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Articles

The Immensity of The Coleman Data Project

Gaining clarity on the report’s flaws will improve future research

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

Schools of Choice

Expanding opportunity for urban minority students

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

In Schools, Teacher Quality Matters Most

Today’s research reinforces Coleman’s findings

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 3

Let My People Go

Teachers fight to end forced union contributions

Summer 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 3

After Common Core, States Set Rigorous Standards

Forty-five states raise the student proficiency bar

Summer 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 3

Forty-five States Increased Academic Proficiency Standards between 2011 and 2015

Commitments to Common Core generate record gains in state standards, no states receive failing grade

Summer 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 3

Desegregation Since the Coleman Report

Racial composition of schools and student learning

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

Are U. S. Schools Really Resegregating?

Segregation still in decline despite decreasing black exposure to white students

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

Equality of Educational Opportunity Today: Reconsidering the Coleman Report on its 50th Anniversary

An Education Next Event

Game Plan for Learning

Building on Coleman’s early theories, new academic competitions motivate students to achieve

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

Work Within and Outside Traditional Schooling

A review of “The Split Screen Strategy,” by Ted Kolderie

What Matters for Student Achievement

Updating Coleman on the influence of families and schools

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

Black-White Achievement Gap Makes Little Progress Since 1960s

Greatest gains in South which has caught up with the rest of the country

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

The Life and Times of James S. Coleman

Hero and villain of school policy research

Spring 2016 / Vol. 16, No. 2

Revisiting the Coleman Report

“Equality of Educational Opportunity” on its 50th Anniversary

How States Should Navigate New Opportunities Under ESSA (Part 1 of 2)

Advice from Nina Rees, Greg Richmond, Aimee Rogstad Guidera, and Mike Magee

More on How States Should Navigate New Opportunities Under ESSA (Part 2 of 2)

Advice from Charles Barone, Bill Jackson, Dane Linn, and Linda Darling-Hammond

The Top 10 Education Next Blog Entries of 2015

Each year we publish a list of the most popular entries on the Education Next blog. There’s usually a surprise or two and the 2015 list is no exception.

The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2015

Which topics were most popular with Education Next readers in 2015?

High-Achieving Countries Leave America Behind

A review of “Failing Our Brightest Kids” by Chester E. Finn Jr. and 
Brandon L. Wright

SPRING 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 2

In Newark, a Gift Wasted?

A review of “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?” by Dale Russakoff

SPRING 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 2

Uncommon Confusion

Washington Supreme Court strikes down charter schools

SPRING 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 2

A Bad Bargain

How teacher collective bargaining affects students’ employment and earnings later in life

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Voucher Victory

“Disingenuous” federal officials lose battle to shut down Louisiana Scholarship Program

Learning English

Accountability, Common Core, and the college-for-all movement are transforming instruction

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

States Move Toward Dual-Immersion and English-Immersion Instruction

Rising standards and accountability initiatives have spotlighted weak ELL programs

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

America’s Mediocre Test Scores

Education crisis or poverty crisis?

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Does Poverty Explain the Mediocre Performance of American Schools?

U.S. students from both affluent and low-income homes underperform their peers in other countries

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

When Does Accountability Work?

Texas system had mixed effects on college graduation rates and future earnings

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Test-based accountability has beneficial long-term effects on the graduation rates and future earnings of disadvantaged Texas students attending schools at risk of failing, new study finds

But disadvantaged students at schools seeking recognition for high performance suffer education and income losses.

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

America’s Smart Kids Left Behind

Catching up to our global peers will require changing education policy and culture

Should Community College Be Free?

Education Next talks with Sara Goldrick-Rab and Andrew Kelly

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

The Economy Needs More Workers with Associate Degrees

Forum: Should Community College Be Free?

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Tuition Is Not the Main Obstacle to Student Success

Forum: Should Community College Be Free?

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Moving Edtech Forward

School networks AltSchool and Summit are betting on a breakthrough

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

History Lessons from a Policy Insider

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

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Teachers Unions at Risk of Losing “Agency Fees”

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could fundamentally alter the education labor landscape

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

A Different Kind of Military School

A review of “Strugglers into Strivers: What the Military Can Teach Us about How Young People Learn and Grow” by Hugh B. Price

SUMMER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 3

One Point Short

Let’s not define students by their test scores

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

The Ideal Blended-Learning Combination

Is one-third computer time about right?

SPRING 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 2

Heading for a Fall

State restrictions on voucher programs rest on shaky foundation

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Learning about Learning

A review of Knowledge Capital of Nations by Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann

Education Department Letter Strays Far From Civil Rights Act

Education mandate will create paperwork, not improve minority education

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Civil Wrongs

Federal equity initiative promotes paperwork, not equality

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

High Marks for Games in the Classroom

A review of The Game Believes in You, by Greg Toppo

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

The 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform

Public thinking on testing, opt out, common core, unions, and more

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

2015 EdNext Poll: Public Backs Testing, Opposes “Opt-out” Movement

Support for Common Core State Standards slips, but opponents are still in the minority; a majority opposes requirements to balance discipline rates across race; only a minority backs union fees for non-union teachers; support for charter schools and tax credits to fund private school scholarships dips, but a majority still favors them

WINTER 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 1

Next Generation Virtual Programs

Through Course Access, students choose from a range of providers

Good News for New Orleans

Early evidence shows reforms lifting student achievement

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

The New Orleans OneApp

Centralized enrollment matches students and schools of choice

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Many Options in New Orleans Choice System

School characteristics vary widely

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

New Orleans Reforms Boost Student Performance

Families have many options as 93 percent of public school students attend charter schools

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

The Myth About the Special Education Gap

Charter enrollments driven by parental choices, not discriminatory policies

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Charter Schools Do Not Appear to Discriminate Against Special Education Students

Students with disabilities more likely to remain in charters than in district schools

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Results of President Obama’s Race to the Top

Win or lose, states enacted education reforms

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

What Did Race to the Top Accomplish?

Education Next talks with Joanne Weiss and Frederick M. Hess

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Lofty Promises But Little Change for America’s Schools

In July 2009, it wasn’t just about the money. The $4 billion (to be spent over four years) amounted to less than 1 percent of what K‒12 schooling spends each year.

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Innovative Program Spurred Meaningful Education Reform

Much has been said about the impact of the Race to the Top program—some good, some not so good, some accurate, some less so.

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Race to the Top Competition Changes State Education Policies

Winners enact new initiatives, strengthen standards and expand charters

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Should Personalization Be the Future of Learning?

Benjamin Riley and Alex Hernandez square off

Wisconsin High School Reaches High International Benchmarks in Math and Reading

Participating in international testing motivates both educators and students

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Wisconsin High Schools Learn from New PISA Test

International comparison drives efforts to improve

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

A Day at the Khan Lab School

Inquiry and self-direction guide student learning

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Digital Games Promise to Improve Math Skills

An excerpt from Greg Toppo’s The Game Believes in You

Blog Posts/Multimedia

Behind the Headline: Can This Man Save U.S. Soccer?

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.

02/12/2016

Pencils Down? Not So Fast

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.

02/12/2016

Charter Schools, Free Association, and Social Entrepreneurship

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.

02/11/2016

Behind the Headline: Assessing Assessments: The New Wave of Testing

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

02/11/2016

I Ain’t Talking to You If You Ain’t Talking About Structural Reform

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.

02/10/2016

Scapegoating Sports

Brookings fellow Michael Hansen has a piece blaming high school sports for distracting public schools from their mission.

02/10/2016

EdNext Podcast: Are American Schools Re-Segregating?

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.

02/10/2016

James Coleman, the “Equality of Opportunity” Study, and School Choice

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.

02/10/2016

Behind the Headline: The Math Revolution

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.

02/09/2016

How Should States Measure School Success?

Most of today’s K–12 accountability systems are, themselves, persistently underperforming.

02/08/2016

What We’re Watching: How Good Are The New Common-Core Aligned Tests?

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.

02/08/2016

Behind the Headline: Teach for America Celebrates 25th Anniversary at Washington Event

Teach for America celebrated its 25th anniversary with a conference in Washington, D.C. attended by thousands of alumni of the program.

02/08/2016

3 Reactions to Our Teacher Prep Reports

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.

02/08/2016

The Educational Freedom Legacy of Andrew Coulson

Early yesterday morning, after a fifteen month battle with brain cancer, Cato Institute Senior Fellow in Education Policy Andrew Coulson passed away.

02/08/2016

What We’re Watching: Should Charter Schools Be Allowed to Push Out Difficult Kids?

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.

02/05/2016

Teach for America Recognizes Teachers Need Portable Benefits

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.

02/05/2016

Behind the Headline: Nation’s Charter Schools Aren’t Growing As Fast As Once Thought

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.

02/04/2016

How Should We Spend $4 Billion on Computer Science Education?

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.

02/04/2016

Behind the Headline: A Radically Sensible Proposal for Training Teachers

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.”

02/04/2016

EdNext Podcast: Do Snow Days Hurt Student Learning?

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.

02/03/2016

Can We Predict Who Will Be a Great Teacher? An Interview with Allison Atteberry

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?

