Will the Gopher State Go Tenure Free?

Will Minnesota be the snow-covered setting for Vergara 2.0?

By Sarah Lahm, EduShyster Academy 
gopher stateNerves are on edge here in the Gopher State, as a question deep as the looming snow fall hangs in our reform-scented air: Will we, or won’t we? As in, will Minnesota, or won’t Minnesota be chosen as the next battleground in the fight to rout out *grossly ineffective* teachers, a la California’s Vergara decision? Intrigue, already piqued, piqued up further recently when Marcellus McRae, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the Vergara case and a member of the White Collar Defense club at the LA law offices of Gibson Dunn, made a special pilgrimage to the Twin Cities. Continue reading →

Putting the PR in Student Power

A student group with some unusual connections *schools* reporter Sarah Lahm.

student powerBy Sarah Lahm,
EduShyster Academy
I don’t know about you, but when I was in college (#darkages), being part of a *student-led* group meant sitting around in someone’s dank dorm room, plotting how to get to the nearest town to buy beer. Oh, and one time, some of us wild and crazy know-it-alls actually wrote an editorial about a certain professor, who insisted on grading us according to a rigid numerical scale. 

Now, of course, we would recognize him as a data-driven genius, but back then, assigning numbers to students was considered reductive and demeaning. But I digress. Today’s young go-getters would never stand for such meek and minimal *student-led* activities. No, no, no. Today’s social-justice infused future transformational leaders have recognized that no one gets anywhere without a whole lotta spin control, and I’m not talking about the laundry. Here’s how I got schooled… Continue reading →

The Credibility Gap

What if the *solution* turns out to be a big part of the problem?

credibility gapBy Sarah Lahm
Friends, we have a problem on our hands. It turns out that experienced teachers—otherwise known as LIFO lifers—may not be causing the chasm of the achievement gap all by their lazy little selves. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself at this point: *color me confused.* After all, everyone who is anyone has been telling us for about as long as we can remember now that there is a money-back guaranteed way to boost all children up, no matter their zip code or lack thereof: de-tenurize teachers and take their golden *seniority* tickets while we’re at it.  Continue reading →

A Buffet of Excellence

Michelle Rhee and company serve up heaping helpings of some familiar fare

By Sarah Lahm
Michelle Rhee and her cavalry of status quo blasters recently braved the frigid Minnesota winter to present a veritable buffet of warmed-over ideas for boosting our sad, slumping schools and closing our many cavern-sized gaps. From *grit* and *rigor* to healthy portions of data consumed throughout the day to helpful tips on avoiding the unpleasant taste of *corporate education reform,* it was familiar fare—and there was plenty of it. Here’s a taste.

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The White Choice

A growing number of choosy choosers are choosing the white choice for their children

It’s hard to believe but National School Choice Week is here again. This year’s choicetacular celebration started off with a bang—make that a bell—as students from Newark Prep Charter School, operated by K12 (NYSE: LRN), rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell, signaling the dawning of a new era of investing in student futures. But hark! Could those be dark clouds threatening our bright yellow choice-filled future??? Continue reading →