Are You Being Served?

How do Hillary Clinton’s *hardest-to-teach* students fare at Boston charter schools?

Reader: Hillary Clinton recently said something that made a lot of adult interests who put kids first really mad. In brief (because what she said was actually very brief), HRC said that most charter schools *don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or if they do they don’t keep them.* Which resulted in a flurry of sternly-worded rejoinders, like this one, this one and this one, none of which responded to HRC’s actual very brief words. Which gave me a wacky idea. What if we looked at some actual data?  Continue reading →

If This Post Feels Entirely Recycled, That’s Because It Is (Much Like #TeachStrong)

Welcome (back) to Lake Wobegon Academy, where every teacher is highly effective, and every student is (still) in the top quintile…


Oh #TeachStrong… Like one’s loved ones, there is something irritatingly familiar about you. In fact, as I poked about your super cool new website, I couldn’t help but feel as though we’d met somewhere before. Because we have met before. I’ll never forget that day back in June of 2013. You charmed me with that line about *a virtuous cycle of excellence and higher pay for all teachers.* Well, maybe not all teachers (wink, wink!). You called yourself the *Opportunity Culture,* and I was totes smitten, especially when I watched the super cool video that I am helpfully including below. And now, like *funeral baked meats,* here you are again, part of the #TeachStrong family. What say you *Opportunity Culture,* shall we get re-acquainted again? For old-time’s sake? Continue reading →

Shrinking Possible

How did the vision of what’s possible get so small?


While this Tweet from former school chancellor Joel Klein refers to NYC, he could mean any number of cities where pitched battles over charter schools have raised a complicated question:  Who exactly is a progressive when it comes to education? Continue reading →

Most Likely 2 Succeed

Venture capitalist-turned-documentary-producer Ted Dintersmith is a fierce critic of test and measure, and no excuses charter schools. And he offers a compelling vision of what schools could look like….

Ted-Dintersmith-964x670-482x335EduShyster: Your new film, Most Likely to Succeed, makes a convincing case that the obsession with standardized testing is leading us over a cliff—and not into a sea of innovation. Why? And keep in mind that there is only one correct answer and that I’m timing you.

Ted Dintersmith: Well, it all depends on how you see the goal of education. If the goal is to teach kids year after year to shut down their creative thinking and stop asking questions, we’re doing a great job. Is school about learning vocabulary and math through repetition and drilling under time pressure? Or is it about doing complicated challenging things that you care about and learning to persevere and be creative and resourceful? Continue reading →

Door Number Three

Stacking up winners and losers in the Great Massessment Debate…

threeDoors-copy*I’ll take door number three, Monty.* Wait—there’s a door number three¿¿¿ I speak, of course, of the remarkable journey that has been the Great Massessment Debate. PARCC vs. MCAS. MCAS vs. PARCC. This week the path to college and career readiness suddenly reached a fork in the road, by which I mean a trident. But as any young Massessee who has fallen on the wrong side of the cut score can attest, there must be winners and losers in this particular contest. To the doors, reader!  Continue reading →