From the VAMboozled! blog:The “Value-Added” of Teacher Preparation Programs: New Research 

 

By Audrey Amrein-Beardsley

: 17 Oct 2016 07:06 AM PDT

The journal Education of Economics Review recently published a study titled “Teacher Quality Differences Between Teacher Preparation Programs: How Big? How Reliable? Which Programs Are Different?” The study was authored by researchers at the University of Texas – Austin, Duke University, and Tulane. The pre-publication version of this piece can be found here.

As the title implies, the purpose of the study was to “evaluate statistical methods for estimating teacher quality differences between TPPs [teacher preparation programs].” Needless to say, this research is particularly relevant, here, given “Sixteen US states have begun to hold teacher preparation programs (TPPs) accountable for teacher quality, where quality is estimated by teacher value-added to student test scores.” The federal government continues to support and advance these initiatives, as well (see, for example,here).

But this research study is also particularly important because while researchers found that “[t]he most convincing estimates [of TPP quality] [came] from a value-added model where confidence intervals [were] widened;” that is, the extent to which measurement errors were permitted was dramatically increased, and also widened further using statistical corrections. But even when using these statistical techniques and accomodations, they found that it was still “rarely possible to tell which TPPs, if any, [were] better or worse than average.”

They therefore concluded that “[t]he potential benefits of TPP accountability may be too small to balance the risk that a proliferation of noisy TPP estimates will encourage arbitrary and ineffective policy actions” in response. More specifically, and in their own words, they found that:

Read the full blog post here: The “Value-Added” of Teacher Preparation Programs: New Research | VAMboozled!

CURMUDGUCATION blog: Dear Hillary. Re: Education

Dear Hillary. Re: Education

Posted by Peter Greene: 18 Oct 2016 06:49 AM PDT

We already know that there is no public education candidate running in this Presidential election. But we find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to choose between someone would subject public education  to bad, disruptive, destructive, dismantling policies and someone who would just drop a nuke on public education.

Not that anyone really wants to talk about public education, mind you. Man, remember the old days, when everyone thought that education was going to be a marquee topic in this election cycle? (So sorry, Jeb! Too bad, Campbell.)

So Valerie Strauss at the Washington Postsent out some questions about education. The Trump campaign didn’t actually answer (“Go look at our website, you journalistic losers!”). But the Clinton campaign did, and their answers give us an idea of the sorts of things we will need to bombard them and their Secretary of Education about over the next four years (if Trump somehow wins, we will be hunkering down while he bombards us). Here’s the short form of the Q & A, with my thoughts about what we need to say in our Dear Hillary letters.

Read the full blog post here: CURMUDGUCATION: Dear Hillary. Re: Education

Downtown Development Authority to expand its boundaries, capture more tax dollars and make more of Grand Rapids a play space for those with privilege

Downtown Development Authority to expand its boundaries, capture more tax dollars and make more of Grand Rapids a play space for those with privilege
by Jeff Smith (GRIID)
screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-30-17-pm

Last week, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) voted to expand the boundaries of downtown Grand Rapids (as can be seen in this map on the right). This means that the DDA, a non-elected body will have more control over the use of taxes and development projects that primarily serve the interests of people who are highly privileged.

This decision was made at the last DDA meeting. The DDA meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 8:00am at City Hall.

The Downtown Development Authority was established in 1980, which is when the financial elites decided to re-invest in the downtown area, determining development projects and and how tax funds would be used. The original area of control in 1980 was a total of 46 acres. Since 1980 the DDA has expanded 15 times and if the City Commission approves the current expansion the will bring the total amount of acres the non-elected body will have control over to 873 acres.

A more detailed look at the proposed expansion areas can be seen in the following 5 maps…

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-30-17-pm

Last week, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) voted to expand the boundaries of downtown Grand Rapids (as can be seen in this map on the right). This means that the DDA, a non-elected body will have more control over the use of taxes and development projects that primarily serve the interests of people who are highly privileged.

This decision was made at the last DDA meeting. The DDA meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 8:00am at City Hall.

The Downtown Development Authority was established in 1980, which is when the financial elites decided to re-invest in the downtown area, determining development projects and and how tax funds would be used. The original area of control in 1980 was a total of 46 acres. Since 1980 the DDA has expanded 15 times and if the City Commission approves the current expansion the will bring the total amount…

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