On “Access to Teacher Quality” as the New Equity Concern

July 2, 2014

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A short while back, the Center for American Progress posted their take-away from the Vergara decision. That takeaway was that equity of teacher quality distribution is the new major concern, or as they framed it Access to Effective Teaching. Certainly, the distribution of teaching quality is important. But let me set the record straight on […]

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The real path to quality, equitable and adequate schooling (hint – It’s not Vergara!)

June 23, 2014

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The blogging has been sparse lately because my head is buried in really cool and important projects these days. My apologies to those anxiously awaiting glib, sarcastic updates and smackdowns on issues such as the Vergara case (where the logical fallacies run wild – more later if I ever get the chance) or the multitude […]

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Stronger than the Scorn: How do NJ schools really stack up?

June 3, 2014

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This is my end of school year review for New Jersey schools. Indeed much of the data in this post is from years prior. Nonetheless, these data affirm a long standing strong position of New Jersey schools either in the U.S. or international context. On many occasions I’ve pointed out better and worse uses of […]

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On Teacher Effect vs. Other Stuff in New Jersey’s Growth Percentiles

June 2, 2014

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PDF: BBaker.SGPs_and_OtherStuff In this post, I estimate a series of models to evaluate variation in New Jersey’s school median growth percentile measures. These measures of student growth are intended by the New Jersey Department of Education to serve as measures of both school and teacher effectiveness. That is, the effect that teachers and schools have […]

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The Cuomology of State Aid (or Tales from Lake Flaccid)

May 1, 2014

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We’ve heard much bluster over time about school funding in New York State, and specifically how money certainly has no role in the policy debate over how to fix New York State schools, unless it has to do with providing more money to charter schools, or decrying the fact that district schools statewide are substantially […]

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Uncommon Denominators: Understanding “Per Pupil” Spending

April 30, 2014

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This post is another in my series on data issues in education policy. The point of this post is to encourage readers of education policy research to pay closer attention to the fact that any measure of “per pupil spending” contains two parts – a measure of “spending” in the numerator and a measure of […]

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On “Dropout Factories” & (Fraudulent) Graduation Rates in NJ

April 29, 2014

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This NJ Star Ledger piece the other day reminded me of an issue I’ve been wanting to check out for some time now. I’m skeptical of graduation rates as a measure of student outcomes to begin with, because, of course, graduation can be strongly influenced by local norms and practices. As such, it’s really hard […]

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