Blog: The Educated Reporter

Overview

The Educated Reporter

EWA's blog about education issues and topics from a journalist's perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

EWA’s blog about education issues and topics from a journalist’s perspective. The Educated Reporter is anchored by Emily Richmond with contributions from EWA staff and guests.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

12 + 12 = 48 = half-right?

On New York’s state test for fourth-graders, it is. The New York Post writes about scoring guidelines for students, given to them by “an outraged Brooklyn teacher,” that allow partial credit for wrong or no answers. Shocker, right?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Low-performing school, high-performning accomplishment.

If you are a Chicago reporter and free on Friday, June 11, you should head to Marquette Park to see a group of students from Gage Park High School—a place that is typically in the news either for murdered students or horrid test scores—launch a different kind of memorial, a high-tech kiosk commemorating the housing rights marches of 1966. Civil rights leaders, including Jesse Jackson Sr., will be on hand for the dedication.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

David Brooks is wrong…

… or purposely hyperbolic? He wrote in today’s column on education reform, “In every other job in this country, people are measured by whether they produce results.” Why does he need to say that? Whether or not you think it should be the case, it is just not true. Also, among smart reformers, there is not consensus that once “mediocrity infects a school culture, it’s nearly always best to simply replace the existing school with another,” as he wrote.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Wal-Mart U.

When I was at Wesleyan, the college did not give me credit for my jobs as a record store clerk, pizza slinger and Friendly’s waitress. So maybe the reason this story, about Wal-Mart employees getting college credit for ringing up customers, rubs me wrong is because I am jealous?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Last hired, first fired, forever.

I wish someone would write a story about teachers like my sister-in-law. Since getting her master’s about six years ago, she has had to teach a new grade level every year and switched schools nearly as often. No matter that she has ELL certification, no matter that she is great at her job—last hired, first fired, rinse and repeat, every single year. Even before budget cuts spread throughout the country, northeastern Illinois schools, whose taxpayers fought every levy, had pared back, then back some more.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Sloshed.

If I were to ever write another book, it would be about college. I won’t get any more specific than that—idea poachers and all—except to say it would be a far fuller picture of the entire student experience than a “year in the life of a sorority” book. Teaching and learning and all that important stuff.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

So much to learn about turnaround.

Now that we are starting to see more staff churn in the name of turnaround—such as was explained by Toni Konz in this Louisville Courier-Journal piece this week—I imagine (I hope) reporters will pursue comprehensive stories about what reforms look like from that point. How are the new teachers selected? How do you go about changing culture? How are all the educators in the building trained for the new challenge?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Forgoing teaching?

A new report in California shows a significant drop in the number of people entering teacher preparation programs in that state. You can’t blame someone for bypassing teaching these days, as it is far from a sure bet at employment. I am curious if this trend is reflected elsewhere, and what it means for improving teacher quality at the beginning of the pipeline. Are universities able to be as selective as before, which, some would argue, was not that selective to begin with?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Columbine.

Last night I finished reading Columbine, Dave Cullen’s play-by-play of the 1999 school shooting. It was the most compelling nonfiction book I have read since Andre Agassi’s memoir, Open. (Which was, flat-out, one of my favorite books ever. Props to ghostwriter J.R.