Archive | December, 2012

Letter to a Friend: Teach For America Alabama

I have discussed Teach For America (TFA) previously in the New York Times and in widely-cited brief for the NEPC. See CI’s full TFA thread here. Larry Hill recently sent along an email that was an exchange with a friend who is a supporter of Teach For America in Alabama. His friend told him that “he […]

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Standards, kissing, and the voice of a teacher

It has been quiet here on Cloaking Inequity because we just buttoned up finals and grades at UT-Austin. So let’s get back to it and chat a little bit about standards. Since their roll-out across the nation in the 1990s, standards have continued front and center due to their linkage with high-stakes testing and accountability. I […]

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From Friend to Foe: Austin 1, IDEA 0

Unbeknownst to some, current “reform” efforts are interconnected. One example is Teach for America and IDEA charter schools (KIPP is another corporate charter management organization started by former TFAers). IDEA was founded in 2000 by Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama, TFA corps members. How about a little nepotism for TFAers at IDEA? TFA also gave out awards to IDEA’s TFAers. IDEA is often in the […]

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Originally posted on A "Fuller" Look at Education Issues:
IDEA Charter School markets itself as a college preparatory education organization with goals of enrolling 100% of graduates in four-year universities and have 100% persistence and graduation rates in college.[1] Indeed, in the introduction of the most recent annual report, Dr. Tom Torkelson, CEO…

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Exclusive to Cloaking Inequity: Whiskey, Sandals, Teasing, and High-Stakes Tests

The federal courts first took up high-stakes testing in Debra P v. Turlington and refused to overturn them despite their disparate impact on students of color in Florida. About a decade ago, Texas was sued by Texans in federal court GI Forum v. TEA, (American GI Forum is a veterans group), for the longstanding battery […]

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“Time to invest in Latino children”

Had an interview/conversation yesterday with Sandra Lilley (She’s featured in my Twitter background photo) from NBCLatino. Her article Census shows it’s time to invest in Latino children, says experts discussed the growth of Latina/os in U.S. Schools: By 2060 Latinos will be nearly one of every three Americans, according to the latest Census report released today.  As […]

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Race, Racism, Education, and Lino Graglia

Race and Racism. Is there a topic we struggle with more in the United States relative to public policy and education? I recently had an extended discussion with a long-time friend on Facebook regarding race, and what i perceived as a “racist” statement. We debated how racism should be defined… So what is exactly racism? […]

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Exclusive to Cloaking Inequity: Retro School Finance Testimony

Ever wondered what prepared expert testimony for a school finance case looks like? Recently, Dr. Walt Haney, a Boston College Professor well-known for statistically debunking the Texas and Florida educational miracles, emailed me a copy of his expert report prepared for the previous Texas school finance adequacy case (West Orange-Cove v. Neeley). For those of you that really like to dig […]

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Guess which state is 3rd “Dumbest in the Nation”?!

“Dumbest state in the nation” is a list where a state doesn’t want to be highly ranked. How does Texas perform relative to other states? Warning: This ranking is contrary to the reams of state-controlled (aka contrived) data released by the Texas Education Agency such as dropout and graduation rates etc. The Street compared the […]

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Teacher quality: Money matters or matters “somewhere” or not at all

Eric Hanushek and others have argued for decades now that “Money doesn’t matter” in education. He has hedged and said that it “matters somewhere.” Texas is that somewhere. Home to decades of school finance lawsuits (Edgewood etc.), including San Antonio v. Rodriguez, according to IDRA, is currently allowing differences of $36,000 per classroom. The state of […]

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Why do hedge funds ADORE charters? Pt. II: 39%+ Return

With nearly 1,000 hits and counting, my post “Why do hedge fund ADORE charters?” was surprisingly popular. One of the issues raised by commenters on the post was the New Markets Tax Credit. It has been discussed elsewhere (here and here). We thought we would add more hard numbers to the discussion. This post was […]

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Education Summit: Top Five Most Inane Comments

A few day ago I spent the afternoon in an Education Summit hosted by the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute. The entire afternoon I wished I could respond to the discourse, so here are the top five most innane things I heard and my brief thoughts (not in any particular order). 1. Reduced funding to […]

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Animated Conversation: Dewey and Dubya

Its finals week at UT-Austin. Lindsay Redd and Lindsay Butterfield created this short animated discussion between George W. Bush and John Dewey for their final project presentation today in my Education Foundations course. Enjoy!

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Exclusive to Cloaking Inequity: A Banned Book About a Charter School?

During Thanksgiving week, Cloaking Inequity’s visitors voted on the 1st Annual Educational Policy Turkey of the Year. One of the contestants was Great Hearts Academies charter management organization. I wrote: Recently granted a new charter in Texas. Discussed on CI here and here and here. (An interesting book about Great Hearts entitled It’s All About the Information: What Great Hearts Academies Doesn’t Want You to Know) Innocuous […]

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Smart ALEC: Education, Privatization, and the Pursuit of Profit

ALEC, the smartest guy (Because corporations are people too) in the room that maybe you have never heard of… The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a national organization “composed of legislators, businesses and foundations” with great influence and connections to extreme think tanks and supported by funding from corporations that are seeking to drive a public policy agenda based […]

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