Education: A Golden Age

“The education sector’s structure and policies will change more in the next 3 years than they changed in the last 2,500 years”

Et gufs fra en forgangen, kollektivistisk skole-tidsalder? Eller ihvertfall skolelov-argumenter hulter til bulter.

125px-flag_of_norwaysvg.pngannh.jpg

Anniken Huitfeldt, Aftenposten Aften, 2008/02/29

“De viktigste verdiene ligger i at folk kan komme til samme sykehus, skole og sykehjem uavhengig av hvor mye penger de har. Det er derfor det blant annet har vært viktig å si nei til privatskoler”.

Vår kommentar: Det er krevende å finne ut langs hvilken dimensjon man først bør rive den siste setningen fra hverandre. Fokuset på skole, og ikke undervisningen i de enkelte fag – som uansett globaliseres, med tusener av lærere å velge mellom – er avlegs. Norge har ikke råd til å ikke dra nytte av – og på grunn av teknologiutviklingen ingen mulighet til å unngå å dra nytte av – det entreprenørskapet som nå spiller en stor positiv rolle innen utdanningssektoren rundt om i verden. Continue reading

2008/02/29 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Policy, Vouchers | Leave a comment

“The Democrats should not be redebating NAFTA. They should be debating how to help Americans adapt to a new economy in which no job is safe.”

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png reich.jpg

http://robertreich.blogspot.com/

2008/02/29

2008/02/29 Posted by | US | Leave a comment

This presentation is a candidate for the world’s most important one – and a must see for all education sector decision markers in the West.

… og en bønn til Senterpartiet om at det endelig lar verdens aller fattigste få begynne å gjøre livene sine litt mindre jævlige.

Karolinska’s Hans Rosling at TED 2006.

2008/02/28 Posted by | China, India, Policy | Leave a comment

Words of wisdom and courage – from the greatest President the country will never have?

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png img_about_solo.jpg

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/opinion/28mike.html?

I’m Not Running for President, but …

Published: February 28, 2008

WATCHING the 2008 presidential campaign, you sometimes get the feeling that the candidates — smart, all of them — must know better. They must know we can’t fix our economy and create jobs by isolating America from global trade. They must know that we can’t fix our immigration problems with border security alone. They must know that we can’t fix our schools without holding teachers, principals and parents accountable for results. They must know that fighting global warming is not a costless challenge. And they must know that we can’t keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals unless we crack down on the black market for them.

The vast majority of Americans know that all of this is true, but — politics being what it is — the candidates seem afraid to level with them.

Continue reading

2008/02/28 Posted by | Charter schools, National standards, New York, New York City, Performance - school, Performance pay, Policy, Teacher education, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Debate about Milwaukee voucher program does not reflect 21st century use

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png

2008/02/27 Posted by | Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

New York City DOE steadfastly promoting accountability, despite UFT opposition

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png235px-tweed_courthouse_north_main_facade_118443pv.jpgnyc_schools_logo.gif

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02272008/postopinion/editorials/the_ufts_real_gripe_99503.htm

February 27, 2008 — The New York City teachers union is on the warpath.

And, no, the United Federation of Teachers isn’t demanding longer hours during which to teach students.

Or insisting that teachers be allowed to give more homework.

Instead, in prime-time TV ads that began airing this week, the union protests that poor, fragile young people are being tested too much.

Don’t believe it.

What really has the union so upset is that one element of the city Department of Education’s ongoing accountability drive entails tying teacher evaluations to student scores on standardized tests. Continue reading

2008/02/27 Posted by | New York, New York City, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Bi-partisan voucher collaboration

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png 160px-rahm_emanuel_official_photo_portrait_color.jpg198px-bolten_joshua.jpg

Our comment: the main 21st century purpose of vouchers is making it easy for students to receive instruction from the best teachers all over the world, on a per-subject basis, and the private-public school distinction is now obsolete, but Emanuel’s initiative is a good one nonetheless.

======================================================================

‘Pell for Kids’ Plan Gets Cautious Support

Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/24/AR2008022401995_2.html Continue reading

2008/02/27 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Performance pay, Policy, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Ett av våre innspill til NHO: om akademisk satsning på ungdomsskole-nivå

125px-flag_of_norwaysvg.png 112444878408_content-chaffey.jpg sigrun_vaageng.gif nhologo-header.gif

Til Paul Chaffey, med kopi til Sigrun Vågeng (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon og Abelia)

Et innspill:

Vi støtter selvfølgelig generelt sett ditt elite-videregående-skole-utspill fra for en tid siden.

