Those of us who've watched the education reform concoctions cooked up by all and sundry for far too long might have a special appreciation for the simile offered recently by Bruce Fuller, a professor of education and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Education reform, he says, is like the process of making Jell-O. You start with something hot, colorful, and fluid, but you wind up with a cold, rubbery, coagulated blob.

One of the hot, sweet concoctions coming to a boil in recent months is "weighted-student...

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