The Education Gadfly Show

Mike and Dara talk about Louisiana’s ed-reform disappointment, anticipate the effect of big money in L.A. (or not), and plan for the Snowquester that wasn’t. Amber puts her teacher hat back on with a study on student ability grouping.
Andy Smarick and Kathleen Porter-Magee rock this week’s podcast. Find out why AP Calculus has such high pass rates, why being overwhelmed with choices can be a good thing, and why rising grad rates may be a red herring. Amber is hip to KIPP.
Mike and Checker talk about the ethics of prepping kids for gifted tests, charter selectivity, and overpriced congressionally mandated commissions, and Dara gives fresh ammunition to helicopter parents.
Mike and Adam discuss school-choice regulations with John Kirtley of Step Up for Students. Amber talks up the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Mike and Kathleen are disappointed by the most recent Next Generation Science Standards and by Alabama’s decision to withdraw from the Common Core testing consortia…But if Amber’s discussion of a study on charter performance didn’t cheer them up, news of her recent engagement did!
In a surprise twist, Dara Zeehandelaar hosts Fordham president Checker Finn on this week’s Gadfly Show. They discuss Tom Harkin’s retirement, wheelchair basketball, and the flap over the MAP. Amber intervenes with a word on late interventions.
Mike and Kathleen are skeptical about the President’s education agenda and newly released high school graduation rate data. Amber thinks about low-income high-flyers.
Mike and emerging scholar Morgan Polikoff discuss accusations of discrimination in gifted-and-talented programs, Quality Counts, and lightning rod/tiger mom Michelle Rhee. Amber contemplates whether multiple-choice tests lead students to learn or forget.
Mike and Eric Lerum chat about StudentsFirst’s new policy report card, the fight in NJ over blended learning, and charter school expulsions in D.C. Amber helps listeners get the MET.
Mike and Daniela reflect on Newtown, and then look back at school reform in 2012. Amber ends the last podcast of the year on a more upbeat note with a look at Texas’s (effective) pre-K program.

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