Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2011«

What happened to Texas math achievement and where will it go?

May 25, 2011


The best indicator of a state’s progress in math and reading are the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This is considered the “gold-standard” of tests. The assessments include some multiple choice tests, but also include many open-response items that require students to show their work and arrive at the correct answer […]

Challenge to those who think class size does not matter

May 20, 2011


Many people are now arguing that class size does not matter. There is some research that shows this. One of the problems with such research is that the outcome variables of almost all of those studies are standardized tests that tend to measure fairly low-level skills and do not accurately measure the higher-order thinking skills […]

More on Vouchers

May 20, 2011


Bruce Baker, esteemed school finance researcher and a good friend of mine, has access to national and state data on private school per pupil expenditures. He kindly ran some Texas numbers for us and has them at: He found that the voucher proposed by Rep. Miller would NOT cover the per pupil costs for […]

Vouchers? A bad idea and here are several reasons why.

May 18, 2011


This post reviews a short paper by Dr. John Merrifield and Joseph Blast as well as research on vouchers in peer-reviewed journal articles and books. The paper by Merrifield and Blast has not been peer-reviewed or published in any manner other than a policy brief. I’ve only had 5 hours to work on this brief […]

IRONY ALERT!! Perry castigates those who perpetuate lies.

May 16, 2011


In today’s Austin-American Statesman, Governor Perry castigated those who perpetuate lies in order to distract people from the conversations that should be happening. Specifically, the Governor starts off the editorial by stating: “One proven tactic of propaganda is that if you want to distract people from the conversation you should be having, don’t be afraid […]

SURPRISE: Gov Perry flat-out wrong about admin-teacher ratio!

May 15, 2011


Once again, a conservative politician has perpetuated the mis-truth about the ratio of administrators to teachers and the “huge” number of non-teachers we have hired over the last decades (see Conservative groups have consistently perpetuated these incorrect data as a way to garner public support for cutting education–especially cutting central office positions. In fact, […]

Why a Permanent HB 400 Should Scare YOU!

May 12, 2011


I read the essay below by a teacher last night. After much thinking, I concluded that a permanent HB 400 would contribute to the overall denigration of teachers and the teaching profession and lead to a permanent teaching force that is (a) under-prepared, (b) teaches very few years, (c) is not in involved in decision-making […]

Support HB 400? Perhaps, but with two changes.

May 10, 2011


A few legislators and other interested parties have engaged me in an email discourse over HB 400. As usual, they have raised great questions and important points. There are truly some very intelligent legislators who are quite thoughtful and listen closely. I hold Chairman Eissler in high regard and do not put him in the […]

Can we fairly evaluate teachers using student achievement (SB 4)?

May 10, 2011


Teachers in the US have long been paid the same regardless of the effectiveness of the teacher. Indeed, two teachers with the same amount of experience are paid about the same amount of money regardless of how effective or ineffective the teachers. This remains true today despite a large body of evidence and years of […]

Where is the district leadership on budget cutting and keeping teachers? UPDATE

May 8, 2011


I see and hear a lot of district leaders and district leader organizations supporting HB 400 which does the following: 1)      Raising the 22-1 class size cap for grades K-4 to 25-1. 2)      Eliminating the requirement that districts cannot pay teachers less next year than they earned this year. It also would eliminate the state […]