About Eduwonk & ES Media

About Eduwonk
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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, December 08, 2006

Vote Early, Vote Often!

Reader DB points out that Eduwonk is a finalist for the 2006 Weblog Awards in the Education Blog category. I had no idea, but it's flattering! So, hey, if you have a minute and enjoy this blog go vote! Just takes a few seconds. I can't imagine we'll beat Berube, and God knows the homeschoolers are organized, but in a split field anything is possible! Voting runs through 12/15. Update: This ain't beanbag!
Posted at 11:31 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Two Guest Posts
As I said, I've been swamped and for the past few days under the weather and consequently a bit behind on blogging. That's me in the middle there (photo credit to reader ML).

So, to keep you up to speed, here are two guest posts. The first, by former Bush education advisor Sandy Kress, argues that Sam Dillon's recent article on the achievement gap missed the boat.

The second, by former AFTie Joan Snowden, explains why she's on board with ABCTE, TFA, and TAP and other heresies.

Posted at 10:59 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tough Duty

A running joke in ed policy circles is that everyone works part time for the prolific Rick Hess...but apparently I've got a new boss in Matt Yglesias now, too. It's almost Dickensian, except that he's the one who wants more about the NYT Magazine Paul Tough article that everyone is chatting and blogging about.

I said that it is the most important education article of the year, and that wasn't a throwaway line. I think it is. But it is for the exact reason it leaves Matt hungry, it raises more questions than it answers. That's because we're in the midst of a very fluid time in education. On the one hand you have the greater performance pressure being put on schools, most visibly through No Child Left Behind but also via a variety of state activities. Similarly you have the pressure of charter schools, which are now numerous enough they can't be ignored (more on that at this event tomorrow). On the other, you have a very change averse-system and really difficult challenges for educators in these communities, this is not easy work.

In other words, it was important not because it heralded a singular solution but rather because it framed pretty much exactly where the debate is today and the fork in the road where we find ourselves. At a small dinner in LA early last year, Alan Bersin remarked that the American future is being built (or not built) in our cities today. That's exactly right, the frontier is long closed but the educational frontier is right near the offices of many readers of this blog. And how that story will turn out is very much up for grabs.

Now, I thought the piece was elegant in that it was about charter schools as the vehicle by which some of this change is happening without just cheerleading for charters. Tough walks through the characteristics of effective high poverty public schools and the schools he focused on are charters. But that's a function of policy. Because of the inertia, politics, and institutional constraints, charters happen to be the sector that is the leading edge right now. Yet there is nothing magic about them. But right now if you want to change urban schools, charters are a key lever at your disposal because it's the primary way to create new public schools.

To the debate about whether schools like the ones Tough describes are scalable, I think that they certainly are more than they have been to date. And again, I don't think teacher turnover - a key argument against high intensity models - is necessarily always bad. Regardless, the ideas, norms, and pluralism in service provision these schools embody are certainly replicable much more broadly. We define scale too narrowly in this context.

Others have complained that the political analysis was a little simplistic, and sure it was. But, that's really an entire additional article because educational politics are (a) complicated and (b) counterintuitive to a general reader because it's not just left-right. And nothing Tough wrote there was outright wrong, it was just not a complete and textured picture.

Finally, I liked with the direction the story pointed at the end. Basically we have an enormous social problem here but whether or not we solve it is hardly out of our hands. However, it requires a pretty fundamental rethinking of how we do things in an industry that has changed little in a half-century despite enormous social, demographic, and labor market changes. That, of course, is why I come to work every day. I think it's the most interesting problem in social policy. Tough gave the lay reader a window into why that is and what's possible.

Can't help but note in closing that some of the funders of the schools Tough profiles are attracted to them precisely because of the promise that they could change how we think about what's realistic and possible in urban education. And that's ultimately why I thought the Tough piece was the most important article of the year: It showed that's happening.
Posted at 5:09 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Digital Divide
Turns out the Bush Administration has quietly been conducting their own digital divide initiative (pdf)...2259 lost computers...hmmm....at least more people have access to technology. But, can't help but note, didn't they chide the Clinton Administration for exactly this sort of thing and trumpet how it would never happen on their watch?
Posted at 3:37 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tom Mooney

Ohio Federation of Teachers leader Tom Mooney passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this weekend. He was young, 52, and truly in his prime. Mooney was arguably the most powerful education player in Ohio, and even more so in the wake of November's election, and a force nationally. He was also someone who knew how to disagree without being disagreeable, was smart, fun, interesting, and provocative and he was tireless in his advocacy for his members. Agree or disagree with Tom on various issues, and I did both, this is a loss for his family, for his members, and for education.

Update: An ed beat reporter writes:

When I was covering charter schools, I'd get calls from some hyperactive press assistant of Tom Mooney's asking if I wanted to talk with him about this or that issue. Actually, I didn't particularly want to. He had too much to say, not enough of it relevant. But over time I realized that I did want to talk to him, frequently. I found out he was a keen observer of teachers' unions, politics, and education. He had a vision grounded in experience, and it intertwined the interests of unions and school reform. His answers weren't predictable from ideology. And he knew how to enjoy the back-and-forth of conversation, even with a reporter. It is painful to think I'll not be able to draw on his understanding and commentary again. And I know that's just a small part of what's been lost.
Posted at 12:53 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

New News...Habit Forming?
Play Bac press USA is launching a new online newspaper for kids. They already claim a million readers for the Euro version of this...

Update: This item originally said this was an AP project, that's wrong.
Posted at 10:18 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

More D.C.
Susan Schaeffler, a no B.S. principal in D.C., offers some advice on the schools there. A lot happening behind the scenes on the D.C. school issue, stay tuned...
Posted at 10:16 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Eduwonk Does Culture
NYC School Chief Joel Klein talks frequently of the culture change that is needed in education. At this time of year I often find myself writing a bunch of recommendations for law and graduate school for various interns and former employees from different activities. It's always interesting to read the cover sheets and see what dimensions different schools want to evaluate students along. But the other day, one jumped out at me from a prominent university. It had all the usual aspects you'd want for graduate school in education and policy, but then it asks about "results-orientation, assertiveness, and professional knowledge" but with the caveat that those questions are "for school of business applicants only." Hmmm....those don't seem like such bad characteristics in our field either, do they? By golly, maybe Joel's right...
Posted at 8:35 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post