Is it the “New Normal” or the “New Stupid?”

I’ll admit from the start that I’m recycling some arguments here (okay… all of the arguments) … but this stuff needs to be reinforced, over and over again. Quite honestly, to me, from a school finance perspective, this is the most important issue that has surfaced in the past year, and potentially the most dangerousContinue reading “Is it the “New Normal” or the “New Stupid?””

A few comments on the Gates/Kane value-added study

A few comments on the Gates/Kane Value-added study (My apologies in advance for an excessively technical, research geeky post, but I felt it necessary in this case) Take home points 1) As I read it, the new Gates/Kane value-added findings are NOT by any stretch of the imagination an endorsement of using value-added measures ofContinue reading “A few comments on the Gates/Kane value-added study”

Still searching for that pot of gold

The rhetoric about our decades-long drunken spending spree just won’t stop, nor will the rhetoric that the money is all gone. All of it. Nothin’ left. We spent it all. We taxed ourselves to the limit and those damn teachers unions and public schools just took it all and left us with the bill. It’sContinue reading “Still searching for that pot of gold”

The problem? Cheerleading and Ceramics, of course!

David Reber with the Topeka Examiner had a great post a while back (April, 2010) addressing the deceptive logic that we should be outraged by supposed exorbitant spending on things like cheerleading and ceramics, and not worry so much about the little things, like disparities between wealthy and poor school districts. I finally saw thisContinue reading “The problem? Cheerleading and Ceramics, of course!”

Potential abuses of the Parent Trigger???

This article in the LA Times has been getting a lot of buzz today –,0,1116485.story The article discusses the use of what is called a “parent trigger” policy.  Here’s the synopsis: On Tuesday, they intend to present a petition signed by 61% of McKinley parents that would require the Compton Unified School District toContinue reading “Potential abuses of the Parent Trigger???”

The Circular Logic of Quality-Based Layoff Arguments

Many pundits are responding enthusiastically to the new LA Times article on quality-based layoffs – or how dismissing teachers based on Value-added scores rather than on seniority would have saved LAUSD many of its better teachers, rather than simply saving its older ones. Some are pointing out that this new LA Times report is theContinue reading “The Circular Logic of Quality-Based Layoff Arguments”

The Curious Duplicity of NCTQ

NCTQ fashions itself as a leading think tank on promoting teacher quality in K-12 education. NCTQ adopts a relatively extreme position that teacher quality is it – the one and only thing that matters! Teacher quality is THE determining factor of school quality. I also believe that teacher quality is very important. I also agreeContinue reading “The Curious Duplicity of NCTQ”

Truly Uncommon in Newark…

A while back I wrote a post explaining why I felt that while Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark is a fine school, it’s hardly a replicable model for large scale reform in Newark, or elsewhere.  I have continued over time to write about the extent to which Newark Charter schools in particular haveContinue reading “Truly Uncommon in Newark…”