Saturday, March 4, 2017



The Line: Yet Another Not New Voice
Apparently we are in the season of website launches. An outfit called FutureEd has entered the thinky tank and website world with a spirited return to the ed reform greatest hits of yesteryear . Refugees of the Obama education department have launched a website that is... I don't know. Cementing their legacy? Shaping the narrative? Keeping a bunch of out-of-work pols busy? And then there's The Lin


Finding the Good Teachers
Modern ed reform has always embraced a binary view of teachers-- there are good ones and bad ones. We should sort them out. Maybe find the good ones so we can give them a nice reward. Find that bad ones so that we can fire them. The problems with this view are (or at least should be) obvious. Teaching is a complex multi-faceted web of human relationships. And teachers are human beings, and therefo

MAR 02

FutureEd Launches New Website, Old Voice
There's a new education reform website on the scene, another "new voice" representing a new thinky tank, slick and pretty and well-endowed and charter-friendly and made out of smooshed-together words. Welcome FutureEd Much of the pitch is familiar. FutureEd is "grounded on the belief that every student should be effectively prepared for postsecondary learning and that performance-driven education

MAR 01

NPR Explains Charter Schools
Claudio Sanchez at NPR decided to kick off March with a charter school explainer, and boy did March come in like a big, fuzzy, lamb. Sanchez decided that the best way to get a fully rounded explanation of charters was to talk to three charter advocates, a journalistic technique akin to interviewing the NRA about guns or the RJ Reynolds company about cigarettes. The resulting piece assures us all
DeVos, HBCU, and Justice
There is just so much to unpack about Betsy DeVos's bonkers attempt to rewrite the story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities into an advertisement for school choice. They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education. HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are p

FEB 28

TX: Senator Ambushed by Students
Texas GOP Senator Don Huffines is a huge fan of choice systems, and does his best to shill for them. But he ran into a rough time trying to pitch them to 7-12 grade students at Richardson ISD on, of all things, Texas PTA Day. While the senator might have gotten just a bit over-salty with the students, his spokesman spun Huffine's behavior as nobly passionate: It was dark. There were so many of the
Dangerous Amateurs
Not all amateurs are a problem. I live in a small town world, and much of the community's important work is done by amateurs. Most of our major local organizations are run by amateurs, and our elected officials are all folks with a real day job-- there's no real money in being a professional politician on the local level. I have been one kind of amateur or another most of my adult life. My actual

FEB 26

The Free Market vs. Customers
I write so much about the free(ish) market that one might assume that I hate it. I don't. I think the profit motive, properly harnessed and directed, can accomplish a great deal. Making money is not inherently bad. However, there are certain things that the free market will not do, and those weaknesses are in direct conflict with the purposes and goals of public education. If you want to see what

ICYMI: Here Comes March Edition (2/26)
A wide assortment of stuff today, because fake spring is over and real winter is back. Homeschoolers Revolt Against Republican School Choice Bill Yeah, it's Breitbart, so it may be 100% crap. But it might also be an interesting look at how very conservative folks end up opposing school choice. Charter Schools Have