The fundamental organization of our school system—a patchwork of 14,000 school districts with geographic monopolies over the residents who live within them—contributes both to spending and educational inequities.
How does a local school board hire a superintendent? Or fire a superintendent? In Montomery County, Md., a suburban school district outside of Washington, D.C. with over 150,000 students and an annual budget of $2.4 billion, much of the work of the school board seems to take place behind closed doors.
Test Scores Don’t Tell Us Everything, But They Certainly Tell Us Something About School Quality And Student Success
For elementary and middle schools, test data should play a more central role in evaluating school quality than it should for high schools.
On Tuesday, May 11, 2016, at 10 am, Fordham will host an event to examine how the Every Student Succeeds Act gives states an opportunity to boost reading comprehension.
if we’re unable to develop strong measures of school quality that can be used remotely, we should instead rely on the judgments of those closer to the situation, including parents.
Not that it’s easy to identify measures beyond reading and math scores that are valid and reliable indicators of school success.
Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) allow families to claim most or all of the funds that the state would have spent on their child’s education and spend those funds on private school tuition or home schooling.On this week’s episode of the Ed Next podcast, Matthew Ladner and Nelson Smith join Ed Next’s Marty West to discuss the pros and cons of ESAs.
Vast economic gains are likely to accrue to any state that can improve the quality of its schools.
On Thursday, May 5 at 5:30, the Harvard Graduate School of Education will host an event about a new online personalized learning platform that has been developed by teachers from Summit Public Schools with help from Facebook engineers.
If regulators were to rely primarily on test scores when deciding which programs or schools to shutter and which to expand, they would make some horrible mistakes.
To show our appreciation for all the great teachers out there, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite articles that we think teachers might enjoy.
A widely shared post on The Upshot uses a set of colorful graphics to shed light on achievement gaps both within and across school districts.
Behind the Headline: This Controversial Law Could Help Schools in Nevada Struggling With Growth Booms
A law passed in June 2015 in Nevada gave all parents in the state access to a new school choice mechanism — the education savings account (ESA).
It is easy to find statements by education experts and journalists that “merit pay doesn’t work,” but as as Matt Barnum writes, the research on merit pay is mixed.
Behind the Headline: National Teacher of the Year: I Was a Teenage Mom, and Teachers Changed My Life
Jahana Hayes, a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn., has been named this year’s National Teacher of the Year
The results from last year’s NAEP exam for 12th graders have just been released and NPR’s Anya Kamenetz takes a close look at the most important numbers: math and reading scores both declined a tiny amount, lower-achieving students are doing slightly worse and higher-achieving students slighly better than they were two years ago, and fewer than 40 percent of high school seniors score at college- or career-ready levels
Eric Hanushek talks with Paul E. Peterson about the findings of his new study, which calculates the impact we would see on the economy if states improve their schools and students improve their skills.
Can personalized learning schools sustain expensive staffing models and technology costs after private funding runs out?
Is it how much you spend on schools or how you spend it? NPR’s ed team is in the midst of a series of reports on money and schools. The latest installment takes a close look at the debate over whether money matters.
Behind the Headline: White House launches $100M competition to expand tuition-free community college
Vice President Biden will announce today that the White House will award $100 million in grants to expand workforce training programs at community colleges.
On April 26, Brookings hosted an event looking at charter schools in the U.S., what they are doing well, what they need to do better, and what their future holds.
Children’s ability to understand what they read is intimately intertwined with their background knowledge and vocabulary. If a child is not broadly educated, he won’t be fully literate.
Duncan decried the “dysfunction” in Washington. But surely impugning the “motivations” of our political opponents doesn’t help to add function.
On Monday, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan returned to Washington DC to speak at a Georgetown University conference.
A new kind of principal would work with a “team of leaders” made up of great teachers within their school and could also lead multiple schools.
Courts are useful guardians of access to schooling but poorly suited to monitor the quality of policy or practice.
U.S. News and World Report has released its 2016 rankings of the country’s best high schools, identifying the public high schools that do the best job of preparing students for college and careers.
In Massachusetts, a proposal to increase the number of charter schools that was made by Governor Charlie Baker is facing opposition in the state senate. Jim Stergios, the Executive Director of the Pioneer Institute, talks with with Paul E. Peterson about the debate over charter schools that is now taking place in the Massachusetts state legislature.
Policy change alone is not going to get us to the promised land of more effective, productive, and equitable schools.
The 74 talks briefly with Shavar Jeffries of Democrats for Education Reform about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and school reform.
It’s difficult to pinpoint why we seem so averse to making classroom management the centerpiece of new teacher training.
A study released earlier this month by Mathematica finds that students attending charter high schools in Florida scored lower on achievement tests than students in traditional public schools, but years later, the charter students were more likely to have attended at least two years of college and also had higher earnings.
Last week, an appeals court in California reversed a lower court ruling in Vergara v. California that had struck down several state laws involving teacher tenure. The plaintiffs in the case, minority students in California, had argued that California’s teacher tenure system violates the equal protection clause because it protects teachers who are ineffective, and poor and minority students are more likely to be assigned these ineffective teachers.
An interview with Megan Toyama, a blended-learning teacher of AP US history and 10th-grade modern world history at Summit Tahoma
In a speech he gave on Thursday in Las Vegas, Education Secretary John King urged states to use the flexibility they’ve been granted by the Every Student Succeeds Act to expand their focus beyond the subjects of reading and math.
On Wednesday, April 20 at noon, Eric Hanushek will explain the findings of a new study, “It Pays To Improve School Quality,” in a webinar presented by Education Next.
The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday voted to reauthorize the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to low-income D.C. students. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan praised the program at a press conference on Thursday.
A study finds that students who are more non-responsive to survey questions (skipping items or saying “don’t know”) have significantly lower educational attainment and fare less well in the labor market,
A new study finds that Arkansas students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and have higher wages.
What We’re Watching: Career and Technical Education Today: A Dead-End Track, or a Path to the Middle Class?
On Thursday, April 14 at 4 pm, Fordham hosts an event to discuss the findings of its new study on the impact of a well-designed Career and Technical Education program on student outcomes.
David Osborne talks with Marty West about the education reform strategies being embraced by the elected school board in Denver which have made the school district a leading example of urban reform.
If these rules are put into place, districts will face several incentives at odds with helping disadvantaged students.
Over the past few days, nearly 20,000 education researchers descended on the nation’s capital for the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) 100th annual conference.
The evidence presented in Loveless’ study suggests that tracking students in eighth grade is an effective way to prepare students for academic excellence, as measured by performance on Advanced Placement exams.
Behind the Headline: Black and Latino Parents Want Better Teachers and Harder Classes for Their Kids
A new survey of black and Latino parents finds that they want their children challenged more in school and that lack of funding, inadequate teachers, and racism are the main reasons why their children do not get as good an education as white children.
Some advice on how to bring disaffected Trump voters back into the fold—or the economically disconnected in for a landing,
Teachers of the Year offer the kind of practical advice from seasoned professionals that administrators and policymakers sorely need—and need to treat very seriously.
Behind the Headline: Chicago Public Schools 101: The Politics, Passion, and Hopeless Financials Behind a System in Crisis
Matt Barnum and Naomi Nix of the 74 tell you all you need to know about what’s happening in Chicago now, answering questions starting with Why is Chicago in the news? Who is Rahm Emanuel? and Who is Karen Lewis? and moving on to What happened during the last strike? What is the financial situation in Chicago schools? Have recent reform efforts improved Chicago’s schools? and Why is Chicago important in the larger education debate?
The NCLB approach signals to schools that their low-achievers should be a higher priority than their high-achievers.
If November 2016 ushers in widespread erosion in the ranks of Republican policy makers, what might we anticipate on the education reform front?
Andy Smarick talks with Marty West about innovation in the Catholic school sector.
If agency fees were ruled unconstitutional, states that currently have agency fees would not simply readjust to operate more like their right to work counterparts. Rather, all teachers’ unions in all states would suffer – and especially the states that are already operating under unfavorable labor law.
Even a careful observer of education policy could wonder, “Who’s actually in charge of public schooling?” That is, at which level of government does the buck stop?
Common Core is now several years into implementation. Supporters have had a difficult time persuading skeptics that any positive results have occurred. The best evidence has been mixed on that question.
StudentsFirst, the education reform organization started in 2010 by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, announced last week that it is merging with another education reform group, 50Can.
Behind the Headline: White Teachers and Black Teachers Have Different Expectations for Black Students
A new study finds that, when evaluating the same black student, white teachers expect significantly less academic success than black teachers.
