Jay P. Greene

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    Author Bio:
    Jay P. Greene is endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Greene conducts research and writes about education policy, including topics such as school choice, high school graduation rates, accountability, and special education. His research was cited four times in the Supreme Court's opinions in the landmark Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case on school vouchers. His articles have appeared in policy journals, such as The Public Interest, City Journal, and Education Next, in academic journals, such as Education Finance and Policy, Economics of Education Review, and the British Journal of Political Science, as well as in major newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Jay Greene is the author of Education Myths (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).  Greene has been a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston. He received his B.A. in history from Tufts University in 1988 and his Ph.D. from the Government Department at Harvard University in 1995. He lives with his wife and three children in Fayetteville, AR.  He blogs at .


History Lessons from a Policy Insider

A review of Presidents, Congress and The Public Schools, by Jack Jennings

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Wrong Diagnosis on Homework Help from Parents

A review of “The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with Children’s Education” by Keith Robinson and Angel L. Harris

SPRING 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 2

Learning from Live Theater

Students realize gains in knowledge, tolerance, and more

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

Methodological Appendix for the Live Theater Experimental Study

Learning from Live Theater Education Next, Winter 2015 Empirical Strategy Because the randomized controlled trial approach has the important feature of generating comparable treatment and control groups, we can use a straightforward set of analytic techniques, designed for use in social experiments, to estimate the impact of a school field trip to see live theater […]

Historian Ravitch Trades Fact for Fiction

Latest book indifferent to the standards of social science

SPRING 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 2

The Educational Value of Field Trips

Taking students to an art museum improves critical thinking skills, and more

WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 1

Methodological Appendix for the Crystal Bridges Experimental Study

“The Educational Value of Field Trips” Education Next, Winter 2014 Empirical Strategy Because the randomized controlled trial approach has the important feature of generating comparable treatment and control groups, we can use a straightforward set of analytic techniques, designed for use in social experiments, to estimate the impact of a school tour to an art […]

Supplemental Study: Long-Term Benefits of Field Trips to the Walton Arts Center

Supplemental Study and Methodological Appendix

Best Practices Are the Worst

Picking the anecdotes you want to believe: A book review of Marc Tucker’s “Surpassing Shanghai”

SUMMER 2012 / VOL. 12, NO. 3

Unions and the Public Interest

Is collective bargaining for teachers good for students?

WINTER 2012 / VOL. 12, NO. 1

When the Best is Mediocre

Developed countries far outperform our most affluent suburbs

View the Global Report Card
View the Methodological Appendix

Winter 2012 / Vol. 12, No. 1

Blocked, Diluted, and Co-opted

Interest groups wage war against merit pay

Spring 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 2

The Education Reform Book Is Dead

Long live education reform

Spring 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 2

How Schools Spend Their Money

Review of Marguerite Roza’s Educational Economics

Winter 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 1

Look in the Mirror

Review of William A. Fischel’s Making the Grade

Summer 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 3

The Case for Special Education Vouchers

Parents should decide when their disabled child needs a private placement

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

Getting Ahead by Staying Behind

An evaluation of Florida’s program to end social promotion

Spring 2006 / Vol. 6, No. 2

The Odd Couple

Murray and Rothstein find some unexpected common ground

Fall 2007 / Vol. 7, No. 4

Debunking a Special Education Myth

Don’t blame private options for rising costs

Spring 2007 / Vol. 7, No. 2

The Business Model

Value-added analysis is a crucial tool in the accountability toolbox–despite its flaws

Summer 2002 / Vol. 2, No. 2

Vouchers in Charlotte

Vouchers and the Test-Score Gap

Summer 2001 / Vol. 1, No. 2

The Looming Shadow

Florida gets its “F” schools to shape up

Winter 2001 / Vol. 1, No. 4

Competition Passes the Test

Vouchers improve public schools in Florida

Summer 2004 / Vol. 4, No. 3

A “Comprehensive” Problem

The disconnect between fantasy and reality

Winter 2006 / Vol. 6, No. 1

Blog Posts/Multimedia

Anti-Semitism and Religious Schools

A new study finds that the more people attended religious private schools as children, the less anti-Semitic they are.


Straw Men and Choice Regulation

What is the right amount of regulation for school choice?


Are Achievement Tests a Reasonable Proxy for School Quality?

The evidence is increasingly clear that test scores are only weakly correlated with other desirable outcomes from schools.


Does Regulation Improve the Political Prospects for Choice?

High-regulation of school choice comes with a cost to quality.


Does Regulation Protect Kids and Improve Outcomes from Choice?

In their desire to protect disadvantaged students, the backers of a heavy-regulation approach have ironically done serious harm to these students by driving away most of the supply


Do State Funds Require Accountability to the State for Performance?

Why do most government programs not require accountability for performance? Because we trust that the interests of participants are aligned with the public interest in providing them with the benefit.


The High-Regulation Approach to School Choice

My fear is that just when school choice is achieving escape velocity as a self-sustaining and expanding policy, the love for high-regulation may do serious harm to these programs and the children they intend to help.


The Character Assessment Initiative (Charassein)

A new initiative aims to define, develop, and validate measures of what have often been called non-cognitive skills, but we think are more accurately described as character traits.


