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Jeff Bernstein

The Increasing Academic Ability Of New York Teachers | Shanker Institute - 0 views

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    "For many years now, a common talking point in education circles has been that U.S. public school teachers are disproportionately drawn from the "bottom third" of college graduates, and that we have to "attract better candidates" in order to improve the distribution of teacher quality. We discussed the basis for this "bottom third" claim in this post, and I will not repeat the points here, except to summarize that "bottom third" teachers (based on SAT/ACT scores) were indeed somewhat overrepresented nationally, although the magnitudes of such differences vary by cohort and other characteristics.

    A very recent article in the journal Educational Researcher addresses this issue head-on (a full working version of the article is available here). It is written by Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Andrew McEachin, Luke Miller and James Wyckoff. The authors analyze SAT scores of New York State teachers over a 25 year period (between 1985 and 2009). Their main finding is that these SAT scores, after a long term decline, improved between 2000 and 2009 among all certified teachers, with the increases being especially large among incoming (new) teachers, and among teachers in high-poverty schools."
Jeff Bernstein

Can VAMs Be Trusted? | - 0 views

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    "In a recent paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Education Finance and Policy, coauthors Cassandra Guarino (Indiana University - Bloomington), Mark Reckase (Michigan State University), and Jeffrey Wooldridge (Michigan State University) ask and then answer the following question: "Can Value-Added Measures of Teacher Performance Be Trusted?""
Jeff Bernstein

Jersey Jazzman: Burden of Reformy Proof - 0 views

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    "I see a lot of arguments in social media and blogs and editorial pages and elsewhere along these lines:

    "American education is a disaster! We must do something! And you can't prove that my proposed reforms won't work!"

    This argument makes no sense for at least three reasons"
Jeff Bernstein

The Unholy Alliance: Charters, the Media, and "Research" | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Horace Meister, a regular contributor, has discovered a shocking instance of contradictory research, posted a year apart by the same "independent" governmental agency. The first report, published a year ago, criticized New York City's charter schools for enrolling small proportions of high-need students; the second report, published a month ago, claimed that the city's charter schools had a lower attrition rate of high-needs students than public schools. Meister read the two reports carefully and with growing disgust. He concluded that the Independent Budget Office had massaged the data to reach a conclusion favoring the powerful charter lobby. Eva Moskowitz read the second report and wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal called "The Myth of Charter School 'Cherry Picking.'" Horace Meister says it is not myth: it is reality."
Jeff Bernstein

When public schools get more money, students do better - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "More recent research, however, has found that when schools have more money, they are able to give their students a better education. A new study on those who went to school during the school-finance cases a few decades ago found that those who attended districts that were affected by the rulings were more likely to stay in school through high school and college and are making more money today."
Jeff Bernstein

How and Why Money Matters in Schools (one more time - updated) | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "This post is taken from a forthcoming report in which I summarize literature related to state school finance reforms and explore relationships between changing distributions of funding and distributions of tangible classroom level resources. The newly released Jackson, Johnson and Persico NBER paper speaks to similar issues and is included in the discussion that follows"
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » A Quick Look At The ASA Statement On Value-Added - 0 views

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    "Several months ago, the American Statistical Association (ASA) released a statement on the use of value-added models in education policy. I'm a little late getting to this (and might be repeating points that others made at the time), but I wanted to comment on the statement, not only because I think it's useful to have ASA add their perspective to the debate on this issue, but also because their statement seems to have become one of the staple citations for those who oppose the use of these models in teacher evaluations and other policies."
Jeff Bernstein

Chetty, et al. on the American Statistical Association's Recent Position Statement on V... - 0 views

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    "Over the last decade, teacher evaluation based on value-added models (VAMs) has become central to the public debate over education policy. In this commentary, we critique and deconstruct the arguments proposed by the authors of a highly publicized study that linked teacher value-added models to students' long-run outcomes, Chetty et al. (2014, forthcoming), in their response to the American Statistical Association statement on VAMs. We draw on recent academic literature to support our counter-arguments along main points of contention: causality of VAM estimates, transparency of VAMs, effect of non-random sorting of students on VAM estimates and sensitivity of VAMs to model specification.
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Jeff Bernstein

Study finds "de facto" segregation among charter schools | State House Sound Bites | wi... - 0 views

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    "Charter schools in Pennsylvania are defined by their flexibility and freedom from many state regulations.
    A new study shows they're also marked by their lack of diversity."
Jeff Bernstein

Scathing Report Finds Rocketship, School Privatization Hurt Poor Kids | The Progressive - 0 views

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    "Gordon Lafer, a political economist and University of Oregon professor who has advised Congress, state legislatures, and the New York City mayor's office, landed at the airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, late last night bringing with him a briefing paper on school privatization and how it hurts poor kids."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Lost In Citation - 0 views

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    "The so-called Vergara trial in California, in which the state's tenure and layoff statutes were deemed unconstitutional, already has its first "spin-off," this time in New York, where a newly-formed organization, the Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ), is among the organizations and entities spearheading the effort.