02/02/2016

Star Wars and Education Reform

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.

02/02/2016

Behind the Headline: ‘Micro Schools’ Could Be New Competition for Private K-12

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.”

02/01/2016

Great Ideas For Designing Accountability Systems for Schools

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.

02/01/2016

In Search of On-ramps to Competency-based Learning

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

02/01/2016

Behind the Headline: Sometimes, teacher turnover is a good thing, study finds

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.

02/01/2016

The Three Tribes of the School Choice Movement

The school choice movement’s “big tent” now has factions in its various folds and corners that agree on parental choice but little else.

01/28/2016

What We’re Watching: Who Has the Best Ideas for Accountability under ESSA?

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.

01/28/2016

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.

01/28/2016

Arete: Leveraging the Excitement of Competition to Inspire Academic Excellence

A web application hosts live, online academic competitions among students.

01/27/2016

Retreating to an Education System Without School Choice is Not an Option

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.

01/27/2016

EdNext Podcast: Can Academic Games Motivate Teens in School?

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.

01/27/2016

Behind the Headline: Millions take AP courses, but percentage of schools offering them drops

Participation in the Advanced Placement program has grown from 330,000 students in 1990 to 2.2 million in 2013.

01/26/2016

Behind the Headline: School Closings Rolling In As D.C. Region Digs Out From Snowzilla

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.

01/24/2016

Behind the Headline: Feds Quietly Close Long-Running Probe of Milwaukee Voucher Program

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.

01/24/2016

Would Making College Free Boost Completion Rates?

Free tuition would be a needless windfall for affluent voters and state institutions that does very little to help the needy.

01/24/2016

Ten Things Every American Should Know

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.

01/22/2016

Behind the Headline: The Hidden Bill Young Teachers Pay

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.

01/22/2016

Bullish on Blended-Learning Clusters

An increasing number of regions are trying to create concentrated groups of blended-learning schools alongside education technology companies

01/21/2016

What We’re Watching: Teacher Pensions Explained in Less Than 3 Minutes

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.

01/20/2016

EdNext Podcast: President Obama and the Scrambled Politics of Federal Education Policy

Eric Hanushek talks with Paul E. Peterson about President Obama’s education legacy.

01/20/2016

How to Fund Education Savings Accounts with Tax Credits

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.

01/20/2016

The Bush Education Plan

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.

01/19/2016

The Case for Maximum State Flexibility on ESSA Accountability

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.

01/19/2016

Behind the Headline: Martin Luther King Jr. Born in Atlanta, Jan. 15, 1929

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.

01/15/2016

Eric A. Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson on Changes in the Achievement Gap

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.

01/15/2016

Behind the Headline: Bills to Restructure Detroit K-12 District Finally Proposed

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.

01/15/2016

Behind the Headline: The Key to the White House is Working-Class Whites

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.

01/15/2016

The 2016 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

This list recognizes university-based scholars in the U.S. who are doing the most to influence educational policy and practice.

01/14/2016

On Regulating School Choice: A Response to Critics

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.

01/14/2016

Behind the Headline: Netflix Chief Announces $100 Million Fund for Education

Reid Hastings, the founder of Netflix, announced Tuesday that he is creating a $100 million foundation for education.

01/13/2016

EdNext Podcast: The Coleman Report and the Achievement Gap

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.

01/13/2016

America’s Most Disadvantaged Students Need Real Accountability, Not Ideology

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.

01/12/2016

What We’re Listening To: Slate’s Amicus Podcast on Friedrichs

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.

01/12/2016

Teachers More Likely to Use Private Schools for their Own Kids

These teachers, moreover, support similar choices for other parents and oppose agency fees currently imposed on many.

01/11/2016

The First Negative Effects of Vouchers and the Predictable Misinterpretation

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.

01/11/2016

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.

01/11/2016

The Five Themes of ESSA Coverage

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.

01/08/2016

The Miseducation of Donald Trump Voters

As a new sobriety over the issues animating Trump supporters settles in, I’m hoping for a parallel rethinking among education reformers.

01/07/2016

Behind the Headline: Don’t Fall For Easy Catchphrases Like ‘Race to the Bottom’

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.”

01/07/2016

My Favorite Writing of 2015

As 2015 was coming to a close, I compiled a list of my fifty favorite reads of the year.

01/07/2016

Reason for Despair, Reason for Hope

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.

01/06/2016

EdNext Podcast: Are Teachers Unions an Obstacle to School Improvement?

Michael Lovenheim of Cornell University sits down with Marty West to discuss his new study on the impact of teacher collective bargaining.

01/06/2016

The Folly of Overregulating School Choice

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.

01/05/2016

James S. Coleman: Education’s North Star

For half a century, Coleman’s work has altered the shape of education research, school politics, and school policy.

01/05/2016

Behind the Headline: Why I’m Fighting My Teachers Union

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.

01/04/2016

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.

01/03/2016

What We’re Watching: Arne Duncan on Race to the Top

In a talk delivered on November 12, Arne Duncan spoke about the legacy of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program.

12/29/2015

Education Posts I Wish I’d Written This Year

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.

12/23/2015

Insights from a Blended-Learning Teacher

An interview with Amy Carlson, a blended-learning coach at Highline School District in Seattle.

12/22/2015

A Different Kind of Lesson from Finland

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.

12/22/2015

5 Thoughts on ESSA

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.

12/21/2015

Governor Cuomo’s Task Force Looks to Bury Higher Standards

New York has all the pieces in place to become a national leader in education, but Governor Andrew Cuomo would rather switch than fight.

12/21/2015

Have You Heard? The EdNext Podcast is Here!

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.

12/18/2015

Behind the Headline: Success Academy Schools, in Shortening Their Day, Shed a Distinction

Success Academy charter schools will shorten their school day next year, Eva Moskowitz, the head of the charter network announced this week.

12/18/2015

Behind the Headline: Coming To Texas: Special-Ed Cams To Protect Students From Their Own Teachers

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.

12/18/2015

The Next-Gen High School to Watch

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.

12/17/2015

Behind the Headline: Leading By Example: Black Male Teachers Make Students ‘Feel Proud’

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.

12/17/2015

What We’re Watching: Implementing ESSA – What to Expect in 2016

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.

12/16/2015

EdNext Podcast: Mike Petrilli on ESSA

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?

12/16/2015

Behind the Headline: Chris Cerf Reviews ‘The Prize’

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.

12/15/2015

School Pension Costs Continue to Rise

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.

12/15/2015

Germany Is Leaving its Bright Students Behind

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.

12/15/2015

How Woodrow Wilson Denied African-Americans an Academic Education

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.

12/14/2015

Is the Victory of School Choice Inevitable?

Fordham’s new report on America’s best and worst cities for school choice shows above all that choice is growing.

12/11/2015

The Montessori Approach to Teacher Training: An Interview With Jackie Cossentino

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.

12/11/2015

Losing the Ability to Compare Academic Performance Across States

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.”

12/10/2015

The New Education Philanthropy

A new book from Harvard Education Press aims to launch an honest and open discussion about effective strategies for foundations.

12/10/2015

ESEA and the Return of a Well-Rounded Curriculum

The sooner schools see building knowledge across the curriculum as Job One in strengthening reading comprehension, the better.

12/09/2015

EdNext Podcast: William Howell on the Obama Administration’s Education Legacy

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?

12/09/2015

Straight-Up Conversation: DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson

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.

12/09/2015

Should Your Next-Door Neighbor Assess Your Daughter’s Reading Skills?

Citizen-led assessments can be a useful tool to address common obstacles to low demand for quality education in developing countries.

12/08/2015

Behind the Headline: As D.C. Gentrifies, Some Charter Schools Aim To Reach Broader Spectrum

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.

12/07/2015

States v. Districts in the Every Student Succeeds Act

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.

12/07/2015

Behind the Headline: Standardized Testing Works, Depending On Where You Go To School

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.

12/07/2015

Behind the Headline: High-Poverty Schools Often Staffed by Rotating Cast of Substitutes

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.

12/07/2015

Behind the Headline: Where Will Mark Zuckerberg Direct His $45 Billion? Here Are Some Clues

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.”

12/07/2015

Looking to Hire a Manuscript Editor for Education Next

We seek someone with excellent writing, editing, communication, and organizational skills and a substantial knowledge of education policy and research.

12/04/2015

School Accountability Before, During, and After NCLB

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.

12/03/2015

Blame Woodrow Wilson for Americans’ Lack of Historical Literacy

One hundred years ago, the Wilson administration put the clout of the federal government behind a new curricular development – social studies.

12/03/2015

Non-Cognitive Measures Not Ready for Accountability

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.

12/03/2015

Behind the Headline: Ohio’s ‘Parent Trigger’ Law Doesn’t Work

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.

12/03/2015

Accountability and the Every Student Succeeds Act

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.

12/02/2015

Scoring the New Every Student Succeeds Act

ESSA doesn’t come close to getting it all right, but it’s a vast improvement on NCLB and the status quo.

12/02/2015

Common Core Not Dead Yet

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.

12/02/2015

EdNext Podcast: Deborah McGriff on Charter Schools and Innovation

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.

