Browsing All Posts published on »April, 2013«

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

April 29, 2013

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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 new […]

The Perils of Economic Thinking about Human Behavior

April 20, 2013

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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 with […]

Revisiting the Complexities of Charter Funding Comparisons

April 17, 2013

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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 multiple […]

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

April 12, 2013

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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 and […]

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

April 11, 2013

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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 distinguish […]

On Misrepresenting (Gates) MET to Advance State Policy Agendas

April 10, 2013

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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 based […]

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

April 10, 2013

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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 substantive […]