Listen to Hitting Left with guest Matt Farmer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Killing the small schools

It looks like the beginning of the end for small schools in Ohio and in Oregon. Why? Bill Gates apparently is growing weary and moving on to greener pastures. Small wasn’t the panacea he had hoped it would be and he’s looking for a new magic bullet. It seems that test scores in some of the small schools aren’t keeping pace with NCLB standards. Some districts, obviously were only in it for the grant dollars and are now moving back to the big, traditional model and using the Gates pull-back as their excuse. All this despite high student and parent satisfaction, better relationships within the schools and lower dropout rates.

As urban superintendents go…

…I thought Denver’s Michael Bennet was a good one. But the revolving door keeps revolving and now he’s Senator Bennet. Despite looking into the face of the current economic disaster, Bennet’s replacement, Tom Boasberg seems to have his head on straight. Boasberg is no educator. That might be asking too much these days. He’s a former lawyer/businessman as is the fashion. The thing that makes me nervous about Boasberg, is that the hedge-fund school reformers seem to like him too. But in this entire interview, he refrains from the typical teacher and union-bashing and doesn’t appear to be big-time school closer. His urban teacher residency program makes a lot of sense, as does pushing lots of financial decision making down to the local school level.

Bye bye Kette

Eduwonkette trades in her cape and blog today for elbow patches and a real job in academia. The mystery woman was even bold enough to have me as a guest blogger. Thanks for that, Kette. Let’s hope Edweek finds another swift, research-based rapier sword to replace hers.

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