Debate: What if every Texas school got a letter grade rating, A through F?

Parents, would you find it helpful if every school in Texas got a letter grade, A-F? Do letter grade ratings give parents a useful yardstick for quality? Or, do they oversimplify and obscure the differences among schools? Please leave a… Continue Reading

A closer look at the KIPP middle school study showing big achievement gains

Last week, I wrote about a study that looked at dozens of KIPP middle schools and found the students were packing in months of extra learning each year. Earlier post; “New Report Finds KIPP Middle Schools Produce Significant Achievement Gains”, Mathematica… Continue Reading

Parent unions, grading schools, teachers raising test scores: Ed Reform stories from WSJ

So what’s interesting in the world of education reform? Here are three recent stories from the Wall Street Journal. A successful elementary school in a small town in Vermont is going private to avoid consolidation. “School’s Twist on Going Private”, Stephanie… Continue Reading

Chicago charter schools are open, despite teacher’s union strike

The Chicago teachers’ strike continues, and thousands of students who attend public schools have nowhere to go. At Chicago’s charter schools, however, it’s business as usual. “Charter school leaders: Class is in session here”, Jon Seidel, Chicago Sun-Times, September 9, 2012. Professor… Continue Reading

Charter schools have “advantaged” students?

“Charter schools actually bring in a more advantaged set of students than other schools,” said researcher Ed Fuller, an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University. “It explains why some of them do have higher levels of achievement, because their clientele… Continue Reading

Charter school names: “banal” or “winning”?

Education reform advocate Jay P. Greene has complained about organization names that “often look like lyrics from an old Prince album” (Pre-K 4 SA, anyone? P16Plus?) or “are just an alphabet soup, randomly spelling words, acronyms, or just jargony gibberish.” “The… Continue Reading

Do charter schools succeed because of student selection?

High performing charter schools claim that they succeed because they have the flexibility to use innovative teaching methods. Critics of charter schools look for other explanations, such as higher spending per student. Or “creaming,” the alleged practice of selecting students… Continue Reading