Blog Posts/Multimedia

A Smarter Charter: A Response to Nelson Smith

We welcome the chance to respond to Nelson Smith’s review of our book, particularly on issues of teacher voice, diversity and achievement.

10/30/2014

A Smarter Charter: A Response to Kahlenberg and Potter

I salute the authors for their extensive reporting on how charters are solving some of the toughest problems on their plate. But in order to justify their proposed remedies, they portray chartering as a nearly-terminal case, rather than as a robust movement.

10/30/2014

Where’s the Person in Personalized Learning?

What personalized learning looks like now, what it could be, and how technology can help.

10/30/2014

The Shock of the New

The greatest friction between contemporary education reform and conservatism is the former’s obsession with “new” and the latter’s deep skepticism of it.

10/29/2014

Ten Facts About What the Candidates Are Saying on Education

What candidates running for governor and the U.S. Senate have to say on K-12, higher ed, and pre-K.

10/28/2014

Do States Really Need an Education Technology Plan?

Simply having a technology plan may not be a meaningful proxy for a clear blended learning strategy or support system.

10/28/2014

Behind the Headline: This School Paid Teachers $125,000 a Year — and Test Scores Went Up

In 2009, a new charter school in New York City announced that it would pay all its teachers $125,000 a year with the possibility of a bonus on top of that. A new study by Mathematica finds that students at the school (called The Equity Project) have learned in four years as much math as they would have learned in 5.6 years elsewhere.

10/28/2014

Why Do Americans Rate Their Local Public Schools So Favorably?

Americans assign far higher grades to the public schools in their local community than to the public schools of the nation as a whole.

10/27/2014

Arne Duncan’s Office of Civil Rights: Six Years of Meddling

There’s been no problem too big or too small for Arne Duncan’s Department of Education to tackle. His Office of Civil Rights has been a prime example of executive overreach and federal interference run amok.

10/27/2014

Behind the Headline: An American School Immerses Itself in All Things Chinese

In the New York Times, Jane Peterson writes about a Chinese-immersion charter school in Minneapolis.

10/27/2014

Behind the Headline: The War on Teacher Tenure

The cover story of Time magazine this week looks at the “latest batch of tech tycoons turned education reformers” who are behind the Vergara v. California lawsuit.

10/24/2014

Behind the Headline: Houston Superintendent Wins Urban Educator of the Year Award

On Top of the News Houston Superintendent Wins Urban Educator of the Year Award 10/23/14 | District Dossier (Ed Week) Behind the Headline Still Reforming After All These Years Fall 2014 | Education Next Terry Grier, the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, has been given the 2014 Urban Educator of the Year award […]

10/23/2014

Colorado’s Unreal Teacher Retirement Plan

Teachers are forced to forego their own retirement savings in order to pay down a debt accrued over many years. It harms their future retirement security and, by forcing districts into painful budget decisions, it harms the quality of education delivered to Colorado’s students.

10/23/2014

Narrowing Education

Not every student will benefit from music, theater, or sports, and very few of them will go on to careers in music, acting, or sports, but those of us who support a broad education recognize that all of these activities have important benefits for many students and should be part of schools.

10/23/2014

Behind the Headline: Another MDRC Study Confirms Wisdom of New Small High Schools

New research from New York City continues to find that small high schools there have boosted graduation rates for disadvantaged students of color.

10/23/2014

What We’re Watching: What Now for the Common Core?

AEI hosted a discussion on October 22 on where things stand with the Common Core and how its future looks. Panelists were Rick Hess, Catherine Gewertz, and Chris Minnich.

10/22/2014

Is Uncle Sam Ed Reform’s Biggest Liability?

Many of today’s most prominent reforms are quite popular, but it looks like folks are perturbed by a meddlesome Uncle Sam

10/22/2014

Behind the Headline: Taking Sports Out Of School

The New York Times Room for Debate page hosts a variety of pieces today on whether high schools should drop their sports teams.

10/22/2014

What We’re Listening To: This American Life on School Discipline

This week’s episode of This American Life tells stories of how schools handle misbehaving kids.

10/21/2014

What We’re Watching: Could Binge-Watching Revolutionize Education?

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings advocates letting students control the pace of their own learning, which may include binge-learning calculus.

10/21/2014

Behind the Headline: Teachers Unions Are Putting Themselves On November’s Ballot

Teachers unions are spending big in this year’s midterm elections.

10/20/2014

Ten Things To Know About The CCSSO-CGCS Testing Plan

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.

10/20/2014

Let’s Tell the Truth: High-Stakes Tests Damage Reading Instruction

It’s long past time to recognize that reading tests don’t measure what we think they do.

10/17/2014

Teachers Would Prefer Cash

A common perception about how we pay public sector workers is fundamentally flawed.

10/17/2014

The Twenty-Five Richest Elementary Schools in the Richest Region of the Country

At one elementary school, the average income is almost $250,000 per year. Is this school really more “public” than an inner-city Catholic school serving poor minority children? The public spends $12,000 per child on the former and $0 per child on the latter. Tell me again why that’s fair?

10/17/2014

What the 2014 Senate Elections Might Mean for Education

If the Republicans take the Senate, Senator Lamar Alexander would take the helm of the Senate HELP Committee, which is a big deal.

10/16/2014

A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

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.

10/16/2014

What’s Right About Common Core

The overheated rhetoric around Common Core elides the fact that it incorporates several fundamentally sound and long-overdue ideas that have gone missing from our schools for decades.

10/14/2014

The New Education Trust Report: The Triumph of Hope Over Experience

When designing accountability systems, we need to find the sweet spot between defeatism and utopianism. In my view, that’s exactly what the states are trying to do. They deserve our praise, not our derision.

10/14/2014

What We’re Watching: State of the Union 2014 – Education

As part of Stanford University’s State of the Union 2014 course, Randi Weingarten, Linda Darling-Hammond and Chester Finn discuss the current state of education reform.

10/13/2014

Ed Reform’s Blind Spot: Catholic Schools and Social Capital

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.

10/13/2014

What We’re Watching: Is There Too Much Testing in the Public Schools?

PBS NewsHour looks into how much testing there will be in this first year of Common Core testing.

10/10/2014

Howls of Protest? Check!

Whatever the requirements are for earning different credentials, however, the true value of a high school diploma is established by the colleges that admit and the employers who hire our high school graduates.

10/10/2014

Behind the Headline: Montgomery School Officials Ask for Delay in Using New State Tests for Graduation

In Maryland, where students will take new tests based on the Common Core standards for the first time this year, one school board is asking the state to delay a requirement that students pass the new tests to graduate from high school.

10/10/2014

School Reform, Philadelphia Style

On Monday, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission shocked the city by announcing that it would unilaterally cut health care benefits to city teachers rather than continue to negotiate with the teacher’s union.

10/08/2014

Behind the Headline: How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground

In the New York Times Magazine, Nicholas Confessore looks at the political fight over efforts to bring healthier food to school cafeterias, and explains how the School Nutrition Association became “Washington’s loudest and most public critic of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

10/08/2014

Time for a Reboot

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

10/08/2014

Behind the Headline: How Much Do We Spend on Education?

“In poll after poll, Americans vastly underestimate per-pupil education funding and overall school spending,” writes Nathan Benefield on Forbes.com.

10/08/2014

The Stock Market Has Recovered. Why Haven’t Pensions?

Pension plans have not made much of a dent in their long-term unfunded debt. How could this be?

10/08/2014
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