Browsing All Posts filed under »Uncategorized«

Shaky Methods, Shaky Motives: A Recap of My Critique of the NCTQ’s Review of Teacher Preparation Programs

June 17, 2014


Preface The following is based on my complete study published in the Journal of Teacher Education. This version leaves out some examples, technical points, and suggestions for an approach to evaluating preparation programs. Sage Journals has been kind enough to make the complete study available for free to the public for a one month period. […]

Pope Francis, Clerical Education, and KIPP

January 4, 2014


What does Pope Francis’ views on clerical education have to do with No Excuses charter schools you ask? In a recent news article (, NBC stated: “Pope Francis is calling for a change in the culture of seminaries, saying priests who are taught only to toe the line will become ‘little monsters.'” The article goes […]

Strong Schools Can Withstand Teacher Turnover?

August 28, 2013


A recent NY Times article about young, inexperienced teachers and teacher turnover focused on the YES Prep charter schools. In that article, Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, stated, “Strong schools can withstand the turnover of their teachers. The strongest schools develop their teachers tremendously so they become great in the classroom even in […]

How Arne Duncan could have saved Philadelphia Schools

August 16, 2013


Much has been written about how Philadelphia schools got into the financial mess that they are currently experiencing. Some blame teacher unions while others blame district leadership or simply the inefficiency of urban district bureaucracies. More likely culprits are the state management of Philly schools that put the district deep in the red, a state […]

NCTQ Ranking of Teacher Prep Programs Gets an F

June 17, 2013


Background In January, 2011, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and U.S. News & World Report announced their intention to evaluate and rank teacher education programs in the United States. The goal of this study is to review the quality of teacher preparation programs across the U.S., based on NCTQ’s standards for teacher education. This […]

De-Regulating Teacher Prep: Will Teacher Prep Academies Replace Schools of Ed?

May 27, 2013


A new post from Edweek Teacher “Living in Dialogue” blog by Anthony Cody reports on another effort by Senator Bennett from the state of Colorado to pass the “Growing Excellent Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals,” otherwise known as the GREAT Act. See the EdWeek blog at: As the excellent blog post points […]

Bias in Texas Growth Measure and Implications for Austin and IDEA Charter

December 18, 2012


One of the often over-looked factors that influence achievement are peer effects. There is a growing body of literature that concludes peer effects have fairly substantial effects on individual achievement. However, it is incredibly difficult to disentangle peer effects from all the other factors influencing student achievement. (1) The preponderance of the research is pretty […]

Why is a 43% Failure Rate in College Considered College-Prep?

December 16, 2012


IDEA Charter School markets itself as a college preparatory education organization with goals of enrolling 100% of graduates in four-year universities and have 100% persistence and graduation rates in college.[1] Indeed, in the introduction of the most recent annual report, Dr. Tom Torkelson, CEO of IDEA Public Schools, makes the following statement: IDEA puts students […]

Allan Elementary shows solid academic progress in year before charter takeover

October 15, 2012


As Austin-area readers know, the Austin school board decided to hand over Allan elementary school to IDEA Charter Schools based in the Rio Grande Valley. This decision was based partially on the relatively poor performance on the state mandated Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills at Allan (although other East Side elementary schools had worse […]

Middle School Charters in Texas: An Examination of Student Characteristics and Achievement Levels of Entrants and Leavers

August 23, 2012


Introduction Charter schools have proliferated in Texas and across the nation. The expansion of charter schools is now a popular reform effort for many policymakers on both the right and left of the political spectrum. To examine the efficacy of such policies, a number of researchers have focused on the effects  charter schools have had […]