Charter schools and private schools did not create the financial quagmire some states now face.
BASIS schools started out as a network of charter schools that are routinely ranked among the top-performing schools in the country.
As is true for the state as a whole, Chicago is spending a lot of money to preserve a pension plan that isn’t serving its teachers very well.
A new report from the Education Commission of the States examines the policies each state has in place for allowing high school students to earn college credit in “dual enrollment” programs.
Behind the Headline: Diddy Is Opening a Charter School. When Did They Become a Hot Celebrity Accessory?
In Slate, Laura Moser reports that “hip-hop and fashion impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs hopped on the bandwagon of celebrities who dabble in charter schools when he announced plans to help launch a new charter in his birthplace of Harlem.”
Schools should spend funds with an eye to providing the best possible teaching and learning for students. That’s not happening if schools are simply ignoring supply and demand when it comes to teacher pay.
In the Boston Globe, Michael Levenson describes how schools in Washington, D.C. are trying to involve parents in their children’s education in new ways, beginning with visits by teachers to the homes of the students before school even starts, and continuing with a series of specialized parent-teacher meetings that focus not on report cards but on how parents can support their children’s learning.
In Massachusetts, the political battle over whether to raise a cap on the number of charter schools has come to center around the issue of race.
Mike Petrilli and Marty West discuss the role schools can play in putting more low-income children on the path toward success, and what schools need to do differently in order to do a better job.
Evidence confirms that student skills other than academic achievement and ability predict a broad range of academic and life outcomes.
The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it is split over Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
A long article by Rachel Cohen in The American Prospect looks at new efforts to integrate schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, in North Carolina.
Writing on The Upshot, Aaron Carroll reviews the research on sleep deprivation and concludes that, while sleep deprivation among adults is rare, among teens it is likely much more widespread.
In New York City, where state testing begins next week, the Department of Education is warning teachers and principals not to encourage parents to opt their students out of state tests.
Current teacher retirement systems require teachers to stay 20, 25, or even 30 years before they qualify for adequate retirement benefits.
A new report from Education Cities and GreatSchools identifies cities that are doing a better job than others at reducing the achievement gap between rich and poor students.
Behind the Headline: New Research Shows How a Federal School Turnaround Program Backfired in North Carolina
A new study examining North Carolina schools that were part of the state’s turnaround program finds that the program “had at best no effect on student achievement, and by some measures had a negative impact,” explains Matt Barnum in the 74.
Under the newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act, all states will be responsible for designing their own statewide accountability systems.
On Monday, March 28, Brookings hosted an online discussion of a new report that looks at how deeply the Common Core standards have penetrated schools and classrooms. It focused on new research by Tom Loveless looking at the emphasis of non-fiction vs. fiction texts in reading and on enrollment in advanced courses in mathematics.
Marty West talks with Dan Goldhaber about the differences teachers and schools make. Goldhaber is the author of “In Schools, Teacher Quality Matters Most.”
The Obama administration’s Department of Labor is moving to revamp the “overtime rule” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This could have a big impact on programs that depend on the passionate commitment of small staffs.
The new generation of teacher evaluations have the potential to strengthen instruction, make teaching more attractive work, and raise student achievement on a wide scale—if states and school districts stay the course on reform.
Teach for America has announced that it will cut 15 percent of its national staff and give more independence to its regional offices, Emma Brown reports in the Washington Post.
A focused effort to evaluate curricula and shift demand toward more effective options would yield a higher return on investment than more resource-intensive measures.
Accountability plans must ensure that every student gets the broad knowledge and vocabulary that remain the unacknowledged drivers of language proficiency
In the new book Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction, Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs, and Erica Woolway offer clear guidance on how to teach students to be better readers. In the March 16, 2016 episode of the EdNext podcast, the authors sat down with EdNext executive editor Marty West to discuss strategies […]
Data from charter schools and traditional public schools in New York City shows that a lower percentage of students transfer out of charter schools than traditional public schools
While our education system alone cannot solve the stubborn, tragic problem of persistent poverty and the growing gaps between working-class and college-educated Americans, there’s much it can do for the children entrusted to it.
As behavioral nudge strategies continue to expand in education and across numerous policy domains, we should continue to critically examine and debate the questions of replicability, long-term impact, and appropriate use that Jay Greene raises in his critique.
Education Next’s Marty West talks with Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs, and Erica Woolway, authors of the new book Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction.
A study by Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson on the long-term impact of school vouchers on college enrollment and graduation won the 2016 Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) Prize awarded for Best Academic Paper on School Choice and Reform.
Most families have not embraced full-time online virtual learning as an answer to their particular circumstances or values.
In a long, thoughful piece for Chalkbeat New York, Elizabeth Green looks “beyond the viral video” of a Success Academy teacher shaming a first-grade student to consider the pros and cons of the No Excuses approach to discipline and learning.
How Washington, D.C. could lay the foundation for the next decade of improvement for its schools.
In the Atlantic, Tom Toch looks at the evolution of teacher evaluation systems over the past decade and considers what might come next.
The Chicago Public Schools announced last week that teachers would have to take three unpaid days off this year as a cost-cutting measure.
On Tuesday, March 15 at 4:00 pm, the Hoover Institution and the Fordham Institute will host an event to discuss a new book that looks at the role schools can play in helping low-income children advance in life.
An article by James Vaznis in the Boston Globe describes how many school districts in Massachusetts are exploring whether to change high school start times so that teens can get more sleep.
A broader education, including the arts, may be essential for later success in math and reading as well as the proper development of civic values and character skills,
A new report that looks at the skill of using technology to solve problems and evaluate information ranks American workers 18th out of 18 participating industrial countries.
A new study looks at teacher evaluation results in 19 states that have adopted new evaluation systems since 2009.
Marty West talks with Anna Egalite about the Coleman Report’s finding that family background explained more about student achievement than factors within the control of the school or other things that education policy can influence.
NPR’s Eric Westervelt talks with Harvard education researcher Tom Kane about why American education research has mostly languished in an echo chamber for much of the last half century.
The 74 made this video about Juan Salgado, who has launched two charter schools in Chicago through an organization called Instituto Del Progresso Latino.
As the spring testing season is about to begin, Caroline Bermudez takes a look at the opt-out phenomenon that grabbed headlines last spring.
Does the political will exist to maintain higher standards? And does the capacity exist in K–12 education to raise significant numbers of American children to meet these standards?
How long should we wait to see whether the program is working? That is a question that only lawmakers can answer.
Our Blended Learning Universe school directory features more than 300 profiles of schools. We’re hoping that the directory can offer guidance to states and districts by illustrating what is happening on the ground inside actual schools.
Writing for The 74, Robert Pondiscio compares the works of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Lin-Manuel Miranda, two “young men of color who have created two of the most praised and dissected cultural works of the moment.
The most valuable contribution of a new report by David Osborne on the last two decades of reform in Washington D.C. schools is the implicit question it raises about the future.
On Friday, March 4 at noon, the Cato Institute will host a discussion with the title “School Choice Regulation: Friend or Foe?”
For an article in the LA Times, Nichole Dobo pays a visit to the Summit network of charter schools and its founder Diane Tavenner
How is a school system supposed to improve productivity when so much of what matters can’t be centrally managed and scaled across schools?
The federal education law passed in December 2015 shifts power back to states and school districts. It gives states the flexibility to decide what they want a high school diploma to mean, among other things. Susan Patrick of iNACOL sits down with EdNext’s Paul E. Peterson to discuss the impact of the new Every Student Succeeds Act on digital learning, testing, and more.
The New York City teachers’ union is lobbying the state legislature to change the charter law so that schools that serve a below-average number of children with disabilities will be sanctioned.
One reason that Trump makes political veteran observers so nervous is that he could very well be elected President of the United States, and yet no one has any idea of what he’d attempt to do in office.
Behind the Headline: Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students’ Emotional Skills
About five years ago, it started to become popular for schools to teach students social-emotional skills like grit, self-control, and perseverance after research showed that these skills improved academic performance.
In the new issue of the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead takes a long look at AltSchool and in particular at AltSchool Brooklyn.
Substantial gains in decoding have shown we can get kids to the starting line. But we’re leaving them stuck there.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Halley Potter and Kimberley Quick argue that, while school segregation overall is increasing, and challenges to integration are substantial, “viable options are still within reach for nearly any community that makes integration a priority.”
