Joining the Foundation for Excellence in Education has been the most challenging job I’ve undertaken. My education background is in community health. But my mission here is “to ignite a movement of reform, state by state, to transform education for the 21st Century.” Obviously I had some catching up to do. My first 3 months felt as though… Continue Reading Getting judged on the job I do makes me do it better
When I was in high school, I wasn’t exactly sure what Advanced Placement courses were. All I knew was classes with “A-P” in front of them carried a level of rigor that underachievers shied away from. As a student who foolishly avoided valuable courses like the plague (i.e. math and science), I decided to hedge… Continue Reading Writer flunks AP exam
Now I understand all the protests over Oklahoma’s school grading system. It is very misleading, although not for the reasons cited by the school superintendents. The state awarded 160 schools an A and only 9 got an F? This is more than a 10-1 ratio of excellence to failure. More than 90 percent of schools… Continue Reading Ain’t schools grand in Oklahoma!
The Philadelphia school district is taking the rather unprecedented step of borrowing $300 million to stay afloat. This is akin to a starving man munching on his toes. And it is on top of $3 billion in outstanding bonds. Philadelphia is paying today’s bills by borrowing against the future. This might work if the school… Continue Reading Beg and borrow because tomorrow is another day
So the Heritage Foundation just released these fantastically illustrative charts documenting Baumol’s Disease in American K-12 education. The first shows that total employment in public schools increased by ten times more than enrollment growth, with non-teaching staff leading the way with an incredible 138% increase: You can’t hire that many non-teachers without the percentage of public school… Continue Reading Baumol’s Disease By Design (Part 4)
How appropriate that I went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios after watching the movie Won’t Back down. They turned out to be quite similar. HHN, as it is known, features a multitude of haunted houses inhabited by various monsters and demons. Won’t Back Down (WBD?) features a haunted schoolhouse presided over by a… Continue Reading Perfect for Halloween: Haunted school, zombie principal and children in peril
Thanks to leaders like Governor Bobby Jindal, Superintendent John White and state lawmakers, all low-income parents of K-12 students attending a C, D, or F school in Louisiana now have the opportunity to apply for a state-funded scholarship to attend a participating A or B public school or an approved private school.
In a recent speech in Chicago, Diane Ravitch pointed out that America has a stellar 90 percent graduation rate. She notes the dropout rate is at a historical low. She notes the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, which she calls the only valid measure of academic performance, are at their highest point in… Continue Reading Ravitch vs Ravitch
We could spend some time attempting to explain why this…
Florida will be the first state to litigate the effectiveness of education reform. State Board of Education member Roberto Martinez calls it “an exercise in futility and madness and a waste of funds.” All of which might disqualify it from other arenas, but certainly not a court of law. Opponents of education reform filed a… Continue Reading Frivolous litigation earns dunce cap