Saturday, July 22, 2017




How To Recruit Teachers

There isn't a teacher shortage. Not really. But there is a shortage of districts and states that are successfully attracting people to teach careers. If I can't get a dealer to sell me a Lexus for $1.98, that does not mean there is an automobile shortage. The "teacher shortage" is really a shortage of $1.98 teachers. Something is wrong. Not only do we have a drastic drop in the number of proto-tea
Dear E: Mind the Old Farts

Dear E: You have landed your first teaching gig straight out of college. That's a great thing. Back in 1979, I landed my first job on the sixteenth try-- and then was laid off at the end of my first year, after which I came back here, where it took me several more years to move from covering sabbaticals to getting a job of my own. And as you know, it took my wife several years to finally land a gi

JUL 20

Petrilli's Retro Stool Sample

At the Thomas Fordham, Mike "Ed Reporters Call Me First" Petrilli is engaged in a little summary, prognostication, and cheerleading for philanthropists, but mostly, a retelling of many favorite reformster tales from yesteryear. "Education philanthropy and the unfinished business of policy reform " opens with what may well be a True Thought-- The era of hyperactive education policymaking is about t
Back the Hell Up

And there it was, the question cutting through the various nuanced and complicated discussions of the various threads of ed policy, privatization, and the Newest Big Thing for making a buck in education changing the face of education. What do you want? If you don't like X or Y or Z, what is it you want? Here it is. My short, simple answer for what I want to see in a perfect world. I want bureaucra

JUL 19

The "Real" Reformsters

The Center for Education Reform is a pro-privatization group that has, at least, the virtue of not pretending that it has any interest in building bridges or honoring any single part of public education. Where other reformsters may be thoughtful or interested in dialogue or evolving over time or staking out a rhetorical middle ground, CER is the Yosemite Sam of the reformster universe, leaping in
Did SAT Unmask Grade Inflation?

The story was carried by USA Today and rapidly picked up by much of the Kids These Days press -- the good people at the College Board have discovered rampant grade inflation as illuminated by the SAT, as witnessed by variations on this lede: Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the

JUL 18

FL: Third Grade Readers Lose

And another sad chapter in the Floridian assault on education comes to a sad close. We've been following this story for a while. Florida has a third grade reading test requirement-- Florida's third graders must show they can score high enough on the state Big Standardized Test, no matter what else they've done. Florida's "Just Read, Florida" (because the way to get students to read is to just insi

JUL 17

What Is Test Prep?

Yesterday I fell into a discussion of test prep on Twitter where a participant tossed forward the notion that test prep actually decreases test results. Others asserted that test prep doesn't really help. I'm pretty sure that both of those assertions are dead wrong, but I also suspect part of the problem is that "test prep" is an Extremely Fuzzy Term that means a variety of things. The research it
Building a Better Charter Authorizer

There has been a bit of a kerfluffle going on in reformsterland over charter accountability. Kicked off by the Center for Education Reform's book about how there should be less accountability, followed by Chester Finn (Fordham Emeritus) calling their ideas names . That conversation eventually led to this piece by Rick Hess , considering the different levels of regulation by charter authorizers, wh

JUL 16

ICYMI: Half a Summer Gone

So what have we found to read this week? David Brooks and the Language of Privilege Robert Pondiscio on how language reinforces privilege. Lots to think about here. Massachusetts Parents United-- New Wine in Old Bottles One thing about astro-turf, it never actually dies. And no fields grow astro-turf as lush and green as the lawns of Massachusetts. Here's the newest batch. Betsy DeVos, Queen of Ob

JUL 15

Why Is Kiddie PISA a Thing

Every so often the OECD throws a big fat standardized test ( the PISA ) at fifteen-year-olds from a bunch of nations that have different cultures and speak different languages and then use the results to stack rank those nations, leading to a paroxysm of pearl clutching and teeth gnashing over the results. And it's always good for some trauma because as long as the test has existed, the United Sta
Rural Schools and Phauxlanthropy

Over at Philanthropy Roundtable, Andy Smarick has contributed a piece entitled "Don't Forget Rural Schools." which immediately attracted my attention because forgetting rural schools is something that pretty much everybody does, except 

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