Saturday, October 1, 2016



When a Charter Closes (and Choice Is Not Choice)
The free market acolytes, lovers of the modern charter school, have a pretty neat and clean vision of the future. Well-informed parents choose from within a wide array of charter schools, and at appropriate moments, the market sloughs off those schools that either do a lousy job or are just not providing something that a large slice of the market wants.The whole process should be as tidy and blood


OK: Teach Like a Robot
This week Tulsa news outlets were covering an exciting non-innovation innovation arriving in local classrooms-- real time coaching. See, in normal coaching, a principal watches a teacher and then it is hours, or even days, before the teacher gets the feedback. But in real time coaching, the coach directs the teacher through an earpiece, presumably because the technology to simply control her body

SEP 29

NC: Charters Get Their More-Than-Fair Share
The North Carolina Justice Center has just released a study of charter school funding, and if anyone was worried that poor NC charters were not getting sufficient support, they can relax. " Fair Funding for Charter Schools: Mission Accomplished " comes from Kris Nordstrom . Nordstrom is a NC economist who has worked in government before joining NCJC. He's no anti-charter zealot; witness this quote

SEP 28

Outsourcing College
The Education Management Corporation is based right up the road from me in Pittsburgh, PA. They're a for-profit education provider whose best-known outlet is the Art Institute chain. (They should not be confused with the Education Credit Management Corporation, an outfit that is also in the for-profit college biz, having bought up the pieces of the Corinthian empire.) They've had their problems. Y
TX: Denying Special Education
You must read this piece of investigative reporting from the Houston Chronicle. In " Denied:How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education ," reporter Brian M. Rosenthal lays out the secret of yet another Texas miracle-- getting special education numbers down by systematically denying support and services to the students who need them. The bottom line is simple-- and chilli
Professor Bush Goes To Harvard
So, Jeb Bush is going to be a visiting fellow at Harvard at the Kennedy School's Program on Education Policy and Governance. Huh. I suppose he could open his lecture with a recap of all the educational successes he had in Florida with programs that helped teachers teach and led to greater students success, but after that two minutes were up, what would he talk about for the rest of the time. It is

SEP 27

FL: Bad Retail Management As Ed Policy
If you have worked in the retail world, you have probably had this experience. If you teach in Florida, you're about to. Somewhere way up the corporate ladder, some guys in a board room declare that they predict an awesome quarter for the corporate coffers. This awesome result is based on an uptick in revenue and that uptick is based on... well, it's based on pressuring the sales force. Not improv

SEP 26

Center for Ed Reform All In on Privatizing
The Center for Education Reform, Jeanne Allen's charter-and-choice advocacy group, is having a senior moment. Under the breathless headline, "Nation's Most Senior Education Reform Group Relaunches," CER has issued a press release about "its complete refocus on the changing landscape of American education, taking on the most difficult issues that no other national organization is currently pursuing
NAEP Board Still Includes Few Educators
See, John King. This is one more reason we have a hard time taking you seriously. Because for all your big talk about teachers being leaders and raising the profession and teach to lead and all the rest, when it comes time to put people in charge of Important Stuff, actual teachers do not get the call. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is sometimes called the nation's report c

SEP 25

ICYMI: Readings from the week (9/25)
As always, remember to share and spread the word. Everyone can be an amplifier. Don't Believe the Charter School Hype Charles Pierce is one mainstream journalist who has taken up the cause of public ed and given reformsters some serious grief. Here's his take on the charter push in Massachusetts Preaching to the Educhoir William Ferriter reminds us why preaching to the educhoir is not a waste of t

SEP 24

Essential Reading for Education Activists (and Wonks)
Corporate, privatized, market-driven education reform hasn't worked-- and now there's a book chock full of research to prove it. The National Education Policy Center is based at the University of Colorado (Boulder) School of Education. They look kind of like what I always imagined when I thought of an actual think tank-- one that was interested in real inquiry and research, and not just put togeth
The Gates Plan for College
Some days I feel kind of Rip Van Winklesque, as if I went to sleep and when I woke up the world had changed. Apparently while I was sleeping, the electorate rose up and elected Bill Gates the Grand Uber Head of Education. "Please," a bunch of you non-sleeping people said. "Redesign our entire education system. Redefine what it means to be an educated person, and redefine how a person gets an educa
The Word Charters Leave Out
The sales pitch, in various versions, pops up every time charter cheerleaders are pushing charters as the Big Solution in education. "We know how to educate poor minority students." The implication, of course, is that public schools don't