Policy & Politics Blog

This Week In Education

Written by former Senate education staffer and journalist Alexander Russo, This Week in Education is an opinion blog that covers education news, policymakers, and trends with a distinctly political edge. (For archives prior to January 2007, please click here. For posts after November 2007, please click here.) Comments on this blog are now closed. (This Week In Education ceased publishing in November 2007.)

Education Opinion Ed Week Blogger Moves On
Rumor has it that non-employee edweek.org blogger Alexander Russo, in search of fame and fortune, has moved kit and kaboodle over to scholastic. com.
November 5, 2007
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Education Opinion So Long, Farewell -- I'm Off To Harry Potter Land
After nine mostly blissful months blogging at EdWeek.org, I'm off to try out a new home at Scholastic. Yes, Scholastic. Me and Harry Potter. I know.
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Education Opinion The Week In Review (October 29-November 4)
Best Of The Week
Funders "Heart" TFA
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Federal Opinion A Pack Of Dogs, A Fire Hydrant, And A Powerful Lobby
Lots of takes from the blogs on the NEA letter from yesterday, which, ironically, is signed by none other than Diane Shust, the NEA lobbyist who used to work for Miller. Joe Williams of DFER who broke the news notes tongue in cheek "Whatever happened to support for multiple measures? Isn't it cruel/unfair to hold a Legislator accountable for the results of a single test?" I love it. PreaPrez, one of the most bilious people in the edusphere (at least towards me), says the NEA is just doing what it's supposed to do. Indeed, that's true. That doesn't make it right for education, though, or wise, or tolerable. Scooped by the blogosphere, The Hoff weighs in to note that until 2005 the NEA only rated lawmakers on votes, not cosponsorships, and that one of the bills on the "good" list comes from a lawmaker who has previously been "bad." Last but certainly not least, Charlie Barone's blog depicts House freshman as dogs on the NEA leash looking eagerly at the NCLB fire hydrant. Funny and mean, it's well worth clicking. (Former Miller staffer Barone noted on the HotSeat last month that Miller's own rating has been affected by his votes in the past on class size and Katrina vouchers and teacher quality.)
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Education Opinion Like Imus, Edison Schools Is Coming Back
If disgraced shock jock Don Imus can make a comeback, why not somewhat disgraced school management company Edison? That's exactly the plan, according to the SF Schools Blog, which has come across a "secret" document about the comeback plan: A whole new Edison Schools. After you're done there, check out this May 2007 letter from Edision CEO Terry Stecz which was deleted from the Edison site but recovered thanks to Google Cache. Says Stecz: "We are on the cusp of releasing E2, our new school design, engineered to drive better outcomes, and, in so doing, we are preparing students for a track that can lead them to higher education -- a goal for every child enrolled in an Edison School."
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Education Opinion No Crony Left Behind
Over at the Huffington Post, comedian Bill Maher rips on President Bush for always making sure that his policy ideas benefit his friends and allies financially: "In the next fifteen months, President Bush has to perform at least one act that doesn't make money for someone he knows. Take "No Child Left Behind." At first it just looked like gentle empty bullshit, a way to neutralize the Democrats edge with voters on education issues...It made Lady Bird Johnson's wild-flowers-by-the-highways project look like the fucking Marshall Plan. Except, like all Bush ideas, there was more to it." (No Crony Left Behind)
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Education Opinion Comply, Or Perish, Says NEA To Congress
The newsiest of recent blog posts is Joe Williams' revelation that the NEA wants politicos to sign a pledge against NCLB (NEA to Congress: Comply or Perish). Nice. Overwhelmed with all the Shanker coverage, EIA Mike wonders whether Rick Kahlenberg is channeling the dead union leader (Shanker Seance). Creepy. Out in the real world, Wake County is threatening to take money back from schools because of an error calculating bonuses (Taking money away from teachers). Doh! Speaking of errors and bonuses, Andywonk covers the Ravitch Vs. NYC back and forth with relish but little reflection (Ravitch Responds!). At the very least, it's a big gaffe for Bloomberg's folks (and a lot of fun for the rest of us). Last but not least, the folks at TAPPED are vexed by conservatarian views on vouchers (VOUCHERS FOR WHAT?). They do their headlines in caps cuz they're so angry.
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Education Opinion Brittanic Blogs
The folks at Encyclopedia Brittanic are taking a shot at a blog that includes several names you may already know: Karin Chenowith (of "It's Being Done"), Joanne Jacobs, etc. As with the Hufington Post, the idea seems to be to invite a variety of voices in one place to give different perspectives. Check it out here.
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Education Opinion Big Stories Of The Day
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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Federal Opinion Wisconsin NCLB Protest Teacher Gets Reprimand Letter
Google Images says that this might be Madison middle school teacher David Wasserman, who refused to administer a test to his students in protest against NCLB and sat in the teachers lounge. No word on whether Jonathan Kozol was the inspiration. News accounts today say he's going to get a letter in his file.
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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School & District Management Opinion New York City Department Of Education Responds
"It's not fair to put complaints about the non-school-related elements of NYC’s multi-pronged anti-poverty program, OpportunityNYC, on Roland Fryer. The New York Mag story you link to is mostly about parts of the plan Roland has zero to do with. He is connected only with cash incentives around tests.Also, for the record, the ban on cell phones in NYC dates to 1988 (focused on pagers then)."
Alexander Russo, November 2, 2007
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School Climate & Safety Opinion The Secret Life Of Erin And Tiffany
God I love this stuff: "I was walking to my math class when I noticed a bunch of little pieces of paper strewn across the hallway. I stole my math teacher's tape, lost my participation points in class and slowly taped it all together, discovering the secret lives of Erin and Tiffany."
Alexander Russo, November 1, 2007
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Education Opinion Blogosphere Blitz
Has anyone noticed I just can't stop blogging lately? Over at the Education Election blog, Cathy Grimes notes a part of the recent Democratic debate that included TIMSS, of all things (TIMSS makes the debate "lightning round"). I must have been sleeping by then. The NSBA blog pushes back on the notion of "dropout factories" that was popularized in a recent AP story. Meanwhile, the NCLB blog compares conservative views on vouchers and the SCHIP (SCHIP's Rationale vs. Vouchers'). Joanne J digs out some standardized misdeeds in Washington State (Sham standards). And The Hoff shares tutoring news (Demand Doesn't Keep up With SES Supply, Civil Rights Project Says). Charlie Barone picks up on the issue with his post (Supplemental Educational Services: End 'em or Mend 'em?). Eduwonkette finishes off her Halloween Edu-Parade with a flourish.
Alexander Russo, November 1, 2007
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School & District Management Opinion Two Setbacks For NYC "Incentives" Initiative Guru Roland Fryer
First, New York magazine revealed that the controversial new program to "incentivize" low-income families with financial rewards may not have dramatic effects because it didn't seek out those families most in need and instead relied on a sample of families who signed up for the program. Doh! Academic superstar Rolan Fryer (pictured) joined the school system to design and run the effort.
Alexander Russo, November 1, 2007
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