12/02/2015

Has Common Core Influenced Instruction?

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.

12/01/2015

Behind the Headline: The Catholic School Revival

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Zinsmeister looks at the surprising boost Catholic schooling is getting from charter schooling.

11/30/2015

Behind the Headline: To Build a Better Teacher, Harvard Launches Program Aimed at Quality

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.

11/30/2015

What We’re Listening To: Does Early Education Come Too Late?

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.

11/27/2015

What If the Government Shut Down Failing Schools and Left the Rest (Mostly) Alone

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.

11/25/2015

Behind the Headline: Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburban Ones Often Don’t.

On the Upshot, Susan Dynarski provides a careful review of the evidence on the effectiveness of charter schools.

11/25/2015

Competitive Grants and Federal Education Policy

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.

11/24/2015

Heroism and Humility in Education Reform

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.

11/24/2015

The New ESEA Will Help America’s High Achievers, But Only If States Rise to the Challenge

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.

11/24/2015

Behind the Headline: Louisiana’s School Voucher Victory

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.

11/23/2015

Anti-Semitism and Religious Schools

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

11/23/2015

Graphs: Teacher Pension Costs Are Higher Than Teacher Pension Benefits

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.

11/23/2015

A Tribute to John Chubb

John Chubb passed away on November 12, 2015, after a valiant struggle with cancer.

11/20/2015

Hillary Clinton Should Listen to Her Friend Raj Chetty on Teacher Effectiveness

She could learn about his work linking value-added measurement (VAM) scores of teachers to their students’ long-term life outcomes

11/19/2015

The Winter 2016 Issue of Education Next Is Here

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.

11/19/2015

What We’re Watching: Marco Rubio Talks K-12 Education

Marco Rubio sat down with the Seventy Four’s Campbell Brown to discuss his views on federal education policy.

11/19/2015

The New ESEA, in a Single Table

Capitol Hill staff have reached an agreement on the reauthorization of ESEA. What’s in the compromise? Here’s what I know.

11/18/2015

What We’re Watching: ESEA Conference Committee Meeting

The joint conference committee to reauthorize ESEA met on Wednesday afternoon and will meet again on Thursday morning at 10:00 am.

11/18/2015

Time’s Up: Full-Time Virtual Charter Schools Must Become Transparent Together

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.

11/18/2015

EdNext Podcast: Which Test Better Predicts College Success, MCAS or PARCC?

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.

11/18/2015

Is America’s Poverty Rate Exceptional? It Depends On How You Define Poverty.

America’s efforts to combat poverty look very different in international comparison depending on what you count and how you measure.

11/17/2015

R.I.P. John Chubb

John Chubb was a fine scholar, tireless education reformer, and creative innovator.

11/17/2015

Behind the Headline: John E. Chubb, Education Researcher and National Private School Leader, Dies

Influential education researcher and leader John Chubb passed away last week.

11/16/2015

Behind the Headline: Sources: House and Senate Negotiators Have Reached Preliminary ESEA Deal

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.

11/13/2015

District and Charter Schools Communicate More Than Before, but True Collaboration is Limited

A new report looks at district-charter engagement in five cities.

11/13/2015

Behind the Headline: How To Build a Better Teacher: Groups Push a 9-Point Plan Called TeachStrong

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.

11/12/2015

Six Headlines From 2015 NAEP TUDA

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.

11/12/2015

Should NAEP Tests Be Updated to Reflect What’s in the Common Core?

It’s critical that NAEP’s math (and reading and writing) frameworks not flex with recent changes in standards, curriculum or pedagogical emphasis.

11/12/2015

Behind the Headline: Common Core Grade Inflation

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.

11/12/2015

EdNext Podcast: Gerard Robinson on Education Policy and the Presidential Race

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.

11/11/2015

Charter Schools Are Much More Than R&D Labs for School Districts

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.

11/11/2015

Behind the Headline: Here’s Why $7 Billion Didn’t Help America’s Worst Schools

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.”

11/11/2015

Rethinking Charter School Evaluations When the Gold Standard Is Off the Table

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.

11/09/2015

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.

11/09/2015

Are Disruption-Free Schools Only for the Rich?

Why is it “unfair” to give poor families the studious, disruption-free schools the rich take for granted?

11/09/2015

Why Do German Students Learn More, When Their Schools Get Less Money?

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.

11/09/2015

New York City is Failing Its Bright Poor Students

New York is leaving too many gifted children behind, especially disadvantaged students who are gifted.

11/09/2015

Can We Allow Some Schools To Exclude Disruptive Students?

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.

11/06/2015

Behind the Headline: Rewriting No Child Left Behind: Three Testing Issues to Watch

Will Congress reauthorize ESEA in the coming months? If so they’ll have to resolve a handful of disagreements related to testing.

11/06/2015

Behind the Headline: The War Over Evaluating Teachers—Where it Went Right and How it Went Wrong

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.

11/05/2015

Behind the Headline: School vs. Society in America’s Failing Students

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.

11/05/2015

Pell Grants Should Go (Only) to Needy Students Who Are Ready for College

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?

11/05/2015

What We’re Watching: Pre-Medial Education Event at Fordham

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.

11/05/2015

Teacher Retention and the Economy: An Example from North Carolina

Teacher turnover rates don’t change all that much over time, but we see higher turnover during economic expansions than during recessions.

11/04/2015

EdNext Podcast: Does Test-Based Accountability Work?

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.

11/04/2015

Behind the Headline: Does the U.S. Lead the World in Childhood Poverty? Absolutely Not.

“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.

11/03/2015

What We’re Watching: AEI Event on Brown v. Board of Education II 60 Years Later

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.

11/02/2015

Can City Schools Address the Achievement and Opportunity Gap?

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.

11/02/2015

Behind the Headline: College Aid: Obama to Extend Pell Grants to Some HS Students

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.

11/02/2015

What We’re Watching: Why Knowledge Is the Key to Skills — and the Common Core

On October 29, Fordham hosted a discussion of how the pursuit of skills rather than knowledge is widening the achievement gap.

10/30/2015

Behind the Headline: The Poverty Cure: Get Married

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.

10/30/2015

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.

10/30/2015

How Do States Really Stack Up on the 2015 NAEP?

The declines in NAEP scores from 2013 to 2015 are unlikely to be explained by shifts in student demographics.

10/29/2015

Fix Online Charter School Policy: It’s Past Time

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.

10/29/2015

Behind the Headline: The Tech Elite’s Quest to Reinvent School in Its Own Image

Jason Tanz takes a close look at the Khan Lab School in Mountain View, California for Wired magazine.

10/29/2015

Heartbreak on NAEP

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.

10/28/2015

Behind the Headline: U.S. Student Performance Slips on National Test

Scores on the NAEP test, sometimes called the Nation’s Report Card, were released this morning and the results were not good.

10/28/2015

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.

10/28/2015

EdNext Podcast: Al Hubbard on School Choice in Indiana

Al Hubbard talks with Paul E. Peterson about the state of school choice and other reforms in his home state of Indiana.

10/28/2015

What We’re Watching: Katherine Bradley on the School of the Future

AEI hosted a discussion with Katherine Bradley on how technology and adaptive-learning software can be used to revolutionize learning.

10/26/2015

Over the Long Term, NAEP Scores Are Way, Way Up

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.

10/26/2015

Behind the Headline: Surprise: Florida and Texas Excel in Math and Reading Scores

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.

10/26/2015

Will Declines in NAEP Scores Follow Declines in Median Income?

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.

10/26/2015

Behind the Headline: Obama Proposes Capping Standardized Testing at 2% of Classroom Time

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.

10/25/2015

Behind the Headline: Should We Turn High School Into College?

This fall, a low-income school district in Texas became the first large district to implement “early college” in all of its high schools.

10/23/2015

Behind the Headline: A Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls

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.

10/23/2015

Evaluating the DC School Voucher Program

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

10/22/2015

Straw Men and Choice Regulation

What is the right amount of regulation for school choice?

10/22/2015

Behind the Headline: Tiny Schools, Big Impact

There’s a lot of buzz about tiny schools like Altschools, but also a lot of skepticism, writes Michael McShane.

10/22/2015

EdNext Podcast: Michael Podgursky on Pension Reform

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.

10/21/2015

Majority Of School Respondents In Ohio Report Using Blended Learning

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.

10/21/2015

Behind the Headline: Make Pell Grants Conditional on College Readiness

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

10/21/2015

Behind the Headline: High School Graduation Rates Are On The Rise In Most States

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.

10/20/2015

Behind the Headline: State Faces Testing Showdown

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.

10/20/2015

What the 2016 Race May Hold for Education

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.

10/19/2015

Behind the Headline: Are Charter Schools a Threat or Opportunity for Los Angeles?

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.

10/19/2015

Behind the Headline: An Uncivil Civil War

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.

10/19/2015

So Far Only Ohio is Backing Off A High Standard for Proficiency

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.

10/16/2015

Behind the Headline: Schools for Wisdom

In his column in this morning’s New York Times, David Brooks reacts to a documentary about education called “Most Likely to Succeed.”

