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!”

Beneath the Veil of Inadequate Cost Analyses: What do Roland Fryer’s School Reform Studies Really Tell Us? (if anything)

Here’s a short section from one of my papers currently in progress (part of the summary of existing literature on alternative models/strategies, and marginal expenditures). A series of studies from Roland Fryer and colleagues have explored the effectiveness of specific charter school models and strategies, including Harlem Childrens’ Zone (Dobbie & Fryer, 2009), “no excuses”Continue reading “Beneath the Veil of Inadequate Cost Analyses: What do Roland Fryer’s School Reform Studies Really Tell Us? (if anything)”

Jay Greene (Inadvertently?) Argues for a 23% Funding Increase for Texas Schools

I was intrigued by this post from Jay Greene today, in which he points out that public schools can learn from charter schools and perhaps can implement some of their successes. Specifically, Greene is referring to KIPP-like “no excuses” charter schools as a model, and their strategies for improving outcomes including much extended school timeContinue reading “Jay Greene (Inadvertently?) Argues for a 23% Funding Increase for Texas Schools”

Taxpayer rights under New Jersey’s current Education Policy Agenda

In light of recent controversy over the role of state appointed “emergency” managers in Michigan,   I’ve been pondering the state of taxpayer rights under the current education policy agenda(s) in New Jersey. For example: The state of New Jersey seems determined to maintain its control over Newark Public Schools, which, in effect, at least partiallyContinue reading “Taxpayer rights under New Jersey’s current Education Policy Agenda”

Dobbie & Fryer’s NYC charter study provides no meaningful evidence about class size & per pupil spending

So, I’ve seen on more than a few occasions these last few weeks references to the recent Dobbie and Fryer article on NYC charter schools as the latest evidence that money doesn’t matter in schools. That costly stuff like class size, or  overall measures of total per pupil expenditures are simply unimportant, and can easilyContinue reading “Dobbie & Fryer’s NYC charter study provides no meaningful evidence about class size & per pupil spending”

MPR’s Unfortunate Sidestepping around Money Questions in the Charter CMO Report

Let me start by pointing out that Mathematica Policy Research, in my view, is an exceptional research organization. They have good people. They do good work and have done much to inform public policy in what I believe are positive ways. That’s why I found it so depressing when I started digging through the recentContinue reading “MPR’s Unfortunate Sidestepping around Money Questions in the Charter CMO Report”

Zip it! Charters and Economic Status by Zip Code in NY and NJ

There’s no mystery or proprietary secret among academics or statisticians and data geeks as to how to construct simple comparisons of school demographics using available data.  It’s really not that hard. It doesn’t require bold assumptions, nor does it require complex statistical models. Sometimes, all that’s needed to shed light on a situation is aContinue reading “Zip it! Charters and Economic Status by Zip Code in NY and NJ”

The Offensively Defensive Ideology of Charter Schooling

There now exists a fair amount of evidence that Charter schools in many locations, especially high performing charter schools in New Jersey and New York tend to serve much smaller shares of low income, special education and limited English proficient students (see various links that follow). And in some cases, high performing charter schools, especiallyContinue reading “The Offensively Defensive Ideology of Charter Schooling”

Does New Jersey really need more small, segregated schools?

Political pundits and the media frequently point out two major concerns regarding the organization of public school districts in New Jersey. First, that New Jersey, being the most population dense state in the nation, simply has far too many small schools and school districts (largely an artifact of municipal reorganization and alignment that occurred inContinue reading “Does New Jersey really need more small, segregated schools?”

Unspinning Data on New Jersey Charter Schools

Today’s (okay…yesterday… I got caught up in a few other things) New Jersey headlines once again touted the supposed successes of New Jersey Charter Schools: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/gov_christie_releases_study_sh.html The Star Ledger reporters, among others, were essentially reiterating the information provided them by the New Jersey Department of Education. Here’s their story. http://www.state.nj.us/education/news/2011/0118chart.htm And here’s a choice quoteContinue reading “Unspinning Data on New Jersey Charter Schools”