Blog: The Educated Reporter
Every article about Texas textbooks contains that sentence about how the state’s decisions dictate what students will read in classrooms around the country, by virtue of its size and pull in the publishing industry.Given the wackadoo revisions the state is making to U.S.history, I was glad to read this piece by Kate Alexander in the Austin American-Statesman and this one&nb
EWA is compiling a database of freelance writers and editors who work on education topics. If you are interested—even if you already have a job but would like to write a piece on the side once in a while—please fill out our form here. If you are looking to hire freelancers, we will have the info ready to distribute in a couple of weeks.
I need a guest blogger for next week, as I will be working on a secret, super-awesome project for EWA that you will learn about soon enough. If you are an education journalist of any sort and are interested in being considered, please contact me privately at the e-mail address at right.
I should start by saying I have no problem with the idea of testing students and holding people accountable. Sad that I have to assert this, but when you critique anything about standards and accountability in practice you are presumed by some to prefer the status quo, think all children can’t learn, hate minority children, be a moron or something else. But theory and practice are two different things, so let me start.
I went to a reporters’ roundtable this morning with Deborah Gist, the schools superintendent for Rhode Island. Someone asked her the question that struck me from the start: Why did this turnaround get so much media attention? As I mentioned before, many schools have gone through reconstitution that involved teachers having to reapply for their jobs.
Patrick Welsh is one of the best education writers at the Washington Post. Except he is not a Post employee; he is a high school English teacher who contributes often to the paper’s Outlook section. Check out this really interesting piece on what it felt like when his school, T.C. Williams in Alexandria, Va., was labeled “persistently low-achieving” a couple weeks ago.
Every team in John’s NCAA bracket—the schools with the lower graduation rate in each game—is out. He is in 87th place of 87 in his office pool. (Is there a booby prize?) The Completers are in 66th place as of Sunday night, with Cornell and Duke still alive. There’s no chance for a decent showing, but at least the Completers beat the Incompleters, which should please Arne Duncan.
I called subscriber services at the Washington Post last week and got an automated voice that said, “To cancel your subscription, press 4 or say ‘cancel.’” When said “cancel,” I was told, “That is not a valid entry.” When I pressed 4, I was told, “That is not a valid entry.” Nice attempt at self-preservation!
How about that: John’s Incompleters are in fourth place, ahead of Barack Obama (18th) and the Completers (73rd). Not sure how that is possible, given that seven of his Elite Eight are wiped out already, but I guess he gets lots of points for all the upsets. This sort of makes me wish I played a real bracket, because I hate losing.
Well, a couple hours later and I am already out of the game, most likely. Notre Dame, 95 percent of your students graduate! However, you lost in the first round and therefore cannot win the tournament, as I had hoped. Old Dominion (49 percent) triumphed.
This whole project is amusing to me mainly because my husband is now randomly proclaiming “Go UTEP!” Yes, he had to look up what that stands for, and no, he has never cheered for a sports team before in his life. He and the Incompleters were tied, last I looked, for first place in the pool.
Secretary Duncan said yesterday he would like the NCAA to restrict its basketball tournament to schools that can actually graduate their players.