Behind the Headline: Judges Weigh Arguments Over Teacher vs. Student Rights in Landmark Tenure Lawsuit
Last Thursday, a California court heard arguments in Vergara vs. California. In 2014, a judge ruled that job protections for teachers like tenure are so harmful to students that they violate children’s rights to an equitable education. That ruling is now being challenged by the state of California and its teachers unions.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now are offering an online course called Education Policy 101. The application deadline to take the Spring 2016 course is March 11. (Click here for the application.) As described on the course page Education Policy 101 (Ed Policy 101) is an innovative online course that introduces […]
Fifty years ago, the U.S. Office of Education released James S. Coleman’s “Equality of Educational Opportunity” report, an immense analysis of data from around 600,000 public school students and tens of thousands of teachers.
High school students in Maryland took the Common Core-aligned PARCC test last year for the first time. Because fewer students passed the test than passed the previous high school exam, the Maryland Board of Education is now considering whether to lower the score needed to pass the test or to issue two different diplomas, one for students who pass the PARCC exam and are ready for college and one for students who get a lower score on the test.
In Vogue magazine, Robert Sullivan profiles Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, who will use part of her $17 billion fortune to launch XQ: The Super School Project, a national competition aimed at reimagining the American high school
On February 26 EdNext hosted an event to revisit James S. Coleman’s 1966 report, “Equality of Educational Opportunity” on its 50th anniversary.
Tune in here Thursday at noon for a live webcast of an event that will revisit James S. Coleman’s 1966 report, “Equality of Educational Opportunity” (better known as the Coleman Report), on its 50th anniversary,
In this episode of the EdNext podcast, Tom Kane talks with Marty West about why education research is not having an impact on education policy and what it would take for decisions made by policymakers at the state and local level to be influenced by research.
The biggest taboo in education today is admitting that lots of high school graduates aren’t ready for college, have virtually no shot at succeeding there, and are better off doing something else with their time.
If we believe that the school you attend should not determine the limits of the courses you can take, then states, rather than individual schools, must step in to ensure that all students can benefit from innovations in online learning to access coursework.
ESSA returns to states the authority to create K–12 accountability systems. So what, exactly, should schools and districts should be held accountable for? What do we want them to actually accomplish?
On Monday, Feb. 22 at 4 pm, the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans will release four new reports on the Louisiana Scholarship Program.
Could a Supreme Court decision striking down the legality of agency fees for teachers unions be good for unions?
A new video from Reason TV looks at a Brooklyn neighborhood where school boundaries may be redrawn to make schools more diverse, and wonders whether this is the best way to integrate schools.
Reform always begets opposition, and that’s not an altogether bad thing. Those bent on changing things must be able to explain why the case for reform is stronger than the case for the status quo
A decade ago, U.S. education policies were a mess. It was the classic problem of good intentions gone awry.
In the Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley laments the fact that the only education issue getting any air time at all in the debates among presidential candidates has been the Common Core.
With Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected passing, we can’t help but ask what will happen with Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which appeared headed to a 5-4 split.
Amanda Olberg interviews Paul E. Peterson about the results of his new analysis of state academic standards. The study looks at how high states are setting the bar for student proficiency.
From Evidence-based Programs to an Evidence-based System: Opportunities Under the Every Student Succeeds Act
A series of provisions in the new education law encourage the use of evidence to inform the kinds of decisions states are now empowered to make.
Behind the Headline: This Viral Video of a Teacher Berating a Student is a Window on the Charter School Debate
Libby Nelson describes the controversy that has erupted after a secretly-recorded video was released showing a teacher from a Success Academy charter school berating a student in front of her classmates. Nelson writes “The video is undeniably upsetting. But the bigger question it raises is whether it happened to capture a teacher’s worst moment, or whether it’s indicative of a larger pattern.”
The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia could impact the court’s ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association this term,
In the Atlantic, Amanda Ripley describes how soccer officials who wanted to raise the level of soccer playing in the U.S. turned to a teacher of teachers, Doug Lemov, for answers.
New York State education officials raised a ruckus two weeks ago when they announced that annual statewide reading and math tests, administered in grades 3–8, would no longer be timed.
As the charter school sector expands, we should try to understand how the charter school sector has catalyzed a new generation of civil society organizations to support the sector.
A new report by the Fordham Institute takes a close look at the content, rigor, and quality of the new Common Core-aligned tests, and also at the MCAS, the exam used in Massachusetts which has been considered one of the best tests in the country
In a compelling recent blog post, Washington State’s new Teacher of the Year, warned that he won’t be taking positions on most of the hot policy topics of the day. He said he wants to use his new bully pulpit to talk about the only things that really matter: resource inequities and the need for more high-quality and diverse teachers.
Brookings fellow Michael Hansen has a piece blaming high school sports for distracting public schools from their mission.
How have patterns of school segregation evolved in recent decades? Are American schools re-segregating, as newspaper headlines often suggest? And what do we know about the consequences of school segregation for students? Marty West talks with Steven Rivkin, a professor of economics and the author of a new paper on desegregation since the 1960s.
Coleman’s work spawned a large body of research comparing the effectiveness of district, private, and (later) charter schools in preparing students for college and life. A new article reviews that research.
In this month’s Atlantic, Peg Tyre writes about the remarkable number of American students performing at extremely high levels in math and looks at how they got there.
Most of today’s K–12 accountability systems are, themselves, persistently underperforming.
On Thursday, February 11 at 4:00 pm, the Fordham Institute will host an event to discuss a new report that evaluates the quality of three “next generation” assessments: PARCC, Smarter Balanced, and ACT Aspire.
Teach for America celebrated its 25th anniversary with a conference in Washington, D.C. attended by thousands of alumni of the program.
Our report, which finds that we don’t actually know very much about how to prepare teachers or help them improve, has generated a lot of feedback.
Early yesterday morning, after a fifteen month battle with brain cancer, Cato Institute Senior Fellow in Education Policy Andrew Coulson passed away.
Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie talks with Robert Pondiscio about the charge that Success Academy charter schools try to push out students who are difficult to manage, and about whether poor kids should have the same right to disruption-free schools as rich kids.
Teach for America celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. An increasing number of alumni are staying in the classroom, and the organization has adopted new policies to recognize this.
Charter schools now enroll 2.9 million students, up 9% from last year, according to a new report from the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools described in the Washington Post.
This week, President Obama announced that he would call for a $4 billion dollar commitment in his 2017 budget to bring computer science education to K-12 schools nationwide.
On the 74, Matt Barnum writes about a new report arguing for a very different way of training teachers: “instead of raising the bar for those who enter teaching, we should actually lower it, while at the same time, making it tougher to remain in the classroom.”
Each winter, thousands of school superintendents must decide whether or not to cancel school in light of an impending snow storm. In this week’s podcast, Marty West talks with Josh Goodman, the author of “In Defense of Snow Days,” about why they should err on the side of cancelling school.
How much do we know about a teacher before they enter the classroom? What about after they’ve been teaching a few years? Is any of this information strong enough to act on?
In both the movie and the school reform world, advocates of modernity can be snootily proud of their creations and dismissive of the tools of older generations.
In the new issue of Ed Week Arriana Prothero writes about the rise of micro-schools, “tiny schools—sometimes with as few as half a dozen students—that put a heavy emphasis on technology and pushing instructional boundaries in a mash-up of lab schools and home school co-ops.”
More than two dozen teams have submitted proposals that are chock-full of suggestions for designing better state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Many efforts to reinvent learning in a competency-based manner are thwarted by time-based metrics in school districts, but here are some areas where innovations may be able to take root
A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research last week found that teacher turnover led to an improvement in average student achievement under a new teacher evaluation system in Washington, D.C.
The school choice movement’s “big tent” now has factions in its various folds and corners that agree on parental choice but little else.
Fordham held a competition to see who can come up with the best ideas for creating systems that states can use to hold schools accountable.
Behind the Headline: Education Department Tells States: If Students Don’t Take Tests, You Will Lose Funding
The U.S. Department of Education is reminding states that allowing or encouraging students to opt out of annual tests is not an option.
A web application hosts live, online academic competitions among students.
Many of today’s most difficult education debates are the result of our transition from a highly legible, single-provider model to a decentralized, choice-based model.
Marty West of EdNext talks with Greg Toppo about academic games and James Coleman’s idea that they could be used to increase motivation and academic performance among teens.
Participation in the Advanced Placement program has grown from 330,000 students in 1990 to 2.2 million in 2013.
Schools will be closed on Monday in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and many other areas on the east coast after a blizzard dumped 1 to 3 feet of snow over the weekend.
