James Merriman

A Rare Moment of Unanimity

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back in 2008, when Senator Obama was running against Senator McCain, something unusual happened in the final minutes of their third and very contentious, partisan debate. They agreed on something: charter schools were a good thing. They agreed on this one issue because charter schools when done right (as in NYC) are a good thing.

No Shortcuts to School Reform (Even Technology)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Charter school educators are big on “grit,” that teachable character trait that helps at-risk students persevere to and through college. As a movement, charter schools have learned our own lessons about grit. We started with grand aspirations, to which we still fervently hold, but we also know that progress never comes as fast as one would like. We have learned, as well, that the problems we are working on aren’t solvable with a single tactic or strategy.

Believe Northside Charter High School Gets a Second Chance

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Whenever a charter school authorizer starts the process of revoking a school’s charter, the reactions are predictable. Though the revocation is not final, edu-journalists are fascinated. Teachers and families are justifiably concerned. Authorizers are tight-lipped. Charter advocates like us try to calmly remind everyone that, in the charter school sector, this is what accountability looks like. But everyone agrees that it is a sad day.

Hopelessly Muddled – Needlessly Public: Teacher Evaluations Need to be Treated with Caution

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today, teacher data reports for some 32 charter schools will be released to the public, following release of TDRs for district teachers as part of the Teacher Data Initiative. There are two distinct issues worth commenting on: the particularities of the charter school data and the errors therein, and the general issue of public release of such data.

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