February 17, 2009

What can you do in 20 minutes? and don't forget Weighted Student Funding

In lieu of actual content, a brief note: I have about 20 minutes left before I have to run out the door again. Last Thursday, I had 6 meetings. Friday had a morning meeting, a mid-morning meeting, a 75-minute drive to another meeting, and the reverse 75-minute drive to yet another meeting. Yesterday had three meetings, today two meetings and two more 75-minute drives surrounding a guest lecture. All have been meaningful, often productive. I've also produced a prodigious amount of stuff that's been necessary, including the EPAA article that just appeared (the indomitable Bruce Baker explains some quite-relevant problems with Weighted Student Funding arguments), prepping the next EPAA article. Had good conversations otherwise, have an interesting idea on one of my current projects while taking a good walk, exercised other than walking, spent time with my children...

No regrets, other than the desire for one or two days this week to fulfill my promise to myself on non-internet time, and time to write a long blog entry. Among other things, I have a bunch of reader requests for blog entries I'd like to get to. Say, with teacher quality (or some facsimile) as the first one up? Lots of recent stuff on that, and while I cannot promise to read the recent IES paper in the present lifetime, I should at least be able to trout out Ye Olde Historical Perspective on teacher qualifications and the like. (Mandatory reading on the topic: chapter 1 of Edward Eggleston's The Hoosier Schoolmaster.)

One more brief thought: While at the other end of the 75-minute drive, after the guest speaker class, my colleague and I talked in a cafe while watching the president sign the stimulus bill. Again, I'm filled with the sense that the stimulus is about half the size that's necessary, either for macroeconomic purposes or for saving K-12 teachers' jobs. (Sorry, Kevin, but while I wish that this truly represented a doubling of Title I funding, in reality that part of the stimulus is an emergency stopgap to prevent teachers in Florida and elsewhere from being dumped and in turn dragging the economy down even further.)

For my personal motivations (as someone whose job is to safeguard the interests and values of a 1700-person bargaining unit), what's more obviously valuable is the subsidy of 60% of COBRA payments. That's a huge boost for the unemployed. It tells you something about the state of the economy that a boost in COBRA payments is one of the most thrilling parts of the stimulus for me, but that's life.

Listen to this article
Tags: blogging, Bruce Baker, EPAA, history of education, No Child Left Behind, stimulus, Title I, weighted student funding
Posted in The academic life on February 17, 2009 6:57 PM |