10/16/2015

What We’re Watching: We Don’t Want School Choice

In this humorous video by ChoiceMediaTV parents, talk about why they don’t want school choice.

10/16/2015

Are Test Scores Good Proxies for School Quality?

Test scores aren’t everything, but they are associated with long-term outcomes.

10/15/2015

Ohio Fixes Its Charter Law

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.

10/15/2015

Stepping Aside To Dig Deeper: My Next Career Move

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.

10/15/2015

Behind the Headline: Democrats Propose Tuition-Free Public College, Vow to Lower Student Debt

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.

10/14/2015

EdNext Podcast: Arne Duncan’s Legacy

Michael B. Horn and Paul E. Peterson discuss Arne Duncan’s decision to resign and what his legacy will be as Secretary of Education.

10/14/2015

Do New Common Core Test Results Tell Us Anything New?

What do new assessments aligned to the Common Core tell us? Not much more than what we already knew.

10/14/2015

Education Savings Accounts Are For More Than Just Private School Tuition

In Arizona, families use ESAs to access a variety of learning opportunities for their children.

10/14/2015

Curriculum: The Great Divide Among Education Reformers

For some education reformers, other reforms seem much more important than curriculum battles. Here’s what they are missing.

10/13/2015

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.

10/13/2015

Behind the Headline: California Exit Exam’s Demise Revives Dreams for Thousands

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law that suspends the state’s high school exit exam for three years.

10/12/2015

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.

10/12/2015

“Deans for Impact” Group Aims to Reform Ed Schools From Within

Two dozen deans of education schools have come together to embrace empirical validation of teacher preparation methods and accountability for student learning.

10/12/2015

Ed Next Book Club: Failing Our Brightest Kids

Mike Petrilli interviews Chester Finn and Brandon Wright about their new book.

10/09/2015

Behind the Headline: A Fight Over Private Schools, Federal Dollars and Home Rule

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.

10/09/2015

Are Achievement Tests a Reasonable Proxy for School Quality?

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

10/09/2015

Is It Really Possible That Professional Development Doesn’t Work?

What TNTP’s report “The Mirage” gets wrong on teacher development

10/08/2015

Is It Really Possible That Professional Development Doesn’t Work? A Response to Andy Smarick

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.

10/08/2015

Does Regulation Improve the Political Prospects for Choice?

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

10/08/2015

Breaking Apart the Silos of Education Research, Policy, and Practice

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.

10/07/2015

EdNext Podcast: The Challenges of Implementing Tech-Based Personalized Learning

Michael Horn and Paul E. Peterson discuss the growth of personalized learning and how technology can help advance it.

10/07/2015

Does Regulation Protect Kids and Improve Outcomes from Choice?

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

10/07/2015

Behind the Headline: A Tale of Two Schools, One Building

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.

10/07/2015

The True Teacher-Experience Premium

Backloading teachers’ pensions substantially increases the compensation of experienced teachers relative to younger teachers.

10/06/2015

Do State Funds Require Accountability to the State for Performance?

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

10/06/2015

No, the Sky is Not Falling: Interpreting the Latest SAT Scores

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.

10/05/2015

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

10/05/2015

The High-Regulation Approach to School Choice

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

10/05/2015

What We’re Watching: Failing Our Brightest Kids Event at Hoover in DC

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.

10/03/2015

Behind the Headline: Arne Duncan Stepping Down, Returning to Chicago

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that he will step down in December.

10/02/2015

Behind the Headline: What if No Child Left Behind Worked and Nobody Realized It? Blame the Media.

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.

10/02/2015

What We’re Listening To: Can CBT Help Troubled Young Men Stop Fighting and Stay in School?

Freakonomics Radio looks at an effort to reduce violence and dropout rates among young men in the Chicago Public Schools using cognitive behavioral therapy.

10/02/2015

Schooling Isn’t Learning, the Rewards to Better Schools Are Enormous, and Other Observations from Eric Hanushek

An interview about accountability, attainment, and more

10/01/2015

Colorado Supreme Court Won’t Tell Legislature How to Allocate Tax Dollars

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.

10/01/2015

A Shocking College-Readiness Gap in the Suburbs

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.

09/30/2015

EdNext Podcast: What Does the Public Want Taught?

Paul E. Peterson, Martin R. West and Michael B. Henderson discuss what the public thinks schools should be teaching more of.

09/30/2015

Behind the Headline: Lesson-Sharing Sites Raise Issues of Ownership, Use

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.

09/29/2015

What We’re Watching: Developing Strong K-12 Leaders from Within

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.

09/29/2015

Behind the Headline: Why the Friedrichs Court Case Will Give Teachers More Power — and Better Pay

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 […]

09/28/2015

Actually, Boehner’s Resignation Doesn’t Change the Odds on ESEA

The odds of ESEA reauthorization weren’t good before Boehner’s announcement. After Boehner’s announcement, not a lot has changed.

09/28/2015

Sorry, Folks, ESEA Reauthorization Just Got Much Harder

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.

09/28/2015

Behind the Headline: When America Hated Catholics

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.

09/25/2015

Behind the Headline: $490-Million Plan Would Put Half of LAUSD Students in Charter Schools

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.

09/24/2015

What We’re Listening To: Lower Income, Higher Ed

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.

09/24/2015

In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Initiatives Threaten to Widen the Achievement Gap

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.

09/24/2015

Behind the Headline: Race and Class Collide in a Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools

As gentrification brings new families into many Brooklyn neighborhoods, some schools there are becoming overcrowded and redrawing school boundaries is on the table.

09/24/2015

EdNext Podcast: The Department of Education’s Equity Initiative

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.

09/23/2015

NYT on Education and the Sharing Economy

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?

09/22/2015

Behind the Headline: Catholic Schools Are Back, and There’s Hope for Their Future

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.

09/22/2015

The Real Battle for Common Core Begins

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.

09/22/2015

Ed Next Book Club: The Prize

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.

09/22/2015

Correcting Misinformation on School Choice

Yet another author ignores the ample evidence available that school choice provides benefits for children.

09/22/2015

Would Pension Plans Be Fine If They Were (Magically) Fully Funded?

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.

09/21/2015

More Than A Slogan

Five good reasons federalism is so important in education

09/21/2015

Behind the Headline: KIPP Charter School Students Show Lasting Achievement Gains, Study Finds

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.

09/18/2015

What We’re Listening To: Boston Schools Seek To Increase Teacher Diversity

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.

09/17/2015

On Constitution Day, in Search of the Public Mission of Schools

Today is Constitution Day, when all schools receiving federal funds are expected to provide lessons or other programming on our most important founding document.

09/17/2015

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.

09/16/2015

What We’re Watching: AEI Conference on Education Reform After Katrina

On September 16, AEI hosted an event on the state of education reform in New Orleans ten years after Hurricane Katrina.

09/16/2015

EdNext Podcast: School Reform in New Orleans After 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.

09/16/2015

Politicians Couldn’t Agree on a “Common” Yardstick for Schools. Statisticians Created One Anyway.

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.

09/16/2015

Behind the Headline: The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

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.

09/16/2015

The Common Core Test Wake-Up Call Is Here

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.

09/15/2015

Behind the Headline: Laurene Powell Jobs Commits $50 Million to Create New High Schools

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, is launching a $50 million effort to reinvent the high school.

09/14/2015

Behind the Headline: A Federal Raid on Local Schools

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.

09/13/2015

More Girls Than Boys in D.C.’s Top High Schools

What can we do to keep more boys on the path to achievement long before high school?

09/13/2015

How Independent Schools Can Ward Off Disruption

Micro-schools have the potential to transform the independent schooling landscape—and threaten existing independent schools in the process

09/11/2015

A Supreme Hit to Charter Schools in Washington

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.

09/11/2015

Behind the Headline: Houston ISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier Resigns

Houston Superintendent Terry Grier has announced that he is resigning effective March 2016.

09/10/2015

Court Ruling Against Charter Schools Romanticizes an Obsolete Version of Local Control

With its ruling, the court has locked Washington State into a defunct, hundred-year-old notion of public schooling.

09/10/2015

Behind the Headline: Seattle Teachers Strike On First Day Of School

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.”

09/09/2015

Behind the Headline: Rideshares for Kids Take On the After-School Pickup

A new company in the Bay Area is operating as an Uber for kids who need rides to and from school and afterschool activities.

09/09/2015

EdNext Podcast: Does the Public Support Higher Teacher Salaries?

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.

09/09/2015

Behind the Headline: Teachers Aren’t Dumb

“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.

09/08/2015

Behind the Headline: Newark Students Are Better Off, Despite The Political Noise

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.

09/08/2015

Behind the Headline: Washington Charter School Law Ruled Unconstitutional by State’s High Court

The Washington Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the state’s charter-school law is unconstitutional.

09/07/2015

Republicans and Democrats Disagree on the Relative Importance of Reading, Math, and the Arts

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.

09/04/2015

Why is High School Achievement Flat?

The latest SAT scores are out and seem to show that education reform is hitting a wall in high school.

09/04/2015

Behind the Headline: Has Gentrification Begun in New Orleans Public Schools?

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.

