Monday, December 17, 2007

The bosses are at it again...

And they're writing very smart blog posts. Check out edwize on the NYC report cards' catch-22 - the grading system provides strong incentives to grant students course credit where credits are not due.

Over at the AFT blog, Ed sets the record straight on Siobhan Sheils' KIPP TEAM/Newark Public Schools comparison. From your friendly neighborhood broken record (i.e. me) - kids that choose into a charter school lottery may be different on their observable characteristics (prior test scores, family structure, disciplinary records, grades, special education classification, etc). With comprehensive data (which administrative data never provides, but let's say it did), we can control for these differences.

Perhaps more importantly, we must assume that those who opt into a charter lottery and those who don't are different on their "unobservable" characteristics (think parental support at home, propensity to benefit from the charter school treatment, aspirations, motivation). Here, unobservable means unobservable to the dataset we're working with, not necessarily the human eye.

Comparing kids who win the lottery with those who don't = good. Comparing charter schools and neighborhood schools = wrong.


Ed at AFT said...

It took me a second to realize which bosses you were talking about.

loonyhiker said...

Hey, I've tagged you. Please go to for the rules. I don't normally do these kinds of things, but I thought it was a great way to find out more about the people who write the blogs that I read.