Last Dance of the Lemons

The *kids* weren’t the only big winners in California’s Vergara ruling…

dancing lemonsReader: barely had the verdict been announced in the landmark legal case Vergara vs. Lemons when the verdict was reached. The Vergara verdict represents a huge win for the kids. My own favorite verdict came swiftly from value investor Whitney Tilson who *stopped the presses* an unprecedented quintuple times in order to announce that the Vergara decision was a *grand slam for students* and a *grim day for the Blob.* (Note: if you are regular reader of this blog, you are a de facto Blob member.) Which got me to wondering. Might there be some other beneficiaries of the Vergara victory, besides the kids that is? I’m recommending an extra lemon twist to today’s featured quaff—you’ll need it. Continue reading

A Buffet of Excellence

Michelle Rhee and company serve up heaping helpings of some familiar fare

By Sarah Lahm
Michelle Rhee and her cavalry of status quo blasters recently braved the frigid Minnesota winter to present a veritable buffet of warmed-over ideas for boosting our sad, slumping schools and closing our many cavern-sized gaps. From *grit* and *rigor* to healthy portions of data consumed throughout the day to helpful tips on avoiding the unpleasant taste of *corporate education reform,* it was familiar fare—and there was plenty of it. Here’s a taste.

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Nice Work If U Can Get It

What’s behind those sky high charter salaries?

Harlem Village Academies chief Deborah Kenny earns $500,000 to run her burgeoning empire of excellence.

The eye-popping salaries commanded by some New York City charter execs are raising eyebrows, not to mention the hackles of haters. As a state-of-the-art technology known as Google quickly reveals, though, it’s not just in the Big Apple where charter chiefs are pulling down mad cheddar. But talking about money is so gauche, reader, which is why so many of these excellent execs insist on keeping compensation information to themselves.  Continue reading

Needs Improvement

Former DC principal and whistle blower Adell Cothorne says don’t believe the hype about IMPACT.

The verdict is in and the results are unanimous: Washington DC’s IMPACT teacher evaluation system is a smashing success, successfully separating the highly effective wheat from the underperforming chaff—and sending the latter scrambling for the exits. But former DC principal Adell Cothorne warns the system’s cheerleaders to cool their jets, arguing that the system was deeply flawed from the outset, and that the most important lesson we can learn from IMPACT is not to repeat its mistakes. Here’s a look. Continue reading

Adell Cothorne Speaks!

Whistleblower Adell Cothorne reflects on Rhee, Ravitch and why she’s in the fight to save public education

DC principal, whistleblower and cupcake baker Adell Cothorne.

Now some of you may know my story. For those of you who don’t, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Adell Cothorne.  I am a former District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) principal.  If my name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because I garnered some national attention when I filed a whistleblower’s lawsuit against DCPS in regards to alleged test tampering by members of my school staff. But enough about me (for now). I recently had the opportunity to hear the views of two women who currently have a significant impact on education and I’d like to tell you about it.

Who were the two women, you ask?  None other than Michelle Rhee and Diane Ravitch. The fact that these two women were speaking in the city of Philadelphia within 24 hours of each other was significant. Two women with completely different views on America’s current education system speaking in a city experiencing educational dysfunction – on steroids. The movie script practically writes itself.
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