09/04/2015

New Orleans: A Success Story? Yes. A National Model? Maybe Not.

Which strategy should the charter sector pursue in the short- to medium-term: selective chartering or a district-wide replacement strategy?

09/03/2015

Six Education Themes for 2016

Here are six education policy themes—and associated infographics—that I hope the Presidential candidates embrace.

09/03/2015

Behind the Headline: Indianapolis Pact Couples New Teacher Roles and Big Pay Boosts

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.

09/03/2015

EdNext Podcast: Is Support for the Common Core Dropping or Stabilizing?

Marty West and Paul E. Peterson discuss the public’s changing opinion of the Common Core.

09/02/2015

Behind the Headline: Tests Matter

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.

09/02/2015

What We’re Watching: America’s Neglected Gifted Kids

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.

09/01/2015

The Fall 2015 Issue of Education Next is Here!

The cover features three articles assessing school reform in New Orleans on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

09/01/2015

Education Governance: Who Makes the Decisions and Who Has the Power?

Our education governance system, lamented and disparaged as it often is, is one of the least understood aspects of American K–12 schooling.

09/01/2015

Behind the Headline: The Obligations of High-Output Charter High Schools

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.

09/01/2015

Scott Walker’s Act 10 Caused an Uproar, But Things Are Mostly Back to Normal

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.

08/31/2015

‘No-Racially-Disparate-Discipline’ Policies Opposed by Both Teachers and General Public

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.

08/31/2015

Behind the Headline: How Common Core Can Help in the Battle of Skills vs. Knowledge

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.

08/31/2015

Top K-12 Education Policy Organizations and Media Outlets on Social Media 2015

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.

08/28/2015

Keep Your Yardsticks Off Teachers’ Careers, Unless . . .

… the results of teacher evaluations are used to give teachers better on-the-job training and meaningful opportunities for advancement.

08/28/2015

Can Teachers Really Teach Anywhere?

Teachers are much more likely to move within a state than to cross state lines.

08/28/2015

New Orleans Education Coverage by Education Next

Research, features, and opinion from Ed Next authors on schools in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina

08/28/2015

Charter Schools: Taking Stock

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..

08/27/2015

Finland Offers Lessons For Building Student, Teacher Agency

American schools don’t expect youth to be responsible for themselves or their learning. Finnish schools are different.

08/27/2015

Behind the Headline: 2 Polls Span 2 Poles On Testing In Schools

Does the American public support annual testing or think there’s too much testing, or both?

08/26/2015

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.

08/26/2015

Top K-12 Education Policy People on Social Media 2015

It’s time for my annual list of top Twitter handles in education policy.

08/26/2015

EdNext Podcast: Comparing the EdNext Poll to the PDK Poll

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.

08/26/2015

What We’re Watching: Virtual Tour of Success Academy Charter Schools

An immersive, 360-degree panoramic view inside a Success Academy elementary school.

08/25/2015

Why Do Two Good Polls Get Different Results?

Gauging public opinion on parental opt-out, charters, Common Core and vouchers

08/25/2015

CNN’s Misleading Story on Homework

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.

08/25/2015

Behind the Headline: How New Orleans Proved Urban Education Reform Can Work

“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.

08/25/2015

Common Core’s Silent Majority

The public is still quietly backing Common Core by a margin of nearly 15 percentage points

08/24/2015

The Feds Have Not Convinced Parents, Teachers, or the General Public on School Discipline

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.

08/24/2015

Behind the Headline: Time Out for Opt-Outs?

“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.

08/24/2015

Digital Providers: Let Great Teachers Drive Technology Use, Get Results

What should we take away from News Corp.’s recent announcement that it is writing off losses stemming from its digital education wing Amplify?

08/24/2015

Behind the Headline: State Law Forces Milwaukee to Put Vacant Schools Up for Sale

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.

08/22/2015

New Orleans and the Remaking of American Urban Public Schooling

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.

08/21/2015

Behind the Headline: Billions in Pell Dollars go to Students Who Never Graduate

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.

08/21/2015

Job Opportunity at Education Next

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.

08/21/2015

400-Plus People and Organizations To Follow on Twitter

It’s August, which means it’s time for my annual list of top Twitter feeds in education policy.

08/20/2015

New Poll Offers News Both Heartening and Glum for Education Reformers

When it comes to fundamental principles and practices regarding K–12 education, the American public is generally pretty sensible and steadfast.

08/20/2015

Teacher Retention Rates Are Up, Not Down

The data simply don’t support the notion that teachers are leaving schools in droves in response to recent education reforms.

08/20/2015

What We’re Watching: The New Hampshire Education Summit

The 74’s Campbell Brown interviewed GOP presidential candidates about education policy in New Hampshire on August 19.

08/19/2015

Common Core: How Much Do People Know About Its Real Impact?

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?

08/19/2015

Behind the Headline: Teachers and Schools are Funded at a Higher Rate Than Most People Know

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.

08/18/2015

What the Republican Presidential Contenders Should Be Saying About Education

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.

08/18/2015

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.

08/17/2015

Behind the Headline: A Wink, a Nod and a Diploma?

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.

08/17/2015

What We’re Watching: One New Orleans Senior Struggles to Graduate

Nola.com tells the story of Sean Talley, an at-risk teenager from New Orleans trying to make it through high school.

08/17/2015

Unions Love Social Security. They Just Don’t Want it for All Their Workers

Over 6 million public sector workers are not covered by Social Security, including about 1.2 million public school teachers.

08/17/2015

What Should States Do About School Districts In Financial Trouble?

Communities rarely embrace tough trade-offs. We need to lean on school boards and superintendents to take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously.

08/17/2015

Why Teachers Shouldn’t Grade Their Own Students

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.

08/14/2015

Behind the Headline: 20% of New York State Students Opted Out of Standardized Tests This Year

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.

08/13/2015

What We’re Watching: Baseball Players To Visit Schools That Set High Standards

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 .”

08/13/2015

Why the New ESEA Won’t Embrace “Tight As To Results, Loose On How To Achieve Them”

If the ESEA renewal processes gets across the finish line, the federal government will have much less power than it does today.

08/13/2015

Behind the Headline: Crowded Field of Online News Sites Focuses on Education Issues

“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.

08/13/2015

What We’re Listening To: Diane Rehm Show on Teacher Shortages

Is there a nationwide teacher shortage? Why are so many districts struggling to fill certain kinds of teaching slots?

08/13/2015

What Education Activist Campbell Brown Should Ask the 2016 GOP Hopefuls

Next week’s Education Summit in New Hampshire will give voters a chance to learn about the Republican candidates’ views on education.

08/12/2015

Julie Young Returns To Online Learning

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.

08/12/2015

Behind the Headline: Charlotte, N.C. Gave Principals Power Over Teacher Layoffs. What Happened?

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.

08/12/2015

What I Learned From Today’s Young Education Innovators

Earlier this year, Forbes released a celebration of edu-wunderkinds, its “30 under 30” in education.

08/11/2015

Behind the Headline: Judge Rules New York Teacher Exam Did Not Discriminate Against Minorities

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.

08/10/2015

What We’re Listening To: New Orleanians See Remarkable Progress A Decade After Hurricane Katrina

A new survey looks at how residents of New Orleans are feeling ten years after Hurricane Katrina.

08/10/2015

Teacher Shortage? Blame the Economy

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.

08/10/2015

Instead of Ineffective Professional Development, Try Redesigning Teacher Roles

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.

08/10/2015

Behind the Headline: Anxiety, Frustration and Incredulity Follow Suggestion of School Sports Cuts

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.

08/10/2015

Behind the Headline: CDC: Too Many Schools Start Class Too Early, A Problem For Student Health

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.

08/07/2015

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.”

08/07/2015

What We’re Listening To: This American Life on Desegregation

Nikole Hannah-Jones tells the story of Normandy School District, which accidentally launched a desegregation program.

08/07/2015

The Myth of Today’s Exhausted, Overscheduled Superkids

If American childhood has become a hothouse of overscheduling and stress, it’s not showing up in the data.

08/06/2015

A Pause in the History Wars

The College Board deserves a cheer for trying to stabilize the vessel known as Advanced Placement U.S. History

08/06/2015

The Resurgence of Urban Catholic Education?

Religious and lay leaders are creating new schools, networks and governance models.

08/05/2015

Behind the Headline: Billions of Dollars in Annual Teacher Training is Largely a Waste

A new study by TNTP finds no evidence that any kind of teacher professional development consistently helps teachers improve in the classroom.

08/05/2015

New Orleans Reforms Boost School Performance

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?

08/04/2015

Behind the Headline: It’s Time to Reconsider the Parent Trigger

The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times writes that it’s time for changes to be made to California’s parent trigger law.

08/04/2015

Is the Friedrichs Case an ‘Existential Threat’ to the Teachers’ Unions?

The Supreme Court has a chance to strike down union agency fees.

08/03/2015

Chicago Running Out of Options after Pension Reform Law Overturned

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.

08/03/2015

Behind the Headline: Success Academy Gets $8.5 Million to Add Charter Schools in New York City

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.

