Friday, January 23, 2009

More Random Thoughts

-Maybe I was right -- maybe an Obama presidency will shrink the achievement gap. A recent study found that the black-white achievement gap disappeared right after Obama's nomination and election but was present at other times during that period when Obama was not in the news. And African-Americans who watched the events had a bigger boost than those who didn't (NY Times article here).

-If there's anything upon which education researchers agree it's that student achievement is influenced more by non-school factors than in-school factors -- and the evidence is overwhelming. But Eduwonkette took an awful lot of heat from commenters when she made a policy wish based on that evidence.

-Alexander Nazaryn has an interesting post about teachers and alcohol on the NY Times "Proof" blog. I'm not sure it's possible for non-teachers to understand just how draining teaching is. I didn't drown my sorrows in alcohol, but happy hour was definitely a popular place on Friday afternoons for teachers at my school as well.

-Stay tuned for a new feature this weekend. Next week's topics will include the piece on Michelle Rhee I promised a month ago.

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