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Jeff Bernstein

How Does the Public Feel About Vouchers? | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "I was on a panel last year with someone from the Friedman Foundation, and he waxed on about how wonderful vouchers are and how much the public wants them. He cited polls to prove his point.

    But there is only one poll that matters, and that is the one at the ballot box. That's why the information in this post is so helpful. Keep it in your wallet, or just remember this plain fact: voters have never approved a voucher plan."
Jeff Bernstein

The Big Error of School Accountability - Living in Dialogue - 0 views

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    "With the debate over testing roiling Congress and state capitals nationwide, it is important to recognize the damage done to American pedagogy by high-stakes testing and the deleterious effects of punitive accountability on the students who depend on public schools."
Jeff Bernstein

Angry Andy's Failing Schools & the Finger of Blame | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "So, where should that finger of blame point here? 
    Or is this just how things work these days - slash the funding of the highest need districts - call them failing - close their schools - give their property and their teacher's jobs to someone else - and claim victory - leaving others, years down the line to clean up your mess?
    Angry Andy - this is your mess. Now do the right thing and fix it!"
Jeff Bernstein

Horace Meister: Why Charters Are NOT the Way to Help Struggling Schools | Diane Ravitch... - 0 views

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    "Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State, recently released a report called The State of New York's Failing Schools. This report claims to present "statistics and facts" that "expose a public education system badly in need of change" and is designed to support Cuomo's proposal to turn "failing" schools over to private management and convert them into charter schools. But are these public schools failing? Are charter schools the answer? The facts say no.
    To help concretize the question why don't we take a closer look at one charter chain"
Jeff Bernstein

The Cost of Stupid: Families for Excellent Schools Totally Bogus Analysis of NYC School... - 0 views

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    "Families for Excellent Schools of New York - the Don't Steal Possible folks - has just released an impossibly stupid analysis in which they claim that New York City is simply throwing money at failure. Spending double on failing schools what they do on totally awesome ones (if they really have any awesome ones)."
Jeff Bernstein

More Money, More Money, More Money? Have we really ever tried sustained, targeted schoo... - 0 views

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    "I'm no-longer surprised these days by the belligerent wrongness of rhetoric around school funding equity and adequacy. Arguably, much of the supporting rationale for the current (and other recent) education reforms is built on the house of cards that when it comes to financing equitably and adequately our public school systems - especially those serving our neediest children, we've been there and done that. In fact, we've been there and done that for decades."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Update On Teacher Turnover In The U.S. - 0 views

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    "Overall, then, teacher turnover, in both its attrition and mobility "forms," was quite stable between 2007-08 and 2012-13, although, as usual, there is a great deal of variation underlying the national estimates. And, although it is very difficult to determine the extent to which economic circumstances-the Great Recession in particular-influenced this trend, weakness in the general job market during this period is likely to have played a role."
Jeff Bernstein

Research Note: Resource Equity & Student Sorting Across Newark District & Charter Schoo... - 0 views

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    "In this brief, I present preliminary findings that are part of a larger, national analysis of newly released federal data, a primary objective of which is to evaluate the extent to which those data yield findings consistent with findings arrived at using state level data sources. In this brief, I specifically explore variations in student characteristics and resources across schools in Newark, NJ."
Jeff Bernstein

"Urban" Poverty and "Racial" Achievement Gaps are so Yesterday? Not! | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "In this post, I address two examples of what I consider statistical smoke and mirrors (in one case coupled with false imagery) used in recent years to re-frame debates over economic and educational "equality" - toward a "post-urban" and "post-racial" domestic policy agenda."
Jeff Bernstein

The Hypocrisy of the Data-Drivers - Living in Dialogue - 0 views

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    "The question that comes to mind is: "If these officials really cared about data, wouldn't they make sure that the data they are using to drive their decisions is accurate?"

    And this then leads me to a whole series of similar questions about the mighty agents of reform that are disrupting and transforming our schools from coast to coast and beyond. To be clear, the proponents of reform I am describing include the Gates Foundation, the Federal Department of Education, and their allies and grant recipients around the nation."
Jeff Bernstein

Principal uncovers flawed data in her state's official education reports - The Washingt... - 0 views

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    "Our district data coordinator, who is my assistant principal, brought me the SIRS report. It claimed that only 80 percent of our students from the cohort of 2008 (Class of 2012) were enrolled in college.   As soon as I saw the number, I knew it was not correct. Ninety-eight percent of the 2012 Class told us they were going to college and gave us the name of the college they would attend. Might some have left after one semester, or changed their minds? It's possible. But I found it difficult to believe that 18 percent had either not enrolled or quickly dropped out."
Jeff Bernstein

Some inconvenient truths about charter schools | The Villager Newspaper - 0 views