08/03/2015

Behind the Headline: The $1-A-Week School

Across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia inexpensive private schools are booming.

08/03/2015

What We’re Watching: Dual Credit STEM Courses In Chicago High Schools

Chicago Public Television looks at five high schools where students are earning college credit through an early college program.

08/02/2015

A Few Lessons That AP U.S. History Can Teach the Common Core

Yesterday the College Board released its newly revised version of the AP U.S. History framework.

07/31/2015

Behind the Headline: State-Run Achievement School District Posts Big Gains

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.

07/31/2015

What We’re Watching: Key & Peele’s ‘TeachingCenter’

A new sketch from Comedy Central’s Key & Peele imagines teachers being treated like professional athletes.

07/31/2015

Why Catholic School Reform Isn’t Like Other School Reforms

Something special happens in schools rooted in enduring relationships and timeless values.

07/30/2015

Behind the Headline: BASIS, One of America’s Top Charter School Networks, Seeks New Turf: China

BASIS schools, which began as a network of academically challenging charter schools and now include private schools, will open a new school in China.

07/29/2015

What We’re Watching: The Complicated Problem Of Race And Special Education

Are minority students, particularly African Americans, overrepresented or underrepresented in special ed? Experts discuss a new study.

07/29/2015

What We’re Listening To: Michael McShane Banters About Education Entrepreneurship

Mike McShane discusses a recent conference AEI held on the state of education entrepreneurship in K-12 education.

07/29/2015

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.

07/29/2015

Public Supports Testing, Opposes Opt-Out, Opposes Federal Intervention

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.

07/28/2015

School Pension Costs Have Doubled Over the Last Decade, Now Top $1,000 Per Pupil Nationally

Employer pension costs represent a significant drain on resources that might otherwise have been available for classroom expenditures.

07/28/2015

Behind the Headline: Quality of Teacher Hires Improved During the Recession, Analysis Finds

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.

07/28/2015

Graduation Rates Are Insufficient as an Accountability Measure

Graduation rates don’t tell us very much about whether students are prepared for life after graduation.

07/27/2015

Diane Ravitch, Union Shops and the Education Next Poll

If you don’t like the message, kill the messenger

07/27/2015

Behind the Headline: Missing, Messy Teacher-Prep Data Stumps Even Federal Watchdog

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.

07/27/2015

Privacy Push Must Not Prevent Personalized Learning

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.

07/24/2015

In God We Trust; All Others Bring Data

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.

07/23/2015

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.

07/23/2015

Pre-K and Charter Schools: Where State Policies Create Barriers to Collaboration

Why is it so difficult for America’s high-impact, “no-excuses” charter schools to participate in pre-K programs?

07/23/2015

Behind the Headline: Facing Decline, Catholic Schools Form a Charter-Like Network

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.

07/23/2015

The Hard Work Has Just Begun

Getting low-income “first-generation” kids into college is hard. Getting them to graduate from college is harder.

07/22/2015

The Contours of a Deal on ESEA Are In Sight

What will survive, what will be eliminated, and what’s still up in the air

07/22/2015

What We’re Listening To: Sometimes A Little More Minecraft May Be Quite All Right

How much screen time is too much if the game is educational? Sarah Tribble of NPR investigates.

07/22/2015

What We’re Watching: What Is Student Data?

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.

07/22/2015

Opportunity Culture Outcomes: The First Two Years

Can we work together to change policies and systems to support giving every student access to excellent teaching, and giving every teacher outstanding career opportunities without being forced up and out of the classroom?

07/21/2015

Not in the Right Ballpark

A continuation of the debate over a study on the impact of school spending by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico

07/20/2015

Eye-Opening Stats About High School and College Dropouts

American adults in the 1940s had about the same odds of being a high school graduate as today’s Americans have of being a college graduate.

07/20/2015

Behind the Headline: These Phone Notifications Could Actually Change Your Kid’s Life

A study finds that text messages sent to the parents of preschoolers encouraging them to engage in literacy-boosting activities has a positive impact on literacy skills.

07/20/2015

Behind the Headline: The Bizarre Alliance Between Republicans and Teachers Unions, Explained

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act by a vote of 81-17. The Every Child Achieves act would keep the testing requirements from No Child Left Behind but allow states to come up with their own systems for holding schools accountable for results.

07/20/2015

Money Does Matter After All

A response to Eric Hanushek

07/17/2015

Money Matters After All?

A response to Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico

07/17/2015

Teachers and the Public Oppose Agency Fees Charged By Teachers Unions

Judging by a recent survey, a plurality of the American public and an equally large share of teachers oppose forced union payments.

07/16/2015

Implementing Common Core: The Problem of Instructional Time

This is part two of my analysis of instruction and Common Core’s implementation.

07/16/2015

Faith, Hope, and Hard Work: Reflections on Year One of Partnership Schools

June marked the end of my first year as superintendent of Partnership Schools, a nonprofit school management organization that was granted broad authority to manage and operate six K–8 urban Catholic schools.

07/15/2015

Why Aren’t NAEP Scores for High School Students Going Up?

And how do we kickstart achievement for high school students?

07/15/2015

What We’re Watching: Campbell Brown Launches The Seventy Four

Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has launched an education-focused website called The Seventy Four.

07/13/2015

Is a Massive New Set of Federal Regulations the Best Way to Reform Head Start?

Head Start is an example of sound impulses gone missing into the jungles of governmental extravagance and bureaucracy.

07/13/2015

Chicago Made Its $634 Million Pension Payment, but Still Shortchanges Teachers

Because of post-recession pension cuts, new teachers in Chicago were placed in a less-generous plan and will face negative net benefits for their first two decades of service.

07/13/2015

What We’re Watching: What Should Replace No Child Left Behind?

Rick Hess and Bob Wise appear on PBS NewsHour to talk about how federal education policy should work in a post-NCLB world.

07/13/2015

Behind the Headline: The Next Phase of D.C. Education Reform

In the Washington Post, Richard Whitmire writes about a new report from the National Research Council that finds that students in Washington, D.C., including low-income minority students, are doing better.

07/12/2015

What We’re Watching: Blended Learning in a Pod at Intrinsic Schools

WTTW takes a look at Intrinsic Schools, a Chicago blended-learning charter school

07/11/2015

A Checklist for Fixing ESEA

Things are moving rapidly here in DC. Yesterday, on a 218-213 vote, the House narrowly passed the Student Success Act.

07/09/2015

Behind the Headline: Advocates for Arts Education May be Doing More Harm Than Good

An article in the Hechinger Report examines possible reasons for the decline in arts education, focusing on the idea that education today emphasizes skills over the humanities.

07/09/2015

Behind the Headline: States Still Differ Dramatically In Their Academic Expectations, Study Finds

A new report released by the National Center for Education Statistics finds that states vary in where they set their proficiency standards, reports Joy Resmovits. The study converted states’ cutoff scores on their own 2012-2013 state tests to where those scores would fall on the NAEP scale.

07/09/2015

What We’re Listening To: No More No Child Left Behind?

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Kati Haycock, and Lyndsey Layton discuss ESEA reauthorization on On Point.

07/09/2015

Don’t End Accountability for Federal Education Dollars

We should scale back NCLB’s federal micromanagement , but not all accountability is micromanagement.

07/08/2015

Which Math Test is Better, PARCC or MCAS?

Massachusetts is moving to the new national standards and related tests. I prefer PARCC-Math over its predecessor, the MCAS-Math. Here are some of the reasons why.

07/08/2015

It’s Finally Here: Our Best Chance To Update ESEA

Neither conservatives nor liberals have a realistic pathway to an ESEA bill that’s more to their liking.

07/08/2015

What We’re Watching: The State of Entrepreneurship in K–12 Education

AEI hosted a research conference on the current role of entrepreneurship in improving K-12 Education.

07/07/2015

Beware of Superintendents Who Push for Too Much Reform

New superintendents routinely propose agendas that are full to bursting. As a result, local educators get deluged with new proposals.

07/07/2015

Behind the Headline: House Could Vote on Parent’s Right to Opt Out of Tests Under ESEA

As the House turns its attention back to ESEA reauthorization, an amendment introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R. – Ariz.) would allow parents to opt their children out of state standardized tests, without penalizing the school for accountability purposes, Alyson Klein notes.

07/06/2015

Great News: Fewer Students Attending High School Dropout Factories

Something amazing is going on with high school graduation rates.

07/06/2015

Behind the Headline: Even Vocational High Schools Are Pushing Kids to Go to College

Gail Robinson visits two school in New York City that are part of the rapidly changing world of career and technical education for an article in the Hechinger Report.

07/06/2015

Behind the Headline: In Keynote, NEA President Garcia Strikes Populist Tone

The National Education Association’s Representative Assembly is meeting now and NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia delivered her keynote address today.

07/03/2015

Speak Up! Change The World! Ruin Your Career!

Bad ideas are preserved when current experts are afraid to fall out of favor with their colleagues and ambitious, budding experts are afraid to be rejected by the establishment so nobody speaks up.

07/02/2015

ESAs Aren’t for Everyone

The value of education savings accounts is to provide a space within the K–12 system for true breakthroughs.

