At National Charter Conference, the Numbers Add Up

Except for the ones that don’t…

numbers*The numbers add up.* That was the theme of this year’s National Alliance for Public Charter Schools conference in Las Vegas, an event that drew me like a moth to a high-performing flame. The numbers that add up, of course, are the growing number of charter schools, their students, and their scores (their scores!), not to mention the swelling ranks of advocates, politicians, actors, TV news personalities, pollsters and [insert unlikely charter supporter here] that have leaped aboard the charter express, now headed direct to achievementville. But what of the lesser numbers—the ones that are, well, less than prime—and hence, don’t quite add up?  Was there anyone who would speak for them? 

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Cristal Ball

A look ahead at some of the trendiest trends of 2014…

Why it seems like only yesterday that we were All Hailing the EduPreneur, raising our wassail boxes to his (and her) unique ability to *do well* by *doing good.* So what does 2014 have in store for us? Will it be as disruptive, innovative and excellent as its predecessor, or will it be even more disruptive, innovative and excellent? What new jargon will climb to the very top of our *must spout* list? And how much leftover wassail will it take before we all forget that 2014 was supposed to be the year of universal proficiency? Here’s a peek… Continue reading →

Go 2 the Head of the Class War

Reader: ever since I heard economist Tyler Cowen being interviewed on NPR this week about the charred hellscape that is our immediate future, I have been in something of a state. You see, Cowen, whose new book is entitled Average is Over, says that not only is staggering income inequality here to stay, but that most of us can look forward to subsisting on cat food and nettles while a few wired creative types and their hipster underlings lord it over us. Continue reading →

Eavesdropping on the Future of Education Reform

The overheard item below from a young woman about to embark on an exciting career at an “education reform company” in New York’s Financial District prompted additional snippets from readers. Here’s one from a reader who couldn’t help but overhear this principal of a charter school while waiting in line at an upscale food shop in Brooklyn.

Scene: a gourmet food shop in Brooklyn. A young, attractive and quite agitated woman is complaining that the teachers at the charter school she runs want to form a union.  “Here’s what gets me,” she said. “They keep saying they want to have a voice. But they have a voice! Why do they need to go off and have all these secret meetings?”


My new job is with an education reform company which is like so cutting edge, and the office is like totally moving to the Financial District. How cool is that?

Scene: Coffee shop in the East Village. A 20 something shares the exciting news about her new job with a friend. Hat tip to @MickPaddyMack for passing this along.

“They’re like an Educational Reform company…? And like their headquarters are in Borough Hall? But, like, they’re totally moving to the Financial District! And like they’re totally on the cusp of educational reform which is gonna be like HUGE? So, like, NOW’S the time to get in, because like Google just started funding them?

And, like, the schools they’re working in?….are in like Harlem and, like, way out in, I dunno, like, the Bronx and Queens? But, like, my office would totally be in the Financial District!  I’m like so excited?”

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