Segregating Suburbia: A Princeton Story

Others around me have for some time been raising concerns about the emergence of boutique, suburban charter schools. Until now, I’ve largely blown off those concerns in part as I’ve questioned just how much sorting a charter school can achieve in a relatively homogeneous suburban area. Suburbs have their own unique portfolio of schools.  OneContinue reading “Segregating Suburbia: A Princeton Story”

Friday Story Time: Deconstructing the Cycle of Reformy Awesomeness

Once upon a time, there was this totally awesome charter school in Newark, NJ. It was a charter school so awesome that its leaders and founders and all of their close friends decided they must share their miracle with the world in books on the reasons for their awesomeness, including being driven by data andContinue reading “Friday Story Time: Deconstructing the Cycle of Reformy Awesomeness”

The “Ed Schools are the Problem” Fallacy

I had the displeasure of waking up to this drivel in my in-box this morning: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach teaching.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/opinion/keller-an-industry-of-mediocrity.html?_r=0 yeah… and those completely lacking in critical thinking, basic research and data interpretation skills write op-eds for the Times. I don’t really teach teachersContinue reading “The “Ed Schools are the Problem” Fallacy”

$500 million? No! $3 BILLION! That’s $3BILLION! Comments New York State’s Underfunding of NYC Schools

New York’s Governor Cuomo has been big on words promising NOT TO FUND New York State schools and squeeze them to the maximum extent possible with layers of cuts and caps. After all – NOT FUNDING SCHOOLS is the most noble of endeavors – that along with declaring death penalties for those underfunded, high needContinue reading “$500 million? No! $3 BILLION! That’s $3BILLION! Comments New York State’s Underfunding of NYC Schools”

More Thoughts on Interpreting Educational/Economic Research: DC Impact Study

Today brings us yet another opportunity to apply common sense interpretation to an otherwise seemingly complex research study – this time on the “effectiveness” of the DC Impact teacher evaluation system on improving teaching quality in the district. The study, by some of my favorite researchers (no sarcasm here, these are good, thoughtful individuals whoContinue reading “More Thoughts on Interpreting Educational/Economic Research: DC Impact Study”

The Value Added & Growth Score Train Wreck is Here

In case you hadn’t noticed evidence is mounting of a massive value-added and growth score train wreck. I’ve pointed out previously on this blog that there exist some pretty substantial differences in the models and estimates of teacher and school effectiveness being developed in practice across states for actual use in rating, ranking, tenuring andContinue reading “The Value Added & Growth Score Train Wreck is Here”

Notes on the Seniority Smokescreen

Seniority, in the modern reformy lexicon, is among the dirtiest words. Senior teachers are not only ineffective and greedy and never put interests of the children over their own, but they are in fact downright evil, a persistent drain on state and local economies and a threat to our national security! By contrast, “effectiveness” isContinue reading “Notes on the Seniority Smokescreen”

Pauvre, Pauvre NYC Charter Schools?

There’s nothing really new in this post. I’m just revisiting data and figures that I’ve addressed over and over in this blog – drawn from this report and this conference paper. I’m reposting this information because many seem to quickly forget or totally ignore what we already know and the current debate over whether theContinue reading “Pauvre, Pauvre NYC Charter Schools?”

Paying Economists by Hair Color? Thoughts on Masters Degrees & Teacher Compensation

In previous posts, I’ve conveyed my distaste for the oft obsessively narrow thinking of the traditional labor economist when engaged in education policy research. I’ve picked on the assumption that greed and personal interest are necessarily the sole driving force of all human rational decision making. And I’ve picked on the obsession with narrow andContinue reading “Paying Economists by Hair Color? Thoughts on Masters Degrees & Teacher Compensation”