Students Say the Darndest Things

From the impact of school closures to the perils of an all-charter system, Boston students seem to know a lot more than the adult interests…  

WestieIt’s sad when adult interests decide to close schools 🙁 Which is why I took it upon myself to be the bearer of great news to the students protesting at last week’s School Committee meeting. So your old schools are going out of business. Lots of shiny high-performing seats are headed your way! And even greater, those high-performing seats turn out to be even higher performing than we thought. But there was a rub. These students turned out to be, well, educated on the topics at hand. From the impact of school closures to the perils of an all-charter school system, the students seemed to know a whole lot more than, say, this guy. What do you say we listen to them?
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Hedge Ur Bets

A Wall Street insider tells the charter school sector ‘you’re not all that’…

By Mazinger Z
Charter school proponents have been all atwitter since CREDO released an update to its landmark 2009 study comparing performance to their public schools “competition.” The press release trumpeted that in 2013, charter school students were a whole “8 days of learning in reading beyond their local peers in public schools,” and were running just about even in math. Now, an average of 4 learning days doesn’t sound like much, but if true, it would certainly be an improvement over charter schools’ below-mediocre performance in the previous 2009 study, where charter students were shown to be an average of almost 15 days behind their public school peers. Problem is, it isn’t true… Continue reading →

Putting Students First (Whether They Like It Or Not)

Why won’t these Philly students let us put them first?

Putting students first is THE civil rights issue of our time. So what to do when students don’t seem to want to be put first but instead demand to remain in their union-stifled public schools and even want to continue to be taught by their union-stifled teachers? Alas, putting students first is so fiercely urgent that we can’t afford to give students the choice of whether or not they want to be put first. These quick and easy steps will put students first—whether they like it or not. Continue reading →

A Tale of Two (Virtual) Students

What the new CREDOw report on charter school outstandingess in Massachusetts really says…

Virtual twins Chandra and Polly are exactly the same except that Chandra attends an academy of excellence and innovation while Polly goes to a union-stifled public school.

Meet virtual twins Chandra and Polly. The two share a common strand of demographic and testing DNA, but while Chandra attends a local academy of excellence and innovation, Polly whiles away her short and ineffective days at a union-stifled public school in Boston. Now, thanks to some expert data analysis (helpfully underwritten by our friends at the Walton Foundation), we can track the relative progress of these virtual twins. Will Chandra *crush* Polly on the Massachusetts high-stakes test in math or reading or in math AND reading? Does Polly even know that her teacher is a LIFO lifer who lacks the motivation to help her master 21st century skills? Continue reading →