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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.

Is Desegregation Dead?

Parsing the relationship between achievement and demographics

Fall 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 4

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 […]

Surviving a Midlife Crisis

Advanced placement turns fifty

Winter 2006 / Vol. 6, No. 1

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

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.

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