Virtual School Meanderings

April 9, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

School Voucher Grade Inflation

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Noah Smith looks at a recent survey paper on vouchers from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. The paper, written by Greg Forster, was cited by the Wall Street Journal as “evidence that voucher opponents have been cherry-picking the evidence.” Smith reviews Forster’s paper and asks several probing questions about vouchers and the research evidence.

VAM, Teacher Bashing, and Unintended Outcomes: ‘(A)ll (teacher) exits increased under the new evaluations’

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

P. L. Thomas reviews a recent research analysis by Matthew Di Carlo on the Shanker Blog. He calls Di Carlo’s work some of the best available online. However, he is critical of the ‘dispassionate’ stance taken by Di Carlo in summarizing the research. Thomas says, “I am on edge when I read these careful explications of educational research because they tend to stand so far back from drawing critical conclusions that they leave a great deal of room for forgiving awful and baseless policy.” Thomas pushes for a deeper look beyond the research into the bad politics and bad media behind recent ‘bad’ teacher reforms.

Who Needs Reformers When You Have David Kirp?

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Gary Rubinstein writes about a recent piece in the New York Times by David Kirp, ‘Who Needs Charters When You have Public Schools Like These?’ Rubinstein is critical of Kirp’s article and suggests, “What I would have liked to have in this article is Kirp writing about all the great things going on at these schools and how anyone visiting these schools would be impressed by them, and then express outrage that the schools have a D- and an F rating thus demonstrating how inaccurate the A to F rating calculations are and how they are likely to be just as inaccurate in all the states throughout the country. Now that would be a powerful article.”

Fix Schools, Not Teachers

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Esther Quintero, Senior Fellow at the Albert Shanker Institute, discusses a recent book she edited, ‘Teaching in Context: The Social Side of Education Reform.’ According to Quintero, the book was conceived to help address the problems of dissemination, misperceptions, and applicability in education policymaking. She writes: “Providing ‘lessons’ for policy and practice isn’t a job just for researchers. Ultimately, because the school improvement processes we are trying to influence are complex and dynamic, practitioners, policy makers, and academics need to figure out how to proceed together.”

Teacher Evaluations And Turnover In Houston

Posted: 29 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Matthew Di Carlo tackles a new working paper by Julie Berry Cullen, Cory Koedel, and Eric Parsons. The paper looks at the impact of the teacher evaluation system in Houston and focuses on the relationship between teacher turnover and performance before and after the implementation of the new system. He says in his conclusion, “In any case, this study by Cullen, Koedel, and Parsons, like most good policy analysis, illustrates the promise of new evaluations, but also the challenges.”

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