All the Education Links You Could Ever Want

For the insatiable link-lovers out there, there are several ways of making sure that you haven't "missed anything" each week, without having to spend an inordinate amount of time searching the Web.

As many know, there are two or three places to get lots of education links every day, including EducationNews.org, Education Week's Daily News, and Stateline.org's daily list of education news. You can also sign up for daily emails from the ASCD SmartBrief, ECS E-Clips, District Administration magazine, and others. EducationNews and the SmartBrief are my favorites, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. Why not sign up for them all?

For weekly news, there's the Gadfly, the PEN NewsBlast, and even Google News, which can be set up to send you a weekly email of links customized to your interests. Don't forget Education Week, which puts out a ton of high-quality news each week. Biweekly, PPIOnline.org puts out its own roundup, though the arrival of Eduwonk seems to have made it irrelevant.

To track blogs and other sites that might slip through the tracks, one of the newer and easier ways of keeping afloat is to set up a free account at Bloglines.com and get "webfeeds" (headlines of new stories) from most of your favorite sites, collected and delivered to you in one easy place. It's like having your own customized version of the web come to you. I highly recommend it. Email me and I'll tell you how to do it and send you my bloglines list so you don't have to start from scratch.

That's it. All the education links you could ever want, and way more content than you could ever hope to read through.

A Summer Haircut for "This Week In Education" (Blog News)

Like many, I enjoy the look and feel of a good summer haircut once the weather heats up and school is out. The shorter hair is usually cooler and easier to deal with, and the change of looks signals the new season. In that spirit, "This Week In Education" is getting its own summer buzz: a few changes that I am hoping will make the site cooler and easier to deal with for everyone.

The main change, as you will see, is that I am going to take some time off from trying to make the site the broad, near-comprehensive collection of education articles and reports that it has become.
Despite high tech tricks and the great work being done by others to make education links available in other forms, pulling the links together each week was burdensome and not always rewarding. Lots of readers found that the number of links and categories was getting overwhelming. Others missed the commentary and context that had been pushed out by the influx of links.

The need for a good site that gathers and contextualizes education stories by topic (rather than publication date or publication) remains, but for now at least that is a need that is going to have to remain unfilled -- by me, at least. I'll post something separately about how to make sure you haven't missed anything. In the meantime, look for more commentary and context from me (and fewer links) over the summer months.


Calling Out EdWeek and the WashPost

Also worth noting is EdWeek's announcement that they are going to start charging for online services, first brought to my attention by Jimmy K at EducationNews.org: "Truly amazing with a large staff, foundation funding and fee-based subscription high priced ads and they need more money to operate!"

Well, not truly amazing, but a little sad.

Jimmy also calls the WashPost out for its "reluctance to properly cover the failures in public education [that] may be tied to their own investment interests." In particular, Kilpatrick points to the Post's stories on tutoring (Learning About the Learning Centers, andFor Some, Learning Centers Make the Grade) which dont cop to owning Kumon, Sylvan, Huntington and Score!

Maybe some real education journalists can shed some light on this?

6/24 UPDATE: Apparently Jimmy K was incorrect about the article and it does disclose its holdings. His site reflects the correction, and now mine does too.

6/27 UPDATE: Jeanne from EdWeek responds below.

When Celebrities Attack: Eggers Enters the Teacher Salary Debate (Late)

It's frequently embarassing when celebrity amateurs try and get involved on substantive policy issues (think Sting and Brad Pitt talking about the saving the Amazon and ending world hunger), and rarely enlightening or productive when they do (Bono & 3rd world debt relief might be an exception). You've got to admire them for their willingness to use their celebrity, but...

This is what comes to mind reading Dave Eggers et al's opinion piece in Monday's NYT: Opinion: Reading, Writing, Retailing, which laments the fact that teachers' salaries are so low they have to work at Circuit City over the summer (if not during the year). To be sure, Eggars is a smart guy and a good writer. He also has a tutoring program called 826 Valencia that has gotten a lot of favorable press.

But there's nothing in the piece we don't already know (besides a half-baked proposal that school districts should use their bonding power to pay teachers more), and -- pet peeve alert -- Eggers falls prey to using the tired and inaccurate argument that insufficient funding for NCLB is responsible for low teacher salaries.

