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

The $250,000 barber.

I love GAO reports! I always have. I used to want to work there. (I also, at various points, used to want to be an interior decorator, a teacher, an actress and a designer of confidence-building measures between the Pakistani and Indian armies.) Anyway, the latest education release from the GAO (which, yay, includes voicemails), details questionable practices that for-profit college representatives used on undercover “applicants”—among them telling a purported candidate for a barber certificate that one could earn $250,000 in the field.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Shedding light on cut scores.

Lots of talk among ed reporters this week about cut scores—lowering them to ensure that more students pass, raising them and seeing more students fail. It is a nearly impossible topic to report really well, given that states tend to make the process, and the tests, utterly opaque. Not to mention that “making the questions harder” is sort of vague.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Shameless plug, sibling division.

Simon & Schuster released its first “enhanced” e-book today, interspersed with archive footage and video interviews with the author. Is it Stephen King? Laura Bush? Ernest Hemingway? “The Secret”? No, silly: It is “Nixonland,” by my brother, Rick Perlstein. Read more in today’s New York Times, or REALLY read more (896 pages!), by buying the e-book.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

So my elderly aunt was talking about Michelle Rhee the other day…

I didn’t realize how strongly news of Michelle Rhee’s firings resonated until several people who don’t even live around here asked this weekend what I thought of them. “Is this a big deal, or not?” they said. I explained how in theory getting fired for performance reasons isn’t shocking, but in teaching it is. (Less, though, than we make it out to be. While it is rare, I know a lot of principals who are successful at “encouraging people to leave,” or whatever they call it.) Given that the D.C.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Judge Underhill clearly doesn’t watch “Glee.”

For a long time I was in the cheerleading-is-not-a-sport camp. This attitude partly stemmed from my own experiences in the early 1980s as a middle school cheerleader and briefly, until I realized the group was more about cementing popularity than about dancing, a high school pom-pom girl. There was nothing strenuous or rigorous about what we were doing; we were playacting, mostly, at what we thought cheerleading was supposed to look like. I don’t recall advisors or coaches, I don’t recall warming up or wearing out, and we certainly never competed against anyone.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

For those interested in bullying …

If my log of reporter requests means anything, a lot of you are. Slate reporter Emily Bazelon began to dive into the world of school bullying some time ago, and her lengthy investigation of the Phoebe Prince case in South Hadley, Mass., that was published this week is a worthwhile read. Some of the commenters are excoriating Bazelon for, as they see it, excusing the bullying; I don’t think that is what she has done.