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Coldplay In The Quad - Locke May 2009

I think the song is called "Clocks."
Deandre Hogan
Angel Gamez




We've Moved Around The Corner

OK, I guess it's time to get out of here and move over to the new site at EdWeek.org.

You can find it here, or at "http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek"

My favorite part of the new digs so far? The EdWeek disclaimer:

"The opinions expressed in This Week in Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications."

Don't Forget The Teachers, Says LDH

"Whatever one thinks about the 5-year-old federal law," writes Linda Darling-Hammond about NCLB in a commentary from this week's EdWeek (A Marshall Plan for Teaching), "it’s clear that developing more-skillful teaching is a sine qua non for attaining higher and more equitable achievement for students in the United States."

UPDATE: Teacher quality could also be addressed through the still-unfinished HEA reauthorization, reminds another EdWeek article.

Speaking Truth To The Powerless

It turns out it wasn't just me (and Rush Limbaugh) who noted Oprah's harsh comments about poor American students last week. In Tuesday's Chicago Tribune, columnist Clarence Page notes that just because Oprah's comments "delighted conservative commentators... doesn't mean she's wrong." According to Page (Oprah's `truth' shouldn't hurt), "Liberals love to speak 'truth to power,' but the powerless need to hear the truth too."

Rotten Apples Of 2006

Gerry Bracey's 2006 Rotten Apples report is finally out (downloadable doc here), featuring the usual assortment of outrages and misdeeds.

Bracey leads of with Spellings' infamous "99.9 percent pure" declaration, followed closely with the Barbara/Neil Bush donation laundering operation.

Morning Round-up January 10, 2006

In Testing for Gifted Programs, a Few Knots NYT
A new admissions process for highly coveted gifted-and-talented programs in the New York City elementary schools has been riddled with glitches, including last-minute notice of entrance exam dates in some areas.

Hearing on school takeover by mayor set
A state appeals court panel Tuesday scheduled an April hearing for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's lawyers to defend an invalidated law that would have given the mayor substantial authority over the Los Angeles public schools.

School choices satisfy, study says
JS Online
University of Colorado researchers are issuing a report that says low-income parents in Milwaukee are happy with the range of choices they have for their children. The report also says those parents select schools in ways that aren't much different from higher-income parents elsewhere.

NCLB Watch: Week One

A week ago, nearly everyone was predicting it would be 2009 before NCLB got renewed. Since then, things have gotten a little messier, but the basic dynamics are clear. A powerful set of folks folks (Spellings, President Bush, the Chamber, the BRT) are pushing for a quick NCLB reauthorization this year. Other folks (Miller, Kennedy especially) are also pushing for reauthorization-- and lots more cash. Meantime, NCLB opponents (the 100 groups that signed the letter) want to see NCLB revamped substantially and don't seem particularly concerned about when it happens -- though of course the sooner the better. Last but not least, some folks (Dodd, Ehlers, Fordham, New America) want to focus on national standards, which many of those who want to see NCLB reauthorized (Bush, Spellings, Chamber, BRT) consider something of a threat to a timely reauthorization. Got it?

UPDATE: Joanne Jacobs rounds up the blogs' coverage (via Education Wonks). And EdWeek's David Hoff reminds us that there's another group of folks who want some movement sooner rather than later: schools and districts operating under the current version.


Exclusive: Romer To Head Gates/Broad '08 Election Push

Sitting in a DuPont Circle Starbucks, who do I run into but former LAUSD superintendent (and CO Gov) Roy Romer, making cell phone calls across from me. He wants to know what I'm doing with a laptop attached to a digital camera (you all know the answer to that one). I want to know what he's doing in town besides going to the NAF event (see below). Turns out Romer is getting set up to head a Gates/Broad initiative to make sure education gets a substantial and meaningful bit of attention in the 2008 election cycle. You read it here first. I think. More details to come.

More On The Education Industry

Did you know that 2006 was a tough year for K-12 education stocks, with several companies like ProQuest, Educate, Plato Learning, and LeapFrog down big? Not me. Hell, I've never even heard of most of these companies, much less know what they do or how they're performing on the stock market. But that's what you get when a friend sends you Class Notes, a 25-pp industry report that's put together by some analysts at RW Baird and Co and includes fascinating info on the education industry. It's not just about publicly traded companies, either. There's stuff in there about the budget process and the earmarks (see previous posts). You can check it out here: Class Notes 1-07.pdf)-- at least until they tell me to pull it down.