It's a shame, because there's so much more that's going on in the world of education and teaching - districts training their own teachers rather than getting them from ed schools, polls showing teachers and the public have very different ideas about what's possible, lots of new attention on teacher retention and hard to staff schools. Across the board raises for teachers are off the table politically, practically, and financially. They may not even be good policy. But Eggers doesn't acknowledge any of this.

In the end, the piece comes off as nothing more than an infomercial for Eggers and a new book about -- yawn -- the sacrifices teachers make. Thanks, Dave.


The Best of a Bad Week (Best of the Week)

Low-Performing Lawmakers and Hard To Staff Laws (NCLB News)

Mixed progress on NCLB II (high school reform)
On the NCLB expansion (high school) front, things aren't looking so good in the House despite recent steps taken by some states to get into the high school reform game:
House turns down NCLB expansion EW
Cuts for NCLB? NSBA
New Report Examines Local Impact of High School Exit Exams EW
A conversation with... Jack Jennings
Poll finds support for HS changes EW

Threats and TLC in the States

Out in the states, CT says it's still suing despite having lost momentum (and new flexibility helping out a few states like VA and MD)
Conn. Attorney General Says NCLB Lawsuit Still A Go
Ct’s Sternberg on Fixing NCLB EW
Complaint Filed Against Reading Initiative EW
Laws test states rights Deseret News
Va., Md. Get Slack On 'No Child' Rules WashPost

State Innovation Award Winners ECS

Changed deadlines, changed standards:
Harvard study says more schools fail AJC
REBUTTAL: Don't kill the messenger Achievement Alliance PDF

Panel urges new measures WashPost
Deadline extended for teacher aides
Paraprofessionals To Get Extra Semester to Show Qualifications
Limited-English schoolkids get a break on testing
State testing of ELLs scrutinized EW

Low-performing schools and districts:
Staffing low-performing schools LFA via PEN
Turnaround schools Educational Leadership
Proposal would reduce schools' self-rule Seattle Times
Pulling together for neediest students NSBA
State Board Makes Rules for Failing Schools Ledger
East P.A. students' work pays off with college nods SJMerc

Changing The School Culture At One Cal Jr High Wonks

One School Lifted Scores Despite Changing Faces WashPost

Why Reading Teachers Can't Teach Children to Read WrightsLaw

Dysfunctional Urban School Districts

Ed School Heat Wave (Teacher Preparation)

What a week it's been for teacher prep.

For starters, the big AERA report comes out: Little Evidence to Back Teacher Ed. PracticesEW, Challenge to Teacher Ed Inside Higher ED
, The Report of the AERA Panel on Research and Teacher Education AERA, What They Don’t Know Inside Higher Ed).

Then it seems like all sorts of other folks like reading czar Reid Lyon and star chamber Haberman arewanting in on the teacher prep game (
Lyon takes a bite out of Education Mediocrity, Lyon into the lion’s den Gadfly, Proposal to school districts and corporate America
The Haberman Corporate Network for School Leaders).

Then in Washington the HEA hearings start up again -- not always a comfy time for teacher prep programs: Playing Offense, Not Defense Inside Higher Ed

Best of the rest:
New teachers take alt. routes WT via Gadfly

Personal politics of teacher cert AEI PDF via PPI
Va. alters test for teacher licensing WashPost

The Tutoring Tango (NCLB News)

On a day to day basis, NCLB tutoring seems to be the most irksome of many irksome requirements for big city administrators. The other things like AYP only come around every so often, and don't really cost that much if you don't count the perceptions thing. But SES tutoring is a steady drip drip drip of money and pride slipping through your hands every day, plus some legitimate questions about whether they do it any better than you do.

Guide Seeks New Clarity on Tutoring EW
300,000 Kids Qualify for Free Tutoring LAT
More states are investigating tutor regulations BoardBuzz
Murky waters of SES Gadfly
State looks closely at tutoring
IL tightens SES policies EW
Where does the money go? EPSL Gerry Bracey

Education department offers tutoring guidance EW

Districts offer online summer courses EW
Religious Groups Jump at Chance to Offer NCLB Tutoring EW

Now if there was only as much interest and energy around the choice provision. We might have to wait for 2007 or more voucher demos for that one: 'No Child' provisions lagging in region PhilInq

Tenure, Alt Cert, and Young-Adult Fiction (Teaching and Leading)

