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Catching up

January 28, 2012

My consulting jobs had me on the road early in the morning the last couple of days so I’ve getting behind in posting links. I’ll catch up on some tonight and hopefully catch up completely tomorrow.

According to an article in Ed Week many states are encouraging kids to graduate early  but for the wrong reason: to save money! My white paper on Waivers includes a section on an easy way to see if students are ready to graduate early. The abandonment of the Carnegie unit is a great idea… but the concept of mastery has to work both ways. What states and districts should do is take the savings from early grads and pump them into remedial and/or extended year courses for students who struggle… or pre-K programs…

The Washington Times ran an article suggesting that good teachers who transfer to high need schools should receive a $10,000 bonus, taking a bad idea from economic developers and trying to apply it to schools. The primary problem with this approach is this: highly effective teachers who already work at high-need schools should be eligible for bonuses and benefits, too, and not just newcomers. It is a complaint existing businesses rightfully level when an economic development commissions throws money and tax breaks at new businesses while ignoring the needs of businesses already in place.

Raising the drop-out age is the latest panacea to the persistent problem of keeping high school students engaged . Earlier this week The NYTimes featured an article that calculated the effects of dropping out on an individual and on  society… The fact is that 3rd grade teachers can identify the students who are likely to drop out… but we don’t want to spend the money or the time to act on the information when we get it…

The Ugly Truth About School Choice, according to an Alternet article sent by my older daughter, is that it’s an astro-turf project funded by the Koch brothers… the article is a little over the top… but only a little…

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