2008-07-02T18:38:52.829-04:00Word is that the Colbert Report is trying to land an interview with Margaret Spellings, some disagreement inside the Department about whether this is a good plan or not, but Spellings apparently for it...
2008-07-02T12:56:23.878-04:00Through the weekend I'll be at the Aspen Ideas Festival for an education session and some other goings on. So, posting might be light until Monday. And, on Friday and Saturday night we're moving the blog to a new template and publishing platform so it will be dark for a few hours and please excuse any glitches through the weekend while our tech folks get all that sorted out. Best of all, for you, is that we're going to improve the comment function, which has turned out to be a great feature but could be a lot more user and reader friendly and will be soon.
2008-07-02T08:25:55.892-04:00Seems everyone praises talks about, debates, derides what KIPP is doing in their schools in terms of students. But one aspect that doesn't get a lot of attention -- and should -- is how they've developed an internal vertical pipeline for human capital for within school leaders, school building leaders, and school founders (pdf). It's the most robust approach to training and leadership development in any school system today.
2008-07-02T08:05:38.245-04:00He would have been 100 today. A new website launching today looks at his life and legacy especially Brown.
2008-07-02T08:27:07.418-04:00Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is in as the new chair of the Southern Regional Education Board. SREB is one of those groups that isn't flashy or really high-challenge but just quietly does good work in the region.
2008-07-02T08:18:31.339-04:00Couple of great jobs open right now. Advance Illinois, a new statewide education advocacy organization launching there, is looking for a communications director. Also in Illinois, the Office of New Schools in the Chicago Public Schools is looking for a Director of Recruitment. And KIPP is looking for an Executive Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Design.
2008-07-01T12:31:06.597-04:00Secretary Spellings announced the No Child Left Behind differentiated consequence pilot states today. They're underwhelming. This was supposed to be the big blue sky moment but one could certainly be excused for asking exactly what's so revolutionary about all this? Would have been nice to see the Secretary hold the line a bit more on this one...In fact, while previous pilots and regulatory changes were substantive, this one looks pretty political: Good PR but hardly game-changing...Previous posts here and here.
2008-07-01T10:21:06.506-04:00Karin Chenoweth takes a look at a high school in Washington's Yakima Valley. Let the debunking begin!
2008-07-01T12:36:43.847-04:00Per the dueling survey issue in New York, it seems the UFT could have just saved themselves a lot of money on their survey and asked just one question about approval/disapproval of Joel Klein. That's all these questions -- that all conspicuously mention his name -- are accomplishing and they're too smart not to know that. Punchline: Klein is not very popular right now. But, we shouldn't forget the results of the last mayoral election there, which was in part a referendum on the schools.
2008-07-01T10:10:42.314-04:00I've been known to point out that media coverage of medical studies is often better than coverage of education studies. Turns out that might not be the case (though the consumption challenges seem similar). Via Andrew Sullivan.
2008-06-30T14:02:58.709-04:00Per all this debate over test scores in New York, Sol Stern and NYC official Chris Cerf will square off right here on Eduwonk next week and you can join in the debate...
2008-06-30T12:54:22.640-04:00Wow. When Jane Hannaway and I did our book on teachers' contracts, we suggested that more transparency around negotiations was one easy step to improve the process. Seth Kirk a parent in Minneapolis really took that idea all the way home. He followed the negotiations there every step of the way....
2008-06-30T12:30:43.303-04:00Per all this, a bunch of new folks have signed on to the Education Equality Project.
2008-06-30T12:35:05.867-04:00New lobbying rules coming down at the end of the month, Trish Gac and John Dean will tell you everything you need to know.
2008-06-30T10:24:11.789-04:00Former UVA and New York Giants star and current NBC personality Tiki Barber goes all social entrepreneurial at the end of this article....
2008-06-30T10:11:23.555-04:00The HBO Documentary "Hard Times At Douglas High" about a Baltimore High School has been stirring-up some good debate.
