2013: All Hail The EduPreneur

Ah, New Year’s—a magical time in which we renounce bad habits (excuse making, achievement gap widening) and promise to embrace more lucrative ones (excellence, innovation, MacGyvering). And while 2013 may be barely upon us, it is already shaping up to be the Year of the EduPreneur. But before we raise our collective wine boxes in a toast, let us first meet this homo innovatus.

Pronounced ej-oo/ˈ prəˈno͝or/, this 21st century being understands the vital need of investing in our childrens’ futures—as long as he earns a return of 7% or more. The edupreneur, a close cousin to the edvestor and the edushyster, is consumed by a single burning question:  How can I crush the achievement gap? How can I make some money off of the little bastards? Quite effectively, it turns out. No matter how far short the edupreneur falls of his stated, altruistic goals, he always seems to end up with a wheelbarrow full of edu-bucks.
Continue reading →

Minneapolis: Land of 10,000 Rephorm Miracles

The Twin Cities’ Venture Academy is already raising expectations—not to mention a boatload of cash—despite the fact that the school hasn’t opened yet.

‘Tis the season for miracles and today I give you a miraculous one indeed. Imagine a school so excellent, so innovative that it has succeeded in raising expectations and boosting achievement before its doors have even opened. Where is this miracle occurring? Reader: it’s time to squeeze into your ski pants and slip the insulator over your wine box. We’re headed to Minneapolis, or as I like to call it, the Land of 10,000 Rephorm Miracles.
Continue reading →

box_of_wine_

Have a Very Rephormy Christmas!

And an excellent and innovative new year…

Still looking for the purrfect gift for that extra excellent and innovative someone in your life? Not to worry. EduShyster has assembled an assembly of offerings guaranteed to send test scores soaring all through the holidays and into 2013. So from my rephorm family to yours: ¡feliz navidad and a very prospero año! Continue reading →

Michelle Rhee’s Hero Problem

Does heroism hold value in Michelle Rhee’s measure of a teacher’s worth?

In the annals of tin-eared condolence statements, the one released by Michelle Rhee in the wake of the Newtown school shooting stands out. Her very word choices felt stilted and wrong, evoking a strange world in which children are “assets,” stunned and reeling teachers are “colleagues,” and family are the members of Rhee’s own “team.” But if the statement began on an off note, worse was still to come. The lesson of the hours-old tragedy, Rhee seemed to conclude, was that she’d been right along. “Improve schools for children,” (read, eliminate tenure and other workplace protections for teachers) and thereby “improve entire communities” (read, prevent senseless slaughter). As for her parting, there was nothing left for Rhee to do but double down, announcing that she and the entire StudentsFirst organization—”including the members of our team in Connecticut“—were recommitting to their mission today. Not two days from now, when the first of the unending series of memorials would begin, not a week from now when the funerals would at last be over, but today.
Continue reading →

A Charter School Teacher Takes on the Boston Globe

By Nancy L. Bloom
Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh is right about one thing. His ideas about education really do make me uncomfortable—and it’s not just because I’m a staunch supporter of teacher unions. His recent assertion that Massachusetts should lift the cap on charter schools in order to save the children who live in poor, urban (that means black) neighborhoods by providing longer school days and years is simply faulty. Continue reading →