Wednesday, January 16, 2013

School Professional Climate Trumps Individual Teacher Characteristics

A report from the new director of the Consortium for Chicago Schools Research says that the collaborative climate in a school is more important than the individual characteristics of teachers. What makes this report so interesting is that DCPS reforms since 2007 are premised on the opposite assumption -- rewarding individual teachers and principals when their students score better than the norm, and firing them when scores fall short. If the researchers behind this report are correct, the whole theory of reform in DCPs may be backwards, and the effect on staff morale and collaboration could be making the quality of education worse.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What Are Charter Schools Really For?

The Greater Greater Washington blog's Ken Archer takes Emma Brown's expose of charter school expulsions, and charters' refusal to give students from the neighborhood priority, and follows it to its logical conclusion -- they're not really designed to compete. They're designed to displace neighborhood schools but not serve the same kids.

Students First Ranks States and Ironically Puts Students Last

When Michelle Rhee's "Students First" money raising, privatization advocacy empire released their supposed "ranking of the states" they got a surprising amount of national press, some of it taking the rhetoric of the rankings at face value. However the Opportunity to Learn coalition issued a cogent critique of the Students First report here. The California Superintendent of Schools also cut through the fog of ignorant media coverage by stating that a low score on this ranking is a "badge of honor."