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 →

¡Common Core Death Match!

Dear Common Core:
I know I’ve been ignoring you. The truth of the matter is that I’ve never been all that interested in you. In fact, there’s something about you that leaves me feeling, well, just a little bit sleepy. In other words CC—can I call you CC?—the problem isn’t you, it’s me, or at least that’s what your devoted fans are so quick to imply should my opinion shade the slightest bit critical. But I’m starting to wonder if I may have misjudged you, CC. I think we need to talk….

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Those Who Can’t, Write

What is it about New York Times columnists and education???

It’s time now for a feature in which I do something I am almost never allowed to do at home: unswizzle my wine box before noon go on and on (and on) about the latest New York Times column to work me into a lather. Today’s offender actually appeared on Saturday, which means that I have managed to hold in my rich and spicy commentary for the past two days. The author of the offending column: none other than Joe Nocera, a business columnist who has decided to turn his attention to the fiercely urgent cause of transforming teacher education. What could possibly go wrong?
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A Second is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Morgan Spurlock, of Super Size Me fame, recently visited a charter school that immerses students in engagement, much like fries are immersed in hot oil.

Reader: as we rush to train minority students for the McJobs of the future, there’s not a second to spare. That’s why I was so glad to see CNN send Morgan Spurlock, the host of The Inside Man, to an outstanding academy of excellence that has figured out how to keep students engaged, interested and stimulated—every minute of every day. And there’s more good news. Spurlock just happens to be an expert on the nation’s fast food industry—in his documentary, Super Size Me, he ate nothing but McDonald’s meals for a month and almost died. Which means that he’s uniquely equipped to judge how well a school is preparing its students for the fast-paced world of tomorrow’s workplace. Continue reading →

The Lake Wobegon Academy of Excellence and Innovation

Welcome to Lake Wobegon Academy, where every student is in the top quintile…

Reader: we have a fiercely urgent problem on our hands. An epidemic of non-excellence in our public schools is holding the children of this once exceptional nation back and causing them to fall off of the ladders that lead directly to prosperity. Of course it is well known by now that low-income students are most likely to lose their ladder perches due to this plague of non excellence but now comes new evidence that this scourge is even more widespread than originally believed. Continue reading →