Rethinking Education Governance Session II: Traditional Institutions in Flux
February 24, 2012
This panel calls into question the ideal of local control. Its panelists—including Jeffrey Henig, Frederick M. Hess, Kathryn McDermott, and Kenneth Wong—will investigate the rise of mayoral control, the growth of interstate collaboration, and the role of the state and federal governments in education. Discussant Margaret Goertz will prod panelists to explain these shifts--and what they think each means for education in the twenty-first century.
Moderator: Patrick McGuinn, associate professor, Drew University
What governance challenges currently mire efforts to reform education? This panel will tackle the financial systems and governance structures that impede change, drawing on the examples of innovators both within and without the system whose reforms have been stifled or slowed by our curious current structures and policies. It will also explain how our present system has harmed our nation's most disadvantaged youth. Panelists include Cynthia Brown, Michelle Davis, Marguerite Roza, and Steven F. Wilson.
Moderator: Michael J. Petrilli, executive vice president, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Rethinking Education Governance Lunchtime Keynote: Chris Cerf
February 24, 2012
During this lunchtime lecture, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf will discuss his thoughts on how to improve our current education-governance structure, drawing from his experiences as deputy chancellor of New York City Department of Education, his current role at the New Jersey Department of Education, and his time working for the federal government.
** We had some technical difficulties during the Q&A which is why the video is out of focus. We apologize for any inconvenience.
From Lin-sanity to charter school discipline, Mike and Rick take on political correctness in this week’s podcast. Amber breaks down the recent Brown Center report and Chris defends Michael Jackson’s dance moves.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, received some well-deserved praise last week for bringing the state education department and the teachers unions together on a new teacher evaluation rubric. (See here. And here. And here and here and here and here.) As Joe Williams wrote in the Daily News:
Weeks after declaring he would be a “lobbyist for students,” Gov. Cuomo delivered his 2.75 million young clients a major victory Thursday, using the weight of his office to break through the logjam blocking a common-sense mechanism for evaluating teachers based on whether children are learning.
Though there will be much grousing about how common-sensical it is to judge teachers based on how their students do on standardized tests (40 percent of the evaluation)—“it’s a dark day when politicians impose an untested scheme on educators,” wrote Diane Ravitch—the more fascinating part of this story is the New York City subplot.
New York's new 'impartial' observors promise to add yet another layer of bureaucracy to an already bloated system.
This is not the time for federal intervention is what they would say. But I would imagine most of our great presidents would be somewhat appalled by the barnacled bureaucracy that now counts as our public education system. I would love to hear what they had to say about these four recent stories:
Not to be missed. Scot Simon’s report for National Public Radio on Kansas City’s failed school system is a needed reminder about the delusional thinking of those who defend the current American public education system. K.C. is part of a long-line—think Detroit, Newark, Chicago, New Orleans—of failed city school systems. One simply cannot take the attacks on school reformers seriously when seen through the prism of reports like Simons’.
Mike sat down with Fordham’s new school choice czar, Adam Emerson, to question just how flexible ESEA flexibility turned out to be and to ponder Obama’s abandonment of the D.C. voucher program. Amber looks at a new study on how much value principals add while Chris learns that they sometimes need to bob and weave when handing out teacher evaluations.
The potential of K-12 online learning can't be realized unless we change how we govern education. .
If policymakers want to see more rapid technological innovation in K-12 education—innovation that works to the clear benefit of students—they will need to take a hard look at how the public education system has managed to forestall innovation for so many years. They will need to consider how that system is structured, governed, and controlled.
It seems inevitable that technology and online learning will play a sizable role in public schools. But without the driving force of competition, this could be a long time coming. At present, online education plays a tiny role in K-12 education. In 2010-11, roughly 250,000 public school students were involved in full-time online education, nearly all through virtual charter schools, not through the regular public school systems. That is 0.45 percent of public school enrollments. Millions more have “computers in their classrooms,” of course, but true “blended” schnoools can be...
Big changes to edugovernance could translate to big progress for Indianapolis. Photo by Rob Annis.
We started The Mind Trust in 2006 with an ambitious goal: to create an ecosystem in Indianapolis where bold ideas to transform K-12 education could thrive. Six years later, that vision is coming to fruition.
We have recruited well-established programs such as Teach For America, College Summit and The New Teacher Project to Indianapolis. We also have invested millions in fellowships for social entrepreneurs who have come up with bold, outside-the-box initiatives for improving student outcomes. Both efforts have helped to build a network of talented leaders in Indianapolis who are working to address some of the most pressing problems in K-12 education.
We also launched a Charter School Incubator last fall to provide organizational support for leaders to start networks of best-in-class charter schools. Over the next few years, that effort will spawn dozens of top-notch schools...
Every time I see a “poverty and education” story I think of the famous line from the New Testament in which Jesus says, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.”
So, with education. Want a convenient scapegoat for our problems? Poverty. It’s there, it’s handy.
Want a convenient scapegoat for our problems? Poverty. It’s there, it’s handy.
I sat through an hour meeting of our small school district’s budget committee last week, most of it devoted to bemoaning our fate as a “poor district” (over 60 percent of our kids qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, the standard definition of “poor” for schools) in these recessionary times. State aid has been nearly flat and the Governor punched through a two percent local property tax cap. Woe is us. There goes sports. Not mentioned was the fact that we spend over $22,000 per student!
Diane Ravitch has been hitting the poverty gong for some time, most recently in Cleveland, where, she says, “the level of urban decay is alarming.” I was just in Cleveland...