07/02/2015

Behind the Headline: New Fund Aims to Grow Quality Private Schools

A small group of philanthropists and investors are founding a new philanthropic venture known as the Drexel Fund aimed at creating new high-quality private schools for 50,000 low- and middle-income students over the next decade.

07/02/2015

Real Autonomy, Real Accountability: Pacts Americana

Can the performance-contract approach of chartering be used to re-envision ESEA?

07/01/2015

Change Education To Attack Technology-Driven Unemployment

As technology transforms society in the years ahead, it’s critical that our education system keeps pace.

07/01/2015

4 Things North Carolina Can Teach Us About the Market for New Teachers

North Carolina has a new “Educator Quality Dashboard” with some fascinating data on teacher preparation in the state.

07/01/2015

Behind the Headline: Supreme Court Takes Up Major Case on Public Sector Union Fees

The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear a case brought by ten teachers who say that California’s requirement that they pay the equivalent of union dues violates their free speech rights.

06/30/2015

What We’re Watching: Turnaround Districts — Lessons from Louisiana, Tennessee and Michigan

On June 29, Fordham hosted a discussion on turnaround school districts which included the leaders of these state-run districts in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Michigan.

06/30/2015

RIP, Marva Collins

Marva Collins put her own money and reputation on the line to prove that poor minority kids could succeed just fine if given the right kinds of expectations, encouragement, and instruction.

06/30/2015

Behind the Headline: Colorado Supreme Court Squashes Douglas County School Voucher Program

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled this morning that the voucher program in Douglas County violates the state’s Constitution.

06/29/2015

What We’re Watching: Why Proficiency Matters

The Foundation for Excellence in Education has launched Why Proficiency Matters, an interactive website that will help parents understand what proficiency means in their state and how it impacts their children.

06/29/2015

Summer School is Coming, Get Parents Involved

Parents who are given actionable feedback on how their kids are doing in summer school are more likely to talk with their kids and their kids are more likely to earn course credit.

06/29/2015

Behind the Headline: Study on Minorities in Special Education Proves Provocative

According to the conventional wisdom, minority students tend to be overrepresented in special ed because teachers are biased against them. Black students are 1.4 times more likely to be placed in special education than students of other races and ethnicities combined.

06/29/2015

Reflections on an Extraordinary Decade of New Orleans School Reform

The story of New Orleans’ success entails two parts: a disaster that created room to reinvent a deeply troubled urban school system and an energetic commitment to seize that opportunity.

06/26/2015

Behind the Headline: What If Students Got Free College Tuition? Study Examines Kalamazoo Promise

A new study finds that the Kalamazoo Promise is boosting college enrollment and college success.

06/26/2015

Behind the Headline: Supreme Court Upholds Broad Discrimination Claims Under Housing Law

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does allow “disparate impact” claims, in which plaintiffs only need to show that a particular practice has a disparate impact on a minority group and not evidence of discriminatory intent.

06/25/2015

Education Savings Account Wonk-A-Thon Recap

As Nevada implements its groundbreaking education savings account (ESA) program, policy wonks were asked to say what the state must get right.

06/25/2015

The Key to Rigorous Online Assessments

Is it possible to integrate human-graded assessments into online learning software?

06/24/2015

Behind the Headline: Why Are American Schools Slowing Down So Many Bright Children?

Jay Mathews writes about a new report that describes ways of accelerating learning for gifted students and then describes barriers that school administrators and state legislators sometimes set up to block students who might do better in more challenging classes.

06/23/2015

Who Opts Out of State Tests?

District-level data from New York suggest that relatively affluent districts tend to have higher opt-out rates, and that districts with lower test scores have higher opt-out rates after taking socioeconomic status into account

06/23/2015

Behind the Headline: Cami Anderson, Picked by Christie, Is Out as Newark Schools Superintendent

On Top of the News Cami Anderson, Picked by Christie, Is Out as Newark Schools Superintendent 6/23/15 | New York Times Behind the Headline Newark’s Superintendent Rolls Up Her Sleeves and Gets To Work Winter 2013 | Education Next Cami Anderson, the superintendent of the Newark public school system since 2011, resigned on Monday. Anderson […]

06/23/2015

Big Impact: Supreme Court Housing Decision Could Have Significant Effect on Education

The education community should be watching to see how the Supreme Court rules on a housing case from Dallas which considers whether plaintiffs can bring “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

06/21/2015

Teacher Experience Levels Vary By State

Data suggest that some states should be investing much more heavily in teacher recruitment and retention efforts.

06/21/2015

Behind the Headline: The Outrageous Treatment Of One Of The Nation’s Most Outstanding Teachers

Rafe Esquith, a fifth grade teacher in Los Angeles, has become famous for helping his students, who come from low-income Hispanic and Korean families, put on a Shakespeare play every year.

06/21/2015

Behind the Headline: School Field Trips Go Virtual

In the Wall Street Journal, Caroline Porter describes the rise of the virtual field trip.

06/20/2015

Behind the Headline: Cover Story: Playdate

The cover of this week’s New Yorker shows two girls playing Minecraft on a playdate and in an article inside, Chris Ware describes what playing Miinecraft looks like to a parent of a 10-year-old girl.

06/19/2015

What We’re Watching: Who Invented the Common Core?

USA Today’s Greg Toppo answer’s a reader’s question about the origins of the Common Core State Standards.

06/19/2015

Behind the Headline: Share of Births to Unmarried Women Dips, Reversing a Long Trend

New data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control show that the overall birth rate in the U.S. went up last year but that the rate of unmarried women who gave birth declined.

06/18/2015

Using Video to Make Classroom Observations More Fair, More Helpful, and Less Burdensome

The use of teacher-collected video in classroom observations did seem to improve the classroom observation process.

06/18/2015

What We’re Watching: The Knowledge of Capital Nations

Eric Hanushek discusses the value of raising students’ cognitive skills and how this is crucial to boosting long-term economic growth

06/18/2015

Behind the Headline: A Vision For Teacher Training At MIT: West Point Meets Bell Labs

Arthur Levine, the former president of Teachers College, will partner with MIT to create a new kind of teacher training program, funded by $30 million from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

06/17/2015

The Character Assessment Initiative (Charassein)

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

06/17/2015

Illinois Pension Reform Law Unconstitutional. What’s Next?

Court tells the state it can’t cut benefits for existing workers, so new and future workers will have to bear the full brunt of cuts.

06/17/2015

Behind the Headline: How Effective Are Online Credit Recovery Programs?

“Despite the rising presence of online credit recovery programs, there exists scant evidence as to their effectiveness in increasing high school graduation rates, or their impact on other outcomes of interest,” notes Ly Le on the blog of the Albert Shanker Institute.

06/16/2015

What We’re Watching: The New TNTP: A Conversation with Daniel Weisberg

The Fordham Institute hosted a live-streamed conversation with Daniel Weisberg, the new CEO of TNTP.

06/16/2015

A Peek Inside the Classroom Black Box

Why is so little information available about which textbooks and curricula are being used?

06/16/2015

Behind the Headline: When Guarding Student Data Endangers Valuable Research

On the Upshot, Susan Dynarski explores the tension between protecting the privacy of student data and using large data sets to determine what is working in schools.

06/15/2015

Want More College Graduates? Improve Our K–12 System

We have already closed the gap between college readiness and college attainment.

06/15/2015

The Grey Lady’s School Choice Confusion

Arguments made in a New York Times editorial against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax credit proposal do not withstand scrutiny.

06/15/2015

Behind the Headline: Hess, Straight Up

Ed Next’s Rick Hess is profiled in the Summer issue of Harvard Ed. Magazine.

06/15/2015

Not All Pensions Are Equal

For most teachers, a pension won’t lead to a cushy retirement.

06/12/2015

How Schools Can Solve Robert Putnam’s Poverty Paradox

The way to help poor children climb the ladder to the middle class and achieve the American Dream must involve rebuilding social capital.

06/12/2015

What We’re Watching: Getting Education Bills to the Finish Line

The Brown Center hosted a panel to discuss why it has been so hard for Congress to reauthorize ESEA.

06/12/2015

Behind the Headline: A Charter-City Deal That Doesn’t Really Help Kids

Instead of trying to come up with an unsatisfying compromise between pro- and anti-charter forces, legislators in New York should really be working to broker a compact between charter schools and the school district like the one Denver has. So argues Richard Whitmire in today’s New York Daily News.

06/11/2015

What We’re Watching: Universal Basic Skills: What Countries Stand to Gain

Eric Hanushek talks about the economic growth that would result if countries could meet the goal of bringing all children up to a level of basic skills.

06/10/2015

Common Core’s First Breakout Hit?

Schools and teachers anywhere can download free materials from EngageNY, a comprehensive, Common Core-aligned curriculum developed by New York State.

06/10/2015

What We’re Watching: The American Dream in Crisis

On May 13, Robert Putnam was at the Fordham Institute to discuss his new book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

06/09/2015

Teacher Retention and the Economy: An Example from Colorado

Big trends in the economy like unemployment rates and wages have at least as big an impact on teacher mobility as specific education policy changes.

