Saturday, April 1, 2017



Inactive Data
So about that actionable data... One of the frequently-offered reasons for the Big Standardized Tests is that they are supposed to provide information that will allow classroom teachers to "inform instruction," to tweak our instruction to better prepare for the test better educate our students. Let me show you what that really means in Pennsylvania. Our BS Tests are called the Keystones (we're the


FL: Burning Down the Schoolhouse
Florida (Motto: If you can't make a buck from it, what's the point?) is taking steps to bring its public school system into the final stages of Death by Charter. It's time to spread some more gasoline and light yet another match. Because this is a purely political move, it has to have a ridiculously cynical name. So the Florida legislature is working on a bill to move students to "Schools of Hope.

MAR 30

The Only True Charters
Pity the charter school movement. They have been splintering all over the place for about a year now as they have faced first, the tension between Free Marketeers, Choice Crusaders, and Social Justice Advocates. Then Trump reared up and let the voucher crowd back into the room, as well as creating terrible cognitive (or at least PR) dissonance among people who claimed to be Democrats but who had s
DeVos: Mom With An Axe
This week Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stopped by Brookings to help them help her plug choice. The main purpose of the event was to roll out a new report (The 2016 Education Choice and Competition Index), but the main outcome of the event was that DeVos said some truly extraordinary stuff. First, she delivered some prepared remarks, but then she sat down for some Q & A with Russ Whitehurst (Bro

MAR 29

FL: Recess Is For Babies
The state of Florida (Motto: All You Kids Get Off My Lawns) continues in its quest to turn public schools into soul-crushing child-hostile teacher-stomping institutions. Florida has implemented more dumb ideas than MTV's program development department. Their testing history is filled with drama and disaster. They've decided that passing the standardized test is literally more important than gettin

MAR 28

NV: Their Money and Their Mouths
So let's say you're home to the fifth largest school district in the country. Let's say your teacher shortages are legendary . Let's say they're so bad that you hire recruiters and mount a national ad campaign. Let's say your state has implemented the loosest voucheriest funding system in the country so that your funding is, you'll pardon the expression, a crapshoot. Let's say your legislators are
Is Testing Accountability Dead Yet?
Today Education Next features a three-headed take on the question, " Is test-based accountability dead ?" Three prominent reformy thinkers address the question. Do they come up with any useful answers? Let's see. Why Accountability Matters, and Why It Must Evolve Morgan Polikoff (USC Rossier) leads us off. Polikoff is a long-time Big Standardized Test supporter and logged some time with the Gates
In Praise of One To One
Back in 2010-2011, my school went to one-to-one computing. We put a netbook in the hands of every 9-12 grader. It is rather unusual for my school district to be out in front of things. We're small, largely rural, and not terribly wealthy. But a combination of factors came together to launch us into one-to-one computing. And I'm here to tell you that I don't regret it a bit. And yet, I don't disagr

MAR 27

The Broken Promises of Tech
So, here's how I've been spending my evening. I had a whole batch of photos that I wanted to upload, but after investing a chunk of time this morning and this evening, that whole project crashed into a bunch of disconnected bits floating off into the cyber-ether. I took the somewhat passive-aggressive step of tweeting my displeasure with my provider (Verizon DSL-- don't tell me to switch to someon

MAR 26

ICYMI: Babymoon Edition (3/26)
My wife and I are in DC, contemplating the cherry blossoms and coming creative disruption of our lives by two currently-fetal offspring. But I've still collected some reading for you, set to auto-post at the usual Sunday AM time. Read, enjoy 


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