Power Baiter!
Last week we got excited about Jim Griffin's rainbow trout on the fly. But who would've figured Public Education Network's Howie Schaffer as a Bassmaster? Well here he is with a 17" largemouth he pulled out of a lake near his family's camp in Upstate New York. He's a man of the people, not some sort of Orvis shopping fly fishing snob!
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Must Read Peyser

Jim Peyser, outgoing state board chair in MA, turns in an interesting essay on the future of conservatism for the Globe. Well worth a look. Not about education, but one can discern the implications from where he's going.
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Another EduOx Gored
I'm coming late to this whole hubbub about teaching to the test, but I think two issues are getting tangled up here. Yes, there are incentives in NCLB that encourage states to create low-quality tests, and that policymakers could fix. And yes, there are too many schools that teach to the test.

But, cheap tests are not the root cause of "teaching to the test." Rather, that's much more a human capital/labor market problem. The cheap tests also tend to be pretty low-level so teachers should be less not more likely to teach to them in an effort to get kids to pass because they're basically general knowledge/skills sorts of exercises. As a general rule, all else equal, you'd expect to see more teaching to the test as the tests got harder and it became more difficult for kids to pass them just as the result of a generally effective instructional program rather than an actual curriculum...

For instance, this is one reason that kids in CORE Knowledge schools tend to do pretty well on today's state tests regardless of the alignment between those tests and CORE Knowledge. Craig Jerald also gets at that issue, here. So sure, better assessments and curriculum are a must if we want to see real gains in student learning, but frankly so are better teachers and better teaching. But as Kati Haycock has pointed out (pdf), the latter is awfully hard to talk about. And the former is a more convenient villain.
Posted at 8:20 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On Growth And Boogey Men!

Per this issue here, this post is sort of hysterical, the growth model pilot is about vouchers? Maybe it's just about this issue of teaching kids to standards versus a standards-based system...The idea of measuring growth sounds great, but absent some absolute standards it's lousy policy because it takes us right back where we've already been, different standards for different kids...
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Miller Time...And, Bonus Nuptial News!
For all those hoping that incoming House Ed and Workforce chair George Miller is about to go soft on No Child Left Behind, two points: First, the past few weeks Miller has been putting down markers at various public events saying the opposite. And second, turns out that the Richmond school district, which lies in his congressional district, is making some gains and now making AYP (apparently in part to a lot of technical help from WestEd*) so he's got a proof point! Granted, the AYP targets are still pretty low there, but it's movement...

*Speaking of WestEd, since we are, a big Eduwonk congrats to Max McConkey, policy and communications honcho there, on his recent wedding. Max is one of the really class acts and great people in our business, a long suffering Red Sox fan, and someone deserving of happiness like this.
Posted at 11:23 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Pen Pals...And, Russ Whitehurst Archetype
Checker Finn's open letter to George Miller is worth checking out for two reasons (1) some interesting ideas and (2) it shows the other education issues crowding the agenda, Head Start, Higher Ed, and Institute for Education Sciences. On the latter, and per the "how", hopefully that reauthorization will not be perfunctory. The 2002 law was good*, but there are still more steps Congress can take to make IES completely independent (money, appointment authority, etc...) and more effective.

*Some of it is the law, but some of it is Russ Whitehurst. You don't build a policy around a person though, so more needs to be done. Again, a great irony here is that despite the hysterics around the NCES public-private and charter studies, the process around all of them actually shows that the 2002 law is working as intended, not that the Admin is politicizing research...not that they wouldn't want to if they could!
Posted at 10:48 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Like after-school programs and management? Then this one might be just for you.
Posted at 10:43 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, November 13, 2006

CA Teacher Quality

Ed Trust West is all over CA (pdf) on the teacher quality issue. Someone should fund a group like this in every large state...makes a difference.
Posted at 11:37 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

How Now, Sacred Cows!
Not unexpectedly, the Department of Education has green-lighted a few more states to try growth models under NCLB. AFTie Beth notes miserably that so far this pilot hasn't meant fewer schools identified as needing improvement. But that that wasn't really the point of this law-stretching initiative was it? If the goal is just to lower the number of schools not making "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) that could have been accomplished with a lot less effort through regulatory nips and tucks. And, if you want to see what schools we're talking about under various models you can just run the numbers under different criteria and get the lay of the land, you don't need a federal pilot program. That's a research question not a policy one. Rather, the more important part of the federal pilot is the behavioral aspect, what effect, if any, does the alternative accountability scheme have on schools, districts, and states. That's where the action is from an analytic point of view.

Besides, the issue of schools not making AYP really hinges on whether or not we're going to have real accountability or not. Low-achievement for minorities and other subgroups is not just an urban problem, it's the old "these kids do go to school somewhere problem." In a country where half of all minority students don't finish high school on time, minority students trail white students - on average -- by four grade levels in achievement by high school, etc...you're going to have a lot of schools that don't meet accountability standards under any sort of meaningful system.

But this is all less interesting than the other dimension: What happens to schools that are not making AYP? All the attention to the measurement issue is distracting from the more fundamental problems, which are that (a) the backend timelines don't work for the number of schools we're talking about (meaning there are more schools needing help than can be helped in a real way) (b) no one really knows exactly what to do for a lot of them anyway and (c) the states are not chomping at the bit to do much at all. That argues for a policy that is at once stricter on the really bad actors, more flexible but still completely transparent* around schools that just genuinely need to improve some, and doesn't create so many loopholes for the states. It also argues for more attention to the "how" of the law. Everyone likes to say that we know what works, money, class size, choice, private management, etc...but that's BS. "Turn-arounds" are complicated and hit or miss and that's not all that surprising, it's a human endeavor.** Still, the feds can do a lot more on the how. And how to do that is an interesting conversation.

*Part of the push to change NCLB's accountability provisions is all about public relations, namely whether it's fair say that a school that is doing well overall but not with specific groups of students "needs improvement." Your answer to that question probably depends on "fair to whom"...

**That's perhaps the most compelling argument for the "supply side" approach to urban ed reform.
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Must Reads!
It's unsettled, the story yet to be written, different factions, turmoil...The election? No, public education in New York and LA. From LA, it's filing time for next year's school board elections....LAT's Blume looks at the stakes....And from NYC, Joe Williams dissents (strongly) from all the happy talk about the recent teachers' contract deal there.
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