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Liam Julian

The Wall Street Journal highlights how the NEA spends its members' money. Mike Antonucci has more.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has announced a new job board on its website. MarketWatch thought it newsworthy, and so do we.

Liam Julian

Fordham is seeking a fall intern. What's it like to spend a semester with us? Our summer intern, Amy, has approved the following message, which I wrote:

My time at Fordham has been revelatory. The people are grand, the ideas are never-ending, the work is invigorating. I've had opportunities to write in the Gadfly and for this blog, and to contribute to big, important projects, such as the forthcoming Education Olympics. The office is new and fantastic: lots of glass and lime-green paint (and roof deck!) just scream "The Google of Education Think Tanks." I implore you, my peers: Don't miss out on this opportunity!

There you have it--unfiltered praise, straight from the source. Get information on interning with us here.

I was reading the Washington Post on Saturday when I came across this little piece by Democratic strategist Carter Eskew about the presidential campaign and its suddenly negative tone. Note this insight:

I once asked a famous commercial advertiser why he didn't attack his big rival, a competing laundry detergent--say that it "ruins your washing machine!" or "causes hives!" His answer: "Because I might gain temporary market advantage, but I'd devalue the whole category. Sooner or later, people would stop buying soap." That may be the main difference between political and commercial marketing: The political marketer is all about temporary advantage--the field of politics be damned.

Could the same be true of education? Is it possible that our field's endless squabbling is turning off the public? People often wonder why education is so low on the list of voters' priorities this election year. Yes, the fragile economy and war in Iraq have a lot to do with that. But I also suspect that Joe Sixpack is suffering from "education fatigue." Every election, politicians promise to fix the school system, particularly in the inner city, and as far as he can tell, nothing ever gets better. I suspect...

Liam Julian

Checker talks about his new book, Troublemaker, in a very chic-looking, new media-ish video interview.

Liam Julian

The Washington Post believes that D.C. officials resent charter schools, and it tells them: "Get over it."

The archaic agrarian school calendar is just one more reminder of how education is not keeping up with the times, argues Arthur Rothkopf. Or as he puts it, "how many bushels of corn has your child harvested this summer?" It's an excellent question and the answer, of course, is zero.

But enough with the funny stuff, since Rothkopf is making a good point:

So why is nothing being done? Tragically, the biggest barrier to our competitiveness is the fear of competition itself. Entrenched special interest groups prefer the status quo, as it rewards longevity and bureaucracy over performance and innovation. It stands to reason that teachers and administrators with sedentary attitudes toward education will only continue to produce intellectually sedentary students.

Our children deserve professionals in the classroom, and our ability to stay competitive in a global economy demands that it happen. Yet, while professionals from nearly every other walk of life are held accountable for their performance, most teachers are not. Rather than defending the status quo, teachers' unions and school administrators should be at the forefront of an agenda to create professional, empowered, innovative, and flexible educators who are agents of change and progress.

...

Quite the fight going on right now in Miami, as the Miami-Dade school board weighs the fate of superintendent Rudy Crew.?? Some board members are trying to oust him with accusations of gross negligence, incompetence, and the like.?? The school board's attorney says the charges are baseless, but that's not stopping this afternoon's hearing, which includes 250 people signed up to speak on the matter.

Stay tuned.?? In fact, you could join the 19,000 viewers already watching live telecasts of the school board's meetings during any given hour.

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