Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Albany Circus

There is just no way to defend what is going on in Albany.

Toothless Governor Paterson is trying his best to rein in the spoiled State Senators who are threatening to bring our state to a halt with their confounding bickering.

Yes, power is important, and the ability to lead the Senate, bring legislation to the floor, call for votes, etc. But what we need right now is real leadership. And that means someone sticking out his or her neck, risking short term political fallout, to make a proposal that will truly bring the parties together.

"If we don't hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately," said the Penguin in the first Batman movie. If these electeds don't get their acts together and do the bare minimum for hanging together - holding a legitimate session - they're all going to be hung out to dry when the voters have their chance to turn things over to a new group.


Monday, June 15, 2009

CREDO Report Critical of Charters - BRAVO!

Way to go CREDO to have the integrity to publish a report critical of charter schools - the public should know that CREDO is tied to charter supporters. The charter movement is supposed to be about what works for students, with no excuses, so by being unafraid to criticize the charter movement this report represents the best of what it has to offer.

Here, then, is an unbiased presentation of data on charter schools.

The report only looks at 16 states, but these represent (I think it says) 70% of charter school students.

The report also states that charters do a better job than district schools of educating ELLs, special education students and students living in poverty. And it's highly critical of authorizers who are unwilling or unable to close down low-performing charters - which is, after all, part of the deal.

I look forward to more reports from CREDO, because I'm confident that in other states (like NY and MA) and over time (when the charter movement starts to shed the 'first year charter dip' that the report discusses, and hopefully, more authorizers have the gonads to close low performing schools) the data will bear out the fruits of the charter promise.