May 18, 2018

Friday Fish Porn – Events Edition, Plus That’s Not A Stripah, It’s A Wahoo…

Ben Wallerstein is not a stranger to fish porn, he’s been featured here a few times. Here he is today with a striped bass – locally called Rockfish – from the Chesapeake Bay week before last. It’s a bruiser, it’s that time of year, and soon you will be able to catch them on the surface in crazy topwater action.

Speaking of crazy topwater action, on June 1, Whiteboard Advisors, Ben is the founder and leader of that firm (where I am a senior advisor), is hosting its annual Insider Out event in D.C. it’s a great event because it’s audience engaged and directed and always has a solid line up of panelists so that leads to real conversations.

You can learn more here.

Fish Porn? Want more? Well here are hundreds of pictures of people in and around the education sector with fish.

Also, not sure how it slipped my mind when he was announced but incoming UVA President Jim Ryan was also featured here with a stripah. He also guest blogged about one of his books but it’s Friday so today it’s fish.

Posted on May 18, 2018 @ 3:05pm

May 17, 2018

Breaking: Bill Gates Is Involved In Education, TN Testing Two-Step, Teacher Pay Bargains, Honesty Gap, Evidence, Laughing Circles, DBFS, More!

Guys, you aren’t going to believe this…Bill Gates and his wife spend a lot of money to influence education policy.

This testing story from Tennessee is pretty fantastic. You’re a state and your testing company isn’t doing a great job for you so you bring in another company to help with capacity and then – surprise! – the second company is owned by the first company. And neither company is named Pearson!

Anyway, I’m always struck how in any conversation about testing things immediately turn to Pearson – certainly a major player – but you don’t hear a lot about ETS, one of the two companies involved here or the American Institutes for Research, another major vendor.

Next time you’re tempted to dismiss bullying as just as rite of passage or something…

Rick Hess proposes a grand bargain on teacher pay. What’s sort of interesting is that to some extent this bargain is happening informally, starting pay or teachers is rising, pay is becoming (somewhat) more front loaded and retirement benefits are being curtailed. But it’s haphazard and the retirement reforms are of varying quality in terms of their utility as retirement policy – eg saving money by making it harder for new teachers to vest. BTW – All your teacher retirement questions answered here! 

This G’town study on college, careers, and earning has some valuable nuance. Achieve on the “Honesty Gap”on state assessments. Evidence and ESSA via C4C and RFA.

Start your day in a laughing circle. Reggio is hot.

Dry Branch Fire Squad.


May 15, 2018


May 14, 2018

Early Ed’s Growing Pains, School Shootings, AF Growth, Mace & College, Kirst Exit Interview, Books Behind Bars, Bears, More!

Important Sara Mead on the growing pains of the early ed movement and the leadership that’s needed to drive progress.

Kirsten Schmitz on your favorite fictional teacher’s retirement deal.  Andrew Frank on participatory budgeting.

In The 74 I ask whether scaring kids about guns is going sour their parents on gun politics – and regardless whether it’s the right thing to do.

Also in The 74, Max Marchitello wants to 2x Title I spending.

Paul Weinstein checks in on the three-year bachelor’s degree idea we’ve discussed around here from time to time.

Alex Hernandez with a three-part look at Achievement First’s story.

This is really not a good look for the Broward County Schools in Florida. And behind the inspiring story of civic activism by the students there is a second story of frustrated parents and students that is not getting the same level of attention. Meanwhile, in our part of the sector, based on incomplete (and now changing) information everyone seems to have a firm opinion about what did or didn’t happen there before the shooting. Also not a good look.

How a keychain mace can keep you out of college, via Ed Navigator.

Keep an eye on this Texas teacher lawsuit.

Another piece of CW debunked. Superintendents stay on the job longer than you probably think.

This Mike Kirst exit interview is a must-read.

Noam Scheiber on the strong union / weak union question.

“Books Behind Bars” on Today. New documentary film coming on this very cool initiative.

This EP event on the future of education in DC looks fantastic.

Also in DC, this is happening. Well…

Only a smeared paw print and icing left behind…  “The more he grew the more like a bear he looked…” Related: bear jail.


School Shootings: Is Scaring The Kids Really A Good Strategy?