Gunning for the Puzzle Title Wired
New battle lines on tenure CSM
Midcareer teachers get passing marks
The problem with "problem" young-adult fiction Slate
Union woos teachers at charter schools


Achieving 'Success at Scale'
A new principal for ‘Hippie High” WashPost

Best of the Rest:

School district hopes to flush bad restrooms
How I taught myself to teach TC Record
MetLife survey of America’s teachers MetLife PDF
Multiple Intelligences after 20 years TC Record
Living in One Town, Learning in Another
Calls to commend teachers - with cash CSM
Houston's attempt to revive merit pay NCTQ
Many voters frustrated over tenure for teachers SFGate

Just what is alt cert these days, anyway? NCTQ
New Teacher Project leaves NO Times Picayune
Housing Costs Pushing Teachers Far From School
Coping with the Difficulties of Change
'Gifted' Label Comes With Baggage

Forces behind history mandate
The homework wars
Going portfolio
The Long View on Teacher Blogging
Blogging in the Classroom

Special Ed Regs On The Move

Scintillating summer reading: Proposed IDEA regs BoardBuzz
Parents eager to shape special-ed guidelines Tenneassean

IDEA 2004 Reformats Regs - and Why
"The original publication issued by the U. S. Department of Education, in advance of the official release and publication in the Federal Register, included a discussion and explanation about the proposed changes, in addition to the proposed regulations. For example in original publication, the first proposed regulation, 34 C.F.R. § 300.1, Purposes, does not appear until page 301. To make the regulations more accessible, we reformatted the original document into two shorter files:
Proposed IDEA Regulations (97 pages) ,Explanations & Commentary (65 pages)."

Preschool Saves The World

You know I'm a big fan of pre-K stuff, so you can imagine how the following headline took my breath away with its audacity and timeliness:

Can preschool save Social Security? WestEd.

What next? Preschool saves the Bolton nomination. Preschool saves the European Union. Preschool saves soldier from roadside IED. Preschool saves Mayor Daley from mounting corruption scandals. The list goes on and on.

Back in the real world, in which preschool is merely under-covered and potentially powerful, but not in an all-powerful kind of way:

Using community-based child care to provide pre-K CLASP via PEN

Report: Head Start has some benefits CNN.com

Pre-K qualification stats don't add up to success
FL pre-K off to bumpy start Miami Herald
Sara Mead: Slayer Of Straw-Men!
Preschools' advantages touted Stateline.org

Hot Time In The City (New York NY)

What Was Vallas Thinking? (Chicago IL)

Partnership schools starting over.
The jig was supposed to be up after this second year (one under Lynch, the other under Stewart), but Stewart seems to have won a reprieve for them: Plan sees Fresh Start for 10 schools Chicago Sun-Times, Schools, teachers union to let 10 sites start anew Tribune.

While we're on the subject of special-category schools:
Next Ren10 proposals due 8/18 Friday Fax
The Helen DeBerry Story: Was Success Punished? EdWonks
New Schools for Chicago Website Now Online T&L
Chicago’s thoughtful charter schools EW

Softer standards, fewer summer school kids?

Record few must attend summer school Southtown

Record few students here must attend summer school CST

Retention threat sways students Boston Globe

Softer standards, II

Special ed quote criticized Tribune
Limited-English schoolkids get a break on testing CST
Reading test may get easier to pass Trib

What was Vallas thinking?
It was an amazingly ill-considered and brief waste of whatever remaining political capital he has left. First, Vallas and his brother float that he might in some sort of reverse carpetbagging play come back for another try at the Governor's mansion (His eye on politics, Vallas files for Illinoisresidency PhilInq, Where does Vallas live Southtown). Not that the current Gov. doesn't deserve some opposition. But then it's all over in an instant: Vallas says he won't challenge governor Tribune.

Best of the Rest

State revives writing exam Tribune
Educators, legs join re achievement gap CST
Suspended principal quits job Tribune
9th grade Fs lead to dropouts CSTA report card for CPS WBEZ
Saving Pablo Casals WBEZ
Limos for 8th graders Tribune
State looks closely at tutoring Tribune
Getting to class a crosstown treck Tribune
Chicago-to-Indiana migration puts strain on schools IndyStar


AltWeekly Award Winners on Education

There are a handful of education stories in this year's AltWeekly award winners that most of us probably never saw, including on column that mocks home schoolers who want to play sports (If a Kid Doesn't Go to High School Tucson Weekly), and an expose on school building corruption (School Bucks" (PDF file) New Haven Advocate).