2008-06-27T10:41:10.571-04:00(image) Per all this NY test score back and forth and what it means for New York City and the contentious debate about the ongoing reforms there, as a public service Eduwonk is offering a quick guide to both sides so you can move on to other things this weekend. Print and keep these in your pocket for quick reference:
2008-06-27T09:03:32.323-04:00I just noticed that the Eduwonk Facebook page has 198 fans, thanks! Become the 200th and I'll send you a free book. Just drop me a line with some evidence that you were indeed number 200. A photograph of the actual act gets on the blog...
2008-06-27T13:35:32.347-04:00New York City isn't the only place where you see this sort of back and forth between school districts and teachers' unions about different climate surveys...While I'm playing assignment editor for New York reporters, I'll ask: Why doesn't a newspaper pick up the mantle here and give us a survey that neither side is invested in? Seems like you'd sell a lot of newspapers the day it came out…In fact, seems like a good business opportunity for someone...go from place to place doing these with some solid methodology behind it...
2008-06-27T08:54:54.499-04:00I have a lot of respect for Sol Stern but I was disappointed by his essay on the latest round of test scores in New York. I don't have any stake in the NY results, and as I said the other day, I can't know for sure whether the gains are real, but neither can Stern. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop him from throwing stones and the usual suspects with an axe to grind in New York from echoing it.Stern's right that the federal peer review process for state assessment programs doesn't guard against gaming and I was surprised to hear the NY education commissioner offer the process up as counterevidence to critics. But, that doesn't prove anything. Absent a real analysis of the test, the methods and decisions used this year in the state to design it, etc...we can't know. Fortunately, this is public record and so some enterprising reporter could, possibly with the aid of the Freedom of Information Act where they get resistance, actually take a hard look at this and tell us something definitive. Otherwise, this is unfair to teachers, public officials, and parents in New York because it's becoming one of those things that "everyone knows..." even absent any real evidence. One possible hypothesis here is that the schools are doing better, no?Stern's also right that National Assessment of Education Progress scores in NY haven't reflected the same gains the state test shows. But again, the NAEP is a useful barometer but not the only one and this is an effect you see in a lot of places and it isn't always just because the state's are trying to game the system. Sometimes different tests measure different things.*More likely, Eduwonkette has put her finger on a big part of the issue here -- pass rates based on proficiency or getting over the cut score on a test. Using proficiency levels for accountability rather than relative measures has a lot to recommend it from an equity standpoint, but Eduwonkette's right that people should be careful about what the results do and don't mean.And that again allows me to beat my favorite drum on this issue: Transparency. In building all of these assessment systems officials have to make a variety of large and small decisions about their assessment scheme. These decisions have real effects on what the results look like and this is not as airtight as people sometimes assume or are led to assume. What we really need here is more transparency about the process so we don't have what's happening in New York right now, which boils down to insinuation and circumstantial accusations getting tossed around. The federal government shouldn't get into the micromanaging this process in the states but could do more to establish very clear parameters for meaningful (meaning non-technical) public disclosure so that everyone knows what they are and are not getting with these systems each year.*More say anything! What's stunning here is the extent to which many people will argue both sides of this depending on what case they want to make at a particular time. For instance, I've heard the same people argue in favor of National Board Certification because of larger achievement gains on state tests than national tests by saying that it shows the National Board Certified teachers are more effective in teaching the state content and that's good etc...etc...etc...and then turn around in a different setting and argue that these state gains are just a sham because the gains on their state tests aren't reflected on national tests...[...]
2008-06-27T09:04:30.974-04:00Student radio asked teachers what they do over the summer, fun. Via Golden Apple.
2008-06-26T17:13:44.030-04:00Per this debate about high-and low-achieving students, Secretary Spellings was asked about it the other day:
2008-06-26T13:11:28.229-04:00New MDRC study offers some good news for the career academy idea.
2008-06-26T08:09:04.943-04:00Ed Week's Hoff has more on the changing nature of education politics. Support for No Child Left Behind is noteworthy considering how intensely unpopular President Bush is these days...