October Review / November Preview
October has been an amazing month, both in public education, and for the blog. There have been almost 11,000 page views of this site this month – more than twice as many as any other month since I started doing this in April. While that averages out to about only 350 per day, and I know some of those page views are multiple hits by the same people, I still find it reassuring that more and more people are looking for someone to counterbalance the smears on public education that are all too common.
We’ve had other surprises and major events this month. Here is a review of the top five blog posts for October:
- A-F Poverty Bias – Only published a few days ago, this has quickly become the second-most viewed blog post on this website. The fact that poverty impacts student achievement resonates with anybody who has ever taught. Politicians more interested in puffery and demagoguery just don’t get it, though.
- 173 Bottles of White Out on the Wall – I played with the title on this one for a while. At the time, this was the number of superintendents who were protesting elements of the A-F Report Cards. Not only was the product in question; so was the process. In the end, 313 of 522 superintendents in Oklahoma gave their name to the protest. The State Board of Education listened, momentarily, and delayed the release of the report cards.
- Unfit Response – After the SBE delayed the release of the report cards, Superintendent Barresi handled herself with something short of poise. She stuck a finger in the face of a board member. She gave a petulant interview on channel 4 in Oklahoma City. And she told schools to release the report cards anyway.
- This is Only a Test – In the middle of the month, school districts received notice that the SDE had botched the bid process for state testing suffered “administrative challenges” in awarding the third through eighth grade testing contract. This is going to cause the state writing test to be pushed back into April. The writing test this year also includes a day of field testing for new items/processes. That’s two extra testing days that will be added to the already crowded April/May testing window. It will likely cause a delay in score reporting as well.
- Happy A-F Report Card Eve – The night before the planned release of the A-F Report Cards, I took to verse and missed badly on my prediction. It was a fun little poem, but the parts that would ring true would not do so for a few more weeks.
November should be eventful as well. The state auditor’s report published earlier this week will lead to more news articles, commentary, denials, and finger pointing. The second arm of the accountability monster – the federal piece – is yet to be finalized. And following next week’s elections, a legislative agenda will start taking on a more clear form.