Examining High-Stakes Testing

Education Next talks with Joshua P. Starr and Margaret Spellings

WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 1

Assessments Are Vital for Healthy Schools

Putting a moratorium on testing is akin to shooting the messenger.

WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 1

Making Connections

A conversation with Barbara Dreyer

WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 1

Education Next Reader Survey

Take our reader survey and tell us a little about yourself.

Competition with Charters Motivates Districts

New political circumstances, growing popularity

FALL 2013 / VOL. 13, NO. 4

Lessons in Cyberspace

Teachers adapt what they find to what their students need

FALL 2013 / VOL. 13, NO. 4

The School Administrator Payoff from Teacher Pensions

The “stewards” of the system benefit the most

FALL 2013 / VOL. 13, NO. 4

Grammarians in Hoodies

Sloppy English usage may seem like a modern problem, but the laxness that has led to this moment in grammar’s history bears a strong resemblance to the atmosphere in early-18th-century England.

Spring 2013 / Vol. 13, No. 2

School Leaders Matter

Measuring the impact of effective principals

Winter 2013 / Vol. 13, No. 1

Setting Students Up for Success

Create the path of least resistance

WINTER 2013 / Vol. 13, No. 1

Digital Learning Sparks Debate over the Pace of Change Needed in American Schools

The potential for digital learning to boost student achievement seems boundless, but will the long-established organization of schooling embrace or hinder it?

School Choice Expands in Variety and Scope, Despite Tumultuous Legal Landscape

Thirteen states enacted new K-12 school choice programs in 2011 and more than two dozen states are considering similar bills

The Compensation Question

Are public school teachers underpaid?

FALL 2012 / VOL. 12, NO. 4

Low Expectations

An insider’s view of ed schools

Winter 2012 / Vol. 12, No. 1

Public and Teachers Increasingly Divided on Key Education Issues

National Survey shows increased support for vouchers, but public’s views on merit pay, charters, and other policies have not changed, though teacher opposition to reforms intensifies

Republican Governors Running on Strong Education Records as Candidates for President

Romney and Pawlenty earn high marks for student achievement, Perry can spotlight Hispanic performance

Chicago Study Shows Principals Focus on Retaining Highly Effective Teachers in Dismissal Decisions – if Policies Permit

Reform improves student achievement by providing principals with the tools to manage the quality of personnel in their classrooms

Success is in the Details at High-Performing Charter Management Organizations

A “no excuses” approach to teaching and learning and tight management make the difference

Seniority Rules Lead Districts to Increase Teacher Layoffs and Undermine Teaching Quality

“Last in, first out” reduction-in-force policies give greater weight to teacher longevity than effectiveness

Behind the Headline: The German Example

On Top of the News The German Example The New York Times | 06/08/11 Behind the Headline Teaching Math to the Talented Education Next | Winter 2011 On the occasion of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House, the New York Times’ David Leonhardt writes about what Germany is getting right these days, […]

Behind the Headline – World-beating: A weird school measure

On Top of the News World-beating: A weird school measure Class Struggle (blog) | 06/07/11 Behind the Headline The NRC Judges Test-Based Accountability Education Next (blog) | 06/03/11 Jay Mathews critiques the new NRC report on test-based accountability, arguing that the NRC has an unreasonable standard for evaluating the reform strategy. Jay’s column quotes Rick […]

Behind the Headline: Pa. girl wins Bee with ‘cymotrichous’

On Top of the News Pa. girl wins Bee with ‘cymotrichous’ USA Today | 06/03/11 Behind the Headline Competition Makes a Comeback Education Next | Summer 2010 The 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee has a winner! June Kronholz wrote about spelling bees and other academic competitions in the Summer 2010 issue of Ed Next. Also […]

Behind the Headline: GOP questions federal rules on healthier eating

On Top of the News GOP questions federal rules on healthier eating U.S. News & World Report | 05/31/11 Behind the Headline The School Lunch Lobby Education Next | Summer 2005 Republicans in Congress are fighting the Obama administration over new rules that would require healthier school lunches. An article by Ron Haskins that appeared […]

Through Dual Enrollment, High School Students Get an Early Start on College and Careers

Students have the chance to accelerate and gain workforce skills, but roadblocks to dual enrollment remain

Study Finds Rigorous Classroom Observations Can Identify Effective Teachers

Cincinnati’s teacher evaluation system pinpoints link between teaching practices and student achievement

Harvard Study Shows that Lecture-Style Presentations Lead to Higher Student Achievement

Widely-used problem-solving pedagogy as implemented in practice is not as effective for raising achievement levels

Assessing David Steiner’s Short Reign as New York State’s Education Commissioner

The state won the Race to the Top but his resignation leaves doubts that there will be any will to fulfill its promises

Behind the Headline: Holes in the case against Michelle Rhee

On Top of the News Holes in the case against Michelle Rhee The Washington Times | 04/11/11 Behind the Headline The Case Against Michelle Rhee Education Next | Summer 2011 In the Washington Times, Paul Peterson scrutinizes two recent studies of student achievement in the District of Columbia, and concludes that “the case against Michelle […]

Michelle Rhee’s DC Record Survives Scrutiny

The case against Rhee evaporates in fact-checking analysis of two critiques of her record

Higher Teacher Quality Would Catapult U.S. Toward Economic Growth

Analysis examines direct link between teacher effectiveness and lifetime earnings

Behind the Headline: House passes Boehner’s school vouchers bill

On Top of the News House passes Boehner’s school vouchers bill USA Today | 03/30/11 Behind the Headline Lost Opportunities Education Next | Fall 2009 On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would revive the school voucher program for students in Washington, D.C. Patrick Wolf, the principal investigator of the evaluation of the D.C. […]

Behind the Headline: L.A. elementary schools to switch reading programs

The Los Angeles school board has dumped Open Court, a reading program for elementary school students which provided scripted, phonics-intensive lessons. Many teachers hated the program, the L.A. Times reports. In the Winter 2007 issue of Ed Next, Diane Ravitch traced the history of the Open Court readers.

Behind the Headline: Virginia Gov. Robert Mc­Don­nell vetoes P.E. bill

Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell vetoed a bill that would have required elementary and middle school students to participate in at least 150 minutes of physical education each week. A study that was published in Ed Next in 2006 found that mandating more time in PE classes does not always result in more exercise for kids.

Schools of the Future Taking Shape through Blended Learning Innovations

Charter models that integrate teacher-directed and digital learning are on the leading edge of school reform

Behind the Headline: Detroit Plan Makes Big Charter School Bet

In a bid to prevent massive school closings, Detroit will consider converting nearly a third of its district-run schools into charter schools. In an article that appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Ed Next, Andy Smarick urged charter school advocates to embrace a strategy of large-scale replacement of failing district schools with charter schools.

Behind the Headline: Cuts to Head Start Show Challenge of Fiscal Restraint

Republicans are pushing to cut the budget for Head Start by $2 billion. The program is popular, but studies have raised questions about its effectiveness. The current budget for the program is $7.2 billion. An article by Ron Haskins that appeared in the Winter 2004 issue of Ed Next looked at earlier efforts to reform Head Start.

Behind the Headline: Gates Says Benefits Costs Hit Schools

Bill Gates will outline how flawed pension accounting hampers the ability of states to pay for education, and will call for states to rethink their pension systems, in a talk to be presented at the TED conference tomorrow. Gates has created a website that shows the funding status for pension obligations and retiree health-care benefits for each state. In the Spring 2009 issue of Ed Next, Mike Podgursky and Bob Costrell wrote about the high cost of teacher pensions.

Spring 2011 Correspondence

Readers Respond

Spring 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 2

Cell Phones Are Ringing

Will educators answer?

Spring 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 2

In the United States, Merit Pay Plans for Teachers are Few and Far Between

Even when implemented, the plans are more likely to be symbolic than substantive

Post-Katrina Reforms Produce Achievement Gains and Conflict in New Orleans Schools

New school models and governing arrangements at pivotal point as New Orleans looks ahead

New Schools in New Orleans

School reform both exhilarated and imperiled by success

Spring 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 2

Teach for America Alumni Overrepresented in Entrepreneurial Ventures

Leaders of education organizations often have TFA experience

Countries with Merit Pay Score Highest on International Tests

Significantly better student achievement seen in countries that make use of teacher performance pay

Behind the Headline: Full-Time E-Learning Not Seen as Viable Option for Many

In Ed Week, Michelle Davis describes what the school day is like for parents whose children attend virtual school full-time. (Hint: it’s a lot of work!) In the Summer 2009 issue of Ed Next, Bill Tucker wrote about Florida Virtual School, which offers supplemental courses to students attending brick-and-mortar schools but also allows students to enroll in an online school full-time.

Does Whole-School Performance Pay Improve Student Learning?

Evidence from the New York City schools

Spring 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 2

Study provides evidence that the New York City bonus program did not lead to marked gains in student achievement

New York City’s decision to scrap school-wide bonus pay echoes study findings that school-wide performance pay hampers the incentives for individual teachers to improve performance

Behind the Headline: Whittle Starts A City School

Edison Schools co-founder Chris Whittle has announced that he will open a for-profit, elite private school in New York City in September 2012. A study by Matt Chingos and Paul Peterson that was published in Ed Next in 2009 looked at what happened when for-profit firms, including Edison Schools, were given control of some public schools in Philadelphia.

Behind the Headline: GWU launches online prep school

In partnership with, George Washington University has launched a high school that will operate entirely online. In the Summer 2009 issue of Ed Next, Bill Tucker wrote about Florida Virtual School, which offers supplemental courses to students attending brick-and-mortar schools but also allows students to enroll in an online school full-time.

Behind the Headline: Can Rhee’s reforms work without Rhee’s toughness?

In the Washington Post this weekend, Richard Whitmire worries that the race to embrace a style of school reform he calls “Michelle Light” — the kinds of teacher quality reforms identified with Michelle Rhee, but pursued in a gentle, cooperative way–may not be able to accomplish much. Rhee was profiled by June Kronholz in the Winter 2010 issue of Ed Next.

The Truly Talented Soar in Public School Targeting Their Needs

Students with exceptional intellectual ability are well served in an innovative Nevada public school

Behind the Headline: Why Teacher Pensions Don’t Work

In the Wall Street Journal, Joel Klein argues that the structure of traditional pensions discourages talented young people from becoming teachers. The Winter 2010 issue of Ed Next included a study by Bob Costrell and Mike Podgursky that showed how teacher pensions concentrate benefits on teachers who spend their entire careers in a single state, penalizing younger teachers, who change jobs and move more often than did previous generations.

Behind the Headline – Detroit Public Schools: 40,000 kids to get laptops from stimulus funds

Detroit Public Schools will spend $49 million in federal stimulus funds to buy laptops for 40,000 students in grades 6-12.  In the Fall 2004 issue of Ed Next, Rick Hess wrote about other attempts by states and districts to boost achievement by passing out laptops. ” The tendency,” he noted, “has been to sprinkle computers and Internet connections across classrooms in the pleasant hope that teachers will integrate them into their lessons.”

Winter 2011 Correspondence

Readers Respond

Winter 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 1

Tax Credit Scholarships for Low-Income Florida Students to Attend Private Schools Improve Performance at Nearby Public Schools

Private school scholarship program leads to immediate and pronounced achievement improvements at neighborhood public schools, with elementary and middle schools most responsive

Percentage of U.S. Students Achieving at Advanced Levels in Math Trails Most Industrialized Nations

New analysis finds U.S. ranked 31st out of 56 countries in the percentage of students performing at a high level of accomplishment, trailing Korea, Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland and Lithuania, among others

Behind the Headline: Tough as Nails, but Always Ready for a Bearhug

At De La Salle Academy, a private school in New York City for high-performing low-income children profiled in today’s New York Times, rules are strict and expectations are high, but the school becomes like a family for students. An article by David Whitman that appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Ed Next explored the phenomenon of paternalistic schools, “highly prescriptive institutions that teach students not just how to think, but also how to act according to what are commonly termed traditional, middle-class values.”

