Category Archives: Education Reform

My Twitter Reactions to the Vergara Ruling

We are already being inundated with analyses of what yesterday’s Vergara ruling “means”, so rather than write up yet another one I just compiled my thoughts from Twitter: [View the story “My Twitter Reactions to #Vergara” on Storify]

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There Is Probably No “Crisis” In American Education

Here is a chart of educational attainment in the United States since 1940: When you look at that chart, do you see a crisis? No? Me neither. How about in these charts of reading and math achievement on the NAEP for 17-year-olds, broken down by race? Still hard to see a crisis, at least to […]

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Everything is Untested Until You Test It

Teacher tenure is a hot topic in California these days thanks to the Vergara trial, so it was newsworthy when the San Jose chapter of the California Teachers Association asked the State Board of Education for a waiver from state law extending the probationary period for some teachers using a system of peer review. They didn’t get it: […]

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Why Education Reform is Probably Not The Best Way to Fight Poverty

Doug Lemov is skeptical that I’m right about education being a (relatively) ineffective way of fighting poverty. His response is thoughtful and deserves a response of its own. First, it’s worth being clear that the only claim I’m prepared to advance and defend is that education reform is not the best way to fight poverty […]

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Reformers and International Comparisons

On Tuesday at This Week in Ed I asked what the evidence is that education reform is the best way to fight poverty. The domestic evidence doesn’t strike me as obvious, but I was especially curious about the international evidence. After writing that post I started nagging people on Twitter to tell me which countries have […]

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Some Advice for Common Core Supporters

Yesterday at TWIE I gave CCSS supporters a hard time for seeming to give up the affirmative case for the new standards: These days supporters seem to dedicate most of their time to assuring us that the CCSS are not to blame for “fuzzy” math curriculua or “whole language” or questionable history assignments. We are even told that it’s just as […]

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VAM and Status Quo Bias

Yesterday at This Week in Ed I wrote about the American Statistical Association’s report on value-added modeling in education: [I]f you were to hear about this report only from the staunchest, most ideological opponents of VAM, you would think it says something else entirely. Valerie Strauss, for instance, claims the report “slammed” the use of VAM […]

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For Reformers: An Important Paper on Worker Compensation and Incentives

I’ve written before that education reformers often have an unfortunate lack of perspective about the way the world works outside of education. This means that reformers often unjustifiably assume – implicitly or explicitly – that their proposed changes would make education more like other sectors. This assumption, in turn, makes reformers’ proposals seem more intuitive […]

Also posted in Teacher Compensation | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

Teacher Autonomy by State (and Salary)

As I mentioned before, the Center for American Progress just put out a report finding that teachers today still seem to feel very autonomous even in this era of accountability and reform. Exactly how autonomous they feel varies depending on which aspect of the job you’re asking them about. So, for example, about 58% of teachers […]

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Is StudentsFirst Conceding Permanent Achievement Gaps?

I missed this when it first came out, but back in October StudentsFirst apparently released a report called A Personalized Future for Education. If you cut through the platitudes about “teaching with a 19th century model” designed for the needs of an “industrial-based economy”, the report’s core recommendations are not obviously unreasonable: Personalized learning is a […]

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