GEEPers, More Money for the Rich


You’re not going to believe this. But in his budget proposal next week, Governor Corbett is apparently planning to increase funding for public schools by – wait for it – giving wealthy districts more money. OK, it’s not as simple as that. But in effect, this is exactly what he is proposing.

As we learned two weeks ago, the Governor has been talking about finding $100-$200 million more to put into public education. [“New Year Cheer”] That would be great, though sources close to Corbett say “a decent chunk of that funding will be the state’s share of the pension payments for school employees.” They also report, “One thing is certain, little-to-none will be in the form of an increase of the state budget’s basic education line item.” [Capitolwire, 1-29-14 (paywall), see summary on Keystone State Education Coalition, 1-30-14] In other words, that money is…

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Breaking News: Tennessee State Board Considers Dropping VAM!

Diane Ravitch's blog

In a startling development, the State Board of Education in Tennessee made clear at its meeting on Friday that it may eliminate or modify value-added measurement (VAM).

State Commissioner Keven Huffman was stunned.

Tennessee is the state where VAM got started, launched in the 1980s by agricultural statistician William Sanders. Based on his experience, Sanders assumed that it was possible to hold all other variables constant and attribute the rise or fall of test scores to teachers. Most social scientists understand that children are not corn, and it is impossible to hold all other variables constant. But Sanders now has a consulting business, and his methods are proprietary information, c.osely held.

In the future, if the board sticks to its guns, VAM will not play a part in deciding whether teachers may be licensed to work in the state of Tennessee. Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, an expert on VAM, celebrates that major…

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