There's also a whole education awards section for bigger and smaller alts:

First Place: "Command Performance," Parts 1 and 2
Colorado Springs Independent

Second Place: "Why Luis Can Read"
New Haven Advocate

Third Place: "No Soldier Left Behind"
Santa Fe Reporter

Honorable Mention: "School or Scam?"
Arkansas Times

First Place: "Flawed Priorities"
Creative Loafing (Charlotte)

Second Place: "The Girl in the Bathroom"
The Pitch

Third Place: "HCCS's Gift Basket Bonanza"
Houston Press

Honorable Mention: "School of Life"
Metro Times

For the whole shebang: AltWeekly award winners 2005

More Coverage of Pre-K Needed

For my money, the big news about education coverage is the Hechinger Institute report on how lame we all are (collectively) at covering early childhood education, especially if it's not provided in schools (as most of it isn't). It's low-status education, to be sure, and maybe similarly low-status among editors and thus reporters, but it's good stuff and we should all do better: Newspapers Neglect Pre-Kindergarten (Hechinger Institute).

Skipping Breakfast, No More Mugs, and More (School Life)

Not much school life news the past couple of weeks, though Slate takes on the notion that breakfast is good for you (The case against breakfast), the BBC and others find that parents don't pay attention to video game ratings Parents 'ignore game age ratings'), and teachers beg for a little imagination when it comes to end of year gifts: Teacher gifts: No more mugs, please WashPost

Two conspiracy theories -- first that coffee increases student loans (Today’s coffee, tomorrow’s debt WashPost via Constrained), and second that the DoD is after your kids (
Pentagon recruiting kids with mass data mining scheme Register). It's not a conspiracy theory if they're really after you.


EduSpeak of the Week

I've been at a couple of conferences the past couple of weeks and realized that there are some new terms out there. (Or at least they're new to me.):

“I’d like to push back a little about what you said…”
(Translation: I disagree somewhat or entirely but I'm going to to put it in a nonconfrontational new-age way.)

“What really resonated with me about what you said…”
(Translation: I agree a little or a lot, and I may be about to tell you about a personal experience that I or someone I know has had that sort of relates.)

“Let’s drill down a little…”
(Translation: I’m going to use a fancy term to say what comes next or what’s the next level of complexity, and perhaps then you’ll think I’m smart.)

"Hard to staff school"
(Translation: A newish term for low performing schools that is helpful in the sense that it focuses on one of the key attributes (quality teachers) that are needed, but leaves out the factors that make the schools hard to staff.)

Check yourself if you’ve said one or more of the following during the past week. (Check yourself hard if you’ve used one or more several times.)


Veggie Booty, Reading First, Wal-Mart Smarts, and Voucher Moms (National News)

End of year goodies:

The Woolworth Card New Urban Legends

Bootylicious: Veggie Booty Salon
capuchin monkeys Arts&Letters Daily
Student discovers calculator flaw CNN
From pizza to pita CNN

Reading First, pro and con:

Issues to Watch in Reading First

States Report Reading First Yielding Gains

National Reading Czar to Leave

Preschool/Head Start, pro and con:

Association Approves New Standards for Preschools EW
Pre-K plan may have a big flaw Herald Tribune

Amid Criticism, Director of Head Start Steps Down

Head Start study finds limited effects
Head Start Children Show Gains in Reading but Not in Math

Scary Preschool Utopia

Stunning findings about pre-school programs

Pre-K plan may have a big flaw Herald Tribune

School leadership, big and small:

Ed board could use some Wal-Mart smarts LAT
A peek at principal selection Chicago Journal

More choice, or not so much?

The shape of things to come Gadfly
School Choice Loses Legislative Momentum
Florida Supreme Court Takes Up Vouchers
Mother Fights to Keep Voucher Enrollment
Being Selective With Public Money
SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT Wall Street Journal

Bias in the classroom?

