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”

Norge: Gjennomsnittlig resultatbasert lønnsøkning på 100 000 for lærere

Vår kommentar: En slik gjennomsnittlig lønnsøkning støtter vi, som en overgangsordning, varmt – dette så lenge lønnsnivået/lønnsøkningen gjøres direkte avhengig av standardisert-prøve-resultatene/forbedringene til elevene til den enkelte lærer. Det er samtidig meget viktig å ha for seg at utviklingen går meget raskt mot at læreres lønnsnivå bestemmes, slik det bør, av hvordan enkelt-elever fordeler sine skolepenger (undervisningsdelen av skolepengene vil enkeltelever fritt kunne fordele på lærere i inn- og utland).


2008/04/7 Posted by | Norway, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Post in Norwegian, Vouchers | 2 Comments

New Republic covering Obama and charter schools and vouchers and the new generation of teachers – but not the biggest picture


Our comment: but “even” this article fails to mention that teacher salaries – and teacher employment – from now on will be rapidly increasingly based on demand from students and their parents – again based on web-based rankings of thousand and thousands of teachers all over the world. What we are witnessing now are the final spasms of a 200-year education system era.


Reform School

The education (on education) of Barack Obama.

Josh Patashnik, The New Republic Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 Continue reading

2008/03/14 Posted by | Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

2007- : Parents continuing the struggle for educational freedom


2008/12: Voucher March on Washington?

2008/12: Et hav fra Stortinget til Youngstorget av engasjerte foreldre?

2008/03/8 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Kunnskapsdepartementet: Krav til ungdomsskole-matematikklærere om 60 studiepoeng fordypning

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Vår kommentar: vi er klare til å hjelpe ungdomsskolene med å møte Kunnskapsdepartementets krav. Våre matematikklærere har alle minst Master-grad i matematikk – mange har doktorgrad.

2008/03/7 Posted by | Languages, Mathematics, Middle school, Norway, Performance - school, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Teacher education, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Sweden/England/Wales – wonderful voucher policy advances, but great and rapid academic progress will require globalized instruction


Sweden’s voucher program as a blueprint for full “voucherization” of the school system in England and Wales. Continue reading

2008/03/5 Posted by | Performance - school, Policy, Sweden, Vouchers, Wales | Leave a comment

Sweden: tremendous voucher policy progress


“The variety of schools has increased throughout Sweden. The voucher system means that all students, irrespective of family income, can attend non-public schools. Even in rural areas there is now a wide choice of schools and it seems that the overall quality of Swedish schools has benefited from competition. The very existence of non-public schools has created a demand for reform also of public schools. If there is a difference, it also seems that non-public schools often are better at dealing with children with learning problems.

…three features seem particularly important when looking at the experience gained. Reform was based on a combination of public and market systems. It was general in its form, without demanding that non-public schools had to be special in order to be licensed. And reform reached out to cover all students.

This is what Sweden can offer, probably the most ambitions voucher system in the world but screwed into a social framework that is deeply rooted in the country. It is worth studying because, at the end of the day, it is using common principles of competition in an area where earlier such principles had not been generally accepted. One thing is for sure. “No change” is not an acceptable alternative.”

2008/03/5 Posted by | Charter schools, Europe, Performance - school, Policy, Sweden, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Finn and Petrilli: “The education of John McCain”

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“The monster: We now have a federal Department of Education meddling in schools across the land. Washington bureaucrats don’t improve them but do monitor everything from teacher qualifications to reading curricula to discipline. Yet when it comes to what matters most–expectations for student learning–NCLB allows every state to grade itself, enabling most to set low standards and play games with test results.

When it comes to global competition, President McCain would rally U.S. workers to compete worldwide without yielding to the siren song of protectionism. But here, too, NCLB is weakening our human-capital development with its low (and uneven) standards and its neglect of high-achieving students. McCain could change this by calling on governors to develop a set of common, rigorous expectations and assessments for all young Americans from Okeechobee to Walla Walla. And he could push Congress to rewrite NCLB so it focuses not just on academic stragglers but also on our savviest youngsters, too.

He could give states and communities the authority to merge all their federal funds into one flexible stream (while being held to tougher, more consistent standards for student learning).

There are plenty of other ideas worth supporting–targeted vouchers, aid for charter schools, incentives for districts to rid themselves of restrictive union contracts, and more.

Happily for him, Obama’s mushy education plan and flip-flopping on merit pay and vouchers give the Arizonan plenty of room to maneuver. Like Reagan, McCain may never make education his top priority. But by picking a few key issues and using his power effectively, he just might be an education president anyhow.”

2008/03/4 Posted by | Charter schools, National standards, Performance pay, Policy, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment

Inequality can be reversed only through better education for children in lower- and moderate-income communities


Are We Heading for Another Great Depression?

“Over the longer term, inequality can be reversed only through better schools for children in lower- and moderate-income communities…

These measures are necessary to give Americans enough buying power to keep the American economy going. They are also needed to overcome widening inequality, and thereby keep America in one piece.”


Our comment: vouchers, typically used for connecting students with master teachers all over the world, are even more important for poor students – be they in urban or rural areas – than they are for more affluent ones.

2008/03/2 Posted by | National standards, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Vouchers | Leave a comment

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


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

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

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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


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


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

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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 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

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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) – 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

On Obama’s campaign team and vouchers and straight talk


New York Sun Editorial
February 25, 2008

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…



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

Barack Obama: vouchers, charters, fostering competition


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

Obama open to use of vouchers to attend private school


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

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