Can’t Think of A Blog Post

I apologize for my lack of a post yesterday and this lame post today.  I just can’t seem to think of a good post.

Yesterday Greg suggested that I blog about this excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal denouncing the Ford Foundation for giving $100 million to the teachers union to spur education reform and claiming that this money would “shake up the conversations surrounding school reform and help spur some truly imaginative thinking and partnerships.”  The Ford Foundation might as well give $100 million to the city of Las Vegas to address gambling addiction. 

But the Wall Street Journal already did a great job, so it didn’t seem worth my blogging about since I really wouldn’t have anything to add.

I also thought about blogging about how the Race to the Top criteria issued this week hardly demand meaningful reform from states.  But I’ve already written several times on how little we should expect from Race to the Top, such as here.  The bigger surprise is that anyone is surprised.  Besides, Jeanne Allen did a fine job critiquing the Race to the Top criteria here.  And on top of all that, I’ve probably been beating up on Obama and Duncan about education reform too much.  The reality is that at least they are saying a lot of the right things, which has had a big effect on education reform battles at the state and local level.  It’s a big deal that a Democratic Administration has (at least rhetorically) thrown its weight fully behind expanding choice and competition (if only via charters), merit pay, weakening teacher tenure, etc…

I also thought about blogging about a bunch of local issues.  A state school board member was featured in an article in the Northwest Arkansas Times explaining why she opposed every newly proposed charter school in Arkansas this year.  She helpfully explained that she had visited a predominantly Hispanic school in Springdale, AR that was making AYP with its ESL students and “that helped convince her Springdale’s services were sufficient for their students.”  There’s no need to let those families decide if the quality of their education is sufficient.

But some of my friends who write the excellent blog, Mid-Riffs, were already working on something to address this.  I saw no need to duplicate.

In short, I’m sorry, folks.  Maybe I’ll think of something fresh soon.  Or maybe I can just keep writing about all the things that I was going to write about but didn’t.  Or did I?

17 Responses to Can’t Think of A Blog Post

  1. Patrick says:

    If Las Vegas got the $100 million they’d use it to build a new city hall just 17 years after they renovated the old city hall.

    Have I ever mentioned that the new city hall is projected to cost $500 per square foot.

    No word on whether or not the city hall will include slot machines or strippers yet but they will have diamond encrusted toilet seats and silk toilet paper.

  2. Strippers and slot machines in City Hall would at least generate some revenue for the city. And it would help the environment by reducing the need for travel across town.

  3. The Crimson Avenger says:

    If you’re looking for topics to cover, here’s one that may or may not be in your purview: what does K-12 education look like in a couple of years when the stimulus money run out?

    It’s already clear from some reports that state/local governments are going to be hurting for some time – are the feds going to step in with more K-12 funds? Are state/local governments going to protect K-12 at the expense of other categories? And if K-12 gets a real post-stimulus funding cut, how do they respond?

    From the conversations I’ve had with administrators, this isn’t even on their radar screen – there’s no planning at all going on for what could be a very ugly future.

  4. The Crimson Avenger says:

    And a followup question – why is no one in the ed blogosphere or journalism world addressing this? Sure, there have been a couple of articles in EdWeek about tight budgets, but beyond that, silence. It’s all remarkably short-term.

  5. You’re right, C.A., more people should be talking about what happens when federal money runs out. But not everyone is ignoring it. See for example this article in the current issue of Education Next: .

    Also, it is a very real possibility that the increased federal subsidy to schools will continue indefinitely. State and local school officials may be banking on that. And by not planning for the alternative and making it a sure disaster to withdraw the funds, they help ensure that the federal spigot will stay open.

  6. Brenda B. Gullett says:

    Gosh, Jay, I can’t imagine you not having a comment. I am the state school board member you and those folks on Mid-riffs are referring to. I am also the co-chair of the Development Council for the College of Education and Health Related Professions. I believe that is where your “chair” is located. And, I just made my financial contribution.

    Now about charters. By reputation, I perceived you to be wiser than to take newspaper articles as fact. But, I have been wrong before. My statement was that I had visited a school in Springdale that had made AYP for 2 years still having a large Hispanic population. This Dove school proposed to outsource it’s ESL work, and I did not see how they could improve on what the current system was doing in regards that. Their whole pitch was about working with Hispanic students.

    I would like to invite you and some of you little genius bloggers on education to come to the State Board meeting. We meet every month on the second Monday. Unfortunately, we review charters in November.
    We just had 2 grueling days of going over only seven charters and spent 7.5 hours one day and 4 hours the next. This is not a capricious activity.

    I always love people like yourself who are fairly protected, but can criticize those on the scrimage line with all sorts of Monday morning comments.