An investigation that was launched more than four years ago into whether the Milwaukee private school voucher program discriminates against students with disabilities has been closed.
Free tuition would be a needless windfall for affluent voters and state institutions that does very little to help the needy.
An intriguing effort to crowd-source a 2016 version of E.D. Hirsch’s famous list of things you need to know to be culturally literate.
In US News, Marcus Winters looks at the practice of expecting young teachers to pay for the retirement of the teachers who came before them.
An increasing number of regions are trying to create concentrated groups of blended-learning schools alongside education technology companies
Concerned that our system of teacher pensions leaves too many teachers without adequate funds for retirement, the folks at TeacherPensions.org have created a short video that explains the problems with today’s pensions for teachers.
Eric Hanushek talks with Paul E. Peterson about President Obama’s education legacy.
Last year, three states adopted new ESA policies A new funding model should be attractive to policymakers in states where constitutional provisions, such as Blaine amendments, may prohibit publicly funding private education.
Bush’s plan deserves at least two and a half cheers—which is a cheer or two more than any other GOP candidate has warranted on this issue.
Officials at the Department of Education have requested public comments by January 21 about areas in the new Every Student Succeeds Act where regulation might be “helpful or necessary.” My recommendation to the feds: Tread very lightly.
On Monday we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday is today. His work to fight racial inequality inspires many to continue the struggle today.
As we reach the 50th anniversary of the Coleman Report on equality of educational opportunity in the U.S., Hanushek and Peterson discuss how the achievement gap has changed over time.
Legislation that would create a new state-overseen school district in Detroit to run schools and leave the old Detroit Public Schools district in existence only to collect taxes and retire its debt has been introduced.
On the campaign trail, Marco Rubio has been talking up vocational education. Earlier this week he spoke at the auto shop of a community college in New Hampshire about the need for young people to learn tangible skills. Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post wrote about the speech in an article on efforts by the Republican party to reach out to white working-class voters.
This list recognizes university-based scholars in the U.S. who are doing the most to influence educational policy and practice.
Refusing to acknowledge that regulations can have real costs or that Louisiana’s voucher program has failed to deliver on its promises does nothing to serve the interests of disadvantaged children.
Reid Hastings, the founder of Netflix, announced Tuesday that he is creating a $100 million foundation for education.
As part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress authorized a national study of equality of educational opportunity in the United States. The study, conducted under the leadership of James Coleman, has reverberated across the decades.
We are now on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Coleman Report. For this occasion, Eric A. Hanushek has written about the changes in student achievement that have occurred over the past 50 years.
For this episode of the Ed Next podcast, he sits down with Paul E. Peterson to discuss what the Coleman Report found about the size of the achievement gap between blacks and whites across the country and how that gap has changed over time.
As the head of the regulatory agency for traditional public, charter public, and non-public schools in Louisiana, I think it’s important to discuss the facts behind a recent study on Louisiana’s private school voucher program.
Two lawyers who filed amicus briefs on opposite sides of the Friedrichs vs. CTA case are guests this week on a podcast called Amicus produced by Slate magazine.
These teachers, moreover, support similar choices for other parents and oppose agency fees currently imposed on many.
Why are the effects so negative when prior studies have found either no effect or positive effects? Good question. Unfortunately, we know much less about reasons than some have suggested.
Behind the Headline: Teachers Unions At the Supreme Court: 9 Things You Need to Know About the Friedrichs Case
The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association this morning.
I re-read about fifty major articles, blog posts, and other missives about ESSA over the break, since this written record will serve as the foundation for years of commentary and analysis.
As a new sobriety over the issues animating Trump supporters settles in, I’m hoping for a parallel rethinking among education reformers.
On “The Grade,” Alexander Russo takes a close look at the frequently stated claim that under NCLB, states lowered their standards in a “race to the bottom.”
As 2015 was coming to a close, I compiled a list of my fifty favorite reads of the year.
For the first time in the past half century there appears to be a strong possibility that we will serve all of our students and that we will restore the strength of the U.S. workforce.
Michael Lovenheim of Cornell University sits down with Marty West to discuss his new study on the impact of teacher collective bargaining.
A new study of the impact of Louisiana’s voucher program found a negative result. Although not conclusive, there is considerable evidence that the problem stemmed from poor program design.
For half a century, Coleman’s work has altered the shape of education research, school politics, and school policy.
In the Wall Street Journal, California teacher Harlan Elrich explains why he is one of the plaintiffs in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, which will be heard by the Supreme Court next week.
Behind the Headline: Arne Duncan calls for addressing gun violence in final speech as education secretary
In his last speech as U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan spoke in the basement of a Catholic church in Chicago last week about the impact of gun violence on children.
In a talk delivered on November 12, Arne Duncan spoke about the legacy of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program.
The best compliment I can pay a fellow education blogger is to confess professional jealousy. So I’d like to close out 2015 by saluting the education blogs and columns that made me green with envy.
An interview with Amy Carlson, a blended-learning coach at Highline School District in Seattle.
Finland has been lauded for years as this planet’s grand K-12 education success story, but since 2009, it’s scores and rankings have slipped.
The new law retains NCLB’s federal framework for testing while getting the federal government out of the business of trying to judge teacher or school quality or how to “fix” schools.
New York has all the pieces in place to become a national leader in education, but Governor Andrew Cuomo would rather switch than fight.
We’re excited to bring our subscribers the EdNext Podcast, a weekly series hosted by Education Next editor-in-chief Paul E. Peterson and executive editor Martin West.
Success Academy charter schools will shorten their school day next year, Eva Moskowitz, the head of the charter network announced this week.
NPR reports on a new law in Texas that requires schools to videotape special ed classrooms if a parent or school staff member requests it.
The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) in New Hampshire allows full-time and part-time middle and high school students to choose among five pathways to learn and demonstrate mastery of the New Hampshire state competencies.
In the Hechinger Report, Katy Reckdahl writes about the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Achievement, a program at Southern University in New Orleans that gives full scholarships to young African American men who show promise despite unremarkable transcripts and then trains them to be teachers.
Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute and three education experts will discuss the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act in a webcast on Thursday, December 17 at 2:00 pm.
On this episode of the Ed Next podcast, Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute joins Ed Next Executive Editor Marty West to discuss the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Who were the real winners and losers in this deal? And what happens next?
The Prize, published earlier this year, is Dale Russakoff’s examination of school reform efforts in Newark. New Newark superintendent Chris Cerf reviews the book for The 74. Cerf served as New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education from 2011 to 2014.
Given that school districts now spend about $11,800 per pupil on average, the $1,085 spent on employee pensions represents a significant amount of money that might have otherwise been spent in ways that would benefit student learning.
Germany has been praised for raising its nationwide test scores while simultaneously reducing educational inequality. That’s no small feat—and one well worthy of recognition and accolades–but Germany’s bright students aren’t enjoying any of these gains.
Princeton University protesters against Woodrow Wilson captured headlines in mid-November. But what hasn’t received attention is the role of the Wilson administration in national K-12 education policy.
Fordham’s new report on America’s best and worst cities for school choice shows above all that choice is growing.
Nationwide, the public sector offers more than 400 Montessori programs which now enroll more than 100,000 students. Those numbers are growing as more places offer Montessori programs and more families opt into it.
The promise of the Common Core included not just multi-state standards but also multi-state assessments, but just 21 states are currently still participating in the two assessment “consortia.”
A new book from Harvard Education Press aims to launch an honest and open discussion about effective strategies for foundations.
The sooner schools see building knowledge across the curriculum as Job One in strengthening reading comprehension, the better.
William Howell of the University of Chicago talks with Marty West about the Every Student Succeeds Act and federal education policy in the Obama administration. The Every Student Succeeds Act will mark a dramatic change in federal education policy. Is the bill a repudiation of the Obama administration’s education legacy? What is the administration’s education legacy and how will that change?
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has just finished her fifth year in the role. I recently had the chance to chat with her about the highlights of her tenure and the evolution of school reform.
Citizen-led assessments can be a useful tool to address common obstacles to low demand for quality education in developing countries.
The Washington Post’s Michael Alison Chandler looks at how the growth of charter schooling and rapid gentrification in some areas are affecting school diversity in Washington, D.C.
The dominant narrative about ESSA is that it shifts authority over schools back to state governments. But this belies a key feature of the legislation.
Kevin Hartnett of the Boston Globe reports on a new study by David Deming and three co-authors that looks at whether standardized testing really promotes outcomes education policy cares about most, like success in college and the job market.
