Education

"Tennis Great Andre Agassi Serves Up School Buildings to 69 Charters — and Counting"

Andre is one former athlete who's making a big difference.

Why go this route, business instead of philanthropy?

I think it’s a function of scalability and it’s a function of sustainability. I think if you want to treat a problem in society, the government or philanthropy does just fine, and I think it’s a very important part, and I still have a huge working foundation that does that. But if you want real scalable change, you’ve got to figure out how to bring a lot of people to the table to create a win that makes it scalable and sustainable.

This is our 69th school. It took me 15 years to build one philanthropically, and it’s taken me four years to build 69, [with] 36,000 school seats. I like the economy of scale.

Link courtesy of my older daughter.


"Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi explains what she thinks is wrong with MBA programs today"

"Today's MBA programs are "outdated" and in desperate need of an upgrade."

I'd say she has some standing to criticize. She became CEO of PepsiCo on 10/1/06 and from then through 11/6/16 (when I'm writing this), Pepsi stock. with a beta currently of 0.69, is up 64.48% while the S&P500 is up 56.63%. (From Yahoo! Finance, but the time period doesn't seem to bookmark, so you'll have to set it yourself.) And over this time Pepsi has paid, I believe, a dividend higher than the S&P's.


"Schools That Work"

I hope voters in Massachusetts will read this, but anybody, anywhere with any interest in K-12 education should read it, too. David Leonhardt writes in the New York Times(!):

The briefest summary is this: Many charter schools fail to live up to their promise, but one type has repeatedly shown impressive results.

Hannah Larkin, the principal at Match, refers to such schools as “high expectations, high support” schools. They devote more of their resources to classroom teaching and less to almost everything else. They keep students in class for more hours. They set high standards for students and try to instill confidence in them. They focus on giving teachers feedback about their craft and helping them get better. . . .

The latest batch of evidence about this approach is among the most rigorous. Professors at M.I.T., Columbia, Michigan and Berkeley have tracked thousands of charter-school applicants, through high school and beyond, in Boston, where most charters fit the “high expectations, high support” model. . . . 

A frequent criticism of charters is that they skim off the best students, but that’s not the case in Boston. Many groups that struggle academically — boys, African-Americans, Latinos, special-education students like Alanna — are among the biggest beneficiaries. On average, notes Parag Pathak, also of M.I.T., Boston’s charters eliminate between one-third and one-half of the white-black test-score gap in a single year.

It's time to give charter school opponents a dose of the irritating medicine the climate changers use: "The science is settled." (Only in this case, it really is.)


"‘This Is What I Do’: Meet Bob Luddy, Courageous Capitalist"

Interesting and may be particularly interesting to Raleigh residents because Mr. Luddy is the founder of Thales Academy. And I did not know this:

If you look at northern Wake County, which includes Raleigh, 22 percent of the students are no longer in the traditional public school system. They’re in charters, private, Christian, what have you. That’s a powerful number.


"Democrats Face Backlash for Blocking School Reform"

They richly deserve every bit of backlash they get.

In areas where charter schools are most needed, the minority population that the NAACP seeks to represent is voting and organizing for charters. This is why minorities are siding with Republicans in Massachusetts by voting “Yes” on Question 2, while white liberals stand in their way. The issue of school reform presents the GOP with its best opportunity to make gains among minority voters.