The $500 million Question

Can charter management organizations deliver quality education at scale?

Winter 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 1

Behind the Headline: Blending Computers Into Classrooms

Barbara Martinez of the Wall Street Journal visits a Bronx elementary school where students spend two hours per day engaged in computer-directed instruction.  In the Summer 2009 issue of Ed Next, Gerald Huff and Bror Saxberg imagined what computer-assisted learning might look like in 2025 and described some ways that technology is being used to customize learning today.

Behind the Headline: Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman to step down

Ron Huberman, who was appointed Chicago Schools CEO by Mayor Richard Daley after Arne Duncan became Secretary of Education, has told Mayor Daley that he will leave his position before the mayor leaves office in May rather than serve under another mayor, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In the Winter 2003 issue of Ed Next, Alexander Russo wrote about the early days of mayoral control of education in Chicago.

Behind the Headline: KIPP leaders unworried by test score drop

Fifth grade test scores are down at KIPP schools in Washington, DC, but KIPP leaders are not concerned, and the network is continuing to add schools and grade levels, reports Jay Mathews. In Spring 2009, Ed Next published an excerpt from Jay’s book about KIPP, Work Hard. Be Nice.

Behind the Headline: Making Math Lessons as Easy as 1, Pause, 2, Pause …

Winnie Hu writes in the New York Times about school districts adopting Singapore Math, which is thought to provide a better foundation for higher-order math skills by teaching fewer topics but in more depth. Barry Garelick investigated Singapore Math in the Fall 2006 issue of Ed Next.

Fall 2010 Correspondence

Readers Respond

Fall 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 4

Study Finds Students in K-8 Schools Do Better than Students in Stand-Alone Middle Schools

Comprehensive analysis of 10 years of data from New York City shows middle-school students experience substantial achievement decline compared to K-8 peers

Stuck in the Middle

How and why middle schools harm student achievement

Fall 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 4

Behind the Headline: Hurricane Katrina swept away years of dysfunction in New Orleans public schools

Five years after Hurricane Katrina hit, Cindy Chang of the New Orleans Times Picayune describes the transformation that has taken place in the city’s school system. In the Fall 2006 issue of Ed Next, Kathryn Newmark and Veronique de Rugy wrote about the changes that were underway.

Public and Teachers Divided in Their Support for Merit Pay, Teacher Tenure, Race to the Top

National Survey also reveals increased support for virtual schooling, support for charter schools rises sharply in minority communities

Behind the Headline: Unions Lose Election Bid

In New York, a judge has rejected a demand by the teachers union that the union be allowed to spend significantly more money on a Senate race than is permitted under the state’s current campaign finance law. In an article that appears in the Fall 2010 issue of Ed Next, Mike Antonucci took a close look at campaign spending by teachers unions.

Behind the Headline: Unions’ Tactics Diverge in Engaging Obama Agenda

In Ed Week, Stephen Sawchuk looks at how the NEA and the AFT are responding to the reforms being advanced by the Obama administration, and at what might explain the different responses from the two unions. In the Winter 2009 issue of Ed Next, Linda Seebach wrote about the two teachers unions, which had just chosen new presidents at their national conventions.

Behind the Headline: Who’s teaching L.A.’s kids?

The Los Angeles Times has obtained seven years worth of test scores for individual students and used them to calculate “value added” scores for over 6,000 teachers. The teachers will be identified by name (and scores) in a series of articles and a database that will be made public. Kati Haycock and Eric Hanushek discussed the importance of identifying ineffective teachers in a forum that appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of Ed Next about strategies for increasing the number of effective teachers in high-poverty schools.

Behind the Headline: E Is for Fail

In Slate, Brian Palmer looks at the history of letter grades for an explanation of why schools assign grades of A,B,C,D, and F—but not E. A study by David Figlio and Maurice Lucas that was published in Ed Next in 2004 found that elementary school students learn more from teachers who are tough graders.

Harvard Study Finds That Parents Grade Their Local Schools on Basis of Student Achievement Not Racial Composition of School

Analysis also debunks popular belief that low-income, minority and less-educated parents are not as informed about school quality

School on the Inside

Teaching the incarcerated student

Fall 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 4

Behind the Headline: Venture Philanthropy gives $5.5 million for expansion of KIPP DC charter schools

A $5.5 million gift will allow KIPP to more than double the number of students enrolled in its schools in DC (to 3400 students) by 2015. In an article that appeared in Ed Next in 2008, Julie Bennett explored how KIPP has been able to expand while maintaining quality.

Behind the Headline: A food bill we need

First Lady Michelle Obama urges Congress to pass the Child Nutrition Bill, which would bring healthier school lunches to more kids. In an article that appeared in Ed Next in 2005, Ron Haskins wrote about the forces behind the federal school lunch program.

Behind the Headline: Least-Disruptive Turnaround Model Proving Popular

School districts attempting to turn around low-performing schools using federal funds are overwhelming choosing the least disruptive interventions. An article by Andy Smarick that appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Ed Next argued that turnaround efforts like these are unlikely to succeed.

Behind the Headline: Standards Raised, More Students Fail Tests

Passing rates on state tests plummeted this year in New York after state education officials raised the cut score on the state’s reading and math tests. New York said that the tests had become significantly easier to pass.  A study by Paul Peterson and Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón that will appear in the Fall 2010 issue of Ed Next finds that New York is not the only state that had been dumbing down its tests.

Behind the Headline: Rhee aims to build voucher programs

In Washington, schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is considering a plan that would offer vouchers to special ed students in need of full-time placements. Jay Greene and Stuart Buck explained how special ed vouchers work and dispelled myths about the vouchers in an article appearing in the Winter 2010 issue of Ed Next.

Behind the Headline: The Case Against Summer Vacation

Summer learning loss is among the most pernicious — if least acknowledged — causes of achievement gaps in America’s schools, notes David von Drehle in this week’s Time Magazine, and lengthening the school year is the answer. In an article published in the Winter 2010 issue of Ed Next, Dave Marcotte and Ben Hansen reviewed the research on the impact of extending the school year on student achievement.

Behind the Headline: ‘Common Core’ standards clearer, more rigorous

The Fordham Institute has released an analysis of the Common Core standards and the state academic standards in all 50 states which finds that the Common Core standards are better than those in three quarters of the states. In an article that appeared in Ed Next in 2009, Chester Finn and Deborah Meier debated the merits of a national curriculum.

Behind the Headline: Rare attack on Harlem Children’s Zone

A new Brookings study by Russ Whitehurst and Michelle Croft finds that students attending the charter school connected with the Harlem Children’s Zone do not outperform students at other New York City charter schools, but Jay Mathews warns that it is too soon to draw conclusions about the impact of the HCZ’s services. Cara Spitalewitz reviewed Paul Tough’s book about the Harlem Children’s Zone in the Summer 2009 issue of Ed Next.

Behind the Headline: Changes urged for Mass. schools

In Massachusetts, the commissioner of education is recommending that the state replace its highly regarded academic standards with the Common Core Standards. In an article that appeared in Ed Next last year, Charles Chieppo and Jamie Gass worried that Massachusetts might turn its back on the nation’s most successful reform strategy, including its high academic standards.

Behind the Headline: New Evaluation Laws Split Teachers Even More

In Colorado and other states, teachers’ job security will now be tied to how well their students perform on state tests. In an article appearing in the Summer 2010 issue of Ed Next, Rick Hanushek and Kati Haycock debate the best ways to get more effective teachers into high-need schools. They both note that removing poorly performing teachers is an important part of any strategy to boost teacher quality.

Teachers Unions In Five States Spent More Than $100 Per Teacher On Political Campaigns

New Education Next analysis finds two national teachers unions spent $71.7 million on political campaigns in 2007-08 and millions more on policy research to support their agendas

Behind the Headline: NJ teacher drain

In New Jersey, a flood of teachers are retiring this month in response to a proposal to reduce pension benefits for future retirees. In an article that appeared in Ed Next in 2008, Bob Costrell and Mike Podgursky investigated the peculiar incentives that are built into teacher pensions, incentives which can encourage teachers to leave teaching when they are still effective or to remain in their jobs when they have burned out.

Behind the Headline: How Many Graduates Does It Take to Be No. 1?

On Top of the News How Many Graduates Does It Take to Be No. 1? 06/26/10 | New York Times Behind the Headline Competition Makes a Comeback Summer 2010 | Education Next Many high schools are naming multiple students–sometimes dozens–as valedictorians to reduce pressure and competition among students. An article by June Kronholz in the […]

Behind the Headline: Villaraigosa backs charter school bids, rips Cortines

On Top of the News Villaraigosa backs charter school bids, rips Cortines 06/25/10 | The Los Angeles Times Behind the Headline Palace Revolt in Los Angeles? Summer 2010 | Education Next The mayor of Los Angeles has criticized the L.A. Unified school district for not allowing more charter organizations to take over low-performing district schools […]

Behind the Headline: TAKS grade inflation is nothing new

On Top of the News TAKS grade inflation is nothing new 06/13/10 | Houston Chronicle Behind the Headline State Standards Rising in Reading but Not in Math Fall 2010 | Education Next It has been reported that the “passing” mark for some parts of the Texas state proficiency exam was altered after the results came […]

Behind the Headline: Cincinnati Public Schools to put top teachers at weak schools

On Top of the News Cincinnati Public Schools to put top teachers at weak schools 06/14/10 | Behind the Headline An Effective Teacher in Every Classroom Summer 2010 | Education Next Cincinnati teachers who receive special training to serve as “lead teachers” will no longer be able to return to their home schools, but […]

Behind the Headline: Microsoft’s Philly high school traveled rocky road

On Top of the News Microsoft’s Philly high school traveled rocky road 06/15/10 | Forbes Behind the Headline High School 2.0 Spring 2010 | Education Next Philadelphia’s School of the Future graduates its first senior class today, and every graduate is headed for an institution of higher learning. In the Spring 2010 issue of Ed […]

Behind the Headline: Some educators question if whiteboards, other high-tech tools raise achievement

On Top of the News Some educators question if whiteboards, other high-tech tools raise achievement 06/11/10 | The Washington Post Behind the Headline Bye-Bye Blackboards Summer 2010 | Education Next Expensive and interactive, whiteboards are sprouting up in classrooms across the country. But do they improve academic achievement, Stephanie McCrummen wonders in the Washington Post. […]

Behind the Headline: D.C. contract is just the tool to let creative, renegade teachers soar

On Top of the News D.C. contract is just the tool to let creative, renegade teachers soar 06/07/10 | The Washington Post Behind the Headline Palace Revolt in Los Angeles? Summer 2010 | Education Next The new teachers contract in D.C. will give innovative teachers an opportunity to prove that they can help poor kids […]

Behind the Headline: Why should education be exempt from recession budgeting?

