Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Yorkers loom large on new education task force

Klein joins a national group called “Strategic Management of Human Capital Task Force”, focused on “teacher quality” – co-chaired by “Take no prisoners” Michelle Rhee: “The task force’s mission is to encourage state and local efforts to elevate the importance of talent management in public schools in kindergarten through the 12th grade.”

Other members include Sir Michael Barber, former consultant for DOE, and LaVerne E. Srinivasan, formerly Klein’s deputy and now head of New Leaders for new Schools.

The task force is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Gates Foundation, and it will conduct “case studies to document the impact of SMHC reforms in six places: 1) New York City; 2) Chicago; 3) Boston; 4) Long Beach, CA; 5) Fairfax County, VA; and 6) the state of Minnesota’s “Q-Comp” program. Additional case studies are being conducted of Teach for America, the New Teacher Project, and New Leaders for New Schools.”

I’m sure these case studies will be highly objective, given the presence of many of the leaders of these organizations on the board.

In any event, the task force’s website is already operating much like a personal PR firm for Rhee and her initiatives. See this, posted by the co-directors, from the home page:


DC test scores are up

Posted on by jkelly

Image via Wikipedia

Student test score’s just in for students in Washington, D.C. showed large gains across the board, providing empirical short-term support for the efficacy of the reforms the SMHC Co-Chair, Chancellor Michelle Rhee, has begun to implement in that district. Several principals attributed the results to initiatives the Chancellor suggested. Though there is more to do, these first year results show that an intense focus on increasing student performance can have significant positive results.

Allan [Odden] and Jim [Kelly]

The SMHCTF website conveniently does not link to another Wash. Post article, citing earlier statements from Rhee “she did not think test scores would receive a bump from her initiatives for a few years.”

Amazing how efficient these guy like Klein and Rhee are at raising test scores even before they’ve put their reforms into place.

(For more about how Klein takes credit for the bump in 2002-3 test scores, though his reforms were announced for the first time in January 2003 at the same time that students were taking the tests – and not put in place until the following year, see the debate between Chris Cerf and Sol Stern here: http://www.eduwonk.com/2008/07/from-chris-cerf.html

See also Eduwonkette on what Klein’s more muted attitude was at the time:; http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/eduwonkette/2008/07/cerfing_the_web_1.html)

Rhee has obviously learned from Klein’s mistakes and will take as much credit as soon as possible.

No mention in any of these articles how the 2007 NAEP results also showed DC schools had made some of the largest gains since 2003 – and far larger than NYC, where NAEP scores have been largely flat, though by the time the results were announced, Mayoral control had already been established in DC, Superintendent of DC schools Janey let go and Michelle Rhee hired – in an attempt to emulate the great successes of the Bloomberg/Klein administration.

See our earlier posting, http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2007/11/who-really-deserved-to-win-broad-prize.html

Whether or not these guys know how to run school systems is still in grave doubt; but clearly they have gotten very good at creating a massive PR infrastructure around them, including this new “task force”, funded in large part by their supporters and dedicated to generating stories and reports about their supposed achievements.

Article about task force below, from Crain’s Weekly.


New Yorkers loom large on new education task force

Group, which includes Schools Chancellor Klein, to focus on improving teacher quality.

July 21. 2008 2:35PM Samantha Marshall

A national task force heavily populated by veteran New York education reformers meets for the first time in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss ways to improve the quality of teachers in public schools. The Strategic Management of Human Capital Task Force, which numbers among its members New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, also announced today the addition of Josh Reibel, president of Brooklyn-based Wireless Generation, an online student assessment and class planning system.

The task force’s mission is to encourage state and local efforts to elevate the importance of talent management in public schools in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Particular emphasis will be placed on sourcing professional teaching staff, developing their skills, and retaining them once they have been trained. The nonprofit organization will also determine what additional support teachers need in classrooms across the country.

“We must put great people in classrooms and give them the high quality tools and support they need to be successful and committed to schools for the long term,” said Mr. Reibel, whose programs are currently used by about 150,000 teachers in the U.S. and overseas.

Mr. Reibel, who began his career as a high school teacher, has also held positions at commercial and non-profit education organizations, including SCORE! Learning and the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Another New Yorker on the newly-formed task force is Timothy Daly, president of Park Avenue-headquartered The New Teacher Project, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving teacher quality. It has helped train or hire about 28,000 teachers in 27 states.

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