Evaluate This!

Happy Accountability Day, reader! But how best to celebrate when nearly every day seems to be Accountability Day these days? In Massachusetts we like to mark the passage of a consequential day with consequences by scouring newly released teacher ratings in order to finally, FINALLY, smoke out those bad teachers. So pull up a chair and uncork the wine box—it’s time for some deep data diving. Continue reading →

End of an Error?

Can Diane Ravitch’s new book reshape the nonsensical debate about our public schools?

I first met Diane Ravitch when she was in Boston to promote her last book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System. The editor of a newspaper for AFT Massachusetts, I planned to interview Ravitch for the final issue of the school year. But I harbored a shameful secret: I hadn’t read the book. You see, “editor” doesn’t quite describe the job that I held. I was responsible for producing a monthly newspaper–entirely by myself. By the time Ravitch arrived, I was on my ninth paper of the school year, and completely fried. Continue reading →

Great EXpectations

Will the heaviest hitter of all lend His support to the civil rights i$$ue of our time?

Reader: there are already plenty of marquee names involved in the crusade to *crush* the achievement gap. But thus far the biggest name of all has yet to weigh in upon the civil rights i$$ue of our time. I am talking, of course, about the Big Guy, the Man Upstairs, Sky Daddy, Him… Thankfully, thanks to the efforts of a former Teacher for America, that may be about to change. Let’s learn more, shall we? Continue reading →

EduShyster Turns One Year Old

Well that was fast. Just a year ago I was fending off complaints on the home front that lest I rein in my constant tirades regarding the Boston Globe and its appalling coverage on all matters educational delicious meals might cease to come my way. And then it came to me: I could start a blog in hopes of finding others who were similarly appalled and thus found themselves using the word “appalled” an appalling number of times. And so it was that EduShyster was born. One hundred fifty posts and untold wine boxes later, Edushyster turns one year old on this very day. To honor this historic occasion I answer your questions—well, most of them. Continue reading →

Dogs for Excellence

The fortune that billionaire heiress Leona Helmsley left to the dogs is now funding education reform groups.

When last we encountered billionaire hotel heiress Leona Helmsley, she had ascended to the great hotel in the sky, leaving $12 million to her beloved Maltese, Trouble. In fact Helmsely loved dogs so much that she left the bulk of her fortune, now valued at between $5-$8 billion to the care and welfare of dogs. So you might be surprised to learn that these days Mrs. Helmsley’s vast fortune isn’t going to pamper pooches at all but to—drum roll please—reform our education system. That’s right Toto. You’re on your own while the Leona M. and Harry B. Charitable Trust writes checks to the tune of millions to groups like the Stand for Children Leadership Center and, my personal favorite, Educators for Excellence. Continue reading →