- From Education Week - an article about "a new breed of national education advocacy organizations" and the debate "about whether they can play a grassroots 'ground game' comparable to that of labor.
- Another article on these groups, this one from Education Next, about Fight Club for ERAOs (Education reform advocacy organizations) in D.C. You remember the first rule of Fight Club? There is NO Fight Club. Why this emergence of these groups? This article links it to charter operation frustration. This is possibly the best article I have read in summing up these groups, how they interact and their growing influence.
The 34 organizations in the network operate in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Network members include affiliates of Stand for Children and 50CAN, business groups like the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition, and Colorado Succeeds, and civic groups like Advance Illinois and the League of Education Voters (Washington). The PIE Network is also supported by five “policy partners,” which span the ideological spectrum but agree on the network’s reform commitments: Center for American Progress, Center on Reinventing Public Education, Education Sector, National Council on Teacher Quality, and Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Like many ERAOs, PIE Network is funded by the big three (Walton, Gates, and Broad) along with the Joyce and Stuart foundations.
- Would you pay for your background check to volunteer at school? It's happening in other districts in other states. From Ed Week, from $9-40 is the new cost (higher if you work one-on-one with students as a tutor).
- From the LA Times, a story about 24 high-performing LA schools seeking to be charters. Why? More money. Interestingly, California has a mid-range option for chartering called "affiliated" or "dependent". These charters are still bound by some district rules like union contracts. The odd advantage is that these schools can get a block grant from the state for $385 per student. More dollars with fewer rules.
- From Education Next, an essay about school boards that opens with some tantalizing questions. Have school boards outlived their usefulness Are they an anachronism?
- From Straight Up blog at Ed Week, a spark for a discussion about who likes vouchers and who doesn't (and why). This is coming on strong in Romney's playbook on education (separate thread to come).
- TFA story from the Kansas City Starr where 32 TFA teachers are not returning for their second year of teaching out of a class of 141.