September 9, 2015

Back To School, Science Talent Search Jilted, Everything Is Not New, Especially Pension Problems, Pennington V. Willingham, And Did You Know Common Core Confuses People?

By Bellwether

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It’s a bummer Intel is pulling its sponsorship of the annual Science Talent Search.  This is one of the education events (OK, actually the DC education event) I look forward to most each year and I’m always frustrated if travel has me elsewhere when it happens. The students are amazing, their work is unbelievable, and having dinner with them makes you feel pretty confident about the prospects for improving the human condition.

I had a similar reaction as this to the recent Linda Darling Hammond essay announcing her new policy center. This field really is remarkably self-indulgent about just how revolutionary the times we live in are and what it means. And while the volume of information is increasing (and something may be happening structurally that should concern us) it’s unclear the economy is changing as fast as people assume or like to say it is. Among some economists a lot of concern about that.

All Apologies? In Seattle today the city’s charter schools are apparently open despite facing closure because of last Friday’s court ruling but the traditional public schools are closed because of a teachers’ strike.

You may not have heard, Common Core confuses people. So does teacher preparation: Kaitlin Pennington responds to Daniel Willingham.

Social Security, pensions, and the lived experience of teachers via Risk, lower-returns, and gambling. The lived experience of pension managers. And this is just bananas.

Richard Whitmire on closing lousy charter schools in The 74. He’s right about the quality point (although the overall quality point is more complicated, look for some data from Bellwether on that very soon) but doesn’t suddenly closing a bunch of charter schools complicate support for charter schools at least as much as it helps? The parents in those school might not think it’s such a great idea? I’m making a political rather than substantive point here, of course, and this isn’t a reason not to move on low-performing charters. We should. But the politics matter. Seems like this could launch a two-front war against charter schools if it’s not handled deftly. Also at The 74, here’s some straight ahead Eva Moskowitz.

I proposed a compromise on the Confederate school naming controversy. Crazy, I know..but what happens inside schools matters, too.

This should be a back to school staple. Every year. Period.

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