Battle Lessons, Universities Step Up, NEA Gets Over NCLB (sort of), and More (Best of the Week)

Battle Lessons (New Yorker). Figuring out how to get practical advice and quick answers to front-line teachers and principals may not be all that different from how two enterprising Army officers did it in Iraq. Or has someone already done this? Get it while it’s still online.

Universities Team Up With Urban Districts to Run Local Schools (Education Week). After decades of providing little more than advice and research and the occasional teacher training school, more and more prestigious universities are finally stepping up to the plate and actually running local schools. Now if only more – any? – elite elementary or secondary schools would do the same.

“Closing the racial gap begins with good ideas” (NEA Today). Better late than never, the NEA gets on the achievement-gap bandwagon, despite its many objections to NCLB. Is the NEA changing its stripes? (Gadfly).

A Child Held Behind (New York Times). No, it’s not about NCLB; it’s about whether or not it’s fair to hold students back if they don’t pass grade-level tests, as Chicago and New York among others do. Not much new here, and as usual for articles on this topic it largely ignores the benefits of student retention and instead focuses on the plight of one particularly hapless child. Can’t we do better than this -- or at least pledge to print no more “left behind” headlines? (Let’s see how long I can keep to that.)

Gates Foundation withholding grant from local schools (Seattle Times). Now this is something you don’t see every day, but probably should see more often – except of course when it comes to holding back any of my (thus far imaginary) foundation money.

Cambridge schools aim at rival (Boston Globe via School News Monitor). Concerned that a new charter school will attract parents, Cambridge takes out an ad trying to inform (scare) parents away.


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