"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"

I especially enjoyed this bit:

Ironically, [Michelle] Rhee’s successors at DCPS have redesigned teaching through some of the very policies that teachers’ unions and other Rhee adversaries opposed most strongly: comprehensive teacher evaluations, the abandonment of seniority-based staffing, and performance-based promotions and compensation. They combined these with other changes, like more collaboration among teachers, that these same critics had backed. Just as notably, the transformation is taking place not at charters but in the traditional public school system, an institution that many reformers have written off as too hidebound to innovate.

Could those "hidebound" regular public schools be responding to increasing, intense competition from charters? Hmmmm . . . 

"Compulsory Courses for Any Curriculum; The Science Dilemma"

I don't agree with everything here, but I like this:

I was involved in many curricula fights, few of them ever resolved much. Ever subject area and discipline considered theirs essential to an education. They failed in achieving curricula useful to the student and society. This was because they were controlled by people ensuring what interested them or what ensured their job, rather than what the student needed to become an effective informed citizen. Students are not given the tools to avoid being exploited.

"Elite High Schools Plot to Undermine College Admissions"

Even given the low expectations I have for good sense in K-12 education, this is really dopey.

The plan — by the Mastery Transcript Consortium, which counts over 100 top private schools as members — would have its participants stop reporting grades to college admissions offices and instead provide a new model for transcripts and portfolios. The consortium’s proposal would serve as one more step in a trend going back a century toward introducing vagueness and, by extension, discretionary power into college admissions.

If, supposedly, wealthy people can give their offspring an unfair advantage on the SATs and getting good high school grades, wait until you see how large an advantage they can procure in getting good "portfolios".