Diane Ravitch And Leonie Haimson Discuss Education Reform

Obama Defends Sweeping Education Reforms in Face of Criticism from Minority and Teachers’ Groups

President Obama took on critics of his administration’s sweeping education reform plan on Thursday in a nearly hour-long speech at the National Urban League’s 100th anniversary convention. His address came on the heels of news that New York public school students are not performing nearly as well as prior state tests had revealed. We speak with Diane Ravitch, the former Assistant Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush, and Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters.

Get TFT's End Poverty Chiclet

I read lots of edublogs. I comment on many of them. I constantly hear about how teachers and schools are the problem. They are not the problem, they are a symptom.

The problem is POVERTY.

Get your chiclet now!

End Poverty

You can find the code on my new chiclet page (this blogger page thing is cool).


Jerry and The Boyz (For Althea)

In this video we have the Grateful Dead performing Cassidy.

Cassidy, as you may or may not know, is based on a couple things (the link is an explanation of the song by none other than John Perry Barlow, co-writer of the tune and co-founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation), one of which is Neal Cassady, real dude and Merry Prankster, and the bus driver who took many further than they expected to go; Neal Cassady was also Jack Kerouac's muse for Dean Moriarty.

Double Bonus Friday Bonus Cartoon Bonus Fun: Victory! Edition

Bonus Friday Bonus Cartoon Bonus Fun: Nice Try, Charlie Edition

Friday Bonus Cartoon Bonus Fun: Feed Your Pig Edition

Friday Bonus Cartoon Fun: Sailing Away Edition

Friday Cartoon Fun: Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers Edition

Joe Bageant On Liberalism

From Joe Bageant


"Where Did the Money to Rebuild Iraq Go?"

How Michelle Rhee Ruined People's Livelihoods

You know that controversy over Michelle Rhee's firing of all those DCPS teachers recently using the new IMPACT evaluation system? Oh, it was statistically unsound. Like, insanely unsound:
...Subtracting one score from another only makes sense if the two scores are on the same scale. We wouldn’t, for example, subtract 448 apples from 535 oranges and expect an interpretable result. But that’s exactly what the DC value-added approach is doing: Subtracting values from scales that aren’t comparable...
...Did DCPS completely botch the calculation of value-added scores for teachers, and then use these erroneous scores to justify firing 26 teachers and lay the groundwork for firing hundreds more next year?

According to the only published account of how these scores were calculated, the answer, shockingly, is yes.
The Answer Sheet

Wednesday Cartoon Fun: Knowledge Is Power Edition

Another Reason To Eat The Rich: Merchant Fees, Updated

Merchant fees and reward programs generate an implicit monetary transfer to credit card users from non-card (or “cash”) users because merchants generally do not set differential prices for card users to recoup the costs of fees and rewards. On average, each cash-using household [poor people without credit] pays $151 to card-using households [well-off people with good credit] and each card-using household receives $1,482 from cash users every year. Because credit card spending and rewards are positively correlated with household income, the payment instrument transfer also induces a regressive transfer from low-income to high-income households in general. On average, and after accounting for rewards paid to households by banks, the lowest-income household ($20,000 or less annually) pays $23 and the highest-income household ($150,000 or more annually) receives $756 every year. We build and calibrate a model of consumer payment choice to compute the effects of merchant fees and card rewards on consumer welfare. Reducing merchant fees and card rewards would likely increase consumer welfare.
Public Policy Discussion Papers

Update: A nice little graphic... (h/t MY)


Race To The Top And Other Horrors Of The Reform Agenda

I am not going to give a list of finalists for the RTTT nonsense because it turns my stomach.

I also don't want to hear from any more TFA grads that they are committed to education.

Nor do I want to hear from Arne Duncan about how poverty is going to be ignored by this administration.

I don't want to see public schools turned into marketplaces either, especially for those inclined to call themselves "Education Entrepreneurs."

Poverty is the disease.  Public schools do not have the cure; they are a symptom.


Monday Cartoon Fun: Spies-R-Us Edition

I'll Be Guest Blogging At OpenLeft.com Sunday

At 11am (pacific time) this Sunday (tomorrow 7/25/10) I will be guest blogging at OpenLeft.com.  I was invited  by jeffbinnc so he could provide more "teacher voices" in their education diary.

I will be there to respond to any comments.

When it is up I will post the link here. (link updated.  oops)

Come say hi!


A Civil Rights Framework For EASA

Civil Rights Framework-FINAL 7-21-10

h/t Diane Ravitch

Poverty And Evolutionary Theory

From New Scientist:
Evolutionary theory predicts that if you are a mammal growing up in a harsh, unpredictable environment where you are susceptible to disease and might die young, then you should follow a "fast" reproductive strategy - grow up quickly, and have offspring early and close together so you can ensure leaving some viable progeny before you become ill or die. For a range of animal species there is evidence that this does happen. Now research suggests that humans are no exception.
h/t 3QD

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