The Principal’s Dilemma as Mock Trial: Ed Law Colleagues Please Provide Your Opinions!

The following is a hypothetical case I am using as the culminating activity in Public School Law this semester. The Dismissal of Principal X Principal X is principal in a local public middle school in a state that has recently adopted through legislation, articulated with greater precision in state department of education regulations, a newContinue reading “The Principal’s Dilemma as Mock Trial: Ed Law Colleagues Please Provide Your Opinions!”

The Perils of Economic Thinking about Human Behavior

Behavioral economics is an interesting and potentially useful field of academic inquiry. At its best, real behavioral economics attempts to address some of the concerns I raise here. But many if not most assumptions about human behavior and response to incentives are not representative of behavioral economics at its best. Specifically,  I’m increasingly concerned withContinue reading “The Perils of Economic Thinking about Human Behavior”

Revisiting the Complexities of Charter Funding Comparisons

This Education Week Post today rather uncritically summarized a recently published article based on an earlier report on charter school spending “gaps.” I’ve not had a chance to dig into this updated study yet, but the Ed Week post also referred to an earlier study from Ball State University which I have critiqued on multipleContinue reading “Revisiting the Complexities of Charter Funding Comparisons”

Friday AM Graphs: Just how biased are NJ’s Growth Percentile Measures (school level)?

New Jersey finally released the data set of its school level growth percentile metrics. I’ve been harping on a few points on this blog this week. SGP data here: http://education.state.nj.us/pr/database.html Enrollment data here: http://www.nj.gov/education/data/enr/enr12/stat_doc.htm First, that the commissioner’s characterization that the growth percentiles necessarily fully take into account student background is a completely bogus andContinue reading “Friday AM Graphs: Just how biased are NJ’s Growth Percentile Measures (school level)?”

Briefly Revisiting the Central Problem with SGPs (in the creator’s own words)

When I first criticized the use of SGPs for teacher evaluation in New Jersey, the creator of the Colorado Growth Model responded with the following statement: Unfortunately Professor Baker conflates the data (i.e. the measure) with the use. A primary purpose in the development of the Colorado Growth Model (Student Growth Percentiles/SGPs) was to distinguishContinue reading “Briefly Revisiting the Central Problem with SGPs (in the creator’s own words)”

On Misrepresenting (Gates) MET to Advance State Policy Agendas

In my previous  post I chastised state officials for their blatant mischaracterization of metrics to be employed in teacher evaluation. This raised (in twitter conversation) the issue of the frequent misrepresentation of findings from the Gates Foundation Measures of Effective Teaching Project (or MET). Policymakers frequently invoke the Gates MET findings as providing broad basedContinue reading “On Misrepresenting (Gates) MET to Advance State Policy Agendas”

Who will be held responsible when state officials are factually wrong? On Statistics & Teacher Evaluation

While I fully understand that state education agencies are fast becoming propaganda machines, I’m increasingly concerned with how far this will go.  Yes, under NCLB, state education agencies concocted completely wrongheaded school classification schemes that had little or nothing to do with actual school quality, and in rare cases, used those policies to enforce substantiveContinue reading “Who will be held responsible when state officials are factually wrong? On Statistics & Teacher Evaluation”

The disturbing language and shallow logic of Ed Reform: Comments on “Relinquishment” & “Sector Agnosticism”

Two buzz phrases have been somewhat quietly floating around reformyland of late, for at least a year or so. I suspect that many have not even picked up on these buzz phrases/words.  They are somewhat inner circle concepts in reformyland. The first is the notion of the great relinquisher (a seemingly bizarre contradiction indeed… toContinue reading “The disturbing language and shallow logic of Ed Reform: Comments on “Relinquishment” & “Sector Agnosticism””

When Real Life Exceeds Satire: Comments on ShankerBlog’s April Fools Post

Yesterday, Matt Di          Carlo over at Shankerblog put out his April fools post. The genius of the post is in its subtlety.  Matt put together a few graphs of longitudinal NAEP data showing that Maryland had made greater than average national gains on NAEP and then asserted that these gains must therefore be a functionContinue reading “When Real Life Exceeds Satire: Comments on ShankerBlog’s April Fools Post”