On Top of the News Why should education be exempt from recession budgeting? 06/06/10 | The Washington Post Behind the Headline The Phony Funding Crisis Winter 2010 | Education Next George Will writes that before Congress agrees to spend another $23 billion to prevent teachers from being laid off, “it should read ‘The Phony Funding […]

Behind the Headline: 1 competitor, 1 spelling bee — 20,000 note cards

On Top of the News 1 competitor, 1 spelling bee — 20,000 note cards 05/31/10 | The Boston Globe Behind the Headline Competition Makes a Comeback Summer 2010 | Education Next With the National Spelling Bee just days away, attention has turned to its talented and dedicated competitors – including Tim Ruiter, one of the […]

Behind the Headline: Slow learners at the 9th Circuit

On Top of the News Slow learners at the 9th Circuit 05/18/10 | The Washington Post Behind the Headline Credits Crunched Fall 2009 | Education Next On Thursday the Supreme Court will consider whether to reverse a ruling by the 9th Circuit that Arizona’s tax credit program violates the Establishment clause. “Surely this question was […]

Ed Next Research Finds NCLB Has Produced Substantial National Gains In Math Skills

Landmark federal law responsible for gains in math among low-income and Hispanic students, but had no impact on reading achievement.

Behind the Headline: School Factors May Influence Teacher Effectiveness

On Top of the News School Factors May Influence Teacher Effectiveness 05/17/10 | Teacher Beat Behind the Headline An Effective Teacher in Every Classroom Summer 2010 | Education Next A new study by C. Kirabo Jackson finds that teachers who are effective in one school might not be as effective in other kinds of schools–schools […]

Summer 2010 Correspondence

Readers Respond

Summer 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 3

Out of the Mainstream

Staying there isn’t easy

Summer 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 3

Report Raises Questions about Standards of “Race to the Top” Winners

Education Next rates Each State’s Proficiency Standards; finds that Race to the Top Winners Delaware and Tennessee get a ‘C’ and an ‘F’, respectively

Behind the Headline: Mass. hunting for star teachers

On Top of the News Mass. hunting for star teachers 05/10/10 | Boston Globe Behind the Headline An Effective Teacher in Every Classroom Summer 2010 | Education Next Massachusetts will today announce a new effort to recruit hundreds of successful teachers to work in 35 low-performing schools in Boston and other school districts. In the […]

Charter Schools, Traditional Public Schools Similarly Segregated

Flawed comparisons lead Civil Rights Project to unwarranted conclusions

School-Finance Reform in Red and Blue

Where the money goes depends on who’s running the state

Summer 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 3

Behind the Headline: U.S. Falls Short in Measure of Future Math Teachers

On Top of the News U.S. Falls Short in Measure of Future Math Teachers 04/15/10 | The New York Times Behind the Headline The Mystery of Good Teaching Spring 2002 | Education Next A new study finds that America’s future math teachers have less knowledge of math than their counterparts in other countries. An article […]

Behind the Headline: Obama’s plan to reward schools for innovation sparks debate

On Top of the News Obama’s plan to reward schools for innovation sparks debate 04/14/10 | The Washington Post Behind the Headline Toothless Reform? Spring 2010 | Education Next The U.S. Department of Education is embracing an approach to spending that rewards states and districts for innovating instead of simply disbursing funds by formula to […]

Behind the Headline: Teachers agree to shorten LAUSD school year

On Top of the News Teachers agree to shorten LAUSD school year 04/11/10 | Los Angeles Times Behind the Headline Time for School? Winter 2010 | Education Next The teachers union in L.A. has ratified a deal that will shorten the school year this year and next as a cost-saving measure. As reported in the […]

Palace Revolt in Los Angeles?

Charter school and Latino leaders push unions to innovate

Summer 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 3

Behind the Headline: Budget cuts could lead to fewer options at Florida Virtual

On Top of the News Budget cuts could lead to fewer options at Florida Virtual 03/24/10 | The Gradebook Behind the Headline Florida’s Online Option Summer 2009 | Education Next The Florida Legislature is considering cutting Florida Virtual School’s per-student funding and limiting the length of time students may take to complete courses. An article […]

Spring 2010 Correspondence

Readers Respond

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

New Study Finds State Funded Universal Kindergarten Provides Some Benefits for White Students but no Positive Impact for African American Students

Large state investments in universal early-childhood education programs do not necessarily yield clear benefits for more disadvantaged students

What Happened When Kindergarten Went Universal?

Benefits were small and only reached white children

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Dedicated, Decorated, and Disappointing

Review of Rafe Esquith’s Lighting Their Fires

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Charter Schools Show Increased Rates of High School Graduation and College Enrollment, According to New Study

In the first-ever analysis of the impacts of charter school attendance on educational attainment, educational researchers find that attending charter high schools is associated with higher graduation rates and college attendance.

The Unknown World of Charter High Schools

New evidence suggests they are boosting high school graduation and college attendance rates

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

High School 2.0

Can Philadelphia’s School of the Future live up to its name?

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Finding Time for Tennis and Thoreau

My online education

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

In the Wake of the Storm

How vouchers came to the Big Easy

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Voucher Supporters Achieve Political Success in Louisiana

In a decade in which many school voucher programs have been limited or rolled back in Washington, DC, Utah, Arizona, and Florida, the Louisiana legislature in 2008 passed a new voucher program for New Orleans. In 2009-10, the second year of the voucher program, 1,324 New Orleans students attended 31 private schools using vouchers with a maximum value of over $7,000.

The Why Chromosome

How a teacher’s gender affects boys and girls

Fall 2006 / Vol. 6, No. 4

The School Lunch Lobby

A charmed federal food program that no longer just feeds the hungry

Summer 2005 / Vol. 5, No. 3

Race to the Top Offers Last Chance to Salvage Stimulus Spending

As states catch their breath after rushing to meet the January 19 deadline for submitting applications for the first round of Race to the Top grants, education researcher Andy Smarick of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute warns that the administration must take steps to ensure that Race to the Top funds are spent in ways that promote reform.

Scrap the Sacrosanct Salary Schedule

How about more pay for new teachers, less for older ones?

Fall 2008 / Vol. 8, No. 4

New Education Next Forum: Are Boys Being Shortchanged in K-12 Schooling?

After decades of concern that girls were being shortchanged in male-dominated schools, there has grown a rising chorus of voices worrying about whether boys are the ones in peril. Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, and Susan McGee Bailey, principal author of the 1992 report How Schools Shortchange Girls debate whether schools are now shortchanging boys.

A Steeper, Better Road to Graduation

It’s time for America to adopt European-style exit exams

Winter 2001 / Vol. 1, No. 4

Quality Counts Grades Unfair to Poor States, Researchers Argue

As Education Week magazine prepares to release its annual report card for states, Quality Counts 2010, education researcher Margaret Raymond and a team of researchers from CREDO at Stanford University warn that one set of grades on the report card is not reliable.

Quality Counts and the Chance-for-Success Index

Narrowing its scope to factors schools can control would give the measure greater value

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Same Old, Same Old

New union leadership does not change a thing

Winter 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 1

Demography as Destiny?

Hispanic student success in Florida

Summer 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 3

Cheating to the Test

What to do about it

Spring 2001 / Vol. 1, No. 1

Teacher Training, Tailor-Made

Top candidates win customized teacher education

Spring 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 2

The Big Stick

How Chicago reversed its descent

Winter 2003 / Vol. 3, No. 1

An Appeal to Authority

The new paternalism in urban schools

Fall 2008 / Vol. 8, No. 4

Hope after Katrina

Will New Orleans become the new city of choice?

Fall 2006 / Vol. 6, No. 4

Can Tracking Improve Learning?

Evidence from Kenya

Summer 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 3

Security Detail

An inside look at school discipline

Summer 2003 / Vol. 3, No. 3

Return of the Thought Police?

The history of teacher attitude adjustment

Spring 2007 / Vol. 7, No. 2

Winter 2010 Correspondence

Readers Respond

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

Winter 2010 Book Alert

Intelligence and How to Get It; Liberating Learning; Unlearned Lessons; Leading for Equity

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

Poor Schools or Poor Kids?

To some, fixing education means taking on poverty and health care

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

Dollars and Sense

What a Tennessee experiment tells us about merit pay

Winter 2005 / Vol. 5, No. 1

Portfolio Assessment

Can it be used to hold schools accountable?

Summer 2004 / Vol. 4, No. 3

Fraud in School Lunch Program Not Just About Free Lunches

In a time of penny pinching inspired by tight state and local education budgets, investigative reporter David Bass warns that taxpayers are picking up the tab for a large number of ineligible students who participate in the federal school-lunch program. Even more problematic may be the effect on school funding formulas, on research, and on accountability measures.

Public School Pension Plans Penalize Teachers who Move Jobs across States with Significant Retirement Losses, Researchers Find

In examining pension plans in six states, Costrell and Podgursky find that compared to a neutral cash balance system, the type of defined benefit pension system which covers almost all public school teachers redistributes about half the pension wealth of an entering cohort of teachers to those who subsequently retire in their mid-50s from those who leave the system earlier.

Dining Family Style

Meaningful dinner conversation can be hard to come by

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

Fraud in the Lunchroom?

Federal school-lunch program may not be a reliable measure of poverty

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

“Snow Day” Effect Lowers Test Scores, Complicates Accountability, Researchers Find

Researchers Dave Marcotte and Benjamin Hansen summarize new evidence that expanding instructional time is as effective as other commonly discussed educational interventions intended to boost learning.

Try, Try Again

Forced busing didn’t work the first time

Fall 2001 / Vol. 1, No. 3

Accountability Overboard

Massachusetts poised to toss out the nation’s most successful reforms

Spring 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 2

Magnet Schools

No longer famous, but still intact

Spring 2005 / Vol. 5, No. 2

Fueled by Federal Stimulus Package, Education Spending Will Likely Increase over Next Decade despite Lack of Achievement Gains for Students

The nation’s public schools will likely have more money and a larger and better paid labor force than they had in 2009

New York City Charter Schools

Who attends them and how well are they teaching their students?

Summer 2008 / Vol. 8, No. 3

The Near End of Bilingual Education

In the wake of California’s Prop 227

Fall 2003 / Vol. 3, No. 4

Evidence Doesn’t Support Investment in School Turnaround Efforts

New school start ups and replications of high performing charter school models provide a better solution

A School Built for Horace

Theodore R. Sizer and Nancy Faust Sizer

Spring 2001 / Vol. 1, No. 1

Skewed Perspective

What we know about teacher preparation at elite education schools

Winter 2005 / Vol. 5, No. 1

An A-Maze-ing Approach To Math

A mathematician with a child learns some politics

Spring 2005 / Vol. 5, No. 2

Education Next Profiles D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee

Can Michelle Rhee Wrest Control of the D.C. School System from Decades of Failure?

Researchers Find Special Education Voucher Programs Ensure Better Services and Outcomes for Students

In a feature article for the winter 2010 issue of Education Next, education researchers Jay P. Greene and Stuart Buck of the University of Arkansas dispel several common myths about these programs and show how they have benefited handicapped children in states where they have been enacted, including those not in private placements.

Why Big Impact Entrepreneurs Are Rare

The dangers of challenging power

Spring 2007 / Vol. 7, No. 2

Peterson and Finn Podcast Archive

Archive of Podcasts featuring Paul Peterson and Checker Finn

Work Hard. Be Nice.

The roots and reality of the Knowledge Is Power Program

Spring 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 2

The Vallas Effect

The supersized superintendent moves to the Superdome city

Spring 2008 / Vol. 8, No. 2

No Country for Strong Men

California unions tame the Terminator

Summer 2008 / Vol. 8, No. 3

New Leaders for Troubled Schools

Jacquelyn Davis works with D.C.’s education bureaucracy

Winter 2007 / Vol. 7, No. 1

Teacher Cooperatives

What happens when teachers run the school?

