Archives › 2011 › August

From what I understand, not enough TFAers have shown enthusiasm to enter this contest which has a great prize where you get to meet an influential publisher. I’ll admit that my entry is not my best work, but you can say you beat me when yours is better.

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Aug 31 2011

It Was 20 Years Ago Today Part III

So I had this idea a few weeks ago to create another blog where I’d re-create what I would have written had this site been around (and had I had any spare energy) twenty years ago when I was a 1991 Houston corps member. Click Here to read the next installment (and to see what…

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If you want to watch or participate as a guest on my new internet talk show, just leave a comment on this post and I’ll get you the information. If you’re a secondary math teacher, I’ll even help you with your lesson for the next day. All happening live. So you loved my book. And…

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Aug 28 2011

Class Warfare: Fact Checking Pages 401 to 437

pages 1 to 100 pages 101 to 200 pages 201 to 300 pages 301 to 350 pages 351 to 400 pages 401 to 437 This book is close to over though the story that it chronicles is far from over. For this reason I know that, depending on how Brill chooses to wrap this up,…

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Aug 26 2011

Class Warfare: Fact Checking Pages 351 to 400

pages 1 to 100 pages 101 to 200 pages 201 to 300 pages 301 to 350 pages 351 to 400 pages 401 to 437 Note: This is a continuation of the last post, so be sure to read that one first. Page 351:  A school administrator said about Weingarten’s criticism of TFA “she’d be glad…

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Aug 26 2011

Class Warfare: Fact Checking Pages 301 to 350

pages 1 to 100 pages 101 to 200 pages 201 to 300 pages 301 to 350 pages 351 to 400 pages 401 to 437 A commenter on part 3 asked if this was really fact checking or just analysis.  Well, I guess it’s both.  There really aren’t very many ‘facts’ to check, so I thought…

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Over the summer I completely lose track of what day of the month it is.  I thought next Wednesday was the 24th, but now I realize that it’s the 31st. Here’s a copy of my last post corrected: So you loved my book.  And you loved my blog even more.  Well, how then are you…

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Aug 24 2011

Join me ‘live’ on my new internet TV show!

So you loved my book.  And you loved my blog even more.  Well, how then are you going to feel about my upcoming live internet TV talk show hosted by an amazing new site (which isn’t even ‘live’ yet) called Spreecast. Spreecast is basically Talk Radio meets YouTube.  It will enable me (or anyone else)…

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pages 1 to 100 pages 101 to 200 pages 201 to 300 pages 301 to 350 pages 351 to 400 pages 401 to 437 In the first 100 pages, we meet the main characters and learn about successful charter schools.  In the second 100 pages, we learn that a major cause of the problems in…

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Aug 23 2011

Dallas Value Added Study — More Analysis

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I did my own analysis of the 1997 study which is always quoted by Rhee about how 3 effective teachers in a row vs. 3 ineffective teachers in a row is life changing.  Now, as someone who considers himself an effective teacher, and someone who has been…

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Aug 22 2011

Looking for a whistle blower in New Orleans

I heard a rumor today which I can’t confirm, but hope that this post helps confirm or deny it. New Orleans, though it is being hailed as a miracle district after the restructuring after Katrina, seems to be an unregulated mess of charter schools doing whatever they want. So the story I heard was that…

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pages 1 to 100 pages 101 to 200 pages 201 to 300 pages 301 to 350 pages 351 to 400 pages 401 to 437 Realizing that many people reading my blog don’t have the book to follow along with, I’m going to add more context in this post than the previous one. The first 100…

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Aug 20 2011

Class Warfare: Fact checking pages 1 through 100

pages 1 to 100 pages 101 to 200 pages 201 to 300 pages 301 to 350 pages 351 to 400 pages 401 to 437 When the new book ‘Class Warfare’ came out, the story of the current ed reform movement featuring TFA and KIPP, I refused to buy it, since I didn’t want anyone to…

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Aug 19 2011

It Was 20 Years Ago Today Part II

Many of these ’20 years ago’ posts will begin with a short intro by the 2011 me, followed by a post by the 1991 me. If these intros distract you, I’ve set up a mirror blog at twentyyearsagotoday.teachforus.org where you can just get the posts from the younger me. I was happy to get the…

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Aug 14 2011

It Was 20 Years Ago Today Part I

  So I was in my storage unit the other day and came across a box of stuff I had saved from my first year of teaching.  I had an idea which I won’t promise that I will pursue to completion, but here’s the idea anyway.  In the box were a lot of mementos —…

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It was the best of teachers.  It was the worst of teachers. But how much better are the best teachers than the worst teachers?  Well THAT’S a tough one, but one that is very important to answer.  The corporate reformers believe that the gap is great so a feasible solution is to fire those bad…

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Aug 09 2011

Reformers Join The Mile High Club

Debunking a miracle school can be tedious work.  Debunking an entire district is, generally, even worse. But when I heard about the recent ‘miracle’ in Denver, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the opportunity to explore Colorado’s excellent data system called SchoolView. Within a few minutes, I was able to produce awesome pictures like…

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Aug 08 2011

Rhee-ality Check

First watch the two minutes from 20:30 to 22:50 (up until the moderator asks Rhee if she is a ‘Tiger Mom’) of this excerpt from an interview Michelle Rhee did recently. Now, the video really speaks for itself, so I’ll let readers make comments, but first let me write a bit myself. This is such…

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Aug 08 2011

@2011s My Framework: Teaching As … Teaching

I am writing this post as a favor to the 2011 CMs.  It is not your fault that TFA can justify to themselves that a few hours of student teaching experience with class sizes of 15 or less makes you ready to handle the responsibility of teaching the kids who need highly trained teachers the…

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Aug 07 2011

What The ‘F’?

Anyone following this blog for the past few months know that, to me, the most disturbing thing about the current ed reform movement is the heartless shutting down of neighborhood schools, based mainly on test scores. Despite Arne Duncan’s claims that he’s seen too many 90/90/90 schools (90% poverty, 90% graduation rate, 90% achievement) to…

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Aug 03 2011

Tilson vs. Rubinstein Round II

Whitney Tilson and I are engaged in a pretty fierce debate about the key issues in education reform. As he is the only corporate reformer who is willing to engage in a debate, I’m impressed he’s been willing to do this in a public way. Most of them clam up as soon as evidence is…

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Aug 02 2011

Tilson vs. Rubinstein Round I

One problem in the current ed reform debate is that there is not enough genuine debating.  Really, there’s no communication at all between the two sides who I see as the ‘corporate reformers’ (Duncan, Klein, Rhee, and even Kopp) and the ‘realistic reformers’ (Ravitch, Cody, Valerie Strauss, and others including me).  Without direct communication all…

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Aug 01 2011

I was happy to just be nominated …

Since they started tracking the stats on the different teachforus blogs about two years ago, I was pleased that this blog was consistently in the top ten.  Considering that this site is generally for CMs who are in their first or second years, the musings of forty-one year old one-time TFA hot shot who got…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum


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