New PARCC Scores Are Ugly, but the Real Question Is Why

(An important note for today’s post before we get started: PARCC results cannot and should not be compared to previous TCAP or CSAP results. Seriously, don’t do that. Yes, I’m looking at you.) A lot of kids my age would love to go to the park on a fine Friday like this one. I, however, [...]

Ugly Smear Column Tries, Fails to Shove Conservative Education Reform Aside

I hope you all enjoyed a nice, long break from recent depressing edu-happenings over the last few days. I also hope that your disappointment is tempered by hope for the future. As my friend Ross Izard pointed out in a recent op-ed—and as my dad always says—it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings. I never have [...]

Don’t Fall Victim to MisNAEPery

It’s NAEP season, my friends. The 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress results were released this week to a barrage of spin, rhetoric, and general “misNAEPery.” I’ve mostly seen this misNAEPery pop up in the form of certain folks using the data to show that education reform efforts aren’t working. (For now, we’ll ignore the [...]

Look Under the District 38 School Board Campaign Mask

The week of Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I can practically taste the candy in my mouth right now. One of the perks of being a perpetual 5-year-old is the unending chance to go Trick-or-Treat year after year without any sense of self-consciousness or guilt. It also happens to be [...]

Little Action Required by Obama’s Testing Action Plan

Welcome back, dear readers. I apologize for leaving you mostly adrift for a week as I gallivanted around various education reform conferences. At least you got a good post about the coming local elections yesterday, and you’ve got another big one in store for today. A national story popped up this past weekend that I [...]

Harrison’s Successes Continue Under Pay-For-Performance System

A few months ago, I wrote about how important it is to use the right metric—fairness for teachers— when evaluating the success of pay-for-performance compensation systems. That post was a response to a rather biased Denver Post article on the subject, which featured as one of its subheadings the assertion that these systems provide “No [...]

2015 School Board Candidate Briefing Materials

The Education Policy Center has received numerous requests for the information it provided to school board candidates across Colorado this year. One of the Center’s primary goals is to educate local education leaders about important education policy issues, thereby equipping them to make smart, well-informed decisions in their school districts. As part of that effort, […]

Colorado’s ACT Flatline Has Me Worried

I feel like I’ve been alienating my fellow edu-nerds in recent weeks by spending so much time talking about the antics of the courts. Most recently, we examined a Colorado Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the “Negative Factor” under Amendment 23. One could be forgiven for believing that I had suddenly changed careers [...]

Wait, What? Washington Supreme Court Finds Charter Schools Unconstitutional

I’ve got to admit, Little Eddie’s faith in judges’ ability to fairly decide education issues is beginning to fray. Or it would be accurate to say that I’ve moved past fraying, and that my confidence has fully fallen apart at the seams like the blanket I’ve been dragging around with me since infancy. Back in [...]

Of Successful Turnarounds, Heavy Hands, and Union Bargaining Power

It’s much better to have a light touch, rather than a heavy hand, from the state to exert efforts to improve schools. Colorado has its share of schools and districts in need of turnaround, with some serious options on the table (but delayed one year by a 2015 state law). Whenever possible, I always like [...]