Blog: The Educated Reporter
The phrase of the moment! You know you should hyphenate it—but you, and the policymakers you love, are probably less clear on how to define it. You could make up your own definition, as this school system did (complete with jazzy videos), or you could look beyond courses taken and test scores to a more complex definition. I like this report by the Center for Educational Policy Research as a starting point.
In my eyes, we should pay better teachers more because it’s right. But that is not why merit pay is being written into policy. Ostensibly, the idea is that tying pay to student scores will make teachers and teaching improve. What we need to talk about is: how, exactly?
Do we really need another acronym to describe children who are not native English speakers?
Or do you know someone who has? Several reporters have asked me to recommend experts who are familiar with each state’s proposal and can common on the whole, unabridged bunch. I think they want the horse race handicapped. I’m at a loss. Suggestions?
Scott Jaschik from Inside Higher Ed always gives a talk at EWA’s higher ed seminar about the Top Ten college story ideas, and it is always, always worth the price of admission—not that our conferences really have a price of admission.My colleague Lori Crouch is twittering them more in depth here, but in short: the unfairness of community college funding, budget woes of small privates (check out the rising discount rates, dwindling rainy-day funds), the gender gap (is it reversing course?), unemp
Three times in the last few weeks I have seen newspaper pieces include statements like, “Chris estimated that more than half his classmates used Adderal during the ACT” or “Sarah said that 90 percent of the students at her school drink on weekends.” Oh, really? Did Sarah hire Harris Interactive to survey a representative sample?
You know that when Mike Petrilli and I talked about the future of education journalism on this Education Next podcast, I meant to say “do more with less,” right?
P.S. My hair looked much better on CNN. And about that bulky sweater: I should have known better.
I saw a story the other day—kills me that I can’t remember where—that described charter schools as funded by a combination of public and private funds. That’s often the truth, isn’t it, at least among the high-performing charters people want to replicate? Yet they are almost never described that way in the press; the shorthand description is usually that charters are “public schools that operate with public funds free from many of the strictures of the school district,” or something like that.
Sometimes turnaround guru Justin Cohen and I are simply on the same wavelength. The same time he was writing this, I was having an e-mail conversation with a friend about the lack of progress in figure skating. The topic was areas that have failed to innovate over time, and my mind immediately went to figure skating.
One of the perils of working from home is that when a CNN producer asks you to come on air in two hours, chances are that your hair, not to mention your eyebrows, will be a hot mess. But hey, I welcome any chance to inject my form of reality into the education conversation.