November 1, 2017

Conservatives To Government: Help! Newark Debate, Honest Accounting On Pensions, Free College, Accountability, Procurement, And Reform And Reformation, More!

By Bellwether

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Earlier in the week I reviewed a Phil Lesh + PHJB show for GratefulEd and discussed what looks like a coming clash between the focus on improving curriculum and the broader debates the country is having for US News.

Sara Mead on Martin Luther and education reform. Really! She can do that.

Chad Aldeman reviews a recent report on teacher pensions – are apples to apples comparisons too much to ask for?

Reasonable people can disagree about what to do about this problem. Some advocate 401(k) style approaches while others favor traditional pensions but with some tweaks. And there are hybrid options like “cash balance” plans that have aspects of both of those approaches. The reality is that there are trade-offs with every approach and it’s possible to design lousy pensions and good 401(k)s and vice versa. What we shouldn’t disagree about, however, is that this conversation is too important not to be informed by the best data and honest straightforward analysis of what it means and what those trade-offs and choices are.

A lot of interesting things are being written about personalized learning lately, here’s Phyllis Lockett’s take.

The debate over Newark.

Ian Rowe wants a debate with Bill Gates.

Accountability does seem like a dirty word in a lot of education circles.

Denis Newman with questions to ask and ways to think about getting the right intervention for your school.

School choice as a perennial political wedge issue.

Rick Hess wants the federal government to withhold research funding from colleges that trample free speech. Seems like one can agree that the speech situation on campus is a little out of control right now in some places, but also question whether this is a workable or desirable solution. Workable because of the range of institutions and their varying free speech obligations as well as the inherent messiness of the issue. And, if you think that the Obama Administration’s sexual assault guidance to schools created a bunch of unintended consequences then I’m not sure why you’d assume anything different here? Seems like a better solution is for colleges to fix this through their own leadership?

Whatever you think of free college proposals, they’re not really a targeted equity solution.

Gang of farm animals prowls neighborhood.

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