CONTROVERSY TO BE ADDRESSED BY AUTHORS:
For decades the research
agenda for identifying “best practices” for reforming education has been
structured around testing hypotheses of either effectiveness or prediction of
outcomes. Within the quantitative approach researchers have used a
variety of traditional causal and correlational designs to examine
relationships between specific measurable variables. Researchers have also used
qualitative approaches to examine implementation of such practices in more
depth through observations in the field, interviews with students and
educators, and content analysis of curriculum and student work.
1. The primary (and repeated) claim of the report is that “No Excuses” charter schools can close the achievement gap. Powers explains that the underlying research that this report relies upon only supports the more limited and appropriate claim that the subset of No Excuses charter schools have done relatively well in raising the test scores of the students who participate in school lotteries and then attended the schools. The claim that these schools can close the achievement gap is supported by nothing other than an arithmetic extrapolation of evidence that comes with clear limitations.Find Powers’ original review and follow-up review of the “No Excuses” charter report here.
2. A common and well-recognized problem in charter school research is “selection effects.” That is, parents who choose “No Excuses” schools may be more educated, more engaged in the school-selection process, and differ in other significant ways from those parents who did not choose such a school. This would logically be a major concern for oversubscribed “No Excuses” schools, but the findings cannot be generalized to all parents.
3. Over-subscribed schools that conduct lotteries for student admission are, one would assume, different from less popular schools. Nevertheless, Cheng et al. imply that the findings can be generalized to all No Excuses charter schools.
4. The prominent and oversubscribed “No Excuses” schools are often supported by extensive outside resources. Offering an extended school day, for example, may not be financially feasible for other schools, and the scaling-up costs of doing so are not addressed. A charter that takes the No-Excuses approach yet lacks the additional resources should not be assumed to show the same results.
5. The sample of schools included in the studies Cheng et al. analyzed is largely drawn from major urban areas in the Northeast and is small, particularly at the high school level.
Their book reviews further help us to understand that people are finding inspiration from the book because they are connecting with a set of ideas whose time has come:
• Maybe it helps us envision ourselves as Revolutionaries, moving away from the wrong side of the world revolution where we have seemed stuck since the Vietnam War.
To link to the original book reviews, go to:
1. A Book Review by Victor Nolet
Chief Justice Madsen was joined in the ruling by Justices Charles Johnson, Charles Wiggins, Mary Yu, Debra Stevens and Susan Owens.
Appellants in the case were a coalition of groups including the League of Women Voters, the Washington Education Association, El Centro de la Raza, and the Washington Association of School Administrators and several individual plaintiffs.
Readers can read the full decision at: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/897140.pdf
The decision follows another one that we reported on in the post below. In that decision, the court had ruled that the Washington State legislature had failed to adequately fund public education in the state and imposed a $100000 daily sanction on the legislature. See our earlier post
Earlier this month I
posted a letter written to Senator Patty Murray by Robey Clark, a fellow member
of Oregon Save Our Schools, regarding reauthorization of ESEA. Today I am
posting a letter he shared with me that was sent to Washington State
Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn by the governing tribes of the
Washington State Tribal Compact Schools on June 5th, 2015. Mr. Dorn has yet to
respond to the tribes.
Big thanks to Robey Clark for sharing this with me and for fighting for the schools our children deserve.
Northwest Public Radio: Washington Lawmakers To Meet On Education Funding
Supreme Court Case Number 84362-7 - McCleary, et al. v. State of Washington
Here is a link to archived videos of court and legislative actions on TVW in Washington, the public access channel.
Laura Laffrado is an award-winning Professor of English at Western Washington University. Her most recent book is Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.
1.Enable authors whose articles were published in the journal to update their ideas.
2. Inform readers of current controversies in education.
3. Announce future issues of the journal and events associated with the journal.
4. Promote a conversation between the authors and our readers.
Please join us!