Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Funniest Blog Post This Week

The Quick and the Ed

Kevin Carey over at the Quick and the Ed points out that the recent Washington Post story on Washington D.C. Mayor Fenty's school reform plan. It seems like the guy who drafted the plan, copied entire sections wholesale from Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

I know what your saying. Wow, a struggling school copied ideas from a more successful school district. Oh the horror.

Making fun of the Posts coverage of the story, and their attempt to point out that the two districts are different, Kevin had this to say (with a wee bit of sarcasm)

Intensive reading and math instruction in middle school, enhanced teacher recruitment, more focus on customer service to parents--while those wild, crazy notions might work in an urban / suburban district of 130,000 student in North Carolina, they obviously have no place whatsoever in an urban district of 57,000 students in DC. In fact, it's well-known within the research community that there's a point between 57,000 and 130,000--I believe the exact number is 94,583--where hiring better teachers and providing better math and reading instruction to at-risk students simply doesn't work anymore. You can look it up.
Go read the whole thing. It made me laugh out loud.

More Reading First Scandal

Over the coming days there will be a few articles about Senator Kennedy's latest report on the Conflict of Interest in the Reading First Program.

To be fair Senator Kennedy offers a great recommendation for the future:

enact changes in the current law governing conflict of interest controls at the Department.
But I just wanted to make two points. No where in the report does it mention anything about the reading programs being ineffective, and as the report says:
Presently, no federal law requires Department contractors, subcontractors, and consultants to be vetted for bias, conflicts of interest or impartiality.
In other words, the scandal is about poor implementation of the program, and not about people breaking the law. Of course as we know, despite these conflicts of interest, the program has been a great success for our countries disadvantaged students.

Lets improve the program, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.