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There is no shortcut

Andreas Schleicher said: there is no shortcut to improved learning outcomes in a post-2015 world economy where knowledge and skills have become the global currency, the key to better jobs and better lives. And there is no central bank that prints this currency. We cannot inherit this currency, and we cannot produce it through speculation;...

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It’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that you don’t spend it wisely

It’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that you don’t spend it wisely

Like Kansas with its poor, Governor Terry Branstad wants Iowa schools to be more accountable for their spending of state dollars. Citing years of ‘across-the-board money with no accountability [while] Iowa kind of stagnated,’ he decided to teach our schools a lesson and took some of their money away so that they will learn how to...

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Dear Governor Branstad, we need both

Dear Governor Branstad, we need both

Governor Terry Branstad, from the Des Moines Register: “We gave all this across-the-board money with no accountability and Iowa kind of stagnated while other states put a focus on things that increase their standards that improve their student achievement.” [Governor Branstad] has defended his veto of $55.7 million in one-time funds by saying the solution to...

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Imagine that you wanted to slowly kill public education

Imagine that you wanted to slowly kill public education

Imagine that you are a policymaker who is generally anti-government, anti-union, and pro-privatization. Public schools conflict with all of those, don’t they? So you’ve got a challenge. Citizens and communities generally like and strongly support their schools. Somehow you have to create a narrative over time that erodes citizens’ support for public schools and counters...

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Reinforcing the standardized model of low-level learning and schooling

Reinforcing the standardized model of low-level learning and schooling

I’m sitting in a workshop today about early literacy supports. The presenters are personable, the resources aren’t horrible, the intent is good, and there are 45+ well-meaning educators in the room learning, talking, and thinking about early literacy success for students. But all of our conversations are around systems and processes that reify and strengthen...

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Sioux City CSD has a different view than Governor Branstad

Sioux City CSD has a different view than Governor Branstad

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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Iowa school poverty and report card rankings

Iowa school poverty and report card rankings

My local high school recently was named the top high school in Iowa by Niche.com, a school and college ranking site. Today the Iowa Department of Education issued its first-ever school report cards. Ames High School didn’t do as well this time, only managing an overall ranking of Commendable, which is the third-highest report card...

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Summits

Summit. (noun) A day-long ’sit and get’ event designed to draw political and media attention to the powers-that-be at the top. Usually comprised of speeches, panel presentations, and non-interactive breakout sessions. Iowa antonyms: EdCampIowa, ISLI, StuCamp, EdCampDesMoines, school district unconferences, Iowa 1:1 Institute. Summits are a great way to reinforce the passive, transmission-oriented model of learning. Summits are a...

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