• J.K. Rowling: The Jeb Bush of the NEPC Florida Fantasy
    The Arizona School Boards Association had their annual law conference last week, and had William Mathis from the Think Tank Review Project present on “Are Things as Sunny as They Seem in Florida?” I [Matthew Ladner] went first, and presented charts like this, showing the vast improvement in Florida’s 3rd grade reading scores: I examined other possible explanations for Florida’s gains. Huge spending increases (nope), decline in the percentage of low-income or minority students (nope-increases in both), preschool voucher program (nope- students too young to have aged into the NAEP sample) and class size amendment (nope- implemented very slowly, gains already well under way, formal evaluations negative) and retention law (scores continued to rise even as retention fell).
  • U.S. Students Continue to Stall on SATs
    Latest review shows no improvement, widening of achievement gap. For your reference, CER is providing a breakdown of SAT scores by GPA, ethnicity and class rank. Jeanne Allen, president of The Center for Education Reform, released the following statement regarding today’s SAT score analysis for college-bound seniors:
  • School Choice Now!: New Poverty Statistics Make Clear the Dire and Immediate Need for School Choice
    More than any set of sweeping data in recent history, these statistics sound a vociferous clarion call about the need to save our country’s children—predominantly minority, predominantly urban-dwelling, and low-income—from the difficulties that lie ahead on the path down which they’re traveling. And how can we best do that? By improving the education these kids are receiving. Should we be resigned to waiting for a system to improve when it comes to these students? Should we be content with nearly two out of every five black children in America growing up in poverty, and by extension, not attaining the education they need to escape their troubled upbringings?
  • Boards divided on lobbyists as Memphis, Shelby County schools merger looms
    Despite previously having a voice in the capitol, SCS has not hired a lobbyist this year — chairman David Pickler said that decision belongs with the unified school board. But MCS is considering it, although some board members are worried about looking disingenuous and wasteful.
  • School board reappoints Porter as chair, North as vice chair
    The Metro Nashville Board of Education reappointed Gracie Porter as board chair and Mark North as vice chair at its meeting Tuesday night. Representatives of United Kingdom-based Tribal Group, which the board recently awarded a five-year, $6.3 million contract, told board members about the organization’s ongoing efforts at Metro’s 33 federally deemed failing schools.

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