April 7, 2017

School Choice Is Expanding, Disney Fines, Edujobs, Classroom Champions, Teacher Race, Teacher Eval, Shopping Iguana, More!

By Bellwether

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Scroll down the main page for several new edujobs.

Betsy DeVos and Pitbull. I don’t really have much to say about it but feel this blog wouldn’t be doing its job if I didn’t mention it. So there you go. Betsy DeVos and Pitbull.

Here’s a look at Classroom Champions (I’m on the board so biased) and the power of Olympic caliber mentoring for students. 

Big voucher expansion in AZ.  You can find a bunch of people in D.C. who think the choice debate is over and the anti-voucher folks basically won. And I guess that if you only talk to other people in D.C. or pay attention to votes in the Senate it might seem that way. President Trump’s effort is stalled, outside of D.C. vouchers it’s unclear what might happen there, and there isn’t a lot of traction right now with even conservatives split over an appropriate federal voucher role. But around the country state after state is expanding choice in various forms – vouchers but also charters, ESAs…

Somewhat related: If you’re going to Disney World it’s gonna cost ya extra in the U.K. The Times looks at a fine for skipping school for a Disney trip. I’m on record as being pro-school skipping – I just wish we’d do more to level the playing field for parents who lack the means for Disney trips, so more field trips and other experiential opportunities for students.

This is a England story but the trend toward schools becoming more of an a la carte experience seems pretty clear on our side of the ocean. Earlier this year Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have let homeschool students play high sports as is allowed in some other states. (Longer background on that issue here $) History won’t judge that one well, practices like that will be commonplace before too long. Parents want more flexibility, customization, and personalized learning experiences and the public system will learn to accommodate that or become irrelevant. I’m strongly hoping for the former. A worse, and unfortunately quite foreseeable, outcome would be a further class stratified system where the affluent get the customization and everyone else doesn’t. Making attendance policies more flexible while still effective is just one piece of getting ahead of that.


Matt Barnum reviews the new research on black students and black teachers and the growing body of evidence on that issue. Again it’s NC and TN research because of their data systems. Striking how frequently you see that….

Teacher eval in Connecticut. Classic lede:

State test scores will no longer be used in teacher performance evaluations – though, after five years of contentious debate and unremitting delays, the requirement to do so was never actually implemented in the first place.

This iguana just wanted to save money and live better.

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