A recent Pew survey showed how scared kids are about the possibility of gun violence at their school. Political operatives hailed it, gun control advocates equated it with engagement, and too many educators did the same. But wait, what? Kids being scared isn’t civic engagement, it’s a problem. And one educators and any responsible adult should seek to do something about. I take a look at that today in The 74:

Gun violence is a real problem in American society at large and in our schools. Even in the context of the hundreds of millions of students who have passed through our schools since 1999, most people would agree that more than 200 deaths from gunfire in American schools since Columbine is unacceptable.

For parents, school shootings are especially terrifying and play to our most basic fears about our children. But hard as it may be, given the emotions bound up in an issue like this, our desire to do something about school shootings must be balanced with other imperatives. First, we’re talking about and with young people, and we should endeavor not to make them needlessly fearful. And second, while indescribably horrific, school shootings and especially mass shootings are very low-probability events. That’s not an argument for doing nothing. It’s an argument for appropriately calibrating our response where kids are concerned. And right now, we’re not…

Click through for the entire thing here.

Posted on May 14, 2018 @ 8:09am

May 10, 2018

Edujob: Director of Research Partnerships Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa

Here is a really interesting edujob from Oklahoma:

The Director of Research Partnerships will play a key role in shaping, managing and communicating the evaluation of the Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa. This person will report to the managing director of BEST and will manage key relationships, including those with BEST research and evaluation partners and a research and evaluation advisory group.

You can learn more and apply here. 


May 9, 2018

New Analysis: Why Do D.C. Teachers Leave?

Everyone has an opinion about why teachers leave D.C. schools – usually based on some weaponized anecdote or something “everyone knows.” Bellwether’s Kaitlin Pennington and Alexander Brand decided instead to take a look at actual exit interview data with DCPS teachers who left the field (and were not retiring or moving away, in other words, teachers the city could have retained). Here’s what they found.

And more here via Ahead of the Heard.


May 7, 2018


Guns And Schools, School Safety, Parkland Discipline And More! Plus – Are The Strikes Overplaying Their Hand, No Roadshow For Impact, More!

Bonnie O’Keefe and Aara Johnson in the MinnPost on multilingual ed.

In The 74 Drew Pache and I look at school safety and what schools can do to to improve security without terrifying kids or turning schools into bunkers.

Not a lot of enthusiasm for arming teachers. Revisiting the 1982 Lake Braddock school shooter episode in Virginia.

From Florida it turns out the Parkland shooter was involved in a controversial discipline program. School district shared that news over the weekend.

Millionaire secretary leaving a fortune to help students.

We’ve talked about how the teacher strikes are a pretty smart political strategy – until they overplay their hand. Rick Hess thinks that’s happening.

Trump – DeVos creating political headwinds for school choice but not as dramatic as some feared.

But in Ohio the Republican Party’s fealty to ECOT, a set of schools with some serious deficiencies might do them in reports 74.

Great moments in school leadership. This is unusual, most sup’ts don’t actually behave like their s**t doesn’t’ stink. Great moments in PTA work.

The rhetoric about IMPACT in DC is at odds with the evidence in a bunch of ways (look for something on that from Bellwether later this week). But that rhetoric keeps the idea from traveling. Jason Kamras says it’s not coming to Richmond. 

I don’t trust “Project Veritas” as far as I can throw them given their past work (and if they’re journalists then it means I’m an astronaut because I have some space memorabilia in my home office), but regardless of all that, this is still not a good look and can’t just be shrugged off as editing tricks. It’s probably indicative of why there is legal wrangling between teachers union leaders and Project Veritas in a few places over releasing videos like this. (Also, everyone in the ed game knows this stuff is a problem, but most are too scared to say so and/or do the difficult work of balancing legitimate due process concerns with a big step forward here. You know, kids first and all that.)

Charles Steger has passed. Washington Post obit of Ron Wolk, well worth checking out.

Tech will save us…


School Safety Without Scaring The Kids

In The 74 Drew Pache and I look at school security and safety strategies that don’t involve getting students overly anxious about gun violence.

Whether by design to spin up parents about guns and electoral politics or because of a lack of expertise in security, districts are responding to concerns about school shootings with measures that, however well-meaning, are doing more to scare kids than genuinely protect them.

Some of what we write about is just good education policy (small schools and more/better counselors) and some is security. You can read the entire column right here.