Spring 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 2

Law and Disorder in the Classroom

Emphasis on student rights continues in classrooms even when the Court begins to think otherwise

Fall 2009 / Vol. 9, No. 4

Blog Posts/Multimedia

What We’re Watching: Condi Rice on Education As National Security Challenge

Jeb Bush announced yesterday that he was handing over control of his education foundation to Condoleezza Rice. In this PBS interview from March 2012, Rice discussed a report linking education to national security.


What We’re Watching: On the Rocketship

On June 26 at 4pm, the Fordham Institute will host a panel to discuss Richard Whitmire’s new book, On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope.


What We’re Watching: The Authorizer Effect

The EWA national seminar included a panel on the impact of high-quality charter authorizing.


What We’re Watching: More Easily Firing Bad Teachers Helps Everyone

Eric Hanushek discusses the Vergara v. California ruling.


What We’re Watching: Ed Reform 101

A 10-week online course on education policy offered by 50CAN and Fordham is now accepting applications.


Ed Next Book Club: Sam Chaltain on Our School

Mike Petrilli talks with Sam Chaltain about schools, community, and choice.


To AP or Not To AP?

AP exams are a distinctly American solution to the problem that standards in American education are subjective and vary widely from school to school.


What We’re Watching: Expanding the Education Universe

Michael Brickman explains the benefits of course choice policies and describes how states can promote them.


Teacher Dismissals Under New Evaluation Systems

There are flaws in new teacher evaluation systems that need correcting.


What We’re Watching: Central Standard on Education

A documentary web series follows five 8th grade students in the Chicago area as they apply to selective enrollment high schools.


What We’re Watching: Lessons from Singapore

Professor Lee Sing Kong gave a presentation for the Rodel Foundation in Delaware on teacher training in Singapore.


What We’re Watching: What Is Common Core?

Mike McShane of AEI explains why the new standards have become so controversial.


What We’re Watching: Improving Teacher Evaluations

Sandi Jacobs, Russ Whitehurst, Matt Chingos and Dan Goldhaber discuss a new study that finds several problems with evaluating teachers based on classroom observations.


What We’re Watching: Not Just the Problems of Other People’s Children

A new study finds that U.S. schools do as badly at teaching students from better-educated families as they do at teaching students from less well-educated families.


What We’re Watching: Closing Arguments in Vergara v. California

Students Matter has posted Marcellus McRae’s closing arguments in Vergara v. California, which challenges the state’s laws regarding teacher tenure, seniority and dismissal,


What We’re Watching: What Does Common Core Implementation Look Like?

PBS NewsHour asked student reporters to interview their teachers about how their teaching is affected by the new standards.


What We’re Watching: What’s Driving Gains in Graduation Rates?

PBS NewsHour on a new report that finds that graduation rates have reached 80 percent.


Common Core: The Day After

What happens when opponents of the Common Core State Standards finally succeed in getting a state’s policymakers to “repeal” the education initiative?


What We’re Watching: Teachers Versus the Public

The Hoover Institution and PEPG live-streamed a discussion about Teachers Versus the Public: What Americans Think about Schools and How to Fix them, a new book by Paul E. Peterson, Michael Henderson and Martin R. West.


What We’re Watching: Mike Petrilli talks Common Core on C-SPAN

Mike Petrilli appeared on Washington Journal to discuss the role of the Common Core in education policy and debates over the adoption of the standards in various states.


What High Schools Can Do for ‘Unprepared’ Students

New York’s small schools have produced powerful results for students—many of whom fall squarely within the cohort of the “underprepared.”


What We’re Watching: State Education Agencies: The Smaller the Better?

Fordham hosted a panel on April 24 to discuss whether SEAs should be shrunk and their responsibilities given to others.


What We’re Watching: A Charter School Authorizer in Action

Watch the D.C. Public Charter School Board as it considers new charter school applications and other policies. Tonight’s meeting will be streamed live starting at 6:30 pm.


What We’re Watching: Ken Burns’ Documentary on the Greenwood School

“The Address” focuses on students at the Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, who are encouraged to memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address.


What We’re Watching: A High School That Teaches Students to Fly

Students at Davis Aerospace, a public school in Detroit, can earn a pilot’s license.


What We’re Watching: All Students Can

Ed Trust on how all students can achieve at higher levels.


What We’re Watching: Closing the Language Gap

A gadget that counts words spoken to children is used to help close the “word gap” between affluent and low-income families (NYT)


What We’re Watching: Do American Kids Have Too Much Homework?

Most students are not overloaded with homework, according to a new Brookings report by Tom Loveless.


What We’re Watching: ‘Controlled Choice’ in Washington, D.C.

Should Washington, D.C. assign students to schools in a way that provides some socioeconomic integration? Fordham hosts a discussion Friday at 10.


What We’re Listening To: Universal Pre-K and Charter Schools in New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talks education on the Brian Lehrer show.


What We’re Watching: Bill Gates on the Common Core

George Stephanopoulos interviews Bill Gates on the Common Core.


What We’re Watching: All Teachers Can

Ed Trust on how strong, dedicated teachers with high expectations can help all students reach high standards.


What We’re Watching: Student Films about Technology in Education

“Thru the Lens of a Tiger” is one of 16 films made by students about technology in the classroom for the White House Student Film Festival.


What We’re Watching: ‘Chicagoland’ Trailer

CNN’s new documentary series “Chicagoland” premiers Thursday night at 10 pm. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to close dozens of public schools will be one of the topics of the first episode.


What We’re Watching: Charter School Hearing on the Hill

The Education & the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday to discuss the role of charter schools in K-12 education.


What We’re Watching: The Whole Gritty City

A new documentary follows the lives of students in three school marching bands in New Orleans.


Common Core in the Districts: An Early Look at Early Implementers

Wherever one stands on the merits of the Common Core, one thing is certain: all of the political posturing and mudslinging distract attention and energy from the crucial work of implementation.


What We’re Watching: Voucher Researchers Respond to Obama

Researchers respond to the assertion by President Obama that school vouchers have produced few benefits for students.


What We’re Watching: Public Pension Reform

On Wednesday at 10 am, Brookings will host a live webcast to accompany the release of two papers that spotlight pension reform efforts.


What We’re Watching: Expanding Access to Great Teachers

Fordham hosted a forum on how to ensure that more students have access to the best teachers.


Poll: Should Pell Grants Target College-Ready Students?

Financial aid spending by the federal government includes about $35 billion in Pell Grants, which provide students from low-income families up to $5,645 per year to defray college expenses.


What We’re Watching: Sal Khan on Blended Learning

The founder of Khan Academy delivered the keynote address at the Hoover Institution’s Symposium on Blended Learning in K-12 Education.


What We’re Watching: 2013 Urban Innovator Award

The Manhattan Institute presented its Urban Innovator Award to Christopher Cerf, New Jersey’s state commissioner of education.


What We’re Watching: The Student and the Stopwatch

How much time is spent on testing in America’s schools? Fordham and Teach Plus hosted an event featuring new evidence.


What We’re Watching: Vergara v. CA Opening Remarks PowerPoint

The slide show accompanying the opening remarks in the Vergara v. CA case lay out the case against existing teacher tenure, seniority, and dismissal policies.


What We’re Watching: American Promise on PBS

American Promise, a documentary film about two African-American boys attending an elite private school in New York City, will be shown on PBS on Monday, February 3.


What We’re Watching: The Story of Rural Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has a video on charter schools in rural settings. For information about policies affecting rural charter schools, Andy Smarick will present findings from a new report at a webinar on Thursday.


What We’re Watching: School Choice Conference at AEI

HAPPENING NOW: AEI’s school choice conference will look at why choice has not had more of an impact and what it would take to get more great schools of choice.


What We’re Watching: School Choice: A Multiple Choice for Families

Mike McShane of AEI describes the varieties of school choice.


What We’re Watching: Senators To Unveil School Choice Proposals

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Tim Scott (R-SC) will be at AEI on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 10:40 a.m. to announce new legislation to encourage state efforts to expand school choice.


What We’re Watching: A Tribute to the Work of E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

The Fordham Institute’s Education Gadfly has pulled together a video feature celebrating the work of E.D. Hirsch, Jr.


Test More, Not Less

Have you noticed that the testing and accountability movement is in a bit of trouble?


What We’re Watching: The Value of School Choice

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke at the Brown Center about the future of school choice.


What We’re Watching: The White House Student Film Festival on Technology in Schools

The White House is calling for K-12 students to submit their short films about technology in schools.


What We’re Watching: How Are Views on Education Policy Affected By Information?

In a webinar, Paul E. Peterson and Michael B. Henderson present an analysis of new survey data showing how Americans’ evaluations of their local schools change when they are armed with information.


What We’re Watching: The Ticket

This new documentary by Bob Bowdon, to be released later this month, looks at school choice across the country.


What We’re Watching: The Value of School Choice

The Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings will host a live webcast on Wed., Jan. 7 at 2 to release the 2013 Education Choice and Competition Index.


What We’re Watching: Happy Birthday NCLB!

Mike Petrilli hosts a live webchat with Kathleen Porter-Magee and Matt Chingos on what we’ve learned since No Child Left Behind was signed into law.


What We’re Watching: What a Flipped Classroom Looks Like

PBS tells the story of Clintondale High School, which has turned homework on its head.


What We’re Watching: Creating Sustainable Teacher Career Trajectories

NNSTOY and Pearson host a discussion of their new report on how to make teaching an attractive career for the next generation.


Great Education Books for Holiday Gifts and Reading

If someone on your holiday gift list is a teacher, a student, a former student, or an education policy wonk, here are some great books you might want to consider as stocking stuffers.


What We’re Watching: Miracle in Mooresville

AEI profiles a struggling North Carolina school district that righted itself and closed a gaping achievement gap in just a few years.


Ed Next Book Club: Amanda Ripley on The Smartest Kids in the World

Mike Petrilli talks with Amanda Ripley about her bestselling book.


What We’re Watching: Measuring the Influence of Education Advocacy [Event Cancelled due to Inclement Weather]

The Brown Center will hold a live webcast on Tuesday of an event on how education advocacy groups influenced the passage of voucher legislation in Louisiana, and how to measure the impact of advocacy more generally.


What We’re Watching: The End of the ‘College for All’ Debate?

College Summit argues that it’s time to stop debating how many kids should go to college. Instead we should be helping students choose the right college.


What We’re Watching: Shanghai and PISA

Shanghai education officials talk about what they did to get to the top of the PISA rankings. Jay Greene warns that trying to figure out what we should learn from Shanghai is a lot more complicated than this.


What We’re Watching: Civic Education and the Common Core

A panel at the Manhattan Institute considers declines in civic knowledge and how things can be turned around.


Right-Sizing the Classroom

Schools can boost achievement by giving the most effective teachers larger classes than the least effective teachers.


What We’re Watching: Trends in Family Structure Leaving Some Children Behind

Panelists at AEI discuss how trends in family structure and parenting are setting some kids up to fail.


What We’re Watching: Traversing the Teacher-Evaluation Terrain

The Fordham Institute hosted a panel on teacher-evaluation reform on Monday. Here’s the video.


What We’re Watching: The Nation’s Report Card Is Out

Paul E. Peterson discusses the latest NAEP results.


What We’re Watching: NCTQ on Teacher Evaluations

NCTQs Sandi Jacobs discusses the organization’s new report on teacher evaluations.


What We’re Watching: Common Core ‘Building Dreams’

Stand For Children’s video on the Common Core state standards.


What We’re Watching: ‘It Was a Transforming Experience for Them’

Jay P. Greene talks about his recent study showing that children benefit from field trips on the NBC Nightly News.


What We’re Watching: Michael Gove at National Summit on Education Reform

England’s Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove MP delivered the dinner keynote address at the National Summit for Education Reform 2013


The Top 10 Education Next Blog Posts of 2013

What makes for a popular blog entry?