Friendly Faces

Thanks to everyone who came up and said "hi" yesterday in DC -- it was great to see so many familiar faces from the past (Kate Laguarda from PSA, Manish Naik and and Henry Duvall from the Council, Larry Snowhite from Houghton Mifflin, and to meet lots of new folks (Heather Podesta on her birthday, Kate Szostak from Dodd's press office, Lindsey Luebchow and Justin King from New America, and a slew of helpful people from the EdSec's press office including press secty Katherine McLane). The rest of you? See you next time.

A Teacher Uses The N-Word -- Over & Over

A white Jefferson County public schools English teacher was suspended for 10 days for using the n-word towards an African-American honors student, and this local news clip takes the unusual step of letting the teacher explain -- at length (and with visual aids) -- the different possible pronunciations of the word. Video NSFW click below.


All NCLB, All The Time

Democrats Push for Changes to NCLB Law NYT
Democratic Congressional leaders on Monday called President Bush’s signature education law too punitive in its sanctions on public schools and pledged to increase educational spending, signaling the stance they will take this year in negotiations over the law’s renewal.

Bush, lawmakers meet to plan next phase of NCLB AP
President Bush pushed for renewal of the No Child Left Behind education law Monday in a meeting with congressional leaders but was noncommittal on their request for more money to help schools meet the law’s requirements.

'No Child Left Behind' Law Up for Renewal NPR
The Bush administration is using the law's fifth anniversary to urge reauthorization without changes. But the process won't be as simple as the adminstration once hoped. Plus: A Principal's View of 'No Child Left Behind'


New America Makes A Splash

Whether or not national standards happen, New America in partnering with Senator Dodd and Fordham has carved out an interesting bit of space that otherwise could have been filled (or ignored) by other center-ish education groups -- and I'm not just saying that because I've done some work for them. The main press room was full at today's event, and the overflow room was overflowing. Ehlers couldn't be there, but Dodd gave a speech featuring sarcasm and wit (as well as a concluding call to action that seemed straight out of the climactic monologue in The Girl In A Cafe). Pictured here, the victorious staffers -- MaryEllen McGuire (Dodd), Michael Dannenberg (New America), Rachel Post (Ehlers), and Taniesha Woods (SRCD/AAAS fellow in Dodd's office) -- all headed back to work rather than to happy hour, this being DC. Missing: Mike Petrilli (Fordham).

Do NCLB Opponents Create A "Petrillian Dystopia"?

Check out Eduwonk.com for the new NCLB logo and the news that the USDE is serious about trying to get NCLB reauthorized this year. (True enough, from what I saw at the Spellings event this AM). And you gotta love Andy's warnings for NCLB opponents about the possibilities of a "Petrillian dystopia..."

Politics, Schools, and The Gap Between

"Over the years, I've talked to a lot of political folks who think once the legislative battle is won, the fight is over and they can move on to the next legislative battle," writes Mike Antonucci in a post that riffs off my "mission statement" on the gap between educators and policymakers: Intercepts: Alexander Russo Gets It Right (I Think)" I've talked to a lot of education policy folks who think the power of empirical evidence is enough to get their chosen reform enacted. I've talked to a lot of education reporters who don't understand me when I tell them things like the battle over charter schools is not about charter schools, but about collective bargaining and union membership."

Competing Agendas, "No" On National Standards, New Faces

Everyone's staking out their turf today in DC, where there are something like five education events (CAP, White House, Spellings at the Chamber, New America, Heritage, etc.). The highlight of the Spellings event was hearing the call for a 2007 reauthorization and strengthening of NCLB, and Spellings' guardedly dismissive comments on the short-term need for national standards (more on that later).
Great also to see familiar faces like Susan Traiman and Bill Taylor and D'Arcy Philps and EdWeek's David Hoff (back on the federal beat), as well as meet "new" folks like David DeSchryver (right) and that Edison dude Doug Mesecar (pictured left), who are much more important (and good-natured) than I originally reported.

Monday In DC

If you see this slightly devilish-looking person wandering around with a laptop at the events in DC today , please come up and say hello. However, be warned that I may blog about what tie you're wearing.

Three Takes On NCLB Anniversary

How Bush education law has changed our schools USA Today
A cornerstone of Bush's domestic agenda and one of his few truly bipartisan successes, it took what was once a fairly low-key funding vehicle (it was known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act before Bush borrowed the catchy name from the Children's Defense Fund) and turned it into a vast — and contentious — book of federal mandates.

Pupils still far behind despite law Chicago Tribune
Despite pumping more than $4 billion in No Child Left Behind funds into Illinois, most of the law's intended improvements have either fallen flat or have not been enacted fully.

Next round begins for No Child Left Behind CS Monitor
Achievement levels are creeping up toward the 2014 deadline when all public school children are supposed to be "proficient" at math and reading, and the racial and economic achievement gaps have narrowed slightly in a few cases, but not at all in others.