Chester E. Finn, Jr.
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That the uniform salary “schedule” for teachers is obsolete and dysfunctional is a truth widely accepted but rarely challenged.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?
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.
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.
The U.S. and its “mother country” continue to track—and copy and study and refine—each other’s programs and policies.
Without immediate action, the pension funding problem will grow worse and school districts will eventually get crushed—meaning tomorrow’s children will pay the price for yesterday’s adult irresponsibility. State lawmakers need to step up to the plate.
For nearly 30 years, education-minded conservatives have embraced a two-part school reform strategy, focused on rigorous standards and parental choice. Recent events have frayed that coalition, but it’s not too late to stitch it back together.
Why does it have to be so difficult for outstanding students to get into top-flight high schools? Why not create more such schools?
A few elite institutions at both the grade-school and college levels are doing better than ever. But their health conceals the collapse of private-sector options in the U.S.
Why so bleak about parent triggers?
When a group of state leaders, many of them Republicans, can come together to set expectations for the curricular core that surpass what most of them set on their own, conservatives ought to applaud, not lash out
If ACT and College Board scarf up much state business, there won’t be a lot left for the consortia.
By scrapping ten of the state’s fifteen “end of course” exams, Texas essentially forfeits uniform academic expectations and returns to the days when individual districts, schools, and teachers decided which students get diploma credit for which classes.
Foreign policy isn’t all that Margaret Thatcher and her team had in common with Ronald Reagan and his. The 1980s also saw much crossing of the Atlantic—in both directions—by their education advisers, too.
A useful new report from Public Agenda and the Kettering Foundation underscores the painful divide between parents and education reformers on the crucial topic of what to do about bad schools.
Perhaps the biggest failing of the education system is its fragmented approach to making decisions. There are too many cooks in the education system and nobody is really in charge.
But first clean up Head Start
Republicans and education reform
Secretary Duncan and his team were mobbed the other day by agitated parents and kids protesting the closing of public schools around the land.
As the U.S. education world eagerly awaits more information about the new assessments that two consortia are developing to accompany the Common Core standards, big questions remain about cut scores.
Are our national education-reform priorities cheating America’s intellectually ablest girls and boys? Yes—and the consequence is a human capital catastrophe for the United States.
Joshua Starr has emerged as a fully fledged anti-reformer, pushing back against the sorts of changes that the Joel Kleins, Arne Duncans, and Jeb Bushes are striving to make.
The Council of Chief State School Officers has come forth with a sober, comprehensive, and exceptionally well-thought-out set of recommendations for fundamentally revamping the preparation and licensure of both teachers and principals.
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