“Tiger Blood, Man”: A. Ross Thomas Highly Commended Paper

How can you make a post about an academic paper winning an award interesting? Start with Charlie Sheen quotes of course!

I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.

I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.

The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning.

I’m not fair game. I’m not a soft target. It’s over. There’s a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins.

I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists.


The Journal of Educational Administration has selected  At-risk student averse: Risk management and accountability as a A. Ross Thomas Highly Commended Paper.

The abstract: The prevailing theory of action underlying accountability is that holding schools and students accountable will increase educational output. While accountability’s theory of action intuitively seemed plausible, at the point of No Child Left Behind’s national implementation, little empirical research was available to either support or critique accountability claims or to predict the long term impact of accountability systems on the success of at-risk students and the schools that served them.  The findings reported in this paper challenge the proposition that accountability improves the educational outcomes of atrisk students and indicates that low-performing Texas high schools, when faced with the press of accountability, tend to mirror corporate risk management processes with unintended consequences for at-risk students. Low-scoring at-risk students were often viewed as liabilities by school personnel who, in their scramble to meet testing thresholds and accountability goals, were at-risk student averse— implementing practices designed to “force kids out of school.”

Vasquez Heilig, J., Young, M. & Williams, A. (2012). At-risk student averse: Risk management and accountability. Journal of Educational Administration, 50(5), 562-585.


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