Mindworkers

Charlet T. Kerchner / MindWorkers

Annotating the News 11/10/13

Poorer than we thought.  Using a calculation that factors in California’s relatively high cost of living, the state has the highest poverty rate in the country.   According to Census Bureau, 23.8 percent of Californians live in poverty where the official poverty rate is 16.5 percent.   Even using the official calculation, a quarter of the [...]

Annotating the News 11/1/13

I’ve been away, so education periodicals have been stacking up on my desk, and on a balmy Friday night I am multitasking as I watch the USC-Oregon State game (Holy Cow! They won.  Fight ON!) K12 Inc. saw its stock price tank from a high of $37.85 to $17.60 after criticism by hedge fund manager [...]

In “Austerity” Mark Blyth Traces the History and Politics of a Dangerous Idea

Mark Blyth took a career detour to be a co-editor of The Transformation of Great American School Districts. So it was with great anticipation that I read his new book, Austerity. I recommend it to educators as a valuable corrective to the belief that boosting educational standards will increase the life chances of American students [...]

In the Orchard of Education Technology

Amending a PACE Policy Brief: I got in trouble at a meeting recently for repeating the opening assertion of the policy brief I wrote for Policy Analysis for California Education. [View or download brief] As the brief says, “education technology has always over-promised and under-delivered.”  The assertion, which is reasonably backed up by history and [...]

To Make Students Learn, Make Schools Smart First

I learned a thing or three on last Friday, and it’s taken me a week to digest it all.  For reasons unknown, I was invited to meet with some very bright teachers who are advisors to the California Council of Science and Technology, the state analogue to the prestigious National Science Academy. The CCST has [...]

4-26-13: Annotating the News

Capacity building as a precursor to testing The L.A. Times has seen the elephant in the room.  In a switch from its past obsession with test score accountability, the paper editorialized on Monday that we ought to be paying more attention to what students are supposed to be learning and particularly to the roll-out of [...]

Higher Education Faces an “Avalanche”

A new report by Sir Michael Barber and his colleagues at Pearson, Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi, should be on the reading list of everyone thinking about the future of higher education. An Avalanche is Coming describes—somewhat breathlessly—the forces that are about to reshape colleges and universities worldwide.  Globalization and technology are game changers, they [...]

D.C. School Cheating Issue Calls Test-Driven Incentives into Question

This post can also be found at EdSource The smoke surrounding allegations of test score cheating in the Washington, D.C public schools burst into flame last week.  In a 4,300-word blog post, titled Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error, the veteran educational journalist John Merrow linked the former schools chancellor with documents that suggest that she [...]

Big Money and the School Board: An Annotation of a “L.A. Times” Op-Ed

[This story has also been posted at Ed Source.] The Los Angeles Times Monday printed an op-ed piece I wrote about last week’s school board election, where a coalition of deep pockets givers spurred by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spent over $63 per vote.  It was not only big money but also money badly spent.  (Read [...]

Rainy Day Musing about Tests and Property Rights

It’s a rainy day in Claremont: a good day to muse over the blogs and emails. Teacher boycotts of standardized tests in Seattle have taken a new turn.  District superintendent José Banda has ordered administrators at Garfield High School to give the tests instead of the teachers giving them, according to The Seattle Times. At [...]

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