12-13-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: Newark’s Phantom Gains in School Improvement

The celebrations and self-congratulations are real; unfortunately, the data shows that Newark’s educational successes don’t measure up

There’s been a lot of talk lately — including here at NJ Spotlight — about the recent “successes” of Newark’s schools. New research purportedly shows that students in Newark have made outsized gains in achievement in the wake of a high-profile, $100 million donation in 2010 from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The leaders of Newark’s schools, including its charter sector, are celebrating the findings of this research, claiming vindication for their particular brand of school “reform.”

But what does this research — and other data on Newark’s schools — really show? Today, the National Education Policy Center is releasing a report authored by Dr. Bruce Baker of Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education and myself. In this report, we critique this recent research, and add our own deep dive into the data on Newark’s schools. Our conclusion?

Hold off on the parties.


Mark Weber | December 13, 2017


Education Week--Trump Taps Ex-Florida Chief, Lt. Governor for Top K-12 Post Under DeVos

President Donald Trump has tapped Frank Brogan, who served as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's lieutenant governor, as assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education, the top post at the Education Department overseeing K-12 policy.

Brogan was elected Florida's commissioner of education in 1994, a gig he held until 1999, when he became lieutenant governor. He then served as Bush's second banana from 1999 to 2003. He has also held just about every possible job in K-12 education policy and instruction. He's been a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools in Florida's Martin County.

The news isn't exactly a shocker. We told you he was likely to be hired for the role way back in August.  Brogan recently stepped down as the chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.


Alyson Klein on December 11, 2017 9:57 PM