Sentences to Ponder


1. Grading teachers by the test

“’People who claim to be market-based reformers want to sell the theory that there is a direct correlation between test scores, the effort of teachers and the success of children,’ said Randi Weingarten.”

2. Moskowitz on rigor, backfilling

“Success schools are among the most sought-after charter schools in the city. The network said Monday that it had received more than 19,000 applications for 2,688 open seats this fall. When ranked by performance on state tests, its schools also rank highly — in the top 1 percent of all schools in the state in math and the top 3 percent in English.”

3. America spends $600 billion on schooling

“But nations that spend less on education are faring far better on international tests, and the US isn’t seeing bigger scores as a result of its larger spending … There are a few possible explanations for this. The first is that the US spends less on social programs than some other countries. Finland spends much less per student than the US. But it spends more to reduce poverty, and across the OECD, students in poverty have lower test scores than their higher-income peers … Another explanation is that US education is simply inefficient and could be better run without additional spending.”

4. A $100,000 bubble bet 

“This bet is open to the first VC who would like to take it (though it is not clear to me anyone who wants to take the other side should be investing in startups.)  The loser donates $100,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice.”

5. How poor are the poor?

“…the consequence of these changes, taken together, has been to divide the poor who no longer receive welfare into two groups. The first group is made up of those who have gone to work and have qualified for tax credits. Expanded tax credits lifted about 3.2 million children out of poverty in 2013. So far, so good.The second group, though, has really suffered. These are the very poor who are without work, part of a population that is struggling desperately.”

6. Community control is destroying America’s cities

“There is, however, another way: ignore ‘the community.’ Not the community writ large, but “the community” as a euphemism for those who are already lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that others want to move to, whether it’s a hip, gentrifying neighborhood or an uptight, leafy suburb. Land use governance should be shifted from the local level to the city, state or national level, where governments seem to be more willing to let cities grow.”

3 thoughts on “Sentences to Ponder

  1. Wm Murphy

    Eva’s backfilling argument presents schools with an interesting Catch-22. She won’t accept kids after fourth grade until other schools are as good as hers, but one mechanism for getting better is establishing the sort of enrollment stability that a no-backfilling policy creates. But as long as some schools don’t backfill some schools will have to. The fact
    That her schools don’t backfill may actually be increasing the transitory population at the schools that do.

    Her “obligation” to already enrolled families means she can’t enroll new kids because they’d impede her more well prepared students progress. Feels a little elitist and not really “mission possible” for all kids. There’s not really a back filling debate – as long as some folks must and some folks don’t have to then you are engineering failure (or at least challenge) at the schools that accept all comers.

  2. Mike G

    If you were a parent, would you want transparency? I suspect yes.

    So would you want Success to say to you:

    “Going to Success will probably be similar to you going to a white public school in wealthy part of Long Island. These kids have huge jump on your kids. Good news is your kid will make GREAT gains relative to other NYC kid. Bad news is your daughter will be low quartile of OUR students, and that may shape how she thinks about herself.”


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