    I would be happy to post all of the 1000+ pages of charter application material on your blog for you to review and then we could discuss as a parent, grandparent, whatever if you would choose for your child to go there.

    I have supported KIP ( may have 2 p’s) and E-Stem.
    I have a degree in secondary education with a dual major. I have shepherded two children through public school and college graduation. Both U of A and one with a master’s. My husband Robert R. Gullett, M.D. was a school board member for 6 years. I have had a lifelong commitment to education and served as Vice-Chair of the Arkansas Senate Education Committee during the LakeView case.So, in all due respect to you and your little bloggers comparing my response to the definition of “pornography”, I DO believe I know a quality education when I see it.

    Most recently I have spent time in Cincinnati for NASBE
    (National Association of State Boards of Education) and heard and personally met Sec. Arne Duncan. I have been to DC twice since Pres. Obama announced the stimulus package and been briefed on that as it relates to education. I am very aware that this current administration considers caps removed from charters as important and may affect “race to the top” competetion for $$$.

    The folks in the Midriff blog were all over my use of innovation. We much to their surprise, Sec. Duncan said that is the key and exactly what they are looking for.

    You bring me a quality charter school, and you will have my vote.

    Sorry, this is so long. I am not a blogger. I have much better things to do with my time. But, I was alerted to this by friends in Fay. And, I have heard a lot about you. So, you have talked about me and I have talked to you.

  7. First, I’m not sure if you really are Brenda Gullett. Your comment doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that a member of the State Board of Education would write. And as you note, you can’t believe everything you read.

    Second, if you really are Brenda Gullett, your opening paragraph seems to be a thinly veiled threat. Essentially, you are saying that you hold a powerful position with and are a major contributor to my employer. It’s not clear why this would be relevant other than to intimidate people who disagree with you. Fortunately, universities offer their accomplished faculty tenure precisely so that they won’t be intimidated.

    Third, most of your comment seems to be directed toward things written on the blog, Mid-Riffs. While I agree with much of what they have written, their words and thoughts are their own, not mine. If you have an issue with what was said on Mid-Riffs I would suggest that you leave the appropriate comments there.

  8. Jay, would still rather read you on a drawing-a-blank day than most other bloggers when they are on their stride. Always interesting, always make me think.

  9. […] Gullett of the State Board of Education left a lengthy comment on Jay Greene’s blog. Most of the comment, which is reprinted below, was really addressed to […]

  10. Arkansas Voter says:

    It’s amazing that a State Board of Education member wouldn’t know how to spell KIPP — and would be unashamed to admit as much! — even though 1) KIPP is one of the most famous educational developments in the nation; 2) KIPP is famous within Arkansas education circles for its efforts in the Delta; 3) KIPP is specifically mentioned by name in the Arkansas charter school law; and 4) KIPP even had an application that the State Board was considering just last week!

    For Gullett not to know KIPP’s name at this point shows that she is ignorant of the most basic facts about her job. It also shows that there’s not a snowball’s chance that she actually read the “1000+ pages of charter application material.”

  11. matthewladner says:

    The people of Arkansas can rest easy knowing that they have the Gulletts of the world to protect them from charter schools.

    Oh, but 36% of Arkansas students scored below basic on reading on the 2007 4th grade NAEP. It’s too bad Gullett was too busy to protect those kids from those schools.

    Maybe next year…

  12. concerned says:

    Guess the Ford Foundation folks didn’t read this report:

    National Teachers’ Unions and the Struggle Over School Reform

  13. Greg Forster says:

    My favorite part is where she says the standard for allowing the creation of a choice school is whether you’d allow your child to go there. Kind of revealing, don’t you think? I mean, let’s leave aside the inherent authoritarianism which assumes that the rulers should make laws for their subjects based on the rulers’ private preferences. Even if it were OK to judge by what would be best for your own child, shouldn’t the rulers instead look at the dismal schools these kids are currently forced to attend and ask whether you’d ever let your child go *there*? I mean, I don’t see any of these comfortable upper-class anti-choice politicians lining up to send their kids to the schools they condemn the poor to attend.

  14. […] of Arkansas education researcher Jay P. Greene probably put it best: The Ford Foundation might as well give $100 million to the city of Las Vegas to address gambling […]

  15. […] of Arkansas education researcher Jay P. Greene probably put it best: The Ford Foundation might as well give $100 million to the city of Las Vegas to address gambling […]

  16. […] meaning to the word ‘retro’.University of Arkansas education researcher Jay P. Greene probably put it best:The Ford Foundation might as well give $100 million to the city of Las Vegas to address gambling […]

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