Dad, Geek, Education Policy Nerd, Conservative, Mormon

Wall Street Journal’s SmartPhone Plan tool

I thought this data plan selection tool from the Wall Street Journal was really interesting. Use it to see if you’re with the right provider.

Walt goes off the deep end again

It has been a while since I commented about a post from Walt Gardner in EdWeek.  This post from today was just too classic Walt for me to ignore. Over the past two years, 10 states have given letter grades to schools in a process that reformers believe is long overdue. The justification is to give […]

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Why California won’t get an NCLB waiver and why it doesn’t matter

Last week, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson told the media that his office had been told by the US Department of Education that the state wouldn’t be receiving a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver even though 33 other states have already received them.  States are anxious to get waivers from the requirements […]

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Reporter gets it wrong on the API

The Academic Performance Index (API) is so difficult for anyone to understand, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Los Angeles Times piece on California Department of Education (CDE)’s recent release of the 2012 “Growth” API scores had an error. The API rates schools on a scale of 200 to 1,000 points, the […]

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Teacher unions might be in trouble

In general, teachers are great people.  No one becomes a school teacher for the great pay, comfortable work environment and respect.  Teachers want their students to be successful. Unfortunately, public teacher union leaders no longer share their member’s goals.  Like any large, powerful organization, teachers unions lose track of their noble goals and become all […]

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Reusable Shopping Bags Carry Stomach Flu

My little liberal home town of Ukiah is working on banning plastic shopping bags to force us to use reusable bags.  Sometimes I think they do stuff like this because they see that big literal cities are doing it and they want to feel like they’re part of the popular crowd. It really irritates me. […]

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Tests need to matter to students too!

Coach Brown frequently does a great job of describing how teachers think and feel.  I thought this post raises a really important point. Darren over at “Right on Left Coast” (blogroll) has a post that we can both agree on; testing is a totally pointless pursuit unless there is an actual incentive to do well […]

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Sometimes oversight actually works in public education

One of the dumber things our Governor has done to appease his CTA masters was to suspend the usual fiscal oversight that county offices of education have over school district finances.  As a former county office of education employee, I frequently question where they should continue to exist.  The one thing I think they generally […]


Lifetime English Learners

I has happy to see this Orange County Register opinion piece by Assemblyman Chris Norby.  I’ve been concerned about the large percentage of English Learners who start in kindergarten as an English Learner and graduate (or drop out) from high school with the same designation.  The money quote is: Contrary to popular stereotypes, the vast […]

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My ignored letter to the editor

The number of letters to the editor I’ve written to my local newspaper, the Ukiah Daily Journal has increased greatly in the last few years.  When I was on the school board, I frequently felt compelled to respond to editorials or stories in the paper that I felt were just completely in opposition to the […]


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