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March Madness (It’s Not Just For Basketball) Links

By Eduwonkette — March 04, 2008 1 min read

Here’s a survey of the zany news, wacky ideas, and near meltdowns that are floating around in today’s blogosphere:

1) A Must Read for New Yorkers: The NYC Progress Report discussion is picking up again, so check out this post. In How effective is your kid’s school? , the Dallas ISD Blog shows how effectiveness scores in Dallas can vary wildly from year to year. Kent Fischer quips, “Will the real Sequoyah Elementary School please stand up?”

2) One Flew Over the Ed Prof’s Nest: Over at Rate Your Students, an ed prof loses it. He leads with, “I’ve been marking your essays all weekend, and gotta say: You are making me lose my faith in humanity.”

3) Merit Pay for Prison Wardens?: I kid you not. The legal eagles at PrawfsBlawg propose to pay wardens based on inmates’ recidivism rates. Blogger Rick Hills draws the analogy to education in the comments:

Wardens have far more control over their prisoners than principals have over their students: Children go home to households that are largely outside the power of the school entirely. Surely, teachers are right to complain that parents’ influence dwarfs that of the school. For prisoners, the prison is home - a total environment that can be manipulated by the warden for good or ill.

4) Speaking of Bad Ideas: Jay Mathews shares Michael Goldstein’s idea for dealing with dropouts (Let Them Drop Out, Then Get Them Back):

What if a 16-year-old could drop out but bank the money that the school district spends per pupil ($15,000 here in Boston, but I’m sure it’s more in D.C.), the amount that otherwise would have been spent junior and senior year, like a medical savings account or an IRA? Then it can’t be touched for at least two years -- force-feed kids the feeling of the dead-end life they’re embarking on....After a few months, you realize you’re a loser, other people are going places but not you. You maybe get a job and it’s a boring security job at $8/hour. And, maybe by age 20, or 26, or whatever, some maturity. THEN a [student] can start over.

Perhaps we can combine this item with #3, and hold the wardens accountable for watching over the kids who would have stuck around in high school for a few more years otherwise.

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