Men vi mener at man når det gjelder slike “elite”-opplegg må analysere nøye presis hvilket segment man vil prøve å gjøre noe for, og når. Noen betenkninger:
– Teknologien gjør det nå mulig å gi elever på alle ferdighetsnivåer tilpasset undervisning i enkeltfag uten å gå inn i eiendomsbransjen.
– Antallet videregående skole-elever som allerede er på topp internasjonalt nivå alt for lite til å basere en skole på. På matematikksiden eller naturfagsiden/”Unge forskere” utgjør de idag ikke mer enn 5-10 elever pr. år – selv blant de 20 beste er det flere “vanlige 6-ere” (det er som Bergesen skrev i forrige uke: “de beste er ikke særlig gode”). Og selv disse meget få bor gjerne spredt over store deler av landet, så å gå på en fysisk skole ville for dem medføre et internat/hybel-liv.
– For ikke bare den mikroskopiske faktiske eliten men et større antall gode elever er det er nå >10 norske vgs’er som tilbyr International Baccalaureate, et opplegg som på “High Level” gir mulighet til å strekke seg langt. Men det er ikke mulig for dette større antallet gode elever å nå det internasjonale topp 1%-nivået (nivået som gir opptak ved de beste universitetene) hvis de begynner et aksellerert løp først i videregående skole.
– At den faktiske eliten ikke er 50-100 ganger større skyldes at det norske utdanningstoget sporer av, i forhold til internasjonalt nivå, allerede fra tidlig i barneskolen – utdanningseffektiviteten ligger på bare 2/3 av høyt internasjonalt nivå. Brøken gjør det nærliggende å tenke på marathon – løper du den på 2 timer blir du verdensmester, gjør du det på 3 timer får du aldri navnet ditt i avisen. Og i landene med best utdanningseffektivitet er det en stor grad av fordypning (ihvertfall blant de beste) fra rundt 6.-7. klasse.
hvis man skulle starte en eller flere fysisk skoler spesielt for elever med stort potensiale synes det for oss åpenbart at det fra et akademisk perspektiv burde skje på ungdomsskole-nivå – helst burde opptak skje fra 6. trinn. Muligens kunne dette skje ved å fremme IB Middle Years Programme – i Norge er det bare 4 skoler som har dette opplegget (ingen i Stor-Oslo, den nærmeste er på Kongsberg) – http://www.ibo.org/school/search/index.cfm?programmes=MYP&country=NO&region=&find_schools=Find. Skulle en slik etablering skje er det viktig at opplegget gjorde “mer av seg”, i forhold til den nasjonale skoledebatten, enn det IB (på vgs-nivå) i Norge så langt har gjort.

2008/02/27 Posted by | Accelerated education, High school, Languages, Mathematics, Middle school, National standards, Norway, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Policy, Post in Norwegian, Science, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Drammen – matematikk – global undervisning for 8.-9. trinn

125px-flag_of_norwaysvg.png drammen-aerial.jpg boerresen.jpgimg_0014-250p-wide.jpg

http://globaleducationforyou.wordpress.com/mathematics-initiatives/mathematics-initiatives-norway/

2008/02/27 Posted by | 2008 mathematics initiatives, Buskerud, Drammen, Mathematics, Middle school, Norway | Leave a comment

On Obama’s campaign team and vouchers and straight talk

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png160px-obamabarack.jpg220px-john_mccain_official_photo_portrait-cropped.jpg

New York Sun Editorial
February 25, 2008

http://www.nysun.com/article/71798

No sooner had we issued Elizabeth Green‘s dispatch under the headline “Obama Open to Private School Vouchers” than his campaign was scrambling to undo the potential damage with the Democratic primary electorate. On February 20, his campaign issued a statement headlined, “Response to Misleading Reports Concerning Senator Obama‘s Position on Vouchers” that said, “Senator Obama has always been a critic of vouchers.” The statement went on, “Throughout his career, he has voted against voucher proposals and voiced concern for siphoning off resources from our public schools.” It noted that Mr. Obama’s education agenda “does not include vouchers, in any shape or form.”

Clarifying statement aside, there is no taking away what Mr. Obama actually said in the interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentininal that was the subject of Ms. Green’s dispatch. “If there was any argument for vouchers, it was ‘Alright, let’s see if this experiment works,’ and if it does, then whatever my preconceptions, my attitude is you do what works for the kids,” the senator said. “I will not allow my predispositions to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn. We’re losing several generations of kids and something has to be done.” Continue reading

2008/02/25 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Vouchers: Backtracking by Obama’s campaign a disservice to Obama and his pragmatism…

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png160px-obamabarack.jpg

 

Our comment: Now is, with additional superdelegates switching to Obama every day and the nomination and the presidency essentially in the hand, not the time to let certain special interest groups and a handful of superdelegates dictate one’s public position on the country’s most important issue.

 

Vouchers are, in the 21st century, about profoundly strengthening local public schools’ role as centers for globally-benchmarked academic excellence in that they allow local public school-based students to flexibly get instruction, on a per-subject basis using the latest technology, from the best teachers locally, domestically and globally. They are not about driving students away from conventional local public schools to conventional local public or private schools, not about “siphoning of resources” from any school.