Every U.S. classroom needs a sub from time to time. But in the troubled schools that serve some of the nation’s neediest children, it is not uncommon for classrooms to churn with substitutes as teachers leave in large numbers each June, or quit midyear, and principals struggle to fill the positions. So explains Emma Brown in a front page story for Sunday’s Washington Post.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced that they will give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares for charitable purposes to “advance human potential and promote equality.”
We seek someone with excellent writing, editing, communication, and organizational skills and a substantial knowledge of education policy and research.
With NCLB reauthorization taking another step forward, I’m again hearing the refrain that states won’t back away from school accountability when they’re not forced to by the feds.
One hundred years ago, the Wilson administration put the clout of the federal government behind a new curricular development – social studies.
Non-cog or character skills are incredibly important but if we are going to use these and other ideas to improve education, we are going to need a significant shift toward funding research and greater patience to bring those ideas to fruition.
The state of Ohio passed a law creating a “parent trigger” option that took effect last year, but so far no parents have expressed interest in pulling the trigger.
If your primary interest is in getting Uncle Sam to back off of America’s schools, you can start to prepare the Mission Accomplished banner. If your primary interest is in great K-12 accountability systems, you can’t direct your attention to state superintendents and state boards of education fast enough.
ESSA doesn’t come close to getting it all right, but it’s a vast improvement on NCLB and the status quo.
Aided by a highly misleading New York Times article, the anti-Common Core crowd is pushing the narrative that Massachusetts’s recent testing decision spells the end for the common standards effort.
Deborah McGriff, managing partner of NewSchools Venture Fund, discusses the charter school movement with Marty West in this episode of the Education Next podcast.
How innovative has the charter school movement been? What are charter schools doing to narrow the achievement gap? These are questions that Deborah McGriff is well positioned to answer.
Advocates of the Common Core hope that the standards will eventually produce long term positive effects as educators learn how to use them. That’s a reasonable hypothesis. But it should now be apparent that a counter-hypothesis has equal standing: any positive effect of adopting Common Core may have already occurred.
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Zinsmeister looks at the surprising boost Catholic schooling is getting from charter schooling.
Harvard is launching a new training program for teachers that will combine instruction in teaching methods with practice in the classroom under the supervision of a mentor.
In the latest Freakonomics Radio podcast, hear the story of three economists, Steve Levitt, Roland Fryer, and John List who start an experimental preschool in Chicago that has a Parent Academy go to along with it to help parents learn how to best support their kids’ learning.
Policymakers in Washington and in state capitals nationwide should stop trying to micromanage the vast majority of schools. But on the flip side, policymakers should be much more aggressive about shutting down failed schools in any sector.
On the Upshot, Susan Dynarski provides a careful review of the evidence on the effectiveness of charter schools.
Conventional formula-based programs can divvy up dollars evenly, but they don’t change behavior much. The right kind of competitive grant, however, allows the federal government to set a priority while enabling state and local direction and innovation.
If this is really to be about “the kids” and not just our own search for meaning, we need to be careful not to lapse into morality plays. We need to be particularly mindful not to malign our opponents. And we need to be humble enough to acknowledge the technical challenges in what we’re trying to achieve.
The draft bill includes a provision that allows states to use computer-adaptive tests to assess students on content above their current grade level. That’s truly excellent news for kids who are above grade level.
Earlier this month, a court in Louisiana overturned a lower court ruling that allowed the Justice Department to veto individual school vouchers awarded in Louisiana.
A new study finds that the more people attended religious private schools as children, the less anti-Semitic they are.
Pension debt alone now eats up to about 10 percent of the average teacher’s compensation. This is money that is spent on teachers but isn’t actually going to them now or in the future; it’s money just to pay down debts that were accrued in the past.
John Chubb passed away on November 12, 2015, after a valiant struggle with cancer.
She could learn about his work linking value-added measurement (VAM) scores of teachers to their students’ long-term life outcomes
The cover story is the 2015 EdNext poll on school reform, which finds continuing high levels of support for educational testing and little sympathy for the opt-out movement.
Marco Rubio sat down with the Seventy Four’s Campbell Brown to discuss his views on federal education policy.
Capitol Hill staff have reached an agreement on the reauthorization of ESEA. What’s in the compromise? Here’s what I know.
The joint conference committee to reauthorize ESEA met on Wednesday afternoon and will meet again on Thursday morning at 10:00 am.
The full-time virtual charter schools that care about quality need to band together and create a membership organization and take responsibility for their industry’s results.
Ira Nichols-Barrer and Brian Gill of Mathematica Policy Research sit down with Marty West to discuss an important testing decision faced by Massachusetts: whether to keep the MCAS assessment or switch to the PARCC assessment.
Nichols-Barrer and Gill, along with two other co-authors, are the authors of a new study that looks at which test better predicts college performance.
America’s efforts to combat poverty look very different in international comparison depending on what you count and how you measure.
John Chubb was a fine scholar, tireless education reformer, and creative innovator.
Influential education researcher and leader John Chubb passed away last week.
On Thursday evening, Alyson Klein of Politics K-12 broke the news that, after weeks of long and hard negotiations, House and Senate lawmakers have reached preliminary agreement on a bill for the long-stalled reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, multiple sources say.
A new report looks at district-charter engagement in five cities.
A coalition of 40 education groups is launching a campaign called TeachStrong aimed at “modernizing and elevating” the teaching profession, reports Lyndsey Layton in the Washington Post.
The results from 2015 NAEP TUDA data didn’t get much media coverage. That’s a shame because these are the best assessments for understanding student performance in America’s biggest urban districts.
It’s critical that NAEP’s math (and reading and writing) frameworks not flex with recent changes in standards, curriculum or pedagogical emphasis.
On the Knowledge Bank blog, AEI’s Jenn Hatfield and Max Eden argue that Ohio’s decision to lower its cut score for proficiency on the PARCC test is more likely to make the state a trailblazer than an outlier.
Paul E. Peterson talks with Gerard Robinson of AEI about how education is being discussed (and not discussed) in the early stages of the presidential race.
When Hillary Clinton recently told an audience that the purpose of charter schooling is to “learn what works and then apply (it) in the public schools,” she made two mistakes.
Caitlin Emma has a long piece in Politico about the federal School Improvement Grants program that looks at “what two troubled high schools tell us about why the government got so little for so much money.”
The methods used by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) to analyze charter school effectiveness offer a reasonable alternative when the gold standard is not feasible or possible.
Behind the Headline: Hillary Clinton: Most charter schools ‘don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them’
At a town hall in South Carolina this weekend, Hillary Clinton was asked whether she supports charter schools.
Why is it “unfair” to give poor families the studious, disruption-free schools the rich take for granted?
Back in 2000, U.S. and German students at age 15 were performing at roughly the same level on international tests . By 2012, German 15-year-olds were outscoring their U.S. peers by 32 points in math, a difference representing more than a year’s worth of learning.
New York is leaving too many gifted children behind, especially disadvantaged students who are gifted.
If the Success Academies and schools like them didn’t exist, many hard-working, high-achieving students would be in chaotic, low-performing public schools.
Will Congress reauthorize ESEA in the coming months? If so they’ll have to resolve a handful of disagreements related to testing.
Writing for The 74, Matt Barnum describes and evaluates the massive transformation in how teachers are evaluated that has taken place over the past few years.
In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Eduardo Porter considers whether it is a mistake to blame America’s schools for not doing a good enough job of educating disadvantaged students.
What if we stopped subsidizing remedial courses on campuses and insisted that students pursuing higher learning be prepared for college-level courses? And what if those courses were also made available to young people even before they matriculated to a four-year program?
On Thursday, Nov. 5,the Fordham Institute hosted a discussion of what can be done to ensure that kids aiming for college do not graduate from high school unprepared for college-level work.
Teacher turnover rates don’t change all that much over time, but we see higher turnover during economic expansions than during recessions.
David J. Deming sits down with Ed Next’s Marty West to discuss his new study on the effects of a test-based accountability system on student learning.
“Bernie Sanders often claims that America has the highest child-poverty rate of any advanced democracy in the world. He uses this fact to justify his call for a European-style social-welfare state. But what if it’s simply not true?” So wonder Mike Petrilli and Brandon Wright on NRO.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. AEI hosted three panel discussions on school integration on the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1955 ruling.
A new report looks at how public education is delivering on the promise of educational opportunity in 50 mid- to large-sized cities in the United States.
