Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Forum: Rethinking the High School Diploma
Education Next talks with Chester E. Finn, Jr., Richard D. Kahlenberg and Sandy Kress
It’s a matter of fairness, equal opportunity , and long-term societal well-being.
Education Next talks with Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Michael B. Horn
Racially diverse, subject to collective bargaining, fulfilling a need
Part 1 of a forum on whether digital learning can transform education
The following essay is part of a forum, written in honor of Education Next’s 10th anniversary, in which the editors assessed the school reform movement’s victories and challenges to see just how successful reform efforts have been. For the other side of the debate, please see Pyrrhic Victories? by Frederick M. Hess, Michael J. Petrilli, […]
Helping mom-and-pops in Ohio
Fifteen years hence, we will know exactly how well our schools, teachers, and students are doing
Two longtime school reformers debate the merits of a national curriculum
Universal preschool will be a boon for middle-class parents. How it will help poor kids catch up is not so obvious.
I don’t think so!
The education of Chester Finn
NCLB is driven by education politics
Squeezing into local markets and cutting deals
The case for national standards and tests
Quality Counts 2001, A Better Balance: Standards, Tests, and the Tools to Succeed by the editors of Education Week
School Figures: The Data Behind the Debate
by Hanna Skandera and Richard Sousa
Hoover Institution, 2003, $15; 342 pp.
The diversity of values within American society renders public schools ill-equipped to produce the engaged citizens our democracy requires
Early 20th century Progressive reformers established elected school boards as a means of shielding public school systems from the politics and patronage of corrupt city governments. Citizens, rather than political dons or their favored appointees, would govern the community’s schools with the community’s interests at heart. Today, however, elected school boards, especially in America’s troubled […]
The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market, by Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane; Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap, by Richard Rothstein; Leaving No Child Behind? Options for Kids in Failing Schools, by Frederick M. Hess and Chester E. Finn Jr., eds.; Standards Deviation: How Schools Misunderstand Education Policy, by James P. Spillane
That the uniform salary “schedule” for teachers is obsolete and dysfunctional is a truth widely accepted but rarely challenged.
The Era of Big Government Is Complicated
Can the center find a solution that will hold?
It’s probably time for education reformers and policymakers to admit that just pushing harder on test-driven accountability as the primary tool for changing our creaky old public school system is apt to yield more backlash than accomplishment
The trickle downward of university curricular mischief into our schools and other institutions continues unabated, and it’s not a problem that the College Board alone can solve.
Why do American public schools spend more of their operating budgets on non-teachers than almost every other country in the world, including nations that are as prosperous and humane as ours?
Everything you may be trying to accomplish, change, or protect in American education hinges more than you might realize on the integrity of our education data system and that data system is more vulnerable than you might think.
On August 1, Chester E. “Checker” Finn, Jr., will step down from his role as founding president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, passing the baton to Michael J. Petrilli. Here is his “farewell address” as president.
What is the benefit conferred by preschool if there’s no school after the pre?
The path on which Gove and his predecessors placed English education resembles the path taken by U.S. education reformers.
Perhaps the historic coupling of the NEA and the Democratic Party is loosening a bit.
The job of a statistical agency is to provide people with data by which they can judge these things for themselves. On the preschool front, the National Center for Education Statistics has let the country down.
Principal hiring practices continue to fall short of what is needed, effectively causing needy schools to lose out on leaders with the potential to be great.
Will the new federal regulatory scheme lead to real change on the ground?
Balanced literacy is neither “balanced” nor “literacy,” at least not in the sense that poor kids taught to read via this approach will end up literate.
State education leaders will have to decide if their states are ready to move forward with consequences based on Common Core assessments.
Once educators and local (and state) officials see how poorly their kids do on tougher assessments and what the standards really require, they will start looking for better curricular materials and training.
In the preschool realm, the U.S. Department of Education has it outsourced the number-gathering to a prominent interest group in the field and it has allowed that interest group to add its own spin.
When it comes to the Common Core State Standards, Peggy Noonan is only about 60 percent right.
Teachers are expected to be all things to (almost) all youngsters, but most acknowledge that, while technology and small classes surely help, they do not feel like they’re differentiating all that well.
Is it legal to opt your child out of state tests? Should it be legal?
The K–12 education world brims with debates and dichotomies that get us into all manner of needless quarrels and cul-de-sacs, thus messing up every reform initiative and retarding progress.
The tough letter that senior House Republicans sent last week to Arne Duncan and Eric Holder should have been even tougher. For the “guidance” that their agencies issued to U.S. schools in the guise of improving school discipline can only make it harder for educators to create safe, serious, and effective learning environments.
“Controlled choice”restricts families’ education options and imposes a top-down, government-run, social-engineering scheme based on somebody’s view of the value of racial and socioeconomic integration.
For thirty years, Don Hirsch has tried to persuade policymakers to undertake perhaps the one reform we’ve never tried: the widespread adoption of a coherent, sequential, content-rich curriculum. What might change the outcome over the next thirty years?
Forgive an aging education-reformer’s reminiscences, but LBJ’s declaration of war on poverty shaped the next 50 years of my life.
I’ve visited eight countries to see how they educate their high-ability kids in the hope that we might pick up tips that would prove useful in improving the woeful state of “gifted education” in the U.S
Special education is in need of a top-to-bottom makeover that nobody seems willing or able to undertake. But some worthy repairs can be made around the periphery of current policy
Besides its influential teacher union, Taiwan has a powerful parent union that appears to cause at least as much harm as it does good.
De Blasio would’ve done more to persuade education-reformers that he’s serious if he’d dispensed with 24-point agendas and instead said who he’d hire as schools chancellor.
The Abe government has proposed to impose tuition charges for public high school attendance by children of wealthy families and to use the proceeds from that tuition charge to subsidize the attendance of low income children in private schools.
Common Core standards expect English language arts teachers to do things very differently than they have in the past. Will that really happen?
As waves of reforms and would-be reforms have washed over American public education these past three decades, high schools have mostly stayed dry.
Although the latest glum international-education data weren’t even released until this week, last week brought a pair of provocative and contrasting speeches about the state of American education in 2013, both of which repay close attention.
Tucked away in Amanda Ripley’s pages are a number of examples of how Finland, South Korea and Poland organize and govern their education systems, and these are illuminating as well as actionable in the policy realm.
Don’t call me and my friends Chicken Littles. The sky was beginning to fall three decades ago.
Most parents want a strong core curriculum in reading and math and an emphasis on STEM subjects, but once these non-negotiables are satisfied, different parents want different things; some seek high test scores, others favor vocational training, some want diversity, and others value art and music.
Kids can show plenty of “growth” in school but still not be ready for college because they aren’t actually proficient. This is why absolute levels matter and why schools should be judged in part by how many of the students emerging from them are truly college and career ready.
Gridlock and stasis don’t seem to be leaving the K–12 space in Washington anytime soon.
The Common Core sky is not falling. Rather, the Common Core is right sizing.
For the Common Core standards really to take root and blossom, every state that claims to follow them faces a mammoth implementation challenge.
Add education to a long list of federal policy issues that vex and perplex today’s fractured Republican Party.
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