 

An aspect of this is that 21st century vouchers will now level the playing field between urban, suburban and rural schools in an unprecedented and wonderful way. Only in small pockets in the largest metropolitan areas may vouchers be less than critical for students’ education and competitiveness, for demographic and human resources forces and flows are such that “every school in America” will never be equally “filled with outstanding (on-site) educators”. As for attempts to improve the average performance level of teachers: the campaign mentions recruitment of new teachers but does not address the vast and very expensive professional development of current teachers – through programs that measure student performance before and after the teachers attend them – that is likely to be necessary and desirable even with extensive usage of the globalized teacher pool.

 

So vouchers today are about the student in rural Vermont being able to pay her math teacher in Boston or Eastern Europe and the student in Cleveland being able to pay his Chinese teacher in San Francisco or Asia.

 

The comment about the “Milwaukee voucher program not having been studied to see if it works” confuses performance and funding. Teacher performance, which varies much more than school performance, should of course always be measured, no matter how the instruction is paid for. With respect to performance measurement it is good to see the reference to Obama’s support for student-performance-based pay for teachers.

 

Not only is flexible access to excellent teachers wherever those teachers may be located “best for the kids”, it is for students a civil right. Continue reading

2008/02/22 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Det nye forskjells-Norge, lokalt gode elever som henger etter, og en ikke-eksisterende elite

125px-flag_of_norwaysvg.png

Vår kommentar: Våre egne undersøkelser viser at topp 10% av elevene i Norge ligger 2-3 år etter topp 10% i landene med best utdanning, og at det som skulle vært topp 1% i Norge – de som er akademisk parat til å delta i en kamp om plasser ved de beste universitetene som pga flere og flere søkere fra Asia bare blir hardere og hardere – bare utgjør 0.01%- 0.03%. Når det gjelder elementære ferdigheter i matematikk så er Norsk Matematikkråds Forkunnskapstesten – som vi har kjørt internasjonalt – en bedre indikasjon enn PISA og TIMSS. Og det er lett å konstatere at pensumprogresjonen i Norge ligger 2-3 år etter den i landene med best skolematematikk.

===========================================================

http://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kronikker/article2268365.ece

finn_bergesen.gifnhologo-header-1.gif

FINN BERGESEN JR.,
Administrerende direktør, Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon

SKOLEN. Vi skaper en stor ny underklasse som kan komme til å bli stående utenfor arbeidslivet. Continue reading

2008/02/21 Posted by | Norway, Performance pay, Post in Norwegian | Leave a comment

Barack Obama: vouchers, charters, fostering competition

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png

2008/02/19 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Princeton Plans for an Early Year Abroad

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png princeton_university.png

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/education/19educ.html?

2008/02/19 Posted by | University, US | Leave a comment

Gode hjerner skyr Norge

125px-flag_of_norwaysvg.png

http://e24.no/oppogfrem/article2261235.ece

Vår kommentar: Norge vil vite at det har lykkes når en jevn strøm av India Institute of Technology og Tsinghua alumni søker seg til landet…

2008/02/17 Posted by | Clusters, Immigration, Norway, Policy, University | Leave a comment

Obama open to use of vouchers to attend private school

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png160px-obamabarack.jpg

Our comment: In the 21st century the main use of vouchers is to allow public school facility-based students to receive instruction by teachers worldwide, and the private/public distinction won’t be along physical school lines. But it is nonetheless wonderful to experience Obama’s pragmatic, common sense perspective.

Obama Open to Private School Vouchers

http://www.nysun.com/article/71403

By ELIZABETH GREEN
Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 15, 2008 updated 2/16/08 10:21 am EST

Senator Obama said this week that he is open to supporting private school vouchers if research shows they work. Continue reading

2008/02/15 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Obama: vouchers, student-performance-based teacher compensation, and charter schools

125px-flag_of_the_united_statessvg.png

By: Mike Allen February 11, 2008 08:44 PM EST
Taking a position that could help him win a general election, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said in an interview that the federal government should experiment with charter schools even if some Democrats oppose the idea. In a joint interview with Politico WJLA/ABC 7, Obama was asked about issues on which he might oppose the mainstream of his party. “I’ve consistently said I think we need to support charter schools,” Obama said.
I think it’s important for us to experiment in terms of how teachers are compensated — working with teachers but looking at how we can reward excellence in classrooms.
Asked about the reaction of teachers’ unions, Obama acknowledged that they “haven’t been thrilled with me talking about this.”My sister’s a teacher, so I am a strong supporter of teachers,” he said. “But I’m not going to be bound by just a certain way of talking about things in order for us to move forward on behalf of our kids. And I think a lot of teachers want to talk about how we can continue improving performance measures. We’ve got to get beyond a lot of the traditional categories.Conservatives have singled out overtures on education as perhaps the most promising way that Obama could convince Republicans, intrigued by his personal style, to cross over and vote for him if he is the Democratic nominee next fall. “The Democratic Party is a big tent, and so there are a bunch of different positions that I might not agree with,” Obama said. On something like charter schools and experimenting with our school system to make it work, I think that we really have to pay attention.

2008/02/11 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment