Arne Duncan was only missing a "Mission Accomplished" banner on Monday when he announced that the Administration’s School Improvement Grants program is succeeding. CEP's latest reports find that state officials tend to agree (expect a full review in two weeks) and Duncan's data are certainly encouraging, but it is far too early (and potentially costly) to suspend skepticism of a $3 billion program that still shares many traits with a "black hole."
A new survey of teachers brings both good and bad tidings for the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Bad news first: More than 1 in 5 teachers have never even heard of the standards. The good news? Only 22 percent report feeling "very prepared" to teach to them. Bear with us: That’s a positive because it means teachers know they have more to learn before their Common Core-aligned lessons are ready for prime time—and might be getting the message that these standards represent a real step up from what they’ve been using to date.
The Gadfly will be on Spring Break next week, fanning his wings on a beach in Barbados. We’ll be back on April 5…if not before.