The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2013

Which Education Next articles were most popular in 2013?


What We’re Watching: Common Core Assessments

On Wednesday morning the Brown Center at Brookings will release “Standardized Testing and the Common Core Standards — You Get What You Pay For?” at a panel discussion. The event will be live-tweeted by Ed Next.


What We’re Watching: What (Education Pundit) Parents Want

What do education reformers look for in a school for their own kids?


What We’re Watching: Common Core – The Great Debate

Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Mike Petrilli vs. Neal McCluskey and Emmett McGroarty


What We’re Watching: Education Nation 2013

NBC’s 2013 Education Nation Summit is happening now. Ed Next will be live-tweeting several panels on Monday and Tuesday at @educationnext.


What We’re Watching: Endangering Prosperity in Brief

Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek summarize their new book on how the future of the U.S. is endangered by its stagnant school system.


What We’re Watching: Endangering Prosperity in Brief, Part 2

Paul E. Peterson and Eric A. Hanushek discuss the gains that U.S. students need to make in educational achievement to bring our nation up to the level of the highest-achieving countries


What We’re Watching: Re-Imagining Teaching

How can the United States raise the status of the teaching profession?


What We’re Watching: Teacher Town Hall in Philadelphia

Michelle Rhee and StudentsFirst bring their town hall series of open and honest conversations about how to improve public education to Philly.


Ed Next Book Club: Endangering Prosperity

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with Paul Peterson, Eric Hanushek, and Ludger Woessmann about their new book.


What We’re Watching: Arne Duncan on The Colbert Report

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks Common Core with Stephen Colbert.


What We’re Watching: Press Conference for Field Trip Study

Jay P. Greene explains his study on the educational value of field trips at a press conference held live over Google hangouts.


What We’re Watching: Endangering Prosperity Book Trailer

10-year-old Dashton explains why it matters that American students rank 32nd in the world.


What We’re Watching: Is Our Stagnant School System Endangering Our Nation’s Future Prosperity?

Paul Peterson, Eric Hanushek, and Ludger Woessmann discuss their new book, Endangering Prosperity, at Brookings.


What We’re Watching: Endangering Prosperity Webinar

Paul E. Peterson, Eric Hanushek, and Ludger Woessmann’s webinar on Endangering Prosperity.


What We’re Watching: How U.S. Students Stack Up Against Other Nations

Paul E. Peterson appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss how the U.S. education system stacks up in comparison to other nations.


What We’re Watching: Davis Guggenheim’s ‘TEACH’

Davis Guggenheim’s new documentary “TEACH” follows four first-year teachers in tough schools.


What We’re Watching: Amanda Ripley’s Stand for Children Address

Amanda Ripley, author of the brand new book “The Smartest Kids in the World,” spoke at a Stand for Children event about how kids are learning in other countries.


What We’re Watching: Math Videos Overtake Cute Pets in YouTube Popularity

Math tutor Christpher Seber has racked up more than 5 million views for Math Meeting, his YouTube channel.


Common Core’s Best-Kept Secret

The Common Core era signals a return of history, civics, literature, science, and the fine arts to the elementary school curriculum.


What We’re Watching: Can You Be For Profit and For Students?

Rick Hess leads a Google+ hangout with Michael Horn, Andrew Kelly, and John Bailey on whether for-profit organizations act in the best interests of students.


What We’re Watching: Opt-Out or Cop Out?

Fordham hosted a forum on the growing numbers of parents, educators and administrators calling for a local “opt-out” from state testing systems.


Myednext Is Moving

Unfortunately, after careful consideration we have decided that, in the interest of consolidating discussion, we will no longer be hosting


What We’re Watching: Georgia Sets the Bar Lowest

WSB-TV Action News in Atlanta on an Ed Next study that ranks states on where they set the bar for student proficiency.


What We’re Watching: Mentorship for New Educators Helps Combat Teacher Burnout

NewsHour looks at a Chicago nonprofit that provides mentors to new teachers to help the Chicago Public Schools boost retention.


Outcomes—the Holy Grail of Teacher Prep Evaluation?

NCTQ is an organization that garners pushback for our advocacy that teachers’ outcomes data should be considered in teacher evaluations, compensation and promotions, so it’s almost refreshing to find ourselves seemingly on the other side of things when it comes to measuring the impact of teacher preparation.


What We’re Watching: Teachers Talk Policy

Teachers talk about why they take part in teacher voice organizations aimed at influencing education policy in this video by the Center for American Progress.


What We’re Watching: NCLB Sanctions and Student Achievement

AEI hosted a forum on No Child Left Behind, focusing on the role sanctions play in improving student achievement


Disappointing Science Standards

Fordham gives a grade of C to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)


Ed Next Book Club: Sarah Carr on Hope Against Hope

Mike Petrilli talks with Sarah Carr about school reform in New Orleans


What We’re Watching: How to Solve the Teacher-Pension Problem

On Thursday, Fordham hosted No Way Out? How to Solve the Teacher-Pension Problem.


What We’re Watching: Core Knowledge Curriculum in Action

The Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum, being piloted in elementary schools in New York City, gives students a broad base of background knowledge in addition to decoding skills.


What We're Watching: Pilot Episode of EdReform News

The pilot episode of EdReform News, produced by DFER-IL, looks at the impact of school choice for African American families.


What We’re Watching: New Schools Panel on Games and MOOCs

Panel on the role that educational games and MOOCs can play in improving education and increasing student options.


What We’re Watching: Vouchers and College Attendance

Eric Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson discuss a new study of how vouchers increase the likelihood of college attendance.


What We’re Watching: Common Core Debate: Three on Three

On Choice Media, six education policy experts debated the merits of the Common Core.


What We’re Watching: TED Talks Education

PBS will be broadcasting an hour’s worth of TED talks about education on Tuesday, May 7 at 10 pm.


Ed Next Book Club: Michelle Rhee on Radical

Mike Petrilli talks with Michelle Rhee about her new autobiography, ‘Radical: Fighting to Put Students First.’


What We’re Listening To: Paul E. Peterson on the Common Core

Ed Next’s Paul E. Peterson was a guest on New Hampshire Public Radio to discuss the Common Core.


What We’re Watching: A Nation At Risk: 30 Years Later

Fordham and AEI created a video to recall the impact of A Nation at Risk and to reflect on what lies ahead.


What We’re Watching: Hanushek and Peterson on Teacher Salaries

Eric Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson discuss the importance of aligning teacher salaries with effectiveness.


What We’re Watching: Are the Common Core Standards the Path to a Better Educated America?

David Steiner and Mark Bauerlein discuss whether and how the Common Core standards for English language arts will transform learning across the country.


What We’re Watching: Online Teacher Training at USC

The MAT@USC program combines interactive, web-based classes with an in-person practicum in the student’s own community.


Work for Education Next as Communications Consultant

The position will be available beginning May 1, 2013.


What We’re Watching: When Spelling a Word Just Isn’t Enough

The National Spelling Bee is adding a new challenge: children will now be required to define words as well as spell them.


What We’re Watching: Blended Learning in Practice

This recent Education Sector panel focused on the possibilities and challenges of blended learning.


What We’re Watching: Getting Top Talent into the Nation’s Schools

The Center for American Progress recently hosted a discussion on strategies for getting the best people to become teachers and principals.


The Promise and Peril of Cage Busting

Reforming policy isn’t easy. But it’s the only path that will ensure lasting change.


What We’re Watching: How Important Are School Districts?

Michelle Rhee, Russ Whitehurst, and Matthew Chingos discuss whether school districts can be levers for change to boost student achievement at a forum at Brookings.


What We’re Watching: Assessing the President’s Preschool Plan

Sara Mead and Russ Whitehurst assess President Obama’s preschool plan at a panel at the Fordham Institute.


What We’re Watching: Is Tracking and Ability Grouping Making a Comeback?

Tom Loveless discusses a recent Brown Center study on the resurgence of ability grouping.


What We’re Watching: Separate but Not Equal in New York City

Mike Petrilli appeared on Independent Sources to discuss whether New York City’s gifted and talented programs increase racial segregation.


What We’re Watching: Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century

Fordham has released this teaser for a new book, Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform.


What We’re Watching: Eric A. Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson on the State of the Union 2013

Eric A. Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson talk about President Obama’s State of the Union address in a discussion at the Hoover Institution.


Ed Next Book Club: Tony Wagner on Creating Innovators

Mike Petrilli talks with Tony Wagner about how schools can light the spark of innovation within their students.


What We’re Watching: Education – America’s Challenge

James Roldan won second place in C-SPAN’s student documentary competition with his video Education: America’s Challenge.


What We’re Watching: Build a School in the Cloud

Sugata Mitra’s TED talk on how to use cloud technology to build a learning lab for students in India.


What We’re Watching: StudentsFirst’s 2013 State Policy Report Card

Eric Smith, Tom Luna, Ulrich Boser and Rick Hess discuss the grades given to the 50 states by StudentsFirst in its state policy report card.


Pension Plans That Attract (Some) Florida Teachers

The research field of teacher pensions has been a relative backwater, but lately it just keeps getting more interesting.


What We’re Watching: Paying Teachers More, Within Budget

How extending the reach of excellent teachers can help teachers and kids.


What We’re Watching: AEI Event on Cage-Busting Leadership

Chris Barbic, Deb Gist, Kaya Henderson, Adrian Manuel, and Michelle Rhee were at AEI to discuss Rick Hess’s new book on the constraints education leaders face (and imagine).


What We’re Watching: Michelle Rhee at Harvard

Michelle Rhee addressed an audience at the Harvard School of Public Health as part of its series, “Decision Making: Voices from the Field.”


Science Standards 2.0

If states are going to make rational decisions to replace their own science standards with these new ones, it’s only right to insist that the new ones be stronger


What We’re Watching: Can Chartering Replace the Urban District?

Bellwether hosts a discussion of Andy Smarick’s new book, The Urban School System of the Future.


What We’re Watching: Launching No Excuses Kids into College and Beyond

Disadvantaged students from high-flying charter schools spend 3 weeks at Franklin & Marshall learning what it will take to succeed in college.


Is the Red Tape a Red Herring?

Many proponents of private school choice take for granted that schools won’t participate if government asks too much of them. But is this assumption justified?


What We’re Watching: Mike Feinberg on Cage-Busting Leadership

KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg discusses “cage-busting leadership” and how to empower principals to be leaders.


What We’re Watching: Wisconsin Teachers Choose to be Non-Union

The Association of American Educators has posted a video featuring teachers in Wisconsin who have chosen to join the AAE, an alternative to teachers unions.


What We’re Watching: True Grit: Can Perseverance Be Taught?

Angela Duckworth on how non-cognitive competencies can predict success.


What We’re Watching: Can ‘Rocketship’ Launch a Fleet of Successful Schools?

A feature produced by LearningMatters looks at whether Rocketship charter schools can be broadly replicated.


What We’re Watching: The Turnaround Merry-Go-Round

Is the federal government’s $3 billion School Improvements Grants program to turn around failing schools working? Andy Rotherham, Carmel Martin, and Jean-Claude Brizard debate the issue at a Fordham panel.


What We're Watching: Bobby Jindal on Education Reform

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave a keynote address at the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings on how to provide equal educational opportunity to all students.


Ed Next Book Club: Andy Smarick on The Urban School System of the Future

Mike Petrilli talks with Andy Smarick about alternatives to urban school districts.


