No Mo Mojo?

School reform lost its mojo? Great headline to Robert Pondiscio’s column, and Pondiscio is always worth a read. My favorite part was the reconsideration of Michelle Rhee. Frankly, that’s overdue, given that the unexpected happened — Vince Gray kept Kaya and Rhee’s reforms and it all paid off, based on … Continue reading

Dem. v. Dem. on Education

It’s the biggest (and most under-reported)  phenomenon of the 2016 elections. The latest outbreak, Montclair, N.J., home to the respected traditional public schools for middle and upper income suburbanites. Charters are fine in nearby Newark, but in Montclair? Not so fast. Here you see it in Massachusetts, where voters are … Continue reading

Rhee stepping down?

Huffpo reports Rhee about to depart StudentsFirst. The fierce criticism of Rhee has always fascinated me — criticism I endured after publishing a book arguing that D.C.’s public schools needed the kind of stiff reforms that Rhee brought. (Was I right? Maybe., maybe not. I’ll let the federal NAEP scores … Continue reading

Once again, Eva’s right…

Testifying before Congress yesterday Eva Moscowitz laid out the case for making her schools a national model for reducing the learning gaps correlated with race and poverty. Writes Moskowitz: “Success Academy schools are at the top of all public schools in the state. For the past five years, our scholars … Continue reading

Toxic ed politics leaking into press

This profile of Campbell Brown in today’s Washington Post serves as an unfortunate reminder of how toxic education politics have bled over into the press. And no, the issue isn’t about Diane Ravitch complaining that Brown gets attention only because she’s a pretty face. I wrote these kinds of pieces … Continue reading

Why Schools are Bad Innovators

Thoughtful Michael Horn piece here. What stands out is the comment on “risk aversion.” There’s little appetite for it, which is understandable. Look at the thumping Rocketship is taking for launching an innovation that didn’t turn out well, resulting in test score dips at all their schools. It’s understandable that Rocketship … Continue reading

Ed Next Book Club on Rocketship

Mike Petrilli interviews me about On the Rocketship. To promote the interview, he asks whether my new book is a “puff piece” on charter schools — a complaint I heard often about The Bee Eater, a book about Michelle Rhee’s time here in D.C. Rhee’s strong reforms generated many enemies, … Continue reading

Explaining the photograph

At a book signing in San Jose I ran into Karen Martinez and her daughter, Daniella.  They are both in the book, but Daniella has become far more famous lately as one of the Vergara plaintiffs. In fact, she will be in the audience tonight at a panel discussion on … Continue reading

Don Graham reviews “On the Rocketship”

Customer Review  The best book in years on charter schools., June 7, 2014 By Donald E. Graham Verified Purchase(What’s this?) This review is from: On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope (Kindle Edition) I learned an enormous amount from reading Richard Whitmire’s On The Rocketship. If you are … Continue reading