Jay P. Greene’s Testimony to the Arkansas Common Core Council

Common Core is unlikely to produce meaningful changes in practice without an aligned test that punishes schools and educators, but those types of harsh consequences are unlikely to survive the political opposition of educators and parents.


The Death of the Think Tank, R.I.P.

Think tanks have chosen to focus almost exclusively on advocacy efforts, not realizing that effective advocacy requires generating new, high-quality information.


Portfolio Districts: One Ring to Rule Them All

I am wary of portfolio districts, mayoral takeovers, and other proposals for a super-regulator to govern all choice and traditional schools.


How is a Portfolio District Different from a School District?

If you want to create real change, you have to change the system of incentives — not just create new institutions that will be governed by the same perverse incentives.


Let’s ‘Put on a Show’

Because kids aren’t left to their own devices as much these days, it is remarkably rare to find young people organizing theater performances by themselves.


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.


Choice and a Liberal Education

I’m interested in the arts and humanities because I’m interested in education including some understanding of the human condition. But I’m also interested in choice because that’s how I believe the humanities are most likely to be pursued and effectively promoted.


Is Ed Reform Tripping with a Testing High?

Boston’s successful charter schools appear to be able to get students to know more stuff but do not improve their ability to think quickly, keep things in memory, or solve new problems.


Keeping Score in the Greene-Polikoff Wager

With the withdrawal of Iowa this week from the Smarter Balanced testing group, there are only 26 states that plan to use one of the two national tests to assess their students during the 2014-15 school year.



When policy discourse is taken over by slogan-speak, it undermines the credibility of future attempts at serious policy discussion.


It’s a Rookie Mistake

The relative weakness of novice teachers is not proof of poor teacher preparation.


Checking Privilege is Bad Politics

People with more money tend to be better organized and effective at protecting their interests than poor people, so designing a program to stick it to wealthy people is generally a bad idea.


Shakespeare’s Birthday and the Death of Humanities

As long as folks have little appreciation for the arts and humanities are dominating ed reform discussions, we are unlikely to make much progress in reviving those topics in schools.


The Paradoxical Logic of Ed Reform Politics (Part 2)

The paradoxical logic of military and political strategy is a result of the fact that in the strategic world one’s opponent is able to react to your efforts with counter-moves.


The Paradoxical Logic of Ed Reform Politics

The brute force and directness required for adopting national standards makes its effective implementation in a diverse, decentralized, and democratic country impossible.


Common Core and the Underpants Gnomes

It’s amazing how some very smart people can commit billions of dollars and untold human effort to something like Common Core without having thought the thing through.


Am I Being Consistent on Testing Requirements?

I would be happy opposing state testing requirements for all schools (choice and traditional public) if those schools had some reasonable mechanism for accountability.


Testing Requirements Hurt Choice

State testing makes choice schools look worse than they really are, and there’s no evidence that state testing requirements improve outcomes or ensure quality.


The Anti-Twitter

There is no doubt that forcing communication in short, 140 character bursts coarsens debate and polarizes differences by removing subtlety and nuance. But there is an antidote to this corrosive effect of Twitter — meeting people in person


Let the Best Practices Rorschach Test Begin

The new PISA results are out and education charlatans of every stripe are finding proof of their own preferred policy solution.


Stop Requiring Choice Programs to Take State Test

Testing requirements are a concession that should only be granted if necessary to expand choice. And a requirement that choice schools take any one of a long list of standardized tests is much more desirable than requiring the state test.


Fordham and CC-Backers Need to Get Their Story Straight

Is the Common Core approach really tight on the ends of education but loose on the means for accomplishing those ends?


More Research Showing Small Schools Work, Gates Remains Silent

Let’s hope that the Gates Foundation and its followers reconsider their abandonment of the small schools of choice reform strategy.


Russ Whitehurst Takes on the Finland Du Jour

One cannot know what causes success only by looking at a successful place (or set of successful places).


Choice and Special Education

Schools of choice appear to be open to students with disabilities but aren’t as bureaucratically inclined to label students as disabled as are traditional public schools.


Flim-Flam Says Sports Are Bad for Student Achievement, Evidence Suggests Otherwise

There’s no reason to believe that the absence of high school sports explains the difference between student achievement in the US and countries like Finland and South Korea.


The Enduring Attraction of the Flim-Flam Man

Much progress has been made in the use of systematic evidence in education policy-making, but the field just can’t seem to shake the enduring attraction of the flim-flam man who relies on faulty evidence as well as selective and distorted interpretations of evidence.


Beyond the Lamp Post

Students assigned by lottery to receive field trips learn academic content, increase critical thinking, become more tolerant and empathetic, and are more likely to become cultural consumers who seek these enriching experiences on their own in the future.


Fix Schools by Not Fixing Schools

We can fix schools — that is, traditional public schools — by going around them.


McGee and Winters Find and Then Eat the Pension Free Lunch

The current system of back-loading teacher compensation to provide large pension benefits only to teachers who remain in their profession in the same state transfers wealth from more mobile or short-term teachers.


Theater Field Trip Experiment

Will seeing live performances affect student understanding of great works of dramatic literature? Will it influence their values (particularly tolerance and empathy) and their taste for future cultural consumption?

Sponsored Results

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University - Ideas Defining a Free Society

Harvard Kennedy School Program on Educational Policy and Governance

Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform