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By John Thompson. As test-driven, competition-driven school reform gets closer to scrap heap of history (at least in terms of improving schools), we will see more great journalists, such as Dana Goldstein, Dale Russakoff, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Paul Tough document its failures. We can expect more analyses where …

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By John Thompson. The contemporary school reform movement was rooted in the Michael Deaver, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and Dick Morris era of public relations spin.  Being able to hire the best possible public relations expertise, reformers borrowed from Deaver’s success in using photos of Ronald Reagan getting …

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By John Thompson. The education sector is plagued by “astroturf” think tanks that issue “reports” that repeatedly conclude that (surprise!) reform is working. To do so, pro-reform scholars cherry-pick data in order to provide attractive, multi-colored graphics that show an upward trajectory, or at least …

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By John Thompson. Paul Tough’s Helping Children Succeed is a great corrective to the hubris that undermined the contemporary school reform movement.  Tough volunteers a modest statement about his methodology, and in doing so he offers an alternative to corporate reform and its grand vision of “disruptive …

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By Anthony Cody. This week leaders in the California Department of Education released a new system for “grading schools” that proposes to assign schools a set of colored indicators based on a variety of measurements. This system is intended to replace the old system of performance indicators which gave schools …

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By Anthony Cody. Will mainstream reporters take note of the following story? The testing giants behind the PARCC test are doing their best to squash any discussion of the content or quality of their all-powerful instruments. They have added an eleventh commandment to the tablets Moses brought down the mountain, …

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By John Thompson. Diane Ravitch observes that “reformers almost always have a soft landing in a cushy job, even when their previous endeavor was a dud.” Chris Barbic failed in leading the Achievement School District in Tennessee but, “No matter. Barbic now works for the John Arnold Foundation in what must be …

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By Anthony Cody (and Anonymous). I received the following message from a reader this morning. With his permission, I am sharing it here, followed by my own thoughts: I just applied to Downey Unified School District in Southern California and was referred to the Teachermatch website to take the “EPI” …

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By Michelle Strater Gunderson. I worked the work of three people this week. I do not say this to be congratulated or slapped on the back. I have never been one of those people who brag about being tired because I do too much. I say this because it is true. This past week the students at my school were taking the …

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By Denise Hertzog Pursche. In my prior post about “Why High School Exit Exams, Not Student, Are Worthless”, I talked about my own experience as a foster child and how the high school exit exam made an impact on my life. Then in Part Two, I discuss the findings and research about high school exit exams and why …