What We’re Watching: Khan Academy on the Fiscal Cliff

Sal Khan looks at the possible outcomes of negotiations around the fiscal cliff in this Khan Academy video


What We’re Watching: Eric Hanushek on Improving Educational Outcomes

Eric Hanushek explains why different countries need to try different approaches to improving education outcomes.


What We’re Watching: Stedwick Elementary Opera

Third-grade students from Stedwick ES in Gaithersburg, Md. describe what it was like to write and produce an original opera.


What We’re Watching: Trailer for John Chubb’s New Book

John Chubb on how to get the best teachers in the world.


What We’re Watching: How Strong Are State Teacher Unions?

A study by the Fordham Institute looks at the strength of teacher unions on a state-by-state basis.


Ed Next Book Club: David Cohen on Teaching and its Predicaments

Mike Petrilli talks with David Cohen about the depressing track record of efforts to improve teaching and learning.


What We’re Watching: What the Election Results Mean for Federal Education Policy

AEI hosted a post-election discussion about the Obama administration’s priorities for the second term, prospects for ESEA reauthorization, and how sequestration could affect education.


What We’re Watching: Mike Johnston’s ‘Best Education Speech Ever’

Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston’s speech last month at a Teach for America event has been called the best speech ever about education.


Ed Next Book Club: Nate Levenson on Smarter Budgets, Smarter Schools

Mike Petrilli talks with Nate Levenson about getting by with smaller school budgets.


What We’re Watching: Education Reform in the Next White House

Education policy advisers from the Obama and Romney campaigns joined Rick Hess for a discussion at AEI. Jon Schnur represented the Obama campaign and Marty West represented the Romney campaign.


What We’re Watching: The Tech-Driven Teacher

Salman Khan talks about his forthcoming book and about Khan Academy’s method and mission with Jacob Weisberg of Slate magazine.


What We’re Watching: The Parent Trigger Backlash

The Wall Street Journal’s David Feith discusses the backlash against the movie “Won’t Back Down.”


What We’re Watching: Coursera Founder Daphne Koller’s TED Talk

In “What We’re Learning from Online Education,” computer scientist and Coursera founder Daphne Koller takes a look at the future of education.


What We’re Watching: Education Nation – Live Streaming

NBC’s third annual Education Nation summit is taking place through Tuesday at noon. Tuesday’s schedule includes a taped interview with President Obama and a live visit from Governor Romney.


The Opportunity to Create More Champion Teachers

Far from replacing our teachers, a blended-learning environment holds the potential of making the job more accessible for more individuals. It provides the opportunity to create more champions.


What We’re Watching: The Chicago Teacher’s Strike and Teacher Accountability

Michael Petrilli, Lamar Alexander, and Rick Kahlenberg discuss the Chicago teacher’s strike on the Kudlow Report.


What We’re Watching: Romney Reacts to Strike, Obama Doesn’t

Mitt Romney has criticized striking teachers in Chicago and claimed that Obama supports the teachers. A spokesman for Obama says that he is not taking sides.


Ed Next Book Club: Paul Tough on How Children Succeed

Mike Petrilli talks with Paul Tough about his new book on the role of grit in success.


What We’re Watching: A Right Denied

Whitney Tilson’s presentation on the critical need for genuine school reform appears in full in this documentary.


What We’re Watching: Vouchers and Social Justice

Paul Peterson sits down with the WSJ to discuss a new study on how vouchers help African American students.


What We’re Watching: Fordham Webcast on Exam Schools

This Friday morning, the Fordham Institute will be hosting Chester Finn and Jessica Hockett, authors of the new book “Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High Schools,”


What We’re Watching: The Myth of the Super Teacher

High school English teacher Roxanna Elden on how the image of successful “super teachers” conflicts with the harsh realities of real-life teaching


Ed Next Book Club: Michael Horn on Disrupting Class

Mike Petrilli talks with Michael Horn about disruptive innovation in education.


What We’re Watching: Governor Scott Walker on Education Reform

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker talks with Bob Bowden at the PEPG-EdNext conference “Learning from Improving School Systems at Home and Abroad.”


What We’re Watching: Parent Power Event at AEI

AEI will be live-streaming an event at 4:00pm on parent power and the new politics of education reform (video will be unavailable until event starts at 4:00pm).


What We’re Watching: How Katrina Created an Opportunity for School Reform in New Orleans

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu discusses the silver lining of Hurricane Katrina – education reform


What We’re Watching: K12 and The Fight Against Online Education

Jeff Kwitowski of K12 talks with Choice Media TV about online education and its opponents.


What We’re Watching: Charter Graduates Headed for Success

These graduates of charter schools in Chicago are headed to college.


What We’re Watching: Life at Montgomery Blair High School

A graduating senior’s video farewell to his high school.


What We’re Watching: Reform School from ChoiceMedia.TV

Jay Greene and Joe Williams talk charter schools and the federal role in education in this pilot episode of “Reform School.”


What We’re Watching: Is American Education Coming Apart?

Charles Murray discusses his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.


What We’re Watching: Teacher of the Year Gets Laid Off

Sacramento’s teacher of the year just lost her job as result of budget cuts in a district that mandates layoffs according to seniority, not performance.


What We’re Watching: Is American Education Coming Apart?

Register here to attend this Thomas B. Fordham Institute Event


What We’re Watching: Some Communities Reluctant to Start School Later

A teen reporter investigates why his high school starts so early in the morning.


What We’re Watching: A Blended Learning Catholic School

Seton Partners teamed up with a Catholic school in San Francisco to create blended learning classrooms. Here’s a look at the first year.


What We’re Watching: The Flame Challenge

This video won an international competition in which contestants were invited to explain to an 11-year-old what a flame is.


What We’re Watching: The Teacher Unions Image Problem

Paul Peterson talks with the Wall Street Journal about a new survey showing that the public is turning against teachers unions.


What We’re Watching: Is Teaching an Art or a Science?

Dan Willingham discusses the science of teaching, and considers whether and how basic science can inform teaching.


What We’re Watching: Mike Petrilli on Romney’s Education Platform

Ed Next editor Mike Petrilli talks with the Wall Street Journal about how Mitt Romney compares to Barack Obama on education.


What We’re Watching: WSJ on Romney’s Pro-Choice Education Plan

Mitt Romney’s education reform platform is discussed by the Wall Street Journal’s David Feith.


What We’re Watching: Good Teachers Boost Students’ Future Pay

Harvard professor John Friedman discusses his study on the use of value-added analysis and the effects a high-value-added teacher can have on students’ future earnings.


What We’re Watching: Reform School – New Series by ChoiceMedia.TV

Jay Greene and Joe Williams discuss the role of the federal government in education in the pilot episode of a new show.


Profound Implications for State Policy

If we are truly serious about improving student learning, we must think anew about teacher recruitment, placement, evaluation, professional development, retention, and separation.


More Evidence Would Be Welcome

Commentary on “Great Teaching:Measuring its effects on students’ future earnings” By Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman and Jonah E. Rockoff The new study by Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Jonah Rockoff  asks whether high-value-added teachers (i.e., teachers who raise student test scores) also have positive longer-term impacts on students, as reflected in college attendance, earnings, […]


Low-Performing Teachers Have High Costs

Chetty et al.’s evidence shows that bad teachers cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income and productivity each year that they remain in the classroom. These costs are large enough that failing to address them is simply inexcusable.


Spring Break Is Here: Can I get my unemployement insurance check?

Did you know that school bus drivers and cafeteria workers file unemployment claims whenever schools take a vacation break?


What We’re Watching: The 26-Ingredient School Lunch Burger

NPR’s Tiny Desk Kitchen series looks at the surprising ingredients that go into a hamburger served in a school cafeteria.


What We’re Watching: Education Reform for the Digital Era

John Chubb, Bryan Hassel, Mark Bauerlein, Eleanor Laurans, and Mike Petrilli discuss whether digital learning is education’s latest fad or its future at a Fordham Institute event held last week.


What We’re Watching: Education Reform for the Digital Era

On Thursday, April 19 from 9:00-10:30 am we’ll be watching a live webcast of the Fordham Institute’s webinar event on digital learning.


What We’re Watching: The Tartans

This 13-minute documentary by the Fordham Foundation describes the challenges and successes of a rural Appalachian charter school.


What We’re Watching: Short Circuited

The benefits and challenges of bringing online learning into California classrooms are explored in this video from the Pacific Research Institute.


What We’re Watching: Lunchtime in America

The Fordham Institute’s Rejected Super Bowl XLVI Commercial – Lunchtime in America


What We’re Watching: The Chicago VIVA Project

In Chicago, individual teachers are working with policymakers to figure out how to use a longer school day to improve student learning.


What We’re Watching: Another Solution to Crime

David Deming talks with the Wall Street Journal about how school choice programs in North Carolina have reduced criminality among high risk males.


What We’re Watching: Teacher Test Scores Go Public

Eric Hanushek talks with the Wall Street Journal about why teachers’ value-added scores should be made public.


What We’re Watching: Weighing the Waivers

On Friday, March 2 from 9:00-10:30 am we’ll be watching a live webcast of the Fordham Institute’s forum on NCLB waivers.


What We’re Watching: David Gergen on TFA and Teachers Unions

David Gergen talks with Bob Bowdon of Choice Media TV about Teach for America.


What We’re Watching: Rethinking Education Governance with Chris Cerf

Chris Cerf, acting commissioner of education in New Jersey, speaking at the Fordham Institute on the role of governance in improving education outcomes.


What We’re Watching: Education Policy in an Election Year

Panelists at this AEI event, moderated by Rick Hess, discussed the outlook for federal education policy in 2012.


What We’re Watching – Salman Khan: Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education

In this TED talk, Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy. In the spring issue of Ed Next, June Kronholz looks at two school districts working with Khan Academy to boost math achievement.


Ed Next Book Club: Peg Tyre’s The Good School

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with Peg Tyre about her new book, which offers advice to parents concerned about school quality.


What We’re Watching: Whose Side Are You On? The NAACP Sues Charter Schools

Choice Media TV looks into why the NAACP joined a lawsuit to evict charter schools from buildings they share with traditional district schools in New York.


Did the Chetty Teacher Effectiveness Study Use Data that are No Longer Relevant?

In a two steps forward, one step back dance worthy of Vladimir Lenin himself, the New York Times properly gave front-page coverage to the breathtaking new teacher effectiveness study by Raj Chetty and his colleagues, but then allowed Michael Winerip space to give teacher unions a denial opportunity.


Ed Next Book Club: Paul Tough’s Whatever it Takes

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with New York Times Magazine editor Paul Tough about his book on the Harlem Children’s Zone.


What We’re Watching: Creating Opportunity Schools

The Mind Trust’s CEO discusses bold school reform plans for Indianapolis Public Schools.


What We’re Watching: Has the Accountability Movement Run Its Course?

On Thursday, Jan. 5 from 8:30-10:00 am we’ll be watching a live webcast of the Fordham Institute’s forum on accountability, starring Eric Hanushek, Charles Barone, Sandy Kress, and Mark Schneider.


Terry Moe on Teacher Union Power

Terry Moe talks with Eric Hanushek about his recent book, Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools.


Adding Education and Growth to Deficit Talks

Eric Hanushek and Terry Moe talk about using education policy to improve long-term growth and reduce deficits.


Flawed Evaluation of Test-Based Accountability

Rick Hanushek critiques the latest anti-testing report from the National Research Council.


What We’re Watching: A Day in the Life of the National Online Teacher of the Year

Kristin Kipp teaches 11th and 12th grade English virtually from her home in Colorado.


What We’re Watching: Live Webcast of Fordham Event on Education Governance

Watch the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s conference “Rethinking Education Reform in the 21st Century” streaming live all day (Thursday) from the Capitol Hilton in Washington D.C.


