The Education Gadfly Daily

Sonja Brookins Santelises
While the New York State United Teachers and the National Education Association have withdrawn their support for the Common Core State Standards, it’s important to recognize that the teachers’ actions had nothing to do with the standards themselves. This blowback is yet another example of how...
All eyes are on the “ extraordinary authority districts ” in Louisiana (the RSD), Tennessee, (the ASD), and Michigan (the EAA). And for good reason, because as this excellent Hechinger Report article demonstrates, old-style state takeovers almost always disappoint. The article highlights cases in...
Anyone concerned with improving the achievement, efficiency, operations, or other performance of school districts inevitably asks: Shouldn’t the board be responsible for doing this right? How much do school boards matter, anyway? In the past, school boards have been characterized both as key...
In an Education Week commentary essay about school boards in 2009, I wrote, “[M]y sense of things, after two stints on my local school board…is that school boards have been overtaken by the ‘educatocracy,’ by powerful trade unions, certified specialists, certification agencies, state and federal...
Life Skills Centers, a group of fifteen dropout-recovery charter schools operated by White Hat Management, is on the decline. Last year’s enrollment (school year 2012-13) was less than half that of 2006. The erosion of Life Skills Centers’ enrollment bucks the steadily rising trend in Ohio’s...
Peter Cunningham
In a provocative piece in Slate recently , Fordham’s executive vice president Mike Petrilli asked why Euro-style tracking isn’t a better strategy for high-school students who are significantly below grade level. Here’s one response. I do some work with a nonprofit organization in Chicago called...
Hot off the presses: sometimes even a signed and sealed deal can't secure a facility for charter school.
Are the nation’s 90,000-plus school board members critical players in enhancing student learning? Are they part of the problem? Are they harmless bystanders? Those are the questions that Fordham’s newest study, Does School Board Leadership Matter? , seeks to answer. Among the takeaways are the...
My doubts and disgruntlements with elected local school boards span three decades . I don’t dislike boards or board members. However, this whole governance structure—the local “district,” the elected board, the board-appointed superintendent, and so on—strikes me as archaic, an arrangement that...
Sean Lynch
Upon reading Michael J. Petrilli’s recent article, “ Kid, I’m Sorry, but You’re Just Not College Material ,” I was encouraged to see a major publication shining light on some of the many benefits that career and technical education (CTE) has to offer. Petrilli’s facts are absolutely correct: CTE...

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