November 2, 2015

Huffman Tests Reason, Can NCLB Reauthorization Happen?, Hechinger On First Gen, Post On Backfill, And Girls Latin

By Bellwether

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It’s November 2nd. Trigger warning: On this date in 1960 a British court found Penguin Books not guilty of obscenity for publishing D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

In education Kevin Huffman on all this testing debate from last week:

The White House announcement, then, dives into the gulf between perception and reality. Essentially, Obama has promised that we will no longer do the things activists claimed we were doing but we actually weren’t.

Also this seems a little awkward. The Obama Administration cited the Council of Great City School’s work on this testing gambit but the council’s ED wrote this in The Washington Post over the weekend:

The Obama administration, for its part, has taken an important step by acknowledging its role in the proliferation of tests. It has also made several thoughtful proposals to reduce the amount of testing. One of its proposals, however, stands out as a singularly bad idea: a blanket cap on the amount of testing time. This strikes us as a classic example of Washington trying to solve a political problem instead of the real problem. The limitation doesn’t address the underlying fact that tests aren’t well coordinated or aligned. It wouldn’t solve the considerable redundancy of testing. And it doesn’t address issues of test quality or the inappropriate use of tests.

“Singularly bad idea” doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.

This is a great and granular Hechinger article about challenges facing first-gen college students. A lot of these important conversations going on, here’s a public one. Policy considerations for boot camps and student aid. A look at Girls Latin. Wash Post looks at backfilling.

My working theory on ESEA/NCLB reauthorization basically assumed it wasn’t going to happen because for Congress to reauthorize the law and the President to sign it a lot of  things had to go right – and for that not to happen only one of them had to go wrong.  But, a new theory might be that since education became so polarized the only ESEA reauthorization happened as the result of external stimulus (Congress’ desire to get some bipartisan work done in the wake of the September 11 attacks). Now we’ve got a new House Speaker and a President who both want to show they can get things done , an ESEA proposal that, let’s face it, at this point is basically a negotiation between the 40 yard lines, and a lot of activity behind the scenes to iron it all out. So don’t be too fast to bet against it happening. A lot of work happening behind the scenes so it could fall into place fast if incentives line up.

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