On Friday, the Obama administration announced an experimental program that will give up to 10,000 low-income students access to federal Pell grants to take college courses while still in high school.
On October 29, Fordham hosted a discussion of how the pursuit of skills rather than knowledge is widening the achievement gap.
In the Wall Street Journal, Bill Galston reviews several studies on the impact of family structure just published in the fall 2015 issue of the academic journal the Future of Children.
Behind the Headline: How Well do Minnesota’s Education Programs Prepare Students to be Teachers? It’s Almost Impossible to Tell
In a long article for MinnPost, reporter Beth Hawkins attempts to gather data that could be used to evaluate how good a job Minnesota’s teacher education programs are doing.
The declines in NAEP scores from 2013 to 2015 are unlikely to be explained by shifts in student demographics.
A trio of new studies show that most online charter schools don’t work in their current context, but they don’t show that they can’t work.
Jason Tanz takes a close look at the Khan Lab School in Mountain View, California for Wired magazine.
The most honest approach is to reserve judgment until more sophisticated analyses emerge and wait for 2017 to see if these numbers are a one-time blip.
Scores on the NAEP test, sometimes called the Nation’s Report Card, were released this morning and the results were not good.
If the Obama Administration Wants Fewer Tests, It Will Have to Give Up On Test-Based Teacher Evaluations
Either you can reduce testing, or you can continue to demand test-based teacher evaluations in all subjects. It’s one or the other.
Al Hubbard talks with Paul E. Peterson about the state of school choice and other reforms in his home state of Indiana.
AEI hosted a discussion with Katherine Bradley on how technology and adaptive-learning software can be used to revolutionize learning.
In anticipation of new NAEP scores coming out this week, I thought it would be useful to spend some time reflecting beforehand on what we know on a macro scale.
A report released today shows how states rank by NAEP scores when scores are adjusted based on student demographics, including poverty, race, native language and the share of students in special education.
I’d wager that the states with big declines in median income are going to be the ones showing lower NAEP scores this time around.
On Saturday, the Obama administration outlined new guidelines on standardized testing, including a proposed cap on the amount of time students spend taking standardized tests.
This fall, a low-income school district in Texas became the first large district to implement “early college” in all of its high schools.
A study released Thursday investigates why boys in low-income families tend to do worse than girls in those families, both academically and in terms of behavior.
More high-quality evidence on the nation’s most prominent voucher program has the potential to inform education policymaking in the capital and across the country
What is the right amount of regulation for school choice?
There’s a lot of buzz about tiny schools like Altschools, but also a lot of skepticism, writes Michael McShane.
University of Missouri Professor of Economics Michael Podgursky sits down with EdNext editor Paul E. Peterson to discuss the trouble some states are in with their pension systems.
A big challenge with blended learning is knowing how many students are actually experiencing it. A new report tackles this problem in the state of Ohio.
Writing as part of a series on “big ideas for reforming college,” Brookings’ Isabel Sawhill proposes that Pell grants be made conditional on college readiness. She writes
Preliminary data released on Monday by the Department of Education show that high school graduation rates rose in a majority of states and gaps in graduation rates between white and minority students narrowed in most states.
Next month, education officials in Massachusetts will decide whether to abandon the state’s much-praised MCAS test and adopt the Common Core-aligned PARCC test.
We might see some significant education action in DC come 2017, but it’s unlikely to get much of a preview on the 2016 trail.
Robin Lake and Paul Hill offer their take on the recently reported plan to serve half of all Los Angeles’ students in charter schools in an article in the Los Angeles Daily News.
An estimated 18,500 families, children, educators and charter school employees marched to the steps of city hall in New York City earlier this month to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to give more children the opportunity to attend effective charter schools. Many of the families had children attending Success Academy charter schools.
Outside of Ohio, most states are living up to their commitments to provide more honest information to parents. A key promise of the Common Core is being kept.
In his column in this morning’s New York Times, David Brooks reacts to a documentary about education called “Most Likely to Succeed.”
In this humorous video by ChoiceMediaTV parents, talk about why they don’t want school choice.
Test scores aren’t everything, but they are associated with long-term outcomes.
It’s been a long road to comprehensive charter reform in Ohio, but the legislation that overwhelmingly passed last week drew bipartisan support and praise from editorial boards across the state.
A significant focus in my next stage of life will be to work with a portfolio of education companies in a variety of board and advisory roles to help shape the future of education in ways that I could not as executive director.
While K-12 education issues were not addressed during last night’s first official Democratic debate in Las Vegas, college affordability was in the spotlight.
Michael B. Horn and Paul E. Peterson discuss Arne Duncan’s decision to resign and what his legacy will be as Secretary of Education.
What do new assessments aligned to the Common Core tell us? Not much more than what we already knew.
In Arizona, families use ESAs to access a variety of learning opportunities for their children.
For some education reformers, other reforms seem much more important than curriculum battles. Here’s what they are missing.
Behind the Headline: Another State Redefines ‘Proficiency’ on Common Core Tests, Inflating Performance
The Arkansas Department of Education has announced that students who score at level 3 or above on new Common Core tests will be deemed “proficient,” even though the makers of the test say that only students who score at level 4 or above are on track to graduate from high school with the skills they need to be ready for college or a career.
In California, Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law that suspends the state’s high school exit exam for three years.
Behind the Headline: Preschool is Good for Children, but it’s Expensive. So Utah is Offering it Online.
In Utah his year, more than 6,600 children are attending preschool online, using laptops at home to access lessons, games and songs.
Two dozen deans of education schools have come together to embrace empirical validation of teacher preparation methods and accountability for student learning.
Mike Petrilli interviews Chester Finn and Brandon Wright about their new book.
Eight members of the Washington, D.C. City Council have asked Congress to end the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, the only federally funded private school voucher program.
The evidence is increasingly clear that test scores are only weakly correlated with other desirable outcomes from schools.
What TNTP’s report “The Mirage” gets wrong on teacher development
The root of the problem is our collective failure to even try to measure the impact professional development has on teacher performance in the first place.
High-regulation of school choice comes with a cost to quality.
Those who work in education research, policy, and practice frequently fail to communicate with one another, and when they do, each faction speaks a different language.
Michael Horn and Paul E. Peterson discuss the growth of personalized learning and how technology can help advance it.
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
Wadleigh Secondary School in New York City occupies the same building as a charter school, Success Academy Harlem West, and the students at both schools come from the same neighborhood.
Backloading teachers’ pensions substantially increases the compensation of experienced teachers relative to younger teachers.
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 SAT is not designed to measure national achievement; the score losses from 2014 were miniscule; and most of the declines are probably the result of demographic changes in the SAT population.
Why Did President Obama Appoint John King as “Acting” Education Secretary Rather Than Put Him Through the Senate Confirmation Process?
As Arne Duncan exits, another missed opportunity for bipartisanship
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.
On Monday, Oct. 26 Hoover hosted a discussion of Failing Our Brightest Kids, the new book by Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Brandon L. Wright.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that he will step down in December.
In an article on The 74, Matt Barnum writes that the general public largely believes that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) didn’t work, but that this is wrong.
Freakonomics Radio looks at an effort to reduce violence and dropout rates among young men in the Chicago Public Schools using cognitive behavioral therapy.
Schooling Isn’t Learning, the Rewards to Better Schools Are Enormous, and Other Observations from Eric Hanushek
An interview about accountability, attainment, and more
In the real world, limited resources force state legislatures to make tough choices about allocating tax dollars to roads, police, prisons, parks, and K-12 education.
Montgomery County is getting just 11 percent of its low-income students to the college-ready level, and fewer than one in five of its minority students.
Paul E. Peterson, Martin R. West and Michael B. Henderson discuss what the public thinks schools should be teaching more of.
Ed Week’s Stephen Sawchuk takes a close look at some of the most popular lesson-sharing websites for teachers and finds some complications lurking.
Fordham and EdFuel hosted a discussion about how education organizations can learn to recognize and retain their most talented staff and turn them into tomorrow’s leaders.
On Top of the News Why the Friedrichs Court Case Will Give Teachers More Power — and Better Pay The 74 | 9/28/15 Behind the Headline Teachers Unions At Risk of Losing Agency Fees Education Next| Winter 2016 In its 2015–16 term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association a case that considers the legality […]
The odds of ESEA reauthorization weren’t good before Boehner’s announcement. After Boehner’s announcement, not a lot has changed.
Some folks are claiming that news that House Speaker John Boehner will step down at the end of October makes an ESEA reauthorization more likely this fall. That’s just crazy talk.
