Browsing All Posts published on »April, 2011«

Education: A Profit Making Endeavor for Some

April 29, 2011


OPINION PIECE: I have become increasingly concerned with the trend in education of privatizing services and for-profit companies entering education with the sole purpose of making a profit. Profits by themselves are not bad, but often the goal of the company or organization is to maximize profits rather than to do what is best for […]

What You Don’t Know About TPM and Why You Should Demand a Growth Measure

April 27, 2011


Recently, TEA has removed TPM from use as one component in school accountability ratings. Many superintendents are upset because they felt TPM gave them credit for improvement on TAKS with students who had not yet cleared the passing hurdle. I understand this sentiment. Before TPM, there was absolutely no component of the accountability system that […]

Texas-Style School Accountability: Rewarding the “Best” Schools?

April 26, 2011


Texas is considered a leader in state accountability systems in the nation. Indeed, George W. Bush touted school accountability as the primary driver of the Texas Miracle of the 1990s. Ultimately, this fondness for school accountability Texas-style led to the basic framework of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)–President Bush’s signature education reform effort. […]

Characteristics of Students Enrolling in High-Performing Charter High Schools

April 25, 2011


Listening to the pundits and current crop of education reformers, one would assume that high-performing charter chains such as KIPP, YES, and IDEA (among others) enroll low-performing poor students and save their academic careers by providing requiring extra time and effort as well as holding a “no excuses” attitude. Indeed, those promoting High-Performing (HP) charter […]

Moving Accountablity Targets: Educators Thrown Under the Bus

April 24, 2011


At the last second, TEA and the legislature have now changed the metrics by which schools and districts will be held accountable!  Specifically, the Texas Projection Measure has been dropped and Commended Status has been added. This goes against everything we know about what works with goal-setting and incentives. The goals must be agreed upon […]

TPPF Wrong (again): This Time on Educator Employment

April 23, 2011


In a recent roundtable interview with education “experts”*(see endnote) in Texas Monthly entitled “Night of the Living Ed.” The full transcript can be found at This week’s blogs will review the incorrect statements and set the record straight. The interview is  quite an interesting read for a number of different reasons. But what struck me […]

School Funding Doesn’t Matter? TPPF and TAB Get it Wrong!

April 22, 2011


In a recent roundtable interview with education “experts”*(see endnote) in Texas Monthly entitled “Night of the Living Ed” that can be found at, a number of dubious statements were made. This is the kind of article and talk that makes my head explode. I have the same reaction when watching either the Senate Education Committee […]

Budget Analysis: Will there be anyone left to turn on the lights if you don’t lay off teachers?

April 12, 2011


As we all know, Governor Perry recently stated that school district leaders were choosing to lay off teachers rather than choosing to lay off other staff and reduce non-payroll program expenditures. GOP senators have said much the same thing. For example, Senator Shapiro (R-Plano) stated, “”We have said that from the beginning. There will be […]

Are Virtual Schools a Good Idea?

April 11, 2011


In yet another move to try to fix education on the cheap rather than to invest in what we know works, a number of Texas Legislators are pushing various forms of virtual schools. In fact, a virtual high school has been proposed that would allow students to transfer from traditional public schools to the Virtual […]

Has the Percentage of Texas Public School District Staff Who Directly Impact Student Outcomes Changed over the Last 20 Years?

April 10, 2011


In the last post, I showed that the decrease in the percentage of teachers was largely due to an increase in support staff. But support staff is a catch-all that covers a wide variety of individuals. As it turns out, a fair percentage of support personnel are located at schools and have a direct impact […]