Author Archives: Bruce Thompson

Whatever happened to?

I was doing a search on the Journal Sentinel archives this week and I was reminded again just how big a deal the Neighborhood Schools Initiative was when it was adopted. Article after article discussed how Milwaukee Public Schools would … Continue reading

Posted in Education Strategy, Neighborhood schools, Principal development, Reading | Leave a comment

Why has education policy research been a bust?

In recent years, we have seen an explosion of research aimed at judging the effectiveness  of initiatives including charters, vouchers, class size, and various curricula. On the whole, this effort has not given us definitive answers. One could hope that … Continue reading

Posted in Charter performance, Charter Schools, Research, Student achievement, Value added measures | Leave a comment

Agenda focused research

One question I have in looking at education research reports is the motivation of the researchers. Were they interested in whether a particular intervention had an effect on student achievement or in showing that it did? An argument can be … Continue reading

Posted in Education Strategy, Student achievement, Value added measures | Leave a comment

On using student achievement

There is slow but steady progress towards using student outcomes in evaluating teachers. For example, see this recent editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On the whole this strikes me as a hopeful trend, but I also see it as … Continue reading

Posted in Student achievement, Value added measures | Leave a comment

A code of ethics for think tanks?

There are certainly a number of careful, ethical think tanks who produce thoughtful, useful reports. But in recent years, there has been an explosion of junk think tanks whose purpose seems to produce reports solely to justify previously determined positions. … Continue reading

Posted in Education Strategy, Street cars, Think tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment

A new report has been released by Brookings Brown Center and the Harvard Kennedy School that measures the effect of a privately funded voucher program in New York City on student performance. In sum the study found that African American … Continue reading

Posted in Charter performance | Leave a comment

Three Things Society Could Do for Schools

In a previous post, I listed ten things that I would recommend school districts serving large numbers of low-income kids should consider. But what changes should we be advocating in society that would add to student success? Here I propose … Continue reading

Posted in Education Strategy, Urban Success | Leave a comment

Ten Things for School Systems to Try

Since leaving the Milwaukee school board, I have occasionally been asked for advice by people tackling other urban school districts. Here are ten recommendations, based on my experience: 1.    Make sure there is a strong program to identify, prepare, and … Continue reading

Posted in Charter Schools, Value-added | Leave a comment

The MPS Math Selection

The Milwaukee Public Schools administration is currently recommending the adoption of the following books at the elementary level: Math Expressions, Everyday Math, and Scott Foresman. As I report here two of those series–Expressions and Scott Foresman–were included in research  comparing … Continue reading

Posted in Student achievement | Leave a comment

Goal displacement and testing

One of the dangers of any metric is that the metric itself becomes the goal. Thus, rather than concentrating on making sure students become competent readers, schools may concentrate on trying to improve the reading test scores, by concentrating on … Continue reading

Posted in Value-added | Leave a comment