While Pope Francis is enjoying a warm welcome from politicians of all faiths during his visit to the United States, Josh Zeitz of Politico takes a look back at a time when anti-Catholic emotions were strong here.
A group of foundations in Los Angeles have developed a $490-million plan to add 260 new charter schools in the city over the next eight years, enrolling at least 130,000 students.
This radio documentary by WAMU’s Kavitha Cardoza takes a close look at why so many low-income students who show great promise do not graduate from college.
Mayor de Blasio has shown a good instinct for identifying the right targets—early childhood education and reading. But it’s hard to be encouraged that either he or his chancellor knows how to hit them.
As gentrification brings new families into many Brooklyn neighborhoods, some schools there are becoming overcrowded and redrawing school boundaries is on the table.
Shep Melnick and Paul E. Peterson discuss a “Dear Colleague” letter sent by the federal government to education officials around the country about equalizing educational resources for students of different races.
Words like “market,” “competition,” and “profit” are considered dirty words in some education circles. Will websites that allow teachers to buy and sell lesson plans change the minds of some teachers?
If you only read one article about Catholic schools on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to the U.S., make it this one by Andy Smarick.
An examination of assignments given by middle school teachers appears to show that most of the work asked of students does not reflect the higher, more rigorous standards set by Common Core.
Mike Petrilli talks with Dale Russakoff about her new book on school reform in Newark.
The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? tells a gripping, and mostly depressing, tale of the reform efforts in woebegone Newark, complete with some of the most colorful characters in American public life today. Chris Christie. Corey Booker. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Appointed schools superintendent Cami Anderson. And of course the teachers and students who are the true heroes of the book—and the victims of a school system—and a reform effort—gone badly astray.
Yet another author ignores the ample evidence available that school choice provides benefits for children.
Teachers suffer from low salaries while they work in exchange for the promise of better retirement savings when they leave, but for most teachers, that promise never becomes a reality.
Five good reasons federalism is so important in education
A new study by Mathematica examines how the KIPP charter network fared during a period of rapid growth, when enrollment in KIPP schools roughly doubled to 68,000 students after the network received a $50 million expansion grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010.
Boston Public Schools, where 87 percent of students are minorities but only 38 percent of teachers are, is trying to build its own pipeline of talented minority teachers.
Today is Constitution Day, when all schools receiving federal funds are expected to provide lessons or other programming on our most important founding document.
Behind the Headline: AltSchool, the High-Tech Ed Experiment, Announces New Locations in Manhattan and California
AltSchool, an education startup with schools in four locations and over $133 million in funding, will have ten school sites open in 2016, its founder says.
On September 16, AEI hosted an event on the state of education reform in New Orleans ten years after Hurricane Katrina.
Marty West and Doug Harris take stock of the education reforms that have taken place in New Orleans in the decade since Hurricane Katrina.
SchoolGrades uses the results of state tests to create a comparable, A-F grading system for all public elementary and middle schools in the U.S.
On the 50th anniversary of the Moynihan Report, Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic looks back at what Moynihan wrote in the original report, how Moynihan’s views later changed, and about the experiences of African Americans in the U.S. in the decades since the report was issued, with a focus on the phenomenon of mass incarceration.
Parents will soon receive for the first time their children’s scores on new tests aligned to the standards. The news is expected to be sobering.
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, is launching a $50 million effort to reinvent the high school.
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Shep Melnick analyzes a “Dear Colleague” letter about school funding sent out by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.
What can we do to keep more boys on the path to achievement long before high school?
Micro-schools have the potential to transform the independent schooling landscape—and threaten existing independent schools in the process
Last Friday’s 6-3 decision by the Washington Supreme Court that declared unconstitutional a charter school law is an existential threat to the parental choice movement.
Houston Superintendent Terry Grier has announced that he is resigning effective March 2016.
With its ruling, the court has locked Washington State into a defunct, hundred-year-old notion of public schooling.
Teachers in Seattle are on strike today after contract talks between the teachers union and the school district broke down. The two sides are far apart on key issues, “including pay raises, teacher evaluations and the length of the school day.”
A new company in the Bay Area is operating as an Uber for kids who need rides to and from school and afterschool activities.
Marty West and Paul E. Peterson discuss the findings of the 2015 EdNext poll on public support for higher school spending and higher teacher salaries.
“The problem in American education is not dumb teachers. The problem is dumb teacher training,” argues Dan Willingham in an op-ed in the New York Times.
Dale Russakoff, a reporter from the Washington Post, spent more than four years in Newark observing its school reform efforts, and the result is a new book, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? which was released today.
The Washington Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the state’s charter-school law is unconstitutional.
Americans have generally agreed on what should be taught in the public schools, but partisan debate has increasingly turned the core curriculum into a political football.
The latest SAT scores are out and seem to show that education reform is hitting a wall in high school.
While public schools in New Orleans educate mainly children from poor families, “several new schools are attracting families who could afford private or parochial school, the same type of families who started leaving the school system 45 years ago,” writes Danielle Dreilinger on nola.com.
Which strategy should the charter sector pursue in the short- to medium-term: selective chartering or a district-wide replacement strategy?
Here are six education policy themes—and associated infographics—that I hope the Presidential candidates embrace.
The school board in Indianapolis has approved a new teacher contract that will allow six schools to implement an experimental program that allows high-performing teachers to take on new roles, reach more students, and earn higher salaries.
Marty West and Paul E. Peterson discuss the public’s changing opinion of the Common Core.
In US News, Nina Rees takes a close look at what the public says about testing in two recent polls, and in particular considers why PDK/Gallup found that respondents believe there is too much emphasis on testing, while EdNext found that respondents support annual standardized testing.
Brandon Wright talks with The Wall Street Journal about what schools are doing for academically gifted students, the subject of a book he has written with Chester Finn.
The cover features three articles assessing school reform in New Orleans on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Our education governance system, lamented and disparaged as it often is, is one of the least understood aspects of American K–12 schooling.
Should charter schools be forced to backfill — to admit new students whenever they have an open seat because a student has left? Charter school advocates are divided over this issue. Paul Hill and Robin Lake of CRPE lay out their positions for and against backfilling on The Lens, the blog of CRPE.
In the midst of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s controversial 2011 budget bill, many warned that the state’s public employees, including teachers, would retire in droves.
In 2014 the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice, acting together, sent every school district a letter asking local officials to avoid racial bias when suspending or expelling students.
While many people blame standardized testing for narrowing the elementary school curriculum to reading and math, the real culprit is “a longstanding pedagogical notion that the best way to teach kids reading comprehension is by giving them skills — strategies like “finding the main idea” — rather than instilling knowledge about things like the Civil War or human biology.” So writes Natalie Wexler in an op-ed in the New York Times.
On Wednesday, I published the results of our latest ranking of top education policy people on social media. Now let’s look at organizations and media outlets.
… the results of teacher evaluations are used to give teachers better on-the-job training and meaningful opportunities for advancement.
Teachers are much more likely to move within a state than to cross state lines.
Research, features, and opinion from Ed Next authors on schools in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina
It’s time to review the progress of the charter movement and the challenges that lie ahead, what we’ve done right as well as where we’ve gone astray..
American schools don’t expect youth to be responsible for themselves or their learning. Finnish schools are different.
Does the American public support annual testing or think there’s too much testing, or both?
Behind the Headline: From Scholarship Student to Charter School Teacher, a Young Man Helps New Orleans Come Back
In the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Danielle Dreilinger tells the moving life story of Gary Briggs, a teacher in a New Orleans charter school.
It’s time for my annual list of top Twitter handles in education policy.
Marty West and Paul E. Peterson discuss the findings of the 2015 Education Next poll and compare the results with the findings from this week’s PDK/Gallup Poll.
An immersive, 360-degree panoramic view inside a Success Academy elementary school.
Gauging public opinion on parental opt-out, charters, Common Core and vouchers
CNN’s story relies on the results of one study that is limited in what it can tell us, but CNN even gets its main findings wrong.
“The creation of high-achieving urban charter schools is one of the most impressive triumphs of American social policy,” writes Jon Chait of New York magazine. “Nowhere has this revolution had a more dramatic impact than in New Orleans, because nowhere has reform been carried out with such breadth,” he continues.
The public is still quietly backing Common Core by a margin of nearly 15 percentage points
In January 2014, the Obama administration’s Departments of Justice and Education, acting together, sent every school district in the country a letter warning local officials to avoid racial bias when suspending or expelling students.