Ed Next Book Club: Chester Finn’s Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform Since Sputnik

Mike Petrilli talks with Chester Finn about the path education reform has taken over the past 40 years and his own path through history.


Ed Next Book Club: Paul Peterson’s Saving Schools

Mike Petrilli talks with Paul Peterson about six great education heroes.


What We’re Watching: Disruptive Innovations Could Transform Washington State Schools

Michael B. Horn explains how blended learning can be a useful and effective tool for teachers.


What We’re Watching: Mayor-Led Turnarounds in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is working with the LAUSD to try to turn around 22 low-performing schools.


What We’re Watching: GA Supreme Court Strikes Down State Chartered Schools

In this Choice Media TV report, Georgians react to the news that their state can no longer approve or direct funding to charter schools.


What We’re Watching: NewSchools Interview with Sal Khan

NewSchools interviews Sal Khan, whose Khan Academy has delivered more than 71 million online video tutorials, as part of a series on education entrepreneurs.


What We’re Watching: The Other Achievement Gap

Are America’s highest achieving students being left behind? Watch the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s webinar “The Other Achievement Gap”


Tony Miller Keynote on Learning from Other Countries

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller discuss the importance of learning best practices from the highest-achieving nations in this keynote address.


Top U.S. School Districts Trail the Global Competition

Jay Greene discusses his Global Report Card, which reveals that even the most elite suburban U.S. school districts produce results that are mediocre when compared to those of international peers


Teacher Pensions: What Is To Be Done?

States owe hundreds of millions of dollars to teacher pension funds. In a new forum published in Education Next, three professors debate how serious the crisis is and what the appropriate response is.


What We’re Watching: U.S. Schools Fail International Competition

Eric Hanushek and Paul Peterson discuss how the United States compares to developed countries of the world in math achievement.


What We’re Watching: When Reform Touches Teachers

Randi Weingarten and Frederick M. Hess discuss bold changes that affect teachers, including dialing back pensions and union rights.


Ed Next Book Club: Rick Hess’ The Same Thing Over and Over

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with Rick Hess about his magnum opus.


Performance Learning Centers

Photos: Additional images of Performance Learning Centers (PLCs) in Hampton and Richmond, VA.


Trimming the School Year

Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek discuss California’s answer to potential cuts in school funding: reducing the school year.


Ed Next Book Club: Terry Moe’s Special Interest

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with Terry Moe about teachers unions


Schools’ Fiscal Crisis Unclear

Ed Next’s Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek discuss whether there is a financial crisis in American education today.


What We’re Watching: From Bricks to Clicks

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, panelists discuss whether we are at a tipping point for diversifying the delivery of K-12 education.


What We’re Watching: A Physical Education in Naperville

Struggling students at Naperville Central High School are assigned to PE class right before English class, a move that has boosted their reading scores by half a year.


Ed Next Book Club: Jay Mathews’ Work Hard, Be Nice

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with Jay Mathews about his book on the founding and early years of KIPP.


Teach for America’s Entrepreneurial Alumni

Ed Next’s Mike Petrilli talks with two alumni of Teach for America, Veronica Nolan and Stephanie Saroki, about how TFA has managed to launch so many leaders of education organizations.


What We’re Watching: David Coleman on the Common Core Standards

David Coleman, a leader in the development of the Common Core Standards in literacy, sells the standards to principals at a conference in New York City last month.


What We’re Watching: Evaluating Teachers

D.C. teachers who have been evaluated using the district’s new, more rigorous evaluation system talk about how it works and how it compares to traditional teacher evaluation systems.


What We’re Watching: Teachers Unions and American Education Event at AEI

Stanford University professor Terry Moe debates Deborah Meier, the founder of New York City’s Central Park East schools, and Heather Harding of Teach for America.


Ed Next Book Club: David Whitman’s Sweating the Small Stuff

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with David Whitman about paternalistic schools.


What We’re Watching: Carpe Diem in the News

An inside look at Carpe Diem Collegiate High School and Middle School, a hybrid charter school featuring on-site teacher-facilitators and computer-assisted instruction which allow students to work at their own pace.


What We’re Watching: Are School Boards Vital?

Anne Bryant, Gene Maeroff, Christopher Barclay and Chester Finn square off in a debate/discussion hosted by the Fordham Institute about the role of local school boards in the 21st century.


What We’re Watching: Live Webcast of Carrots, Sticks and the Bully Pulpit

Today at AEI, a full-day conference on the lessons of half a century of federal efforts to improve America’s schools.


What We’re Watching: Bill Tucker on Lesson Plan Sharing

How teachers are using social networking and websites to share and improve lesson plans.


What We’re Watching: White House Commencement Challenge

Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis submitted this video to win the prize: a graduation speech by President Obama.


Ed Next Book Club: Gene Maeroff’s School Boards in America

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with former New York Times education correspondent Gene Maeroff about his new book.


What We're Watching: Gov. Mitch Daniels at AEI

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who may or may not be running for President, talks about the education reform strategy he has been pursuing in the Hoosier state.


What We’re Watching: Mike Johnston at Yale

Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston gave the keynote address at the Education Leadership Conference at Yale last month.


What We’re Watching: Michael Horn on Innovation in Education

Michael Horn, co-author of Disrupting Class, talks about education and disruptive innovation.


Ed Next Book Club: John Merrow’s The Influence of Teachers

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with author John Merrow about his book—and what he’s learned from the countless hours he’s spent as a reporter in America’s classrooms.


Ed Next Book Club: Alexander Russo’s Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with author Alexander Russo about his book on Locke High School and Green Dot’s efforts to turn it around.


What We’re Watching: New York’s RttT Presentation

David Steiner, New York’s education commissioner, helped lead his state to a number 2 finish in round 2 of Race to the Top last summer. A new Ed Next article by Peter Meyer looks at how New York won and what’s next for David Steiner, who announced that he will be stepping down this summer.


What We’re Watching: Casey Carter on C-SPAN

Casey Carter talks about his new book, On Purpose: How Great School Cultures Form Strong Character.


What We’re Watching: Are Bad Schools Immortal?

A panel organized by the Fordham Institute discusses why the vast majority of low-performing schools remain open—and remain low-performing—year after year.


Ed Next Book Club: Richard Kahlenberg’s Tough Liberal

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with author Richard Kahlenberg about his biography of Al Shanker.


A Conservative’s Dilemma: School Choice versus Fiscal Responsibility

It is time for school reformers to ask tough questions about how much school choice we can afford.


What We’re Watching: Jay Greene on

Nick Gillespie interviews Jay Greene about why he still thinks school choice is the best strategy for making schools better.


Audio Excerpt: NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

Podcast: An audio excerpt from “NurtureShock” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman


Hybrid Schools

Photos: Additional images of the Denver School of Science and Technology, High Tech High in San Diego, Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School in San Jose, and School of One in New York City.


What We’re Watching: School of One

School of One, a math program operating in three New York City middle schools, combines multiple modes of online and traditional instruction. A new article in Education Next, “Future Schools,” takes a closer look at School of One and other hybrid schools.


Ed Next Book Club: Dan Willingham’s Why Don’t Students Like School?

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with psychology professor Dan Willingham about his book, which is organized around nine questions a teacher could ask a cognitive scientist.


What We’re Watching: California’s Parent Trigger Law looks at the first group of California parents to pull the trigger on their children’s failing school.


Ed Next Book Club: Richard Whitmire’s The Bee Eater

Podcast: Mike Petrilli talks with Richard Whitmire about his new biography of Michelle Rhee.


Catalyst Schools

Photos: Additional images of the Catalyst Schools in Chicago.


What We’re Watching: Senate Hearing on DC Voucher Program

Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins hear from researchers, activists, and D.C. officials about the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which the senators hope to revive.


Merit Pay in the U.S.

Podcast: Eric Hanushek and Paul Peterson discuss why merit pay experiments in the U.S. tend not to last very long or work very well.


What We’re Watching: Katrina’s Silver Lining

A 10-minute video produced by looks at how New Orleans has become the most market-based school system in the country. A new Ed Next article, New Schools in New Orleans, looks at what comes next for the schools of New Orleans.


Merit Pay Around the Globe

Podcast: Eric Hanushek talks with Ed Next’s Paul Peterson about a new study that finds that countries that reward teachers for effective teaching outperform countries that don’t.


Learning from Great Teachers

Podcast: Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion, and Steven Farr, author of Teaching as Leadership, talk with Education Next about their efforts to identify what great teachers are doing in the classroom and to share these techniques with new teachers.


What We’re Watching: Merit Pay, Teacher Pay, and Value Added Measures

In this video, Dan Willingham describes six problems (some conceptual, some statistical) with merit pay for teachers. An evaluation of the impact of a school-wide merit pay plan in New York City, “Does Whole-School Performance Pay Improve Student Learning?” appears in the new issue of Ed Next.


Audio Excerpt: The Black-White Achievement Gap

Podcast: An audio excerpt from “The Black-White Achievement Gap” by former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige


What We’re Watching: Lessons for Virtual Schooling

In this video, Erin Dillon explains what the virtual school movement can learn from the charter school movement: that growth alone is not enough, and that more attention should be paid to the quality of offerings. Other lessons from the charter movement are explored in more detail in “Lessons for Online Learning,” which appears in the Spring 2011 issue of Ed Next and is now available online.


What We’re Watching: Davidson Academy on Nightline

An episode of ABC’s Nightline from 2007 takes a look at the Davidson Academy, a public school for profoundly gifted students in Reno, Nev. June Kronholz writes about the Davidson Academy in “Challenging the Gifted,” which appears in the Spring 2011 issue of Ed Next.


What We’re Watching: CNN on Class Size

Ed Next’s Matt Chingos appeared on CNN’s Chalk Talk to discuss his research on the impact of class size reduction on student achievement.


Davidson Academy

Photos: Additional images of the Davidson Academy of Nevada.


What We’re Watching: Best Books of the Year

The Totally Hip Video Book Reviewer from the Washington Post has become a cult classic; this video shows his picks for the top novels of 2010. Also check out Ed Next readers picks for the best education reform books of the decade and Jay Greene on why the education reform book is dead.


Audio Excerpt: Why Boys Fail by Richard Whitmire

Podcast: An audio excerpt from Richard Whitmire’s new book “Why Boys Fail”


Grade Configuration Matters

Podcast: Jonah Rockoff talks with Education Next about his new study, which finds that when students move to a middle school, their academic achievement declines substantially relative to students who continue to attend a K-8 school.


What We’re Watching: The Boys of Baraka on DVD

Before Waiting for Superman and KIPP, there was the Boys of Baraka. This 2005 documentary followed a group of “at-risk” 12-year-old boys from Baltimore whose families enrolled them in an experimental boarding school in Kenya (with expenses paid by the city of Baltimore) in a desperate attempt to get the boys out of failing schools and violent neighborhoods so they could turn their lives around.


What We’re Watching: The Cartel on DVD

The Cartel, a documentary that provides an expose of our educational system and a look at some reformers who are trying to change things, is now available for purchase on DVD, just in time for Christmas.


What We’re Watching: Are Ed Schools Amenable to Reform?

Deborah Ball, Jim Cibulka, Steve Farkas, David Imig, and Kate Walsh discussed the future of ed schools in a debate moderated by Chester Finn and hosted by the Fordham Institute. Fordham’s recent study, Cracks in the Ivory Tower, a survey of ed school professors, was the starting point.


Audio Excerpt: Inside Urban Charter Schools by Kay Merseth

Podcast: An audio excerpt from Kay Merseth, et al.’s book, “Inside Urban Charter Schools”


What We’re Watching: Cathie Black Interview

Art McFarland’s exclusive one-on-one conversation with incoming NYC schools chancellor, Cathie Black.


