Sunday, December 21, 2008

For your reading pleasure---Fiction or Non Fiction?

"Progress by Our Schools and the US Department of Education" --- See this wrap-up of accomplishments put out by ED as the current Administration winds down. What do you think about their list? Non-fiction or fiction? Let the KNOWLEDGE-able Sourcerer know

Friday, December 19, 2008

Education in 2008

Check out this interview with Jay Matthews of the Wash Post who clearly had a love affair with KIPP and charters in 2008. What do you think was the big news in 2008. Let the Knowledge-able Sourcerer know.

The winners are ...

... Mark Schneider of AIR and Kate Bannan of Knowledge Alliance for correctly predicting the new Secetary-designate of Education.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Applauding the New Secretary Designate

Knowledge Alliance applauds President-elect Obama’s selection of Arne Duncan as the next US Secretary of Education. During his successful tenure at the helm of the Chicago Public Schools Mr. Duncan has demonstrated a unique leadership ability to tackle the most pressing problems with a powerful combination of knowledge, collaboration and will.

At this pivotal time in our nation’s history – one filled with urgent challenges and history-making opportunities --- the President-elect and the Secretary-designate face a watershed moment. In education the country is ready to turn the page on past efforts and be guided into a new era of innovation and improvement.

We believe that Secretary-designate Duncan has the capacity to unleash America’s ingenuity on our biggest educational dilemmas, deliver break-the-mold solutions to our schools, and lead a knowledge revolution in teaching and learning.

With great anticipation and enthusiasm Knowledge Alliance looks forward to working with the new Secretary in a national call to action for education reform.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Still at Work on FY09 Appropriations

We received a few more reports from the Hill about the long hours the appropriations subcommittee staffers have been dedicating to preparing a conference omnibus bill for FY 09 that will be taken up in early January right after Congress convenes on 1/8 . They are still aiming to send the bill to the new Prez “… on his first day in office.” Our letter to the Appropriations chairmen and ranking members with our priorities has been circulated to the staff. The word continues to be that they are trying to split the difference between the House and Senate bills, meaning slight increases for several of our priority programs but still bad news for Reading First.

Steve Fleischman to NWREL

Wow. Here is some breaking news from our buds in DC and Portland OR: “…Steve Fleischman, who has served as a vice president at the American Institutes of Research (AIR) since 2006, will join the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) as the second in command, beginning in mid-February. Fleischman succeeds Robert Blum as NWREL’s deputy executive officer. Blum is stepping down after serving NWREL in a variety of leadership positions during the past 25 years… Fleischman is a nationally recognized expert on evidence-based education innovation and improvement…”

Good News, Bad News---TIMMS

“The 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)” --- Well here is the fourth TIMSS study since 1995. In a nutshell it is relatively good news for math with improved scores since 1995 and a better than average international ranking. But for science the scores are flat with no measurable improvement since 1995 ….urrggghhhh. Lots of buzz about what this means including a statement from the Secretary, a uniquely positive analysis on the Quick and the ED blog, and a thoughtful discussion on the Gadfly blog. What say you about these results and what they mean? Let The Knowledgeable Sourcerer know.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Job Opening !!!

Kate Bannan, Knowledge Alliance’s policy director for the past two years, is moving on to the US Depart of Energy. We are soooo appreciative of Kate’s dedicated work for our collective cause and we wish her all success. Her last day with us will be December 19. We will be starting a search process within the week. For more info go here

Numero Uno? Why?

US News has come out with its annual rankings of the top high schools in the country as measured through test scores and other things. Once again a local DC area high school is numero uno. Which Knowledge Alliance board member was actively involved in setting up this school 20 years ago? And which Knowledge Alliance staffer has a son who attended this school and disagrees with the ranking methodology. Submit your answers and your thoughts in "Comments".

Monitoring for Compliance

Last week the US ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education issued two new reports on its monitoring of the Title I. Check ‘em out here. “… The 2003-2006 Monitoring Cycle Report offers six general observations about the outcomes of the first cycle of monitoring under NCLB in three broad areas: accountability, instructional support, and fiduciary responsibilities…” And the 2008-2009 Monitoring Indicators Report describes the purpose, rationale, and process used for monitoring in the current school year…” We actually think this is quite important stuff in the school improvement arena where monitoring for compliance should be balanced with a robust system of support and technical assistance. It is particularly important for those of you involved with the Comp Centers.