Monday, April 5, 2010

Oregon Education

The Oregonian had a scathing editorial this weekend about the states sorry attempt at 'Race for the Top' funds.  One wonders why there is not more heat on Susan Castillo, the mostly under the radar State Superintendent of Public Instruction?  The Oregonian does not even mention her name - why not?  Should there be?  I don't know enough to say, but one wonders why there is not more talk about her role in this process.  I do know that Race to the Top includes lots of money for data collection and analysis and that Oregon is collecting, but were is the analysis?  I would like to know more about all this before election time...ah, but wait, we don't have a press corps anymore!  So will all those bloggers who cheer the demise of the the mainstream media please start reporting...?  

Betsy Hammond, are you listening, can you tell us what is going on behind the scenes?

In a similar vein, PPS is going full steam on high school restructuring knowing almost nothing really about the effects of small vs. big schools.  A lot of good sounding sound bite bromides are not enough.   I have a suggestion: take a look at all of the school transfer lottery winners and losers over the last ten years and see if the winners did systematically better than the losers when they switched form smaller to bigger schools.  There are a whole host of residual problems with a study like this, but it would at lest give us a sense about school effects vs. socio-economic and other effects.  Heck, give me the data and I'll do it for you - free.

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