Impact of Charter Schools on Educational Attainment

Video: Brian Gill talks with Education Next about why students who attend charter high schools have higher rates of high school graduation and college attendance.


Can Differentiated Instruction Work?

Video: Mike Petrilli talks with Education Next about the challenges of teaching high-achieving and low-achieving kids in the same classroom, and about one school in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is using a blend of ability grouping and differentiated instruction with great success.


Roundtable Discussion on Middle Schools

Peter Meyer of Education Next talks with students and teachers from Hudson, New York about the problem with middle schools and about alternatives to standalone schools for students in grades 6-8. For more on middle schools, please see “The Middle School Mess,” by Peter Meyer.


High-Achieving Students in the U.S. and Other Countries

Paul Peterson and Marty West discuss a new study that examines how high-achieving math students in the U.S. trail those from other countries and what could be done to boost the percentage of high performers in the U.S.


High-Achieving Math Students in the U.S. and Abroad

Podcast: Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek discuss their new study, which looks at how well the U.S. (and each individual state) is doing at producing high-achieving math students, as compared to other countries. The answer: not very well!


What We’re Watching: U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective Webinar

On Wednesday from 12:30 until 1:45 pm, Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek will discuss the findings of their new study, which looks at the percentage of high-achieving students in each state as compared to the percentage of high-achieving students in 56 other countries.


School Closures in New York City

Podcast: Josh Dunn talks with Education Next about continuing efforts by New York City Chancellor Joel Klein to close chronically failing schools–despite a ruling by a state court that the closings could not proceed–using a federal School Improvement Grant.


Fighting Truancy: Voices from the Trenches

Podcast: Ed Next talks with representatives from truancy prevention programs in Atlanta and Baltimore about why students are missing so many days of school and what truancy prevention programs are doing to turn things around.


What We’re Watching: Education Nation Panel on Teaching

A panel including Randi Weingarten, Dennis Van Roekel, Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and others discuss how to bring and keep top talent into teaching.


Unions and School Reform?

Several national AFT leaders were quietly involved with the negotiations between Baltimore City Schools and the local union which resulted in the just announced path-breaking new pay-for-performance Baltimore contract that will replace the so-called “steps” and “lanes” of the traditional teacher contract.


Poll Reveals Bipartisan Support for Education Reform

Marty West and Paul Peterson discuss the 2010 Education Next­-PEPG Survey, which finds support among both Democrats and Republicans for test-based accountability, merit pay, and charter schools.


What We’re Watching: President Obama on the Today show

President Obama talks with Matt Lauer about teachers unions, charter schools, Race to the Top, and other topics as part of this week’s Education Nation coverage on NBC.


What We’re Watching: Oprah Winfrey’s show on Waiting for Superman

In case you haven’t heard, Waiting for Superman opens on Friday.


What We’re Watching: Paying Students to Get Better Grades

This video excerpt from the new movie Freakonomics looks at a program that rewards students with cash and prizes (including a ride home from school in a limo) for keeping their grades up.


What We’re Watching: Michelle Rhee’s Impact

Three years ago, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty hired Michelle Rhee to serve as Schools Chancellor. Yesterday, DC voters rejected Fenty’s bid to serve a second term, and Michelle Rhee’s future in the city is up in the air. This video about teacher evaluations in DC is the 12th and final episode of a series of videos by John Merrow and Learning Matters about Michelle Rhee.


Math Wars Have Their Day in Court

Podcast: Josh Dunn talks with Education Next about a state court ruling overturning a decision by the Seattle school board to adopt a progressive math curriculum.


Poll Finds Growing Support for Charter Schools

Video: Marty West and Paul Peterson discuss the 2010 Education Next-PEPG Survey.


Is Austin, Texas As Good As It Gets?

Video: Nathan Glazer talks with Education Next about Larry Cuban’s new book, As Good As It Gets: What School Reform Brought to Austin.


Accountability Comes to Physical Education

Video: As policymakers call on schools to help combat childhood obesity, Education Next takes a close look at an innovative P.E. class that holds students accountable for how long and how hard they work out.


The Numbers Game: Why Class Size Mandates Miss the Point

The problem with class size mandates is not whether the mandated class sizes should be 20 or 24 or some other magic number. The problem is that class size mandates end up determining the amount of total dollars that are going to education and result in assigning just enough teachers to hit those ratios. This creates an inflexible structure where we inadvertently institutionalize a broken way of grouping teachers and students into one-teacher classrooms.


How Good Are Parents at Rating Schools?

Video: Marty West talks with Education Next about a new Harvard study that finds that parents grade their local schools based on student achievement, not minority enrollment.


Race to the Top or Race to the Bottom?

Video: Paul Peterson talks with Education Next about his study evaluating the relative rigor of state proficiency standards.


Desegregation: Down but Not Out

Video: Susan Eaton talks with Education Next about efforts to reduce racial segregation in education since the Supreme Court’s 2007 rulings that students may not be assigned to schools on the basis of race.


What Has Desegregation Accomplished?

Video: Steven Rivkin talks with Education Next about research on the impact of desegregation.


What We’re Watching: Bloggingheads on Acting White

John McWhorter and Richard Thompson Ford talk about school desegregation, “acting white,” and black student achievement.


It’s Not in the Contract

While union contracts certainly play a big role in determining a teacher’s pay, work schedule and benefits, the policies with the biggest impact on teacher quality, such as those covering tenure and evaluations, come from the states.


Harvard Wimps Out on Testing

To oppose “results-based accountability” in education is close to a taboo nowadays, a position so antithetical to the spirit of the age that few dare mention it. Let us, therefore, declare ourselves shocked and saddened that Harvard University, in so many ways a pacesetter in education, is embracing that very position.


A Think Tank Gets Real: Fordham’s Experience as a Charter-School Authorizer

Debates around charter schools remain hot and contentious in the Buckeye State, perhaps more so than anywhere else in the nation. But Fordham hasn’t merely weighed in from the lens of think tank and choice advocate; we have also worked directly with schools as a grant maker, launched and supported a Dayton-based charter management organization, and for the last five years served as a charter school authorizer.


When Schools Shun Competition, Middle Class Families Seek It Out After School

June Kronholz writes that the self-esteem movement in the 1990s made many educators squeamish about competi­tion. In fact, American educators have had a love/hate relationship with it over the past century. But what we have seen is that as schools move away from promoting competition, those parents who think schools are not providing enough competitive outlets go outside of the traditional education system.


New Podcast: Virtual Education and Common Core Standards

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (June 23) about whether common standards create economies of scale for virtual learning products. Click here to listen to the podcast.


New Podcast: Bang for the Buck from Race to the Top

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (June 16) about why $4 billion in prize money is causing so many states to enact reforms and whether those reforms will stick. Click here to listen to the podcast.


No Child Left Behind and Student Achievement

Podcast: Tom Dee talks with Education Next about why it is so tricky to assess the impact of NCLB on student learning and about his new study, which finds that NCLB had its greatest impact in earlier grades and in math.


Our Reply to the Civil Rights Project’s Response

We are pleased that the authors of the Civil Rights Project (CRP) report on racial segregation in charter schools have chosen to respond to our reanalysis of the 2007-08 data. This dialogue is important as we attempt to move toward the most appropriate analytic strategies for this question. However, we take issue with three points made (or not made) in the CRP response.


Civil Rights Project’s Response to Re-analysis of Charter School Study

On April 27, 2010, Education Next posted a reanalysis and commentary, by Gary Ritter and several colleagues, of our February 2010 charter school report. Here we respond to the team’s claims, seeking to accurately explain what we did, why we did it, and the actual nature of our conclusions.


Edutopia: Inside George Lucas’ Quixotic Plan to Save America’s Schools

It was just about a year ago that I first started paying attention to Edutopia. They’ve been around for years, but they weren’t on my radar screen. Then suddenly, they wouldn’t stay off it. You couldn’t listen to the radio without hearing their ubiquitous underwriting credit on NPR, with its sublimely confident tagline “What Works in Public Education.”


Torturing the Charter Schools Until They Confess

Earlier this year the UCLA-based Civil Rights Project (CRP), jumped on the anti-charter bandwagon when it released “Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards.” This was, in my view, just the latest salvo in a continuing barrage of assaults against charter schools by critics of choice. Sadly, this report received lots of uncritical publicity in major media outlets, despite obviously flawed analyses.


The Real Story on Tennessee and the Race to the Top

Buy-in by teachers – specifically, their unions – has been widely cited as the main reason Tennessee won the Race to the Top. Not true.


Florida’s Reforms Working, Particularly for Minority Students

Last year, Dan Lips and I demonstrated, in the pages of Education Next, that demography is not K-12 destiny . We cited the remarkable progress of disadvantaged students in Florida based on 1998-2007 NAEP data. NAEP has released the 2009 data, and the news for Florida just keeps getting better.


Struggles at the School of the Future

Podcast: Dale Mezzacappa talks with Education Next about lessons school reformers can learn from the public school that Microsoft helped design and launch in partnership with the Philadelphia school district.


Evaluating the RTT Finalists

The Race to the Top finalists do not have an equal chance of actually winning a Round One grant in the $4 billion competition. Like a presidential candidate who interviews many more vice presidential candidates than actually are under serious consideration, I suspect the Education Department was intentionally over-inclusive.


Book Alert: Emerging Evidence on Vouchers and Faith-Based Providers in Education

In recent decades, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and private providers have emerged as major forces in education in the less-developed and developing worlds, often supplying the lion’s share of education services where scarce resources have crippled state-run schooling. A new book from the World Bank, edited by Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Harry Anthony Patrinos, and Quentin Wodon, puts this growing phenomenon under the microscope.


Quality Counts Should Stick to Education

The release today of Education Week’s annual report card for states, Quality Counts 2010, promises to receive extraordinary scrutiny. CREDO assessed Quality Counts 2009 for Education Next, specifically focusing on the Chance-for-Success Index. We found that the rankings for states closely mirrored their demography, which says nothing about the value-add of schools.


An Education Bureaucracy that Works

Most ministries of education are situated in old buildings and work with outdated equipment and with outdated people. The Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in London is different.


Backlash Against Teacher Firings in D.C. Tests Rhee’s Political Strength

It’s hard to tell whether Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee courts controversy or is merely dogged by it. Either way, Rhee once again finds herself in the thick of it, just as her school-improvement efforts are starting to take hold and Washington had begun to exhale over her stick-it-in-your-eye style.


Special Ed Vouchers Level the Playing Field for Disabled Kids

As Jay Greene and I argue in our brand new Ed Next article, “The Case for Special Education Vouchers,” parents of special ed students should be provided with vouchers that would allow their children to attend private school. The moral and equitable case for providing special ed vouchers is strong: some special ed students get a raw deal from the traditional public schools, which often are unable to provide the needed services or specialized teachers that a disabled student needs.


Defending PISA

In an article in the Fall 2009 issue of Education Next, “The International PISA Test,” Mark Schneider argues that American states ought to think twice before participating in the PISA exam and that the policy advice offered in connection with PISA is not based on solid research. If Mark Schneider has doubts about the usefulness of PISA, he should wonder whether the United States has, under his leadership, used PISA effectively.


Brighter Choice Charter Schools

Photos: Additional images of the Brighter Choice Charter Schools in Albany, NY.


May 2009 Rally for DC Voucher Program

Photos: Images from the May 2009 rally for the DC Voucher Program held in Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC.


Courts and School Spending

Podcast: Michael Rebell talks with Education Next about the role courts can play in ensuring educational adequacy

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