“Americans aren’t as pissed off about standardized testing as headlines often make it seem. In fact, it looks like most of the country’s adults support it. What the public isn’t so fond of are the people who are pissed off—the ones who are so pissed off they’re boycotting the assessments as part of a growing ‘opt-out movement.’” So writes Alia Wong in “Time Out for Opt-Outs?” in the Atlantic.
What should we take away from News Corp.’s recent announcement that it is writing off losses stemming from its digital education wing Amplify?
A new law in Wisconsin is forcing the Milwaukee school system to put all its vacant and surplus buildings on the market this October. Charter and private school operators will be able to purchase the properties.
New Orleans is just one chapter in the much bigger story of a shift from a single government operator of schools to an array of nonprofit operators.
While the federal government does not collect data on the graduation rates of students who receive Pell grants, an investigation by the Hechinger Institute suggests that billions of taxpayer dollars are going to students who never earn degrees.
Education Next is looking to hire a communications consultant, someone to help us promote articles appearing in EdNext by writing press releases, communicating with traditional media outlets, and maintaining a lively social media presence.
It’s August, which means it’s time for my annual list of top Twitter feeds in education policy.
When it comes to fundamental principles and practices regarding K–12 education, the American public is generally pretty sensible and steadfast.
The data simply don’t support the notion that teachers are leaving schools in droves in response to recent education reforms.
The 74’s Campbell Brown interviewed GOP presidential candidates about education policy in New Hampshire on August 19.
Are opinions about the Common Core driven by the public debate broadcast in the media or are they rooted in direct knowledge about what is happening in schools?
In an op-ed in the Washington Times, Paul E. Peterson takes a close look at what the public knows about school spending based on data from the 2015 EdNext poll.
On Wednesday, Campbell Brown and the American Federation for Children will host an education policy summit in New Hampshire with at least six of the GOP presidential contenders. Here’s what I hope they will say.
2015 EdNext Poll Finds High Levels of Support for Testing and Little Sympathy for the Opt-Out Movement
Today Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard Kennedy School released the ninth annual Education Next public opinion poll on education policies.
In U.S. News, Robert Pondiscio worries that some credit recovery programs are a mere fig leaf covering up academic failure and inflating graduation rates.
Nola.com tells the story of Sean Talley, an at-risk teenager from New Orleans trying to make it through high school.
Over 6 million public sector workers are not covered by Social Security, including about 1.2 million public school teachers.
Communities rarely embrace tough trade-offs. We need to lean on school boards and superintendents to take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously.
We put teachers in a tough spot, asking them to motivate their students to excel at learning and also asking them to give their students grades.
New York state education officials said Wednesday that more than 200,000 students declined to take the state’s standardized tests this year, which represents 20 percent of those students eligible to be tested.
To win the contest and get a visit from a major league baseball player, nominate a school that “is hitting it out of the park with higher standards, clear expectations, and classroom support .”
If the ESEA renewal processes gets across the finish line, the federal government will have much less power than it does today.
“The past two years or so have seen a boom in online news outlets covering education. New local and national sites are focusing exclusively on the subject; general-interest sites have education beat reporters or otherwise include K-12 issues in their mix.” So notes Mark Walsh of Ed Week, who goes on to describe the numerous new websites providing education news.
Is there a nationwide teacher shortage? Why are so many districts struggling to fill certain kinds of teaching slots?
Next week’s Education Summit in New Hampshire will give voters a chance to learn about the Republican candidates’ views on education.
Julie Young’s new venture offers international students the opportunity to earn a dual diploma from their native country and from a U.S. accredited high school through virtual learning.
A new study looks at which teachers in Charlotte, North Carolina were laid off when principals had to reduce their teaching staffs due to budget shortfalls.
Earlier this year, Forbes released a celebration of edu-wunderkinds, its “30 under 30” in education.
A federal judge has ruled that, even though a greater proportion of minority teachers than of white teachers have failed a new licensing exam in New York, the test can still be used because it does measure skills crucial to teaching.
A new survey looks at how residents of New Orleans are feeling ten years after Hurricane Katrina.
A new study finds that when recessions hit, both men and women are less likely to want to become teachers and instead turn to fields like accounting and engineering.
TNTP’s new report The Mirage is appropriately gloomy on the overall state of professional learning nationwide, but change is already happening in some places.
A task force in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the nation’s largest school districts, has estimated that the district could save nearly $24 million by eliminating sports and cutting other extracurricular activities.
A report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that five out of every six middle schools and high schools nationwide start classes earlier than 8:30 a.m.
Call for Papers: Harvard Conference on The Politics of Education Policy: An International Perspective
On May 5-6, 2016, the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University and the Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich will jointly host a workshop at Harvard on “The Politics of Education Policy: An International Perspective.”
Nikole Hannah-Jones tells the story of Normandy School District, which accidentally launched a desegregation program.
If American childhood has become a hothouse of overscheduling and stress, it’s not showing up in the data.
The College Board deserves a cheer for trying to stabilize the vessel known as Advanced Placement U.S. History
Religious and lay leaders are creating new schools, networks and governance models.
A new study by TNTP finds no evidence that any kind of teacher professional development consistently helps teachers improve in the classroom.
Are New Orleans’ schools living up to the expectation that once schools are freed from district and union contract rules and allowed to innovate, schools will work better and students will learn more?
The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times writes that it’s time for changes to be made to California’s parent trigger law.
The Supreme Court has a chance to strike down union agency fees.
The judge’s ruling is a tough blow for the city’s finances and could worsen the situation for new and future workers, including teachers.
Success Academy announced last week that it received an $8.5 million gift so that it can open more of its charter schools in New York City.
Across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia inexpensive private schools are booming.
Chicago Public Television looks at five high schools where students are earning college credit through an early college program.
Yesterday the College Board released its newly revised version of the AP U.S. History framework.
Schools in Tennessee’s Achievement School District, a special state-run district set up to try to turn around some of the state’s lowest-performing schools, achieved test score gains greater than the state average this year.
A new sketch from Comedy Central’s Key & Peele imagines teachers being treated like professional athletes.
Something special happens in schools rooted in enduring relationships and timeless values.
BASIS schools, which began as a network of academically challenging charter schools and now include private schools, will open a new school in China.
Are minority students, particularly African Americans, overrepresented or underrepresented in special ed? Experts discuss a new study.
Mike McShane discusses a recent conference AEI held on the state of education entrepreneurship in K-12 education.
Education Reformers Need To Look Beyond Ideas, Ideology, and Innovation and Learn About The Efforts That Preceded Them
Schools have been around forever. There are mountains of accumulated wisdom to study if we’re willing to look up from our Twitter feeds.
If those in our nation’s capital want to modify federal education policy along lines preferred by the public at large, they will enact a law that resembles the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate.
Employer pension costs represent a significant drain on resources that might otherwise have been available for classroom expenditures.
A new study finds that teachers hired during recession periods are more effective in math than teachers who are hired in more secure times because stronger applicants apply for teaching jobs when the economy is not doing well.
Graduation rates don’t tell us very much about whether students are prepared for life after graduation.
If you don’t like the message, kill the messenger
A new report by the Government Accountability Office finds that many states are not complying with a requirement under the Higher Education Act that they evaluate teacher education programs and identify “at risk” and “low performing” programs.
The fierce debate over the privacy of student data often risks preventing students from benefiting from the enormous breakthroughs that technology makes possible in 21st century schools.
I promise that you’ll learn interesting stuff by just spending some time with “Conditions of Education.” And maybe if we all do that, our debates would be a bit more fruitful and a bit less contentious.
Behind the Headline: Arne Duncan’s Wrong Turn on Reform: How Federal Dollars Fueled the Testing Backlash
In an article for The 74, the new reform-oriented education news website launched by Campbell Brown, Matt Barnum looks at the impact of the Obama administration’s decision, in 2009, to push states applying for Race to the Top funds to come up with ways to evaluate all teachers based in part on student test scores.
Why is it so difficult for America’s high-impact, “no-excuses” charter schools to participate in pre-K programs?
Six Catholic schools in East Harlem and the South Bronx have banded together into a network managed by a new group called the Partnership for Inner City Education, which signed an 11-year contract with the Archdiocese of New York to run the schools.
Getting low-income “first-generation” kids into college is hard. Getting them to graduate from college is harder.
What will survive, what will be eliminated, and what’s still up in the air
How much screen time is too much if the game is educational? Sarah Tribble of NPR investigates.
A new video from the Data Quality Campaign shows the kinds of data that can be used to help educators and parents support student learning.
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