September 26, 2017

Private Jets And Public Dollars, Value-Added Redux, CRPE On Next Gen Ideas For Chartering, Matt Lewis Interviews Moskowitz, The Dems Dilemma, More!

By Bellwether

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Last week a variety of folks from Bellwether took a look at different dimensions of family engagement.

Chad Aldeman with a tour of pension history – you’ll learn something.

Do you know what a B-3 indicator is? It’s ESSA talk and Bonnie O’Keefe and Chad get you up to speed here via this CCSSO toolkit.

I wrote this column on value-added and teachers seven years ago (Facebook just reminded me). Does it still stand up?

So last week CRPE released a report raising some questions about the next generation of charter schools, policy, and collaboration with districts. Reasonable people can disagree on all of that and it’s hardly settled. I’m not sold on all of it at all – and I’m a formal advisor to CRPE (but wasn’t involved in this work). But the amount of behind the scenes pushback on them even raising the issues was startling. I’ve noted that too many reformers and advocates are trying to set a land speed record for becoming what they sought to change. This seems an example. We should be having these kinds of conversations not be scared of them.

Here’s a thoughtful take on it from Terry Ryan.

Is the era of regulations by letter really over? Surprised this hasn’t gotten more attention. Well not really, given how bonkers the last few days have been, but it’s worth watching.

Matt Lewis talks with Eva Moskowitz.

Yellen on ed.

Sexual assault policy and race. I’ve been surprised this issue hasn’t seen more attention, too.

Where you stand and where you sit and all that…when are parents “fleeing” and when are they advocating on behalf of their own children? And is the difference contingent on where you send your own kids to school?

Breaking: Betsy DeVos is rich. That seems to be the underlying point of the new round of stories about how she flies on her own plane. Except she’s paying out-of-pocket and paying for her security and so forth as well. So what is weirder, an education secretary with her own plane or that this arrangement seems to save taxpayer dollars. From the AP:

Hill said DeVos pays for “all her travel expenses including flights, hotels, etc., out of pocket and at no expense to taxpayers.” Since coming to office, DeVos’ only charge to the department was one roundtrip Amtrak ticket from DC to Philadelphia for $184. Hill added that DeVos also covers travel expenses for her security detail or any other staff accompanying her on the aircraft.

Obviously, ability to pay is not the top skill set we look for in a public official. And I guess it’s a little weird the education secretary flies around on her own plane (but really, who amongst us wouldn’t stop flying commercial if we could). But the bottom line seems to be that she’s spending less taxpayer dollars on travel than her predecessors rather than more as result – even though more is what the phrase private jet immediately conjures up.

Here is Stan Greenberg’s after-action on the Clinton 2016 campaign.  The Democrats’ dilemma, or part of it, it seems to me is that voters are hungry for candidates who are outsiders and who will disrupt a pretty insular system that doesn’t work for too many Americans. That’s why “drain the swamp” is at once a punchline and a sentiment that resonates with a lot of Americans. This issue should be a natural for Democrats who relish attacking monopolies, self-dealing financial arrangements, and structural barriers to opportunities. Problem is, that doesn’t just describe banks and parts of corporate America – it arguably also describes our education system and its constellation of special interests. People get that and in today’s politics it’s hard to be half a reformer.

Prep schools and privilege. Lots of concern but so far more absolving than change.

Interesting analysis of geography and opportunity. And new California school ratings from GreatSchools.

Russian bear rides in motorcycle sidecar, and plays the horn.

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