January 2011

Can standards for charter schools improve their performance?

A coalition of groups announced today the publication of new national standards for charter schools. Here’s the lead of the press release: “A coalition of leaders in the national charter movement is today announcing the culmination of a four-year, federally-funded project titled Building  Charter School Quality (BCSQ) that has resulted in the development of national […]

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Memphis: A reminder that the fight over desegregation never ended

The city of Memphis, Tenn. and the suburban county that encompasses it are locked in a battle over whether to consolidate their schools into one large system. The city board, which proposed the merger, says the move is in reaction to a county proposal to transform itself into a “special district,” which would keep it […]

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Obama pushes education investment in State of the Union speech; Calls Race to the Top ‘most meaningful reform’ in a generation

President Barack Obama hit the education theme hard in his second State of the Union address last night and set the stage for a fight with Congressional Republicans over federal education spending as he prepares to release his budget for this year. Education was one of the “pillars” of change that he said needs an […]

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A closer look at Justice Kern’s ruling in NYC value-added case

On Monday, January 10th, Justice Cynthia Kern ruled that the decision by the NYC Department of Education to publicly release Teacher Data Reports (TDRs) with individual teachers’ names attached was not “arbitrary and capricious.” That the chips fell this way isn’t terribly surprising. Kern’s ruling is interesting more for what it doesn’t say than for […]


Making a difference in a new role

Editor’s Note: Today, Education Sector Board Chair Macke Raymond announced that Richard Lee Colvin will join Education Sector as its executive director. For the past eight years, I’ve had the great fortune to lead the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University where, most recently, we created The Hechinger Report, […]

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Quality Counts 2011: The Great Recession’s impact on public education

Today, Education Week released its annual Quality Counts report, a treasure trove of articles, charts and graphics that in 2011 focus on how the Great Recession has affected public education in the U.S. The report issues letter grades to all 50 states and Washington, D.C. based on multiple metrics, including K-12 Achievement, School Finance, Transitions […]


Teachers-in-training deemed ‘highly qualified’ by Congress

Congress was busy the week before Christmas, capping off a legislative session that saw the most laws passed since the 1960s. In the final days of the lame-duck Congress, the Senate and House passed items ranging from the high-profile James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and new food-safety legislation to a “continuing resolution” that […]