Conservatives see liberal bias in class CSM
Gay Rights Battlefields Spread to Public Schools NYT

School equity news:

Lawyer in School Funds Leaving for Wider Role NYT

Myths, Progress, and Early 05 Results (NCLB News)

Myth: Schools can’t get credit for progress AchAll
NCLB lawsuit update BoardBuzz
NCLB is starting to work
New York Daily News
'Old schoolmarm' now facing a new test
AFT Sees Danger in NEA's NCLB Lawsuit EIA
Why the Public Is Losing Faith EW

In the states:

Md. schools show gains on test scores WashPost
Education chief values 'results'
In Virginia, Reopening the Gap WashPost
Sunshine State? Eduwonk
New test formula snubs many minorities' PB Post
A schools leave children behind St Pete Times
Education on the upswing AJC
One-third More Schools Rated as Failing IJS
‘Seek Simplicity . . . and Distrust It’
Rural Schools Struggle to Find Tutors Bismarck Tribune
City working to take over 4 schools NOLA

Conn. Board Delays Action on Suit
‘Much Ado About Teaching’ EW
Colorado board takes steps to target gap Rocky Mtn News
NCLB in the woods San Diego Union Tribune
No Child Left Behind,' But Physical Activity May Suffer Forbes
This Is an Exit Worth Taking LAT

Questions on both sides about accountability:

Public Schools Hate Parents LewRockwell.com
How Schools Cheat Reason Magazine
A Report Card With Rare Meaning WashPost

Literacy, Gangs, and Mandated African History (Urban Education)

Literacy efforts, adolescent and otherwise:

DPS literacy efforts stymied Denver Post
Making room for literacy in secondary education WestEd via PEN

Schools' focus on reading pays off Chicago Tribune
Addressing the adolescent reading problem N2P

Gangs, violence, and expulsions:

Gang watch in schools: Who's in, who's not? Sacramento Bee
Large, High-Poverty Schools Most Likely to Expel Education News
Youth violence draws Senate's eye Inquirer
CMS: More trouble than reported Charlotte Observer

Best of the Rest:

School Policy in New Jersey to Take Junk Off Lunch Tray NYT
What minority parents want N2P

Progressive urban politics and education Constrained

Students get say on new schools Inquirer
Phila. school mandate: African history Inquirer

Teaching the Homeless, and Fighting a Trend

Listen to parents, Mr. Janey Washington Times
Study on Special Education Finds Low Graduation Rate
L.A. Unified Faces More Cuts to Balance Budget LAT

And more:

Kids' mental health tests slammed
Chicago Tribune
Advertising In Textbooks T&L
More Hooey About School Enrollment

Grow Your Own in LA, Rubber Rooms in NYC, and Teaching Chinese in Boston (Teaching and Leading)

Lots on teacher training & evaluation this week, including grow your own in LA and value-added in NYC and all sorts of other ideas good and bad in between:

Paving the Way for Teaching LAT via Edutopia
Test Scores to Be Used to Analyze Schools' Roles NYT
Public Supports Higher Wages, Better Training for Teachers EW
Teacher Evaluation Gets Test Run in Del. DelawareOnline.com
Bill Proposed to Boost Highly Qualified Teachers
Teaching Quality in Higher Ed TLN

Teachers may need to pass video test Stateline.org

The politics of teacher licensure JTE via NCTQ

Teacher Education Homing In on Content EW

Merit plan gets warm reception in Senate Finance Nevada Appeal
may try performance bonuses Houston Chronicle
House, Senate trade blame Dallas News via NCTQ

Policymakers, Researchers Champion TQ
EDPolicy Update
Highly Qualified Teachers: Supply And Demand The Wonks

Teachers and money -- always a controversial issue:

New York's $20 Million Rubber Room
Paid to do nothing
Newsday via NCTQ
6-Figure Salaries? To Many Teachers, a Matter of Course NYT

Teachers Pack the Garden to Demand a City Contract NYT

New Leaders, New Schools Venture Fund:

‘New Leaders’ Gets Support EW
New Leader At New Schools (Venture Fund) Eduwonk

Last but not least, some curriculum/classroom clips:

Elementary schools offer Chinese courses
Boston Globe
"Science Guy" returns with new show
Associated Press
Learning Shifts From Basics to Analysis WashPost

Diversity tints new kind of generation gap USAT
Va. Student Prompts Calculator Recall WashPost

Activists mobilize to counter classroom bias
Financial Aid Rules for College Change
Online students not taking state tests
Cincinnati Enquirer
In case of emergency, play video game CSM
Thinking about Grading TLN

You deserve to get all As Arts&Letters Daily

A Year of Passage Washington Post