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We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers.
President Barack Obama
Election victory speech
November 7, 2012
In his victory speech Tuesday night President Obama reached out to the country to help him make the next four years a time of renewal and reaffirmation. There is no better place to launch such a shaContinue Reading »
Recently, I was at a technology conference near Phoenix and decided to drop by my old high school which I hadn’t visited since I graduated in… well, let’s just say when chalk was considered the go-to classroom technology.
Some things have changed since I graduated from Saint Mary’s, such as a new campus and fewer priests and sisters; but the culture of the school has remained the same Continue Reading »
On the surface, today’s release of the 2011 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) NAEP results reveal more of the same: math scores, in general, are up across 18 of the largest urban districts since 2009, but reading scores are flat. The data include 3 new districts, Albuquerque, Dallas, and Hillsborough County (Tampa, FL). However, there are some interesting findings within the latest TUDA reContinue Reading »
Radio station WAMU in Washington, DC, today aired the final installment of journalist Dan Charles’s impressive four-part series on a year in the life of an urban school trying to leave its dismal history behind. Listen here. Tweet Continue Reading »
Matt Yglesias makes a point that can’t be made often enough (we make it here at least once a year): when you compare urban school districts on a common measure (the NAEP) and break the numbers out by socioeconomic status, some are much better than others. Which, to my mind, suggests that it’s reasonable to focus on the school districts that are doing worse (e.g. DC) and expect that Continue Reading »
In this month’s issue of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a new study by UT-Austin professor Julian Vasquez-Heilig and Linda Darling-Hammond, “Accountability Texas-Style: The Progress and Learning of Urban Minority Students in a High-Stakes Testing Context,” revisits the Houston miracle by analyzing years of student-level test score and grContinue Reading »
This back-and-forth between James Forman and Leo Casey, picking up on the conversation Sara and I started last week on the lack of progressive solutions to dysfunctional urban school systems, includes some worthwhile posts on both sides. Leo’s distinctions between corruption, patronage, and incompetence are legit, and he’s right to disparage silver-bullet free market solutions–Continue Reading »
Over at EdWize, Peter Goodman complains that “the pathology of poverty” makes it difficult to motivate and educate kids like those on The Wire: “Poverty, the culture of the streets is not shed at the classroom door!! As teachers we can’t make the streets safer or construct better housing or more stable family life … we can only teach and nurture and care …”
WhenevContinue Reading »
After a couple of very good but not great weeks, The Wire launches into the final third of the season with a vengeance.
First, I hope the foolishness with sticking students in 90-minute test prep classes, but then turning up the heat in order to keep them docile in said classes, apparently without considering that the heat also means they’re sure not to learn whatever meager test pContinue Reading »
When I read the headline of this New York Times article (Leaving the City for the Schools, and Regretting It), I was excited – perhaps there was finally an article extolling some of the virtues of urban public schools. Yes, these schools have plenty of troubles and there are schools in NYC that any parent would run from (assuming they could), but there are also schools in NYC that provide a goContinue Reading »