Sunday, August 06, 2006

I Thought a Think Tells You All You Need to Know About the July 26th Edition of Education Week

(With all due apologies to Steven Colbert)

The edu-sphere has been sort of hard on Kansas in recently years. Sure, the wounds are mostly self-inflicted, but I don’t think Education Week is helping to dispel the idea that Kansas is an ass-backwards hick hegemony when the best picture they have to illustrate an article on the state is a parade of tractors.

The American Federation of Teachers has done a neat report looking at how well states’ standards are lined up with their tests. Washington State was one of 11 commended for having 100% alignment while Oregon was in the 75% to 99% range and 9 states bombed hard with 0%. You can read the report for yourself at the link above.

Reading to even the very youngest kids, under the age of two, has been shown to raise their comprehension and vocabulary scores as compared to kids whose parents don’t read to them as often. With fatherhood about to kick me in the ass (we’re 5 weeks away from the due date!), this is good stuff to know. The research was published in Child Development magazine, but I can't find it online.

Being a parent changes your views on many things. I’d written off the folks who linked immunization and autism as a pack of whacks, but when we were at Lamaze class the other day and they were talking about getting our own kids immunized the “debate” (as much as there is) was suddenly a lot more personal. Another study from Canada has shown no link, but you still wonder.

Qatar is expanding a charter-school experiment in their country. One wonders if any of the charter schools will follow the model set by schools in Saudi Arabia, where anti-Americanism is a core part of the curriculum.

The results of their annual salary survey were published in this issue. Some fun numbers:

Average salary for a superintendent: $116,244
High school principal: $84,515
Elementary principal: $76,456
Librarian: $52,505
Teacher: $46,953

It’s confusing to me why the librarians would have an average salary $5,500 more than the average teacher. Education Week has set up a sub-site here ($) with more information.

Perpwalk! Former Georgia state schools Superintendent Linda Schrenko is headed to the pokey for 8 years for stealing from the department of education to finance a run for the governorship. The least she could have done was won the election, but noooooo.

It was a big deal in the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago when it was revealed that the NEA was giving money to other groups that oppose the NCLB act. In Education Week it merited only the 6th place mention in their “News in Brief” roundup. Overblown, or under-covered?

One of the best articles I’ve read in a while gets the back-page treatment, but Education Week is a lot like the New York Post
in that being on the back is actually a place of honor. It’s an article by Mike Petrilli, affable host of the Education Gadfly podcast, looking at the contradiction between using what works (as identified by research) and whatever works (as practiced in the classroom). It’s a good read with a good point; Ed Researcher has kindly reprinted it at his website.

Finally, a motivational speaker by the name of Jason Dorsey was a big hit at the High Schools That Work conference last month with his talk on, “50 Ways to Improve Schools for Under $50.” He’s only 28 and never taught, so it could be an interesting perspective. I might have to get the book.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Petrilli link! I'm not sure what I think of this Jason Ryan Dorsey, but I admit I too am intrigued.

I hope you do this all of the time, Colbert or no!

7:28 PM  
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5:07 AM  

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