Seeking Practical Uses of the NYC VAM Data???

A short while back, in a follow up post regarding the Chetty/Friedman/Rockoff study I wrote about how and when I might use VAM results, if I happened to be in a decision making role in a school or district: I would want to be able to generate a report of the VA estimates for teachersContinue reading “Seeking Practical Uses of the NYC VAM Data???”

You’ve Been VAM-IFIED! Thoughts (& Graphs) on the NYC Teacher Data

Readers of my blog know I’m both a data geek and a skeptic of the usefulness of Value-added data specifically as a human resource management tool for schools and districts. There’s been much talk this week about the release of the New York City teacher ratings to the media, and subsequent publication of those dataContinue reading “You’ve Been VAM-IFIED! Thoughts (& Graphs) on the NYC Teacher Data”

Student Enrollments & State School Finance Policies

Most readers of the NJDOE report on reforming the state’s school finance formula likely glided right past the seemingly innocuous recommendation to shift the enrollment count method for funding from a fall enrollment count to an average daily attendance figure. After all, on its face, the argument provided seems to make sense. Let’s fund onContinue reading “Student Enrollments & State School Finance Policies”

How NOT to fix the New Jersey Achievement Gap

Late yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Education Released its long awaited report on the state school finance formula. For a little context, the formula was adopted in 2008 and upheld by the court as meeting the state constitutional standard for providing a thorough and efficient system of public schooling. But, court acceptance of theContinue reading “How NOT to fix the New Jersey Achievement Gap”

Reformy Platitudes & Fact-Challenged Placards won’t Get Connecticut Schools what they Really Need!

For a short while yesterday – more than I would have liked to – I followed the circus of testimony and tweets about proposed education reform legislation in Connecticut. The reform legislation – SB 24 – includes the usual reformy elements of teacher tenure reform, ending seniority preferences, expanding and promoting charter schooling, etc. etc.Continue reading “Reformy Platitudes & Fact-Challenged Placards won’t Get Connecticut Schools what they Really Need!”

Borrowing wise words from those truly market-based, Private Independent schools…

Lately it seems that public policy and the reformy rhetoric that drives it are hardly influenced by the vast body of empirical work and insights from leading academic scholars which suggests that such practices as using value-added metrics to rate teacher quality, or dramatically increasing test-based accountability and pushing for common core standards and testsContinue reading “Borrowing wise words from those truly market-based, Private Independent schools…”

Productivity continued…updated…

Update Mark Dynarski has added some additional useful recommendations regarding productivity research. Dynarski’s comments come in response to our suggestions for improving the rigor of productivity research, where our suggestions were based on rigorous application of relevant methods that we would expect to see applied in productivity research. We agree with Mark Dynarski that usingContinue reading “Productivity continued…updated…”

Closing schools: Good Reasons and Bad Reasons

Current reformy rhetoric dictates that we MUST CLOSE FAILING SCHOOLS! That we must close those schools that are dropout factories or have persistently low achievement levels on state assessments. And, that we must, in the process, fire all of the staff in those schools that have caused these dismal conditions year after year, by thinkingContinue reading “Closing schools: Good Reasons and Bad Reasons”

Productivity Agenda Yes! But based on real research & rigorous analysis!

Pau Hill and Marguerite Roza’s response to my recent report – with Kevin Welner – and series of blog posts seems to offer as its central argument that we’re simply a curmudgeons, offering lots of complaints about the rigor of their arguments and their suggestions for improving schooling productivity and efficiency, but providing no creativeContinue reading “Productivity Agenda Yes! But based on real research & rigorous analysis!”

Newark Public Schools: Let’s Just Close the Poor Schools and Replace them with Less Poor Ones?

This week started with several individuals from the Washington DC area asking if I would address a school closure/turnaround report produced by an outside consulting firm on contract with the DC Public Schools (as I understand it). That consulting firm basically made a map of the locations of the schools around the city, identified whichContinue reading “Newark Public Schools: Let’s Just Close the Poor Schools and Replace them with Less Poor Ones?”