President Obama’s path to performance pay
If the feds get tough, Race to the Top might work
Why charter schools should replace failing urban schools
Stop trying to fix failing schools. Close them and start fresh.
I suspect one of the toughest parts of this job will be projecting a sense of urgency about necessary reforms while heralding the very good things taking place
I’ve spent a good bit of time looking into a wide range of issues associated with the tough conditions faced by millions of city kids and what we might do to offer these boys and girls better opportunities.
There are ways to far better serve millions of low-income kids than the turnaround- and district-focused strategies of the last several generations.
When the history of this era’s urban-education reform movement is written, four big policy innovations are sure to get attention: the nation’s first voucher program, first charter law, first mayor-controlled charter authorizer, and first “extraordinary authority” unit (the RSD).
I’m a strong supporter of assessments and accountability, and I wouldn’t opt out, but I think it’s unfair to discount the views of those who disagree.
The bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill crafted by Senators Alexander and Murray represents a very smart compromise on the key issue of accountability
If you’re at all interested in school choice, you really should read a trio of recent reports.
Washington, D.C. could offer America’s cities an invaluable new example of an all-charter approach.
Idaho finds itself in a chicken-egg situation. Improve educational attainment without improved employment opportunities inside Idaho and the state might risk investing in a strategy that merely exports talented young Idahoans.
If cities simply add more choice schools in the absence of changes to the enrollment process, parents can struggle to find information on schools, be forced to fill out widely varying school applications, and then receive a staggered barrage of acceptance and rejection notices.
Rural superintendent don’t consider teacher recruitment and retention among their biggest challenges…and mixing rural schooling and technology is more complicated than you might think.
Some reforms may exacerbate inequality because they don’t help every last needy student. But pursuing equity above all else could jeopardize the gains of some very needy kids.
As the traditional urban school district is slowly replaced by a system marked by an array of nongovernmental school providers, new policies (undergirded by a new understanding of the government’s role in public schooling) are needed.
A compromise around the idea of accountability for results would require the right to agree to include explicit performance targets and the left to agree to give states greater flexibility in tackling challenges.
NCLB assessments appear safer than I would’ve guessed sixty days ago.
The work of teaching is so extraordinarily complex and teachers are so tightly woven into the fabric of school communities that any attempt by faraway federal officials to tinker with evaluation systems is a fool’s errand
Given today’s political conditions, President Obama’s education request is actually quite savvy. It retreats where necessary, digs in where possible, and has an eye on history.
Common Core proponents need an updated advocacy playbook. The political terrain of 2010 and 2015 are very, very different.
It’s pretty clear that the coming reauthorization debate is going to focus on accountability. But in addition to early childhood and more funding, Duncan also talked about educator evaluation, teacher preparation and support, and more.
State education chiefs may have helped turn the tide against what appeared to be a mounting anti-assessment, anti-accountability wave.
Three signs of homeostasis—a reversion to the old tried-and-true way of doing things.
The New Jersey Department of Education has produced a report on the status of its new teacher evaluation efforts.
In Washington, D.C., more kids are in high-performing charters, the number of high-performing charters is growing, and the number of struggling charters is shrinking. But why?
Test scores in D.C. offer reason to believe that chartering—if done smartly—can replace the district system for delivering public education in America’s cities.
My admittedly late thoughts on last night’s results.
The greatest friction between contemporary education reform and conservatism is the former’s obsession with “new” and the latter’s deep skepticism of it.
Many of today’s most prominent reforms are quite popular, but it looks like folks are perturbed by a meddlesome Uncle Sam
The organization of state superintendents and the organization of big urban school districts will work together to audit the number and types of tests administered and develop new systems that are leaner and more integrated.
Before we retreat to the pre-NCLB era of grade-span testing or revert to some other testing-light position, let’s at least recall some of the benefits of annual testing of all kids.
By ignoring the closure of urban Catholic schools, we have not only allowed high-quality seats to disappear, we’ve also allowed the further deterioration of the threadbare social fabric of fraying communities.
Two important events provide the outlines for a new approach to state-level accountability.
Over the last month or so, there’ve been a number of notable stories highlighting the passing of the torch from urban districts to urban chartering.
When Congress convenes in lame-duck status between November and January, taking up the future of NCES would be timely.
The moderating of the debate over the Common Core seems to be mirroring the field’s increased focus on implementation.
Mike McShane’s new book Education and Opportunity offers a sophisticated view of public school markets, how to understand them, use their strength, and appreciate their limitations.
The most convincing argument against conservatism is that by defending longstanding institutions it ends up protecting longstanding injustices.
There is a yawning gap between the stirring language in state constitutions promising great primary and secondary schools and the nitty-gritty work of actually living up to that responsibility.
The new conservative approach attempts to advance positive change, not through massive new federal programs or fanciful technical solutions but via traditional, experience-informed means.
Education reform has never thoughtfully discussed, much less enumerated, what ought to be conserved.
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