Friday, May 23, 2008

Blog on Hold

Well, faithful readers, I must announce that this blog will have to be put on indefinite "hold," as your blogger will be leaving Hispanic CREO and moving to a new organization.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Where was this article last November?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One More Reason to Love NPR

Here's why: they have some smart talk about Latino kids.

Pedro Noguera, venerated and visionary teacher and professor of education at NYU, and Jeffery Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center discuss myths about Latino kids.

1 in 4 children under 5 is now Latino, so this has proven itself to be an increasingly relevant topic as the population grows. Noguera, in particular, offers some strong commentary when talking about the opportunity gap. He notes that Latino students have fewer opportunities to attend well-funded schools and that they are more likely to attend under-resourced schools - which seriously diminishes the likelihood of them attaining an excellent education. Right on. And let's change that, by the way.

Want to listen? Here you go.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Competition = Success for Disabled Students

Researchers Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters weigh in in today's East Valley Tribune on how Arizona's voucher program has benefited the state's special needs population by creating competition between public and private schools. According to their research, special needs students who stay in traditional pubic schools benefit from the voucher program, because their schools are motivated to improve in order to retain students.

Greene and Winters's most recent project measured the impact that a similar voucher program had on public schools in Florida and was sponsored by the Manhattan Institute. The researchers employed their Florida research to analyze Arizona's program.

Initially, I am reluctant to agree with Greene and Winters. After all, just because vouchers have had a positive impact in Florida doesn't necessarily mean that they have been equally effective in Arizona. One must be careful about such slippery reasoning - I prefer hard data.

However, I would say that there's no reason why Greene and Winters can't use the same methods to evaluate Arizona's voucher program - and they should.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A School Choice Win in Washington

The Washington Post published an excellent editorial yesterday praising the city's voucher program and advocating for its renewal.

This is notable for two reasons. Firstly, it's an extremely compelling editorial and secondly, The Washington Post is a somewhat unlikely supporter of this issue. So congratulations to them for bucking the trend and speaking out for this program and the kids that are in it.

I am truly heartened by this city's renewed focus on the future of its children. Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee have brought an amazing fresh breath of reform to Washington and they deserve considerable admiration for their commitment to improving the education of DC's kids.

Now, time will tell if our children's education will ultimately triumph over the status quo and the forces that keep it in place. Luckily, the WTU is embroiled in a nasty lawsuit right now, so maybe they will be distracted from this issue. One can only hope.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Study: Take That, Other Studies!

The Cato Institute released a study today criticizing other studies.


Entitled, "Dismal Science: The Shortcomings of U.S. School Choice Research and How to Address Them," the report points out the flaws in school choice research, focusing in particular on the lack study on the ways that school choice programs affect the education market.

I haven't read the entire report yet, so my comments have to be limited, but I was always under the impression that markets were infrequently addressed because most programs aren't large enough to create systemic market impact. My two cents.

Monday, April 14, 2008

More on Cool V. School

Mr. AB of From the TFA Trenches comments on the San Jose Mercury News article that I wrote about last week. The best part is this:

"Get this straight and send it to your friends: Children of color don’t devalue a good education and therefore fail to get it, they’re never given it and eventually, sensibly, stop caring.

By the time San Jose’s Latino population gets to high school, they will have endured nine years of being told they are failures, of listening to the devaluation of their home language, of watching all fun be stripped from their education, and of receiving sub-par instruction from inadequate teachers. It is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit that any child of color graduates from a high-challenge school at all."

Check out his entire post here. And thanks to dy/dan for the tip-off.