The academic life

Steal my job (or part of it)

This semester I am serving as interim associate dean for the Office of Scholarship at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. This is in addition to my more persistent role as a division director, and my interim role is to start implementing the recommendations of a task force — creating a more connected structure to support […]

“Weeks/days of learning” is well-intended bad interpretative factoid

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a new Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund, or TIF, (after two years), which is generally solid research by Mathematica Policy Research, at least at a quick first read today. The main findings: Most of the experimental part of TIF was implemented by the schools. Some parts of the program […]

Who will tell you that your utopian school-improvement gambit has been tried before?

Jack Schneider is the star of Amy Scott’s Marketplace piece last Friday on the XQ competition to redesign high schools: [P]eople have tried to reinvent high school before. “That idea is as old as students sitting in desks and a teacher lecturing at the front of the classroom,” said education historian Jack Schneider, an assistant professor at […]

The arcane art of writing review letters for tenure/promotion

A colleague recently asked me how to write external review letters. These are letters written by nationally-known scholars who are asked to provide an independent outsider view of a faculty member who is up for tenure and/or promotion in rank. My first thought: Thank goodness there still are tenure-track positions, so view this as a […]

After a year at ASU…

Yesterday was the first day of classes at Arizona State, and the start of my second year here. For the most part, my job has been as expected, with the bonus surprise of an incredible supporting group of staff and academic professionals. In addition to orienting myself to a large college as quickly as I […]