Quixote, jobs, innovation, and Catholic schools

Another effort is afoot to turn Title I, at least partially, into a scholarship program for low-income kids. I’d love to see this happen. Anything we can do to create more accessible high-quality seats for disadvantaged kids gets my vote. But this windmill has seen tilting knights since the 1970s. Someday we’ll get our Dulcinea del Toboso. But the Galicians of this administration would sooner leave such plans bruised and battered.

Three very interesting job-related items!

  • The very cool, very influential TNTP is looking for a VP of Strategy, Systems, and Policy. The person would lead the organization’s educator evaluation and other human capital systems design and implementation work. They’re looking for a bold, innovative leader with a breadth of experience who can quickly build credibility with high-level clients.
  • New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) is looking for a Managing Director of Human Capital Investments. This person will manage NSNO’s relationship with the nation’s leading human-capital organizations and will direct a $13 million grant program related to educator evaluation and compensation. If you’re interested or know someone who might be, contact HR Director, Jenny Katz, jenny@nsno.org.
  • NSNO’s Neerav Kingsland is also involved with a terrific brand-new human-capital organization called Hackstack EDU. The group, which just launched, uses an online platform and some innovative methods to match amazing teachers with amazing schools. It’s a free service allowing each interested teacher to create a personal profile, find schools that match his interests and abilities, and automatically let these schools know that you’re interested. Teachers with profiles can also be recruited by partner schools. What a great way to make the teacher labor market more fluid.

The federal i3 program has somehow ended up being the quietest of this administration’s new competitive grant programs, seemingly always in its big sister’s shadow. Once upon a time, people debated whether Uncle Sam had any role in fostering K–12 innovation; now a substantial pot of money for those purposes garners relatively little attention. The program’s latest competition is on.

Every year, the National Catholic Education Association issues the same depressing press release: More urban Catholic schools were closed last year and the future looks grim. Ed reform has succeeded on so many fronts in the last decade—charters, accountability, educator effectiveness. But when it comes to preserving high-performing Catholic schools in inner cities—where high-performing schools of any type are so desperately needed—we’ve struck out.

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