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 Banchero, Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2013. Is this a sign of the rise of the “parent union”, such as the Texas Parents Union? In other “parent trigger” news: Won’t Back Down is now available on DVD; see my review.
  • A revitalizing school in Tulsa gets slapped with a “C” grade: Do these ratings help inform parents, or just demoralize teachers and students? “Schools Get Taste of Own Medicine”, Stephanie Banchero & Caroline Porter, Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2013. What if Texas were to adopt a school grading system like this?
  • A Gates Foundation-funded study shows that some teachers can cause their students to do better on standardized tests—regardless of how those students did on tests in the past. “Good Teachers Linked to Test Success”, Stephanie Banchero, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2013. Education researcher Jay P. Greene has been critical of research that uses multiple measures of teacher effectiveness; Greene thinks test scores are the most important component (compared to, say, classroom observation). “Confusing Evidence and Politics”, Jay P. Greene, Jay P. Greene’s Blog, August 13, 2012.
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