WonkyFolk Podcast

WonkyFolk is a discussion series between Andy Rotherham and Jed Wallace intended to provide an informative and engaging forum where education reformers can grapple with tough issues related to our shared quest to improve educational equity in our country.

This week Andy and I start out debriefing the ASU-GSV conference and explore why the open and optimistic spirit of that gathering feels so at odds with the vibe that prevails across much of ed reform these days. That leads to a discussion about Andy’s widely read article about ed reformers needing to buck up and ... Read more
Jed and Andy record WonkyFolk’s first live session as they keynote at the Charter Growth Fund.
This week, Andy and I are talking about the furries, a fiscal cliff, higher education, and trade schools. You can also watch it on YouTube. Show Notes: https://eduwonk.substack.com/p/theyre-furious-in-oklahoma-plus-baesler https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/01/17/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-improving-student-achievement-agenda-in-2024/ Bellwether School Finance: https://bellwether.org/tag/school-finance/ Bellwether Admission: https://bellwether.org/beta/admission/ Higher Ed Hypocrisy: https://eduwonk.substack.com/p/odds-ends-and-fish-higher-ed-pisa
Greetings, CharterFolk! This week, Andy and I are talking with Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, regarding charter schools and the American Dream. For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube.  This week some of the topics include: Introductions (00:01) ... Read more
Greetings, CharterFolk!  This week, Andy and I are talking with David Griffith, Associate Director of Research at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, regarding The Education Competition Index: Quantifying competitive pressure in America’s 125 largest school districts, which indicates the death of traditional public schools has been greatly exaggerated.  For those of you who would prefer ... Read more
This week, Andy and I are focused on a Thanksgiving theme. We are talking about what we are thankful for over the last year, personally and professionally, as well as traditions and new results. This week some of the topics include: Welcome back and tales from the trail (00:04) Thanksgiving plans, traditions, and WKRP in Cincinnati’s 1978 Thanksgiving classic episode, “Turkeys Away” (05:58) One positive thing we are each inarguably happy about that happened in charters and/or ed reform over the last year (08:01) CMO leadership transition: promote from within or hire externally (17:15) Virginia election results (30:30) Public school satisfaction polling results: parent, non-parent, and pundit opinions (38:39)
Greetings, CharterFolk! Greetings, CharterFolk! This is the second WonkyFolk where Andy is talking while Jed is walking the Camino Trail with his wife, Amy. Andy and Cara Fitzpatrick, an editor at Chalkbeat and a Pulitzer Prize winner for Local Reporting in 2016 for a series about school segregation, talk school choice history and school choice ... Read more
This week Andy is talking while Jed is walking…hiking the Camino Trail with his wife, Amy. Andy is talking with Morgan Polikoff, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Southern California(USC)’s Rossier School of Education.  Their conversation focuses on public opinion on education, particularly parent opinion, and the similarities and differences of post-pandemic K-12 experiences for students, parents, and families. A theme running through the ... Read more
This week, Andy and I are talking with Lakisha Young, the Founder and CEO of The Oakland REACH, and Heather Harding, Ed.D, the Executive Director of the Campaign for a Shared Future. Our conversation focuses on the difficult judgment calls parents and advocates are having to make as they attempt to retain focus on the ... Read more
Andy and Jed are talking about traveling and the fun of summer, their two mystery guests for the next WonkyFolk, and finding educational common ground via the juxtaposition of partisan politics and genuine educational accomplishments in Virginia. And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as ... Read more
This week, Andy and I are talking about the Supreme Court denial to hear Charter Day School, Inc. v. Peltier “(wherein the plaintiffs justified their restrictive dress code by asserting that girls are ‘fragile vessels)”, other Supreme Court cases, the science of reading, and Moms for Liberty. This week some of the topics we discuss ... Read more
This week, Andy and I are talking with Macke Raymond, the director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) regarding CREDO’s As a Matter of Fact: National Charter School Study III, which is the third installment of a multi-decade study examining the academic progress of students enrolled in charter schools compared with those enrolled in ... Read more
Can’t take yes for an answer: what the teachers’ unions and DeSantis have in common. This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: Can’t say yes to equity and excellence (00:01:10) Can’t say yes to providing parents with timely access to results or resources and tools to support their kids in mitigating ... Read more
Amnesia about A Nation at Risk. Amnesia about Covid responses. And Jed wishing he could have amnesia about the King’s game on April 30, 2023. ———- This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: The 40th Anniversary of report, “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform” (00:01:59) Why the American economy has ... Read more
This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: We introduce ourselves (00:00:00) Reactions to the 2023 Chicago mayoral election results (00:02:39) Thoughts regarding the 2023 Denver mayoral election, which has two strong charter candidates in a June runoff (00:12:35) Gutsy mental health moves (00.20.50) The Biden Administration’s nuanced Title IX decisions (00:23:11) ... Read more
This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: Why are we making WonkyFolk Reactions to Nashville and trends we often miss at tragic moments like this The commonalities and differences facing public education in Los Angeles and Chicago Andy’s recommendation of the best read to prepare educators The changes that ChatGPT may ... Read more