    Upon first visiting PEJ's new website, I was immediately (and predictably) drawn to the "Research" tab. It contains five statements (which, I guess, PEJ would characterize as "facts"). Each argument is presented in the most accessible form possible, typically accompanied by one citation (or two at most). I assume that the presentation of evidence in the actual trial will be a lot more thorough than that offered on this webpage, which seems geared toward the public rather than the more extensive evidentiary requirements of the courtroom (also see Bruce Baker's comments on many of these same issues surrounding the New York situation).

    That said, I thought it might be useful to review the basic arguments and evidence PEJ presents, not really in the context of whether they will "work" in the lawsuit (a judgment I am unqualified to make), but rather because they're very common, and also because it's been my observation that advocates, on both "sides" of the education debate, tend to be fairly good at using data and research to describe problems and/or situations, yet sometimes fall a bit short when it comes to evidence-based discussions of what to do about them (including the essential task of acknowledging when the evidence is still undeveloped). PEJ's five bullet points, discussed below, are pretty good examples of what I mean."
Jeff Bernstein

Columbia Economist Says Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff Are Wrong About VAM | Diane Ravit... - 0 views

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    "Moshe Adler, professor of economics at Columbia University, has emerged as one of the most incisive critics of the work of Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Jonah Rockoff on Value-added measurement (VAM)."
Jeff Bernstein

Segregation and Charter Schools: A Reader | the becoming radical - 0 views

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    "In The link between charter school expansion and increasing segregation, Iris C. Rotberg highlights that problems exist in both re-segregation of schools in the U.S. and the rise of charter schools as separate and interrelated forces.

    Schools in the U.S. are re-segregating, regardless of type-public, private, and charter.

    And charter schools are not creating the education reform charter advocates claim, with one failure of the charter movement being segregating students by race and class.

    Thus, it is important to focus on the evidence that shows the need to reconsider how to address segregation and the flawed support continuing for expanding charter schools."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » New York City: The Mississippi Of The Twenty-First Century? - 0 views

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    "Last month saw the publication of a new report, New York State's Extreme School Segregation, produced by UCLA's highly regarded Civil Rights Project. It confirmed what New York educators have suspected for some time: our schools are now the most racially segregated schools in the United States. New York's African-American and Latino students experience "the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools.""
Jeff Bernstein

How Corporate Interests Beat NYC's Progressive Mayor and How He Can Recover | Diane Rav... - 0 views

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    "This article was written by an independent education researcher who requests anonymity. It is unfortunate that the politics of education have become so intermingled with powerful forces that researchers remain silent or hide their identities to escape retribution. In this case, everything in this article is carefully documented."
Jeff Bernstein

Charter Schools: A UFT Research Report | United Federation of Teachers - 0 views

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    "As charter school proponents go to Albany this week to plead their case, let's examine the realities behind their claims of stretched resources, unique student demand and stellar academic results."
Jeff Bernstein

Teachers' Working Conditions in Charters: How Different Are They? - Teacher Beat - Educ... - 0 views

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    "Teachers working in charters in an unnamed poor, rural Texas charter school district reported holding higher expectations of students and enjoying a more supportive teaching environment than colleagues who were working in traditional schools in the neighboring district.

    But the charter teachers had fewer opportunities for professional development and generally felt that the evaluation process was less fair, according to a new study that attempts to correct some of the problems with the existing research on differences between teachers in charters and traditional schools. "
Jeff Bernstein

New Volume About Teacher Evaluation and High-Stakes Testing Now Available | Diane Ravit... - 0 views

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    "A group of expert researchers have published a new collection of articles about teacher evaluation and high-stakes testing and their consequences.

    The collection appears online in the Teachers College Record. It is called "High-Stakes Teacher Evaluation: High Cost, Big Losses.""
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