Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2011«

Addendum (and a catchy tune): Ethics, Social Science Research and VAMing Teachers

May 26, 2011


A few days ago, I posted my concerns regarding the contorted logic of the Brookings report on evaluating teacher evaluation systems. More recently, NEPC posted a slightly revised version of that blog post here: Below is an addition to the NEPC version which was not in my original post, but rather, a comment I […]

Demystifying today’s Abbott Decision

May 24, 2011


First, let’s identify the players: New Jersey Legislature & Governor, or THE STATE Children attending Abbott school districts and their legal representation, or THE PLAINTIFFS THE COURT (NJ Supreme Court) Other school districts and the children they serve Now, let’s not go too far back in history, and instead account for the last few years […]

Does New Jersey really need more small, segregated schools?

May 23, 2011


Political pundits and the media frequently point out two major concerns regarding the organization of public school districts in New Jersey. First, that New Jersey, being the most population dense state in the nation, simply has far too many small schools and school districts (largely an artifact of municipal reorganization and alignment that occurred in […]

Graphs of the Day: Texas Private School Enrollments & Expenditures

May 19, 2011


Below are a series of graphs of the distribution of enrollments and average total expenditures for Texas private schools. I figure these are particularly relevant as the Texas legislature entertains the idea of providing vouchers for private schools in Texas. These data, unfortunately, are from a few years back – based on 2008 IRS tax […]

Passing Muster Fails Muster? (An Evaluation of Evaluating Evaluation Systems)

May 18, 2011


The Brookings Institution has now released their web based version of Passing Muster including a nifty calculation tool for rating teacher evaluation systems. Unfortunately, in my view, this rating system fails muster in at least two major ways. First, the authors explain their (lack of) preferences for specific types of evaluation systems as follows: “Our […]

A few updated NJ charter figures: Write your own story…

May 14, 2011


Performance Demographics Cohort Attrition Rates for Selected Newark Charters

(RE)Ranking New Jersey’s Achievement Gap

May 13, 2011

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New Jersey’s current commissioner of education seems to stake much of his arguments for the urgency of implementing reform strategies on the argument that while New Jersey ranks high on average performance, New Jersey ranks 47th in achievement gap between low-income and non-low income children (video here: To be fair, this is classic political […]

More on NAEP Poverty Gaps & Why State Comparisons Don’t Work

May 9, 2011


This post is a follow-up to a recent post on how income distributions differ across states and how those income distributions thwart our ability to make reasonable comparisons across states in the size of achievement gaps in relation to low-income status. This series of posts on NAEP poverty gaps comes in response to a tweet […]

Grading the Governors’ Cuts: Cuomo vs. Kasich vs. Corbett (revised AGAIN!)

May 5, 2011


Here’s a quick data driven post on Governor’s state aid cuts – or aid changes. So far, I’ve been able to compile data from a few states which make it relatively easy to access and download data on district by district runs of state aid (and one state that does not, but I have good […]

Resource Deprivation in High Need Districts? (& CAP’s goofy ROI)

May 5, 2011


This post provides a follow-up on two seemingly unrelated topics, both of which can be traced back to the Center for American Progress. First, there was that wonderful little Return on Investment indicator series that CAP did a while back. Second, there’s the frequent, anecdotal argument that creeps into CAP/Ed Trust and AEI conversations that […]


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