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Happy Birthday!: A Conversation About Education With César E. Chávez

Happy Birthday César Chávez! Often education “reformers” toss around civil rights as a justification for their “reforms.” See for example Reframing the Refrain: Choice as a Civil Rights Issue. If he were still alive today, how would César Chávez have weighed in on the school “reform” movement? I pose several questions about hot topics in education reform— then I […]

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Startling Findings?: Black students “hardest hit” by Teacher Quality Inequities

This is why the Civil Rights data collection by DoEd is so important. EdWeek published a piece entitled Black Students Less Likely to Be Taught By Certified Teachers, Ed. Dept. Data Show. A few months ago Cloaking Inequity took up this issue in the post Whats Good for Goose, is Good for Gander: Feds propose changes to Civil […]

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Why are TFA and “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform?

Why are TFA and, more generally, “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform? Why do they get defensive when faced with critiques based on empiricism (data and research) and efficacy (is their reform working)? See for example Jonathan Alter get defensive when I discuss charter school data and research on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. He […]

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It’s Sommer Time: TFA alum Critiques Co-CEO’s “Slick Willie” Interview

I recently caught a rebroadcast of PBS’ American Experience: Clinton, and was reminded that today’s future “first man” was once dubbed “Slick Willie” by the press due to his mastery of duplicitousness in dancing around controversies. However, with Bill Clinton’s approval rating now upwards of 69 percent, he may have finally shaken off that unpleasant moniker. But with […]

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American Radioworks® Conversation: Does Teach for America Need Reforming?

How about radio media today instead of print? Today American Radioworks® (ARW) released a conversation (“Does Teach for America Need Reforming?”) that I had with Stephen Smith. What is ARW?: ARW is the national documentary unit of American Public Media. ARW is public radio’s largest documentary production unit; it creates documentaries, series projects, and investigative reports for the public radio […]

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On Assignment for DianeRavitch.Net: Rewriting Thomas Harkin’s Teach For America Constituent Letter

I am on assignment today. Diane Ravitch asked me to rewrite Tom Harkin’s email to a constituent that extols the virtues of TFA. I will begin with the letter that was forwarded to me that was apparently written by Harkin’s office and then follow the official letter with my rewrite. From: Senator@harkin.senate.gov Date: January 7, […]

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A Horror Comedy: Teach For America Rises to Power

Gremlins was a “horror comedy” movie that came out in the early 1980s. Wikipedia: The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a Mogwai as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters. What does it take for the Gremlins to spawn and replicate […]

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Teach For America: Feel Good Spin vs. Dose of Reality From A Corps Member

I often receive notes and email from Teach For America teachers who have regret about their decision to join the corps (Please encourage teachers to send them to me. I will publish them here on Cloaking Inequity to give them voice). Should you believe the positive spin from your local TFA lobbyist, Mathematica, TFA recruiters, […]

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Whats Good for Goose, is Good for Gander: Feds propose changes to Civil Rights data

Unbelievably, I have travelled more than 20,000 miles over the past five weeks— Brazil, Princeton, New York City, Las Vegas and Oregon. Imagine a scenario where I showed up at the airport and the airline employee gave me the following choices: You can fly on an airplane today with a pilot with 30 hours of […]

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Academia Esoteric and Inaccessible?: Not this month

Oft heard critiques of academia is that our work is esoteric and/or inaccessible. Over the past few days I have released two new peer-reviewed studies here at Cloaking Inequity that have implications for school reform: School Turnaround: Calling the Bluff of Accountability? and Expansive School Segregation in Texas: Predicts Accountability Rating. The journal at the top of the […]

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George H.W. Obama’s education platform: Republicans should be flattered and Democrats ashamed?

Mr. President, welcome to Austin! I was looking over your “Forward” education platform and I thought I would share it with the readers of Cloaking Inequity. I think they will be super excited about your progressive stances on education. The Democrat’s strategy is based on sound principle. Parents have the right to choose the best […]

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V for Victory: Teach For America, ELLs, and California

Special Education and English Language Learners are considered vulnerable student populations. As a result, our society, courts, and policymakers have afforded these student populations special protections. However, in California, until recently, policy has allowed districts to offer rookie teachers limited access to training for teaching special populations— including Teach For America corps members. I have […]

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New Teach For America study (and meme) debated in WaPo

The debate about the efficacy of Teach For America continued in the Washington Post this past weekend. Yes, it goes on and on. This time we are discussing a recently released study (apparently not peer-reviewed at this point) that says TFA teachers’ student performed better in math but not ELA. There are many non-peer reviewed […]

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Can we get teacher evaluation right?: Bill Gates, Tom Brady, and Linda Darling-Hammond

Teacher evaluation is one of the most contentious issues in educational policy today. Here on CI I recently discussed how policymakers have ignored the experts on the use of VAM statistical models. I will be honest, I have not often been a fan of how the Gates Foundation has typically gone about education reform (See […]

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JVH on KUT: “Education Experts Weigh Proposals’ Impact on Students”

Julian Vasquez Heilig gave an interview about “college” and “career” readiness to Veronica Zaragovia from KUT News. We briefly discussed the education bills passing through the Texas Legislature that are stirring debate on impact to students, especially minorities. See my earlier post Career and Tech: “Show me the money!” for thoughts on funding for career programs and the implications tracking students […]

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Teach For America Civil War: A sincere tell-all from New York City

http://youtu.be/2-LW31oQ-bc A Cloaking Inequity reader made me aware of this sincere tell-all from a former TFA teacher that was recently posted on Carla Ranger’s blog, a Dallas ISD School Board member (we have lots and lots and lots of TFA in Texas— Dallas, Houston, Rio Grande Valley etc.). John Bilby’s thoughts reblogged from Ranger’s blog: I […]

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Reformers: Competent enough to understand the data that disproves their claims

Originally posted on Crazy Crawfish's Blog:
I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed by all the rapid changes happening in the education sphere. I’m positive I’m not alone in feeling this way - based on the feedback, articles and correspondence I’ve been receiving from local and national groups and individuals. As…

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Originally posted on deutsch29:
In order to truly understand value added modeling (VAM), forget the likes of me and of others who hold degrees in mathematics, or statistics, or measurement. Forget that we offer solid, detailed discussions of the problems of VAM. Forget also that those who formerly promoted VAM, like Louisiana’s George Noell, are mysteriously “no longer associated…

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