Friday Thoughts: In my own words (recent media commentary)

Interview for In These Times: [I]t’s much easier to point blame at those working within the system–like teachers–than to actually raise the revenues to provide the resources necessary to really improve the system–to pay sufficient wages to attract and retain top college graduates and to provide the working conditions that would make teaching more appealing–includingContinue reading “Friday Thoughts: In my own words (recent media commentary)”

Beneath the Veil of Inadequate Cost Analyses: What do Roland Fryer’s School Reform Studies Really Tell Us? (if anything)

Here’s a short section from one of my papers currently in progress (part of the summary of existing literature on alternative models/strategies, and marginal expenditures). A series of studies from Roland Fryer and colleagues have explored the effectiveness of specific charter school models and strategies, including Harlem Childrens’ Zone (Dobbie & Fryer, 2009), “no excuses”Continue reading “Beneath the Veil of Inadequate Cost Analyses: What do Roland Fryer’s School Reform Studies Really Tell Us? (if anything)”

Jay Greene (Inadvertently?) Argues for a 23% Funding Increase for Texas Schools

I was intrigued by this post from Jay Greene today, in which he points out that public schools can learn from charter schools and perhaps can implement some of their successes. Specifically, Greene is referring to KIPP-like “no excuses” charter schools as a model, and their strategies for improving outcomes including much extended school timeContinue reading “Jay Greene (Inadvertently?) Argues for a 23% Funding Increase for Texas Schools”

Follow up on Fire First, Ask Questions Later

Many of us have had extensive ongoing conversation about the Big Study (CFR) that caught media attention last week. That conversation has included much thoughtful feedback from the authors of the study.  That’s how it should be. A good, ongoing discussion delving into technical details and considering alternative policy implications.  I received the following kindContinue reading “Follow up on Fire First, Ask Questions Later”

NJ Charter Data Round-up

Note: I will be making updates to this post in the coming days/weeks. As we once again begin discussing & debating the appropriate role for Charter schools in New Jersey’s education reform “mix,” here’s a round-up on the New Jersey charter school numbers, in terms of demographic comparisons to all other public and charter schoolsContinue reading “NJ Charter Data Round-up”

Differentiating “cost savings” from “expenditure reduction”

Today, it’s time for a little School Finance 101, clarifying the difference between what is a “cost savings” versus what is an “expenditure reduction.” Cost savings means finding ways to reduce expenditure while still addressing the same range of objectives (goals, intended outcomes) and while still achieving the same level or quality of outcomes withContinue reading “Differentiating “cost savings” from “expenditure reduction””

Misunderstanding & Misrepresenting the “Costs” & “Economics” of Online Learning

The Fordham Institute has just released its report titled “The Costs of Online Learning” in which they argue that it is incrementally cheaper to move from a) brick and mortar schooling to b) blended learning and then c) fully online learning. http://www.edexcellencemedia.net/publications/2012/20120110-the-costs-of-online-learning/20120110-the-costs-of-online-learning.pdf Accompanying this report is a blog post titled “Understanding the Economics of OnlineContinue reading “Misunderstanding & Misrepresenting the “Costs” & “Economics” of Online Learning”

Fire first, ask questions later? Comments on Recent Teacher Effectiveness Studies

Please also see follow-up discussion here: https://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/follow-up-on-fire-first-ask-questions-later/ Yesterday was a big day for big new studies on teacher evaluation. First, there was the New York Times report on the new study by Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff. Second, there was the release of the second part of the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching project. There’sContinue reading “Fire first, ask questions later? Comments on Recent Teacher Effectiveness Studies”

6 Things I’m Still Waiting for in 2012 (and likely will be for some time!)

I start this new year with reflections on some unfinished business from 2011 – Here are a few bits of information I anxiously await for 2012. Some are likely within reach. Others, well, not so much. A thoroughly documented (rigorously vetted) study by Harvard economist Roland Fryer, which actually identifies and breaks out in sufficientContinue reading “6 Things I’m Still Waiting for in 2012 (and likely will be for some time!)”