Monday, March 29, 2010

Congrats! TN & DE 4 RttT

Whew! All of those speculators did not quite get it right. Kudos to Tennessee and Delaware for their Race to the Top awards!!!! Much more to come to be sure.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

White Rabbit and the Alpha4-beta-delta effect

Remember "White Rabbit" that great Jefferson Airplane song about "one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small"? Well, how about a pill that makes you learn more? Yep, some researchers have found one perhaps. See Debbie Viadera's report on this Alice in Wonderland possibility. Hmmmm. We didn't see this anywhere in the Obama blueprint for ESEA reauthorization. Perhaps the idea needs a bit more evidence.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

R&D in the ESEA Blueprint

In her Inside Researach blog, Debbie Viadero raises questions about the Administration's emphasis on research in its ESEA blueprint. While evidence is one of the six cross cutting priorities in the proposal, research or evidence is not mentioned frequently in the programmatic descriptions. Hmmmmm. Should knowledge-able stakeholders be concerned about this?

Testy talk about testing

Two very smart ed journalists at the Washington Post are having quite a debate about the role of standardized tests in evaluating schools. Not a small issue in the ESEA reauthorization deliberations Check it out here and tell the Sourcerer what you think. We are leaning in Jay Matthews's direction with all sorts of nuanced qualifiers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Obama's Blueprint for Education Reform

Those folks overy at the US Depart of Education ought to get a life. They released their long-awaited proposal for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act on Saturday night of all times. How many geeks out there like us (who need to get a life) picked it up right away? From all of the traffic on our twitter feed, too many.
Our first quick scan of the blueprint on this Saturday night found no big surprises. Sec Duncan and staff had telegraphed their plans last fall and in their FY11 budget proposal. Our only real comment at this point is to urge all involved to take a good hard look at the best available, research-based evidence for the range of proposals and counter-proposals. We say "best available" because the knowledge base for some of the ideas is rather shallow. The debates in the coming months should always begin and end with the question "what's the evidence?"
Onwards with the debate!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

And the winnas are ....

The intense speculation over the past several weeks about which states would be finalists for the Race to the Top program has been numbing. Now the results are out (see below) and I am sure there is a lot joy and saddness in state capitals around the country. Not to be trite but we think that given the unprecedented action and attention that RttT has already generated makes education the big winner in the domestic policy sweepstakes. Now let the most important work begin in transforming education for the next generation of learning.

Press announcement from the US Department of Education at 11:45 am 3/4
At noon today the Department will issue a press release on to announce that 16 finalists will be invited to Washington in the coming weeks to present their proposals to the panel that reviewed their applications in depth during the initial stage, and to engage in Q&A discussions with the reviewers. Winners for Phase 1 will be chosen from among the finalists and announced in April.
The Phase 1 finalists are:

• Colorado
• Delaware
• District of Columbia
• Florida
• Georgia
• Illinois
• Kentucky
• Louisiana
• Massachusetts
• New York
• North Carolina
• Ohio
• Pennsylvania
• Rhode Island
• South Carolina
• Tennessee