On Charter Schools, Say This, Not That

A new guide to charter messaging urges advocates to steer clear of corporate speak

say this not that-1Once every four minutes, a passionate charter advocate accidentally lapses into the kind of clinical corporate speak that can leave listeners cold—not to mention kids out of the equation. Would that there were a way to remedy this problem once and for all… Great news, reader. Problem solved! A handy new guide to charter school messaging ensures that never again will you mistakenly blurt out *market share* when you mean *student share,* or *businesses* when what you really meant to mean all along was *schools.* Continue reading

White Suburban Dads—Even Worse than Moms?

If you could ask Arne Duncan just one question, what would it be?

lawnmowerBy Patrick Hayes
If you could ask Arne Duncan just one question, what would it be? That’s the dilemma I faced when I heard that my district would be hosting a live Q & A with Big Dunk.There was the obvious choice:

*Whaddya’ get Bill Gates for Boss’s Day?  The man has everything.*

Instead, I settled on this: Continue reading

Who Got Capped?

What really went down in Massachusetts last week…

dunceIt seems like only yesteryear that an extraordinary amount of money and influence was lining up behind the long-suffering public school students of the Bay State. But last week state senators overwhelmingly declined to doff the *cap of excellence.* Wha happened??? And are there important lessons for us to ignore from what happened? (Like that making thin-skinned white guys the irritable face of a movement that’s supposed to be about low-income kids might not have been the smartest move…) Strap yourself in, reader, because it’s time for the official EduShyster cap the cap recap.   Continue reading

On the Rocketship

Richard Whitmire’s new book chronicles a bumpy ride for Rocketship charter schools…

9781118607640.pdfEduShyster: Your book is meant to chronicle the take-off of a high-performing charter school but to me it read more like a cautionary tale. You made the strongest case I’ve seen for why Silicon Valley-style disruption and education are a mismatch. I’m thinking of Rocketship’s decision to blow up its instructional model, making classrooms much larger, in order to generate more revenue for expansion.

Richard Whitmire: There were actually two reasons for that model change. California’s per-pupil spending is $7,500, one of the lowest in the country.The state was cutting back further at that time and delaying payment to charters. Rocketship also felt that it had hit kind of a wall. They’d been able to take these low-income minority kids to the mid 800’s [on the California Academic Performance Index (API)], but they weren’t getting up to the level of the suburban schools. This seemed to solve both of those problems at once. They could save some money and they could do some more personalized learning in this larger classroom.  Continue reading

Confessions of a D-List Reformer

Everything you ever wanted to know about education reform land but were afraid to ask…

By *The 49er*whisper-in-ear
I have a confession—I am an education reformer. So what am I doing here, hooking up with the likes of EduShyster? I got involved in the education reform movement because I honestly believe that all kids in this country deserve a better public education system. I wish that the same could be said of all of my peers in the movement. My insider’s perspective has given me some unique insights into the education reform movement and I’ll be sharing them with you here.

Continue reading