Tag: ARRA


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Read: A Little More Noted Edition


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More of what’s going on in the dropout nation today: Kevin Carey reviews the decision by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to skip Race to the Top. His thoughts? “. This…

More of what’s going on in the dropout nation today:

  1. Kevin Carey reviews the decision by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to skip Race to the Top. His thoughts? “. This is just Rick Perry running for re-election against a legitimate primary opponent in Kay Bailey Hutchinson by pandering to the strain of bizarre and archaic separatism that is apparently still alive and well in the Texas body politic.” Ouch.
  2. Andy Smarick offers more thoughts on Race to the Top, courtesy of his latest Education Next article. Writes he, the reform effort will only work if the district gets tough. His Fordham cohort, Smooth Mike, hopes that the recent Democrat debacle in the Bay State will force federal ed spending to decline. By the way: The Education Writers Association has just launched its new site tracking federal stimulus spending in education. Check it out.
  3. Ed Week reports on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s first year in office. Predictably, Diane Ravitch, as usual, has few kind words to say. Why? Basically because she shares the same thoughts on Duncan’s focus on charters, standardized testing and teacher quality as Randi Weingarten.
  4. A University of California research coalition releases a report detailing how poor families are struggling — both in school and in the economy — courtesy of the recession. Whether schools can actually solve such issues — or should — is questionable. But interesting report nonetheless. (HT-John Fensterwald)
  5. Speaking of new stuff, educator Kevin Washburn’s new book is out. (HT-Chad Ratliff)
  6. Matthew Ladner goes all off education and writes about the U.S. Supreme Court’s strike down of campaign finance limits on corporate donations. This could become a major factor in education, especially as the NEA and AFT have doubled the number of campaign donations raised from their rank-and-file thusfar. I’ll talk more about this and the impact of Scott Brown’s election on education reform tomorrow in The American Spectator.
  7. In the Beltway ed reform world, Big Ed Reform Andy No. 1 and Kim Smith are teaming up to form a consultancy. Rotherham’s former Education Sector colleague, Sara Mead, is joining.
  8. Outside the Beltway, L.A. Unified’s reform effort continues. Here are the collection of proposals from the charter school operators, teachers union groups and mayoral offices. Enjoy.
  9. And for some thoughts on teacher performance pay, check out Dropout Nation‘s video featuring Jason Kamras of D.C. Public Schools.

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Burning Questions In the World of School Reform


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Some things to consider this week: Why is it that Jay P. Greene, Michael Holzman, Sara Mead and Erin Dillon are the only players in school reform interested in addressing…

Burning Man

Some things to consider this week:

  1. Why is it that Jay P. Greene, Michael Holzman, Sara Mead and Erin Dillon are the only players in school reform interested in addressing the problems within America’s special education programs? Based on the evidence that school districts are essentially diverting chunks of the $11 billion in stimulus funds for such programs into regular classrooms, shouldn’t this — and the other widespread problems — be as concerning to ed reformers as the achievement gap?
  2. Will the next frontier in social entrepreneurism come in helping children and parents choose the best schools for their educational needs? Right now, this sorely-needed element in sustaining school reform remains all but ignored within the Beltway. But without such grassroots outfits — and companies providing similar information services on regional and national levels — all the progress made by the wonks will be for naught.
  3. As Democrats such as Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd head for greener pastures, will Republicans offer a compelling package of school reforms? Or could many members of the GOP find themselves teaming up with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association in opposing the reauthorization of No Child and other measures?
  4. Which city will join New York City, D.C., L.A., Milwaukee and New Orleans as the leading hotbeds for school reform activities? Indianapolis could be a possibility if Mayor Greg Ballard fully embraces predecessor Bart Peterson’s charter school mandate. But can he? Will it be Michael Jackson’s hometown, which has one of the highest concentrations of charter schools? Or could it actually be St. Louis? Your thoughts?

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Read: Weekend Watch Edition


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What’s happening in the dropout nation: – The Foundry takes aim at the opposition among some D.C. politicos to reviving the soon-to-be-shuttered D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Harry Jaffe of the…

More opportunities to learn. Photo of St. Anthony Catholic School, Washington, DC

More opportunities to learn. Photo of St. Anthony Catholic School, Washington, DC

What’s happening in the dropout nation:

The Foundry takes aim at the opposition among some D.C. politicos to reviving the soon-to-be-shuttered D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Harry Jaffe of the Washington Examiner offered his own thoughts — and gave one of the District’s city councilmen the business earlier this week. Jaffe thinks vouchers “will get funded for another five-year program.”

– Meanwhile, in The Catholic World Report, I take a look at one of the key alternatives to D.C. Public Schools: The Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic schools. Two years after Archbishop Donald Wuerhl decided to spin off several of its financially-lagging schools and convert them into charters, the proverbial Mother Church is working hard to ensure educational opportunities for its poorest families while fostering additional funding and support from the flock.

– One of the three School Reform Andys (Rotherham, in this case) and Education News Colorado take aim at the Denver school district’s decision to hire a counselor to help school board members with their marriage problems (among other personal issues). Why should the kids — half of whom are likely to never graduate — count for anything? Well, at least it isn’t all going into administrators’ salaries, as it seems to be happening in the case of Indianapolis Public Schools.

– Will the AFT embrace school reform? Based on its New York City affiliate’s response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Race to the Top efforts, keep the money off the betting line.

– In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prods the Democrat-controlled legislature to take further steps in competing for federal Race to the To funds. The president of the state’s AFT affiliate isn’t thrilled with any of it.

– In research: The Center on Education Policy surveys state government uses of federal stimulus funds for education. The conclusions are mixed.

– Joanne Jacobs takes a look at the Deloitte study on the disconnect between the expectations of high school from parents and children, and the expectations of those who teach the latter. My thoughts will come later.

– In Charleston, S.C., one school superintendent is lambasted for winning an award, one that doesn’t have to do with improving the education of the children in the district’s care.

More news coming the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile, follow Dropout Nation on Twitter for continuous news and updates.

– Parent Revolution’s Ben Austin offers his own reasons why California needs to reform public education and prepare for Race to the Top.

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