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    "Battles between charter school operators, like Eva Moskowitz, and public school parents and education advocates are nothing new to the mass media. Recently The New York Times ran an article on this topic, featuring Moskowitz and her Success Academy schools. However, too often this kind of media coverage does not accurately portray our side of the story. The SUNY board of trustees recently voted to approve 17 charter applications, 14 of them by Moskowitz, in New York City. It is more important than ever for the public to understand the reality of the charter movement."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » What You Need To Know About Misleading Education Graphs, In Tw... - 0 views

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    "But that's what makes oversimplified, sensationalist graphs like these so exasperating. Instead of promoting a discussion about finding better ways to spend money or the importance of tracking and understanding the factors that influence growth and productivity, these graphs seem intended to start a conversation by ending it, right at the outset, in a manner that typically is compelling only to those who already agree with the conclusions."
Jeff Bernstein

Anatomy of Educational Inequality & Why School Funding Matters | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "There continues to be much bluster out there in ed reformy land that money really isn't all that important - especially for traditional public school districts. That local public schools and districts already have way too much money but use it so inefficiently that any additional dollar would necessarily be wasted. An extension of this line of reasoning is that therefore differences in spending across districts are also inconsequential. It really doesn't matter - the reformy line of thinking goes - if the suburbs around Philly, Chicago or New York dramatically outspend them, as long as some a-contextual, poorly documented and often flat out wrong, blustery statement can be made about a seemingly large aggregate or per pupil spending figure that the average person on the street should simply find offensive.
    Much of this bluster about the irrelevance of funding is strangely juxtaposed with arguments that inequity of teacher quality and the adequacy of the quality of the teacher workforce are the major threats to our education system. But of course, these threats have little or nothing to do with money? Right? As I've explained previously - equitable distribution of quality teaching requires equitable (not necessarily equal) distribution of resources. Districts serving more needy student populations require smaller classes and more intensive supports if their students are expected to close the gap with their more advantaged peers - or strive for common outcome goals. Even recruiting similarly qualified teachers in higher need settings requires higher, not the same or lower compensation. Districts serving high need populations require a) more staff - more specialized, more diverse and even more of the same (core classroom teacher) staff, of b) at least equal qualifications. That means they need more money (than their more advantaged neighbors) to get the job done. If they so happen to have substantially less money, it's not a matter of simply tradin
Jeff Bernstein

Researcher: Success Charter Chain Built on Hyperbole | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "A data analyst who worked for the past several years in the New York City Department of Education wrote the following about Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy charter chain. Most of the data he cites comes from public records maintained by the city or state education departments. His footnotes are at the bottom of the post."
Jeff Bernstein

Chronicles of (the conceptually incoherent & empirically invalid world of) VergarNYa | ... - 0 views

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    "As with the Vergara case in California, a central claim of the New York City Parents Union is that the presence of statutory tenure protections in New York State leads to a persistent and systematic deprivation of a sound basic education which falls disproportionately on the state's low income and minority children.
    Let's review again the basic structure of this argument."
Jeff Bernstein

Chronicles of (the conceptually incoherent & empirically invalid) world of VergarNYa - ... - 0 views

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    "As with the Vergara case in California, a central claim of the New York City Parents Union is that the presence of statutory tenure protections in New York State leads to a persistent and systematic deprivation of a sound basic education which falls disproportionately on the state's low income and minority children.

    Let's review again the basic structure of this argument."
Jeff Bernstein

Uncommon Denominators: Understanding "Per Pupil" Spending | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "This post is another in my series on data issues in education policy. The point of this post is to encourage readers of education policy research to pay closer attention to the fact that any measure of "per pupil spending" contains two parts - a measure of "spending" in the numerator and a measure of "pupils" in the denominator.
    Put simply, both measures matter, and matching the right numerator to the right denominator matters."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Teachers And Education Reform, On A Need To Know Basis - 0 views

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    "A couple of weeks ago, the website Vox.com published an article entitled, "11 facts about U.S. teachers and schools that put the education reform debate in context." The article, in the wake of the Vergara decision, is supposed to provide readers with the "basic facts" about the current education reform environment, with a particular emphasis on teachers. Most of the 11 facts are based on descriptive statistics.

    Vox advertises itself as a source of accessible, essential, summary information - what you "need to know" - for people interested in a topic but not necessarily well-versed in it. Right off the bat, let me say that this is an extraordinarily difficult task, and in constructing lists such as this one, there's no way to please everyone (I've read a couple of Vox's education articles and they were okay).

    That said, someone sent me this particular list, and it's pretty good overall, especially since it does not reflect overt advocacy for given policy positions, as so many of these types of lists do. But I was compelled to comment on it. I want to say that I did this to make some lofty point about the strengths and weaknesses of data and statistics packaged for consumption by the general public. It would, however, be more accurate to say that I started doing it and just couldn't stop. In any case, here's a little supplemental discussion of each of the 11 items"
Jeff Bernstein

Why test-based school reform isn't working - by the numbers - 0 views

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    "In the following post [Carol Burris] looks at irrefutable data to show that the test-based reforms are taking public education down the wrong road. "
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