Uncommon Denominators: Understanding “Per Pupil” Spending

This post is another in my series on data issues in education policy. The point of this post is to encourage readers of education policy research to pay closer attention to the fact that any measure of “per pupil spending” contains two parts – a measure of “spending” in the numerator and a measure ofContinue reading “Uncommon Denominators: Understanding “Per Pupil” Spending”

On “Dropout Factories” & (Fraudulent) Graduation Rates in NJ

This NJ Star Ledger piece the other day reminded me of an issue I’ve been wanting to check out for some time now. I’m skeptical of graduation rates as a measure of student outcomes to begin with, because, of course, graduation can be strongly influenced by local norms and practices. As such, it’s really hardContinue reading “On “Dropout Factories” & (Fraudulent) Graduation Rates in NJ”

Welcome to Relay Medical College & North Star Community Hospital

Arne Duncan has one whopper of an interview available here: http://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell-reports/watch/better-preparing-our-nations-educators-237066307522 Related to his new push to evaluate teacher preparation programs using student outcome data: https://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/arne-ology-the-bad-incentives-of-evaluating-teacher-prep-with-student-outcome-data/ And his Whitehouse press release can be found here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/25/fact-sheet-taking-action-improve-teacher-preparation Now, there’s a whole lot to chew on here, but let me focus on one of the more absurdContinue reading “Welcome to Relay Medical College & North Star Community Hospital”

Arne-Ology & the Bad Incentives of Evaluating Teacher Prep with Student Outcome Data

As I understand it, USDOE is going to go ahead with the push to have teacher preparation programs rated in part based on the student growth outcomes of children taught by individuals receiving credentials from those programs. Now, the layers of problems associated with this method are many and I’ve addressed them previously here andContinue reading “Arne-Ology & the Bad Incentives of Evaluating Teacher Prep with Student Outcome Data”

The Endogeneity of the Equitable Distribution of Teachers: Or, why do the girls get all the good teachers?

Recently, the Center for American Progress (disclosure: I have a report coming out through them soon) released a report in which they boldly concluded, based on data on teacher ratings from Massachusetts and Louisiana, that teacher quality is woefully inequitably distributed across children by the income status of those children. As evidence of these inequities,Continue reading “The Endogeneity of the Equitable Distribution of Teachers: Or, why do the girls get all the good teachers?”

Why you can’t compare simple achievement gaps across states! So don’t!

Consider this post the second in my series of basic data issues in education policy analysis. This is a topic on which I’ve written numerous previous posts. In most previous posts I’ve focused specifically on the issue of problems with poverty measurement across contexts and how those problems lead to common misinterpretations of achievement gaps.Continue reading “Why you can’t compare simple achievement gaps across states! So don’t!”

Understand your data & use it wisely! Tips for avoiding stupid mistakes with publicly available NJ data

My next few blog posts will return to a common theme on this blog – appropriate use of publicly available data sources. I figure it’s time to put some positive, instructive stuff out there. Some guidance for more casual users (and more reckless ones) of public data sources and for those must making their wayContinue reading “Understand your data & use it wisely! Tips for avoiding stupid mistakes with publicly available NJ data”