Photo courtesy of Jose Vilson

What the dropout nation is reading this Monday morning:after the NFL playoffs:

  1. John Fensterwald notes Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s effort to revamp the state’s teacher seniority rules, which force districts to lay off their younger teachers first without regard to their performance. Fensterwald notes that if Schwarzenegger succeeds, districts will have to step up to the plate and conduct strong rigorous evaluations of teacher performance. Fensterwald also reports that some school districts are getting cold feet about Race to the Top participation.
  2. In the Daily News, Tom Carroll takes to task Randi Weingarten’s replacement as head of New York City’s AFT local. Sample quote: “Mulgrew’s point is not actually the advancement of any specific proposal, but rather to throw out there as much mischief as possible to gum up charter schools”.
  3. In Dropout Nation comments for Friday’s Read. Southern Education Foundation’s Steve Suitts, who co-wrote the recently-released A New Diverse Majority report, responds to Monise Seward’s criticisms of the study (and of education think tankers in general). He makes some important points about the study and its overall focus. I’m reading the report now for an upcoming Spectator report.
  4. Virginia’s Democratic House leader argues that support for charter schools shouldn’t be a “partisan” issue.
  5. School administrator Deron Durflinger offers a voucher-like kind of school reform: Give vouchers to parents, who can then directly select the teachers they want to teach their children. Intriguing idea. It could actually lead to greater parental engagement, improve student achievement and make teachers true professionals the way lawyers usually are.
  6. Alan Bonsteel of California Parents for Educational Choice offers historical perspective on school choice and the Golden State’s recent school reform efforts.
  7. Julia Steiny focuses on a union-sponsored charter school. A school not sponsored by either the NEA or AFT.
  8. Kevin Carey observes the financial havoc within California’s university system and takes shots at the University of California’s leaders and wealthy students for their “faux solidarity” with poor collegians.