State’s $120m deal with GE includes no protection if jobs don’t pan out – The Boston Globe


General Electric Co. plans to move its headquarters to this site in Boston’s Fort Point.

If General Electric does not create the number of jobs it promises at its new corporate headquarters in Boston, the industrial giant “absolutely” will lose some of the $25 million in tax breaks the city offered to woo the company, according to a top Walsh administration official.

Boston’s economic development chief, John Barros, said the incentive package the city is still negotiating with GE will include a so-called clawback provision that allows the government to recoup a portion of the 20-year tax break if the company does not live up to terms of the deal.

Read the rest of the story here: State’s $120m deal with GE includes no protection if jobs don’t pan out – The Boston Globe

Kane Is At It, Again: “Statistically Significant” Claims Exaggerated to Influence Public Policy | Reblogged from VAMboozled!


Kane Is At It, Again: “Statistically Significant” Claims Exaggerated to Influence Public Policy

In a recent post, I critiqued a fellow academic and value-added model (VAM) supporter —Thomas Kane, an economics professor from Harvard University who also directed the $45 million worth of Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) studies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Kane has been the source of multiple posts on this blog (see also here,here, and here) as he is a very public figure, very often backing, often not in non-peer-reviewed technical reports and documents, series of exaggerated, but  research-based claims. In this prior post, I more specifically critiqued the overstated claims he made in a recent National Public Radio (NPR) interview titled: “There Is No FDA For Education. Maybe There Should Be.”

Well, a colleague recently emailed me another such document authored by Kane (and co-written with four colleagues), titled: “Teaching Higher: Educators’ Perspectives on Common Core Implementation.”

Follow this link to read the entire post: Kane Is At It, Again: “Statistically Significant” Claims Exaggerated to Influence Public Policy | VAMboozled!

BustED Pencils Trending News: Episode 14; Head Nods; Bullying-Revolution; Finding

BustED Pencils Radio Episode 14 –  No Excuses. No Excuses. No Excuses! Episode 14: No Excuses. No Excuses. No Excuses! A teachers view point… WAIT what???!!  NICE (with head nods) Where Have All the Teachers Gone? Bullying happens when a revolution is attempted. The Opt Out Irony Finding a way forward. Root to… Read more »

Source: BustED Pencils Trending News: Episode 14; Head Nods; Bullying-Revolution; Finding

Weekend Edition – The Magic of Small, Basic Tasks

Live to Write - Write to Live

Keep things simple. Keep things simple.

When things get a little crazy (and when aren’t they a little crazy?), small, humble tasks create pockets of sanity in my day. I expect my gravitating toward these menial chores in moments of crisis is a bit like the British tendency to make tea even when (sometimes especially when) everything seems to be falling apart. There is comfort in the simple and the mundane, in purely functional activities that are what they are. These manual labors provide a sense of grounded rationality that is often otherwise hard to find.

Take for instance, mending. For months now, a small pile of clothes has been sitting high on a laundry room shelf, patiently waiting for me to repair ripped seams and broken fastenings. The job was not all that complicated, but I just never seemed to get around to it. And then new damage to my daughter’s favorite…

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This just in: No standardized tests in Alaska this school year

Seattle Education


From the Washington post:

Alaska cancels all K-12 standardized tests for the year, citing technical problems

Alaska officials have canceled the state’s computer-based standardized testing for the year, citing repeated technical problems that were interrupting students’ exams, throwing schools into chaos and threatening the validity of results.

“I don’t believe under the circumstances that the assessment we were administering was a valid assessment,” Susan McCauley, interim commissioner of the state education department, said in an interview Tuesday. “Validity relies on a standardized assessment condition, and things were anything but standardized in Alaska last week.”

The cancellation means that tens of thousands of Alaska’s public school students in grades 3 through 10 won’t sit for math and reading exams that are mandated under federal law, leaving a hole in annual data on student performance statewide, and in each district and individual school. Science tests for students in grades 4, 8 and 10 also were canceled.

Alaska’s decision comes…

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When the Status Quo Isn’t


Fix the Mitten, an excellent blog hosted by Nick Krieger, recently had a post that decried the ability of local journalists to report on educational issues. Nick uses the post to point out that the word “reform,” when associated with education, has become code for “destroy.” As Nick eloquently puts it, “It is a code word for experimenting with poor kids and promoting private enterprise at the expense of urban public school districts.”

I want to pick up on this theme and explore it a little bit more. I am a bit shocked after all of these years of education reform, that “reform” is still given as an alternative to the “status quo.” Fix the Mitten shares that local Detroit Channel 4 reporter Devin Scillian, a reporter with a relatively solid sense of educational issues (again, something all too rare in today’s reporting) tweeted that, “If the opposite…

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Making A Killing: Don’t Miss This Movie

Mike The Gun Guy™

There’s a media company in California called Brave New Films which earlier this year released a remarkable documentary about America and guns.  The film is called Making A Killing – Guns, Greed and the NRA, and from the title you can easily guess which side of the gun argument is being caught in this film.  It’s a lengthy production for a documentary, runs more than 90 minutes, and much of the footage is devoted to comments by the families and friends of people whose lives were ended because they got in the way of a loaded gun.

The film is divided into four basic segments, each covering a category of gun death with which we are all too familiar: domestic abuse where an ex-husband assaults the ex-wife, the accidental shooting of a young kid, the endless shootings which take place virtually every day in Chicago, and a suicide committed by…

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Teachers Divided Between Sanders and Clinton

Diane Ravitch's blog

Politico reports what readers of this blog know very well: teachers are divided between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, even though the two national teachers’ unions were among the first to endorse Clinton.

The plus side of Sanders: He speaks to the anger and outrage that many teachers feel as a result of unrelenting attacks on the teaching profession and on public education. He can be expected to fight privatization and inequality.

The downside of Sanders: He has not been a member of the Democratic Party until now and if elected, would have few supporters in Congress to enact anything he proposes. While he has high poll numbers now, the Republican attack machine has thus far ignored him. They will drive his numbers down by calling him a communist and pulling every dirty trick in their arsenal. On education, he has been a member of the Senate committee that deals…

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