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From Emmy Partin, Fordham's writer and researcher in the Ohio office:

Four years ago, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation went from talking the talk of school reform to literally walking the walk when we signed an agreement with Ohio's State Board of Education to become a charter school authorizer (called a ???sponsor??? in the Buckeye State).?? To our knowledge, we are the only think tank in the country that has taken on such a role.?? Urban education is hard work and sponsorship has been a humbling experience.?? But it has also been an enlightening one, and we are constantly learning lessons worth sharing.

One way in which we share what we've learned as a sponsor is through our annual sponsorship report. To say the least, 2007-08 was a year of major change to Fordham's small portfolio of schools: we helped close three schools, parted company from two, and helped open two more, including Ohio's first KIPP school.?? Similar to their peers in Ohio's major urban cities, our schools...

The Education Gadfly

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute presents A Thanksgiving Video Menu stemming from our latest book, A Byte at the Apple: Rethinking Education Data for the Post-NCLB Era.

If you're short on time, and just want a small but filling appetizer, we offer you...

A Byte at the Apple Panel highlights

But of course, there's always the main course... Up first, the turkey...

Panel 1: Why We Don't Have the Data We Need

Panelists:

Paul Manna, Assisant Professor, Department of Government, College of William & Mary

Chrys Dougherty, Senior Research Scientist, National Center for Educational Achievement

Nancy Smith, Deputy Director, Data Quality Campaign

Discussant: Mark Schneider, Former Commissioner, National Center for Education Statistics

Moderated by: Chester E. Finn, Jr., President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Which would be nothing without the stuffing...

Panel 2: Innovations and Promising Practices

Panelists:

Jon Fullerton, Executive Director, Project for Policy Innovation in Education, Harvard University

Macke Raymond, Director, Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO)...

The Education Gadfly

Arne Duncan carries nearly 40% of our Insiders' votes, soaring high above even his closest competition - Klein, Sebelius, Canada, and Darling-Hammond. But which one of these contenders will dare to pluck his wings? It might be Klein, given that our Insiders increased their support for him today, changing his percentage from 6.3% to 9.8%. Caroline Kennedy, Tim Kaine, Michael Lomax, Hugh Price, Tom Vilsack, Ray Mabus, and, yes, Oprah Winfrey, are all tied at 2%.

With the holiday lull, we don't expect to see many changes, but next week could bring some surprises - maybe even announcements. We will wait with bated breath here at Fordham.?? Enjoy the holiday - and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Education Gadfly

The Education Gadfly

Panel 3: The Way Forward

The Education Gadfly

Mike is scheduled to appear on CNN's American Morning on Tuesday. Be sure to tune in!

Education Trust and Achieve have it, and share it, here.

It's week three of Fordham's name-the-next-education-secretary daily tracking poll, and Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan has moved into a commanding lead, with better odds of getting the job than the next five candidates combined. (At least that's according to our ten Washington insiders .) I've decided to be happy about it. While he's not the perfect choice--I really think a governor is better suited to move an agenda on Capitol Hill--he no doubt has reform instincts and a pretty good track record in Chicago. (His NAEP scores are at least as impressive at Joel Klein's, if not more so. What he seems to be lacking is a large press office to promote them nationally.) And being a close personal friend of the President's will surely help him get attention for the education issue.

Meanwhile, lurking in today's results is the specter of Linda Darling-Hammond, who makes the big board for the first time today. And keep your eyes on Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, a rising talent who is expected to get a chair at the Cabinet table. Will it be this one?

Other folks mentioned today: Tim Kaine, Hugh Price,...

Melody Barnes, whose comment on the Diane Rehm show sparked much speculation about Team Obama's position on testing and portfolios, is going to direct the Domestic Policy Council. Portfoliogate aside, I hear she's very good and has the right instincts on education. And let's all be thankful that this key job didn't go to Linda Darling-Hammond. (On the other hand, that means that LDH is still in the running (!!!) for education secretary.)

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