1.) The NYC cell phone ban was mentioned in an article in the Spokesman-Review (Spokane) today, and I was given the job of explaining how the ban played out in NYC. My favorite quote from the article, however, is not one of mine -- it's a quote from a student that serves as the final sentence of the article: “A rule that says you can’t use your cell phone whatsoever – I can guarantee you students are going to break that rule.”
2.) Regarding charter schools and "exit doors," there was an interesting piece in the Boston Globe yesterday. The article describes the recent exodus of a number of seniors from the MATCH charter school. It's unclear exactly what happened, but it appears as though the students were afraid (or were told) that they wouldn't meet MATCH's graduation standards, so they transferred to Boston public schools right before the end of the year hoping to earn a diploma. That particular case is interesting, b/c I'm not sure that the charter school gains that much even if they advised the kids to leave (other than upholding their high standards, I guess). Mike Petrilli says that this is evidence that Boston's schools' have standards that are too low. Possibly. But it also might be evidence that some charter schools are dumping their most problematic students on local public schools. A few seniors wouldn't help them much in this regard, but the article says that the school has a 60% graduation rate -- meaning that a number of people must be leaving before senior year as well.