06/09/2015

Behind the Headline: Study: Kids Can Learn As Much from ‘Sesame Street’ as from Preschool

A major study on the impact of “Sesame Street” finds that the show “has delivered lasting educational benefits to millions of American children — benefits as powerful as the ones children get from going to preschool,” writes Jim Tankersley in the Washington Post.

06/09/2015

Charter Schools Innovate To Tackle Teacher Preparation

The skills teachers need to be successful are changing and our current institutions that prepare and train teachers are woefully unprepared to support the shift.

06/08/2015

An Open Letter to Robert Putnam

What kind of education might work best for many (not all) kids who have holes in their hearts where their fathers should be? Or where their mothers should be? Or sometimes both?

06/08/2015

Behind the Headline: Take the Test to Get Into China’s Top Universities

During two days in June, 9 million Chinese high school graduates will take a college entrance test, the gaokao, that Bloomberg’s Yuling Yang calls “the SAT on steroids.”

06/07/2015

High-Poverty Schools With No Trouble Attracting Great Teachers

Higher pay is one currency, but hope is just as powerful for attracting great educators to serve in the schools that need them most.

06/05/2015

Behind the Headline: School Vouchers for All? Nevada Law Breaks New Ground

A new Nevada law will allow parents of public school students to take their child’s share of state funding and use it toward tuition or other expenses related to education at a private school, or for homeschooling.

06/04/2015

What We’re Watching: Why Common Core Math Problems Look So Weird

Libby Nelson of Vox explains the Common Core approach to math to skeptical parents and others.

06/03/2015

School Districts Are Using Blended Learning, but Aren’t Keeping Data on Student Outcomes

To help school districts implement blended learning, we need to amplify the stories of places that are doing it right—and push districts to get more rigorous.

06/03/2015

Understanding Incentives in Charter Authorizing

Are charter school authorizers requiring too much paperwork from prospective school founders?

06/03/2015

Behind the Headline: From Harlem to Capitol Hill, A Lesson in Producing Better Teachers

In the Washington Post, Lyndsey Layton describes a classroom demonstration organized by Success Academy on Capitol Hill.

06/03/2015

District Schools Showcased as Blended Learning Proof Points

To call attention to some district schools that have adopted blended learning and boosted student outcomes, here are profiles of six schools.

06/02/2015

Behind the Headline: How Do We Help Our Least Motivated, Most Disruptive Students?

Jay Mathews reviews Caleb Stewart Rossiter’s new book Ain’t Nobody Be Learnin’ Nothin’: The Fraud and the Fix for High-Poverty Schools.

06/01/2015

When It Comes to Blended Learning, Charter Schools Get Most of the Attention

There are plenty of district schools that have adopted blended learning and boosted student outcomes.

06/01/2015

Universal Basic Skills and Sustainable Development Goals

A new report examines the economic impact of meeting a goal of bringing all children up to a level of basic skills.

06/01/2015

Behind the Headline: CAEPed Crusader Ousted

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the body that accredits teacher preparation programs, announced last week that it would be dismissing its founding leader, Jim Cibulka.

05/31/2015

What We’re Watching: Gov. Scott Walker on Improving Education

Governor Scott Walker spoke about reforms he put in place in Wisconsin at a Harvard conference on improving school systems in July 2012.

05/29/2015

Fixing Teacher Education

Leaders from the charter sector have founded three innovative teacher education programs.

05/28/2015

Behind the Headline: Report Exposes Divide Over Charter School Authorizing Best Practices

A new AEI report, The Paperwork Pileup, makes the case that many charter school authorizers require applicants to fill out unnecessarily extensive applications to get approval to open a school.

05/28/2015

The Summer 2015 Issue of EdNext Is Here

Charter schools, state standards and snow days are featured in the latest issue.

05/27/2015

What We Didn’t Know About School Choice in 2001

An opinion piece by Delaware Governor Jack Markell ignores all we’ve learned about private school choice.

05/27/2015

On Winning (and Losing) the National Spelling Bee

The 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place this week. In 2010, Marty West of Ed Next spoke with George Thampy about what it was like to win the bee in 2000.

05/26/2015

Will States Tell Parents and Students the Truth About College Readiness?

Amid way too much talk about testing and the Common Core, not enough attention is being paid to what parents will actually learn about their children’s achievement when results are finally released from the recent round of state assessments .

05/26/2015

Eight Ways Teachers Can Maximize Their Pensions

If you read this list and think it doesn’t quite square with why you went into teaching, your pension plan may not be working in your best interests (or the best interest of schools and students).

05/26/2015

Behind the Headline: An Irreplaceable Replacement, This Sub Gets The Job Done

The 2015 Substitute Teacher of the Year award has been given to Josephine Brewington by Kelly Educational Staffing, the largest provider of substitute teachers in the U.S.

05/26/2015

Behind the Headline: L.A. School Board Seat is a Pivotal Win for Charter School Movement

Ref Rodriguez, the co-founder of a charter school, won a seat on the school board in Los Angeles this week.

05/22/2015

What We’re Watching: The Opt-Out Movement Against Standardized Testing

Michael Jonas of Commonwealth Magazine hosts an online discussion of the opt-out movement with Robert Pondiscio and Jennifer Berkshire.

05/22/2015

Ed Next Book Club: The Game Believes In You

Mike Petrilli interviews Greg Toppo about his new book.

05/21/2015

Was Missouri’s Interdistrict Transfer Program Poorly Designed?

The transfer program has allowed 2,000-plus students to have the opportunity for a better education and has launched a robust conversation about how to turn around struggling school districts.

05/21/2015

Aim for Individual Mastery and the Rest Will Follow

How difficult will it be to square current accountability structures with emerging personalized learning models.?

05/21/2015

To Boost Reading Skills, Restore the Liberal Arts to Elementary School

To be a good reader you need an understanding of literature, art, music, history, and the sciences — that is, you need a liberal arts education.

05/20/2015

Behind the Headline: Beyond a Spot on the Map

What can policymakers do to bring school reform to rural America? Experts are taking a fresh look.

05/19/2015

What We’re Watching: This High School Trains Baltimore’s Students To Be Artists

PBS NewsHour has a feature on the Baltimore School for the Arts, where students are admitted based on their artistic potential.

05/19/2015

Common Core and Classroom Instruction: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

How decisions teachers make about instruction shape the implementation of the Common Core

05/19/2015

Behind the Headline: A Father’s Initiative

In a powerful article in the Washington Post, Eli Saslow takes readers inside the world of an unemployed single father in Milwaukee trying to find a job and give his daughter a better life.

05/18/2015

A Student of School Reform on the Maryland State Board of Education

I suspect one of the toughest parts of this job will be projecting a sense of urgency about necessary reforms while heralding the very good things taking place

05/18/2015

Four Lessons from the Opt-Out Debate

It’s still too soon to gauge whether the opt-out movement is a true groundswell of opposition, a union-driven blip on the radar, or something in between.

05/18/2015

Let’s Not Replace the Honesty Gap with a Reality Gap

Many states have been defining “proficient” at levels dramatically below the level that would indicate that kids are on track for college and career. But that is about to end.

05/14/2015

Behind the Headline: Common-Core Backers Hit States’ High Proficiency Rates

A report released this week examines the gap in most states between the proficiency rates their students achieve on state tests and the proficiency rates they achieve on NAEP.

05/14/2015

What We’re Listening To: Teacher Diversity in America’s Schools

Anna Egalite appeared on Where We Live to talk about teacher diversity and student success.

05/14/2015

A Turnaround District for Pennsylvania’s Lowest-performing Schools

It’s not hard to understand the appeal of these Turnaround School Districts. For one: nothing else has worked in the turnaround space, at least not at scale.

05/13/2015

Behind the Headline: Rise In Latino, Black High School Grad Rates Boosts National Numbers

Nationwide high school graduation rates reached a record high of 81.4 percent in 2013, in part due to a rise in graduation rates among minority and low-income students, according to a report released this week.

05/13/2015

What We’re Watching: Turning Dropouts Into Diplomas

This Ed Week video spotlights a dropout-recovery program in Lawrence, Mass., that includes home visits from a “scholar re-engagement manager” and personalized plans for returning to school.

05/12/2015

How to Make Sense of the Opt-Out Phenomenon

To make sense of the facts, we need to look closely at the role of the teachers’ unions in New York and New Jersey.

05/11/2015

Behind the Headline: This Teacher Has the Opportunity to Hit Police Unions Where It Hurts the Most

A case that the Supreme Court might decide to hear this fall could have a huge impact on the power of teachers unions… and also police unions.

05/08/2015

Trust, But Verify

The draft School Quality Snapshot says clearly and unambiguously that the days of measuring a school by academic performance in New York City are over.

05/08/2015

Match Beyond

Match Beyond combines College for America, the disruptive, online university, with a relatively new college and jobs services division of Match Education, a charter management organization.

05/07/2015

Education Savings Accounts Turn 5 Years Old

Some 3,000 students in Arizona and Florida are now using education savings accounts, more than half of them children with special needs.

05/07/2015

What We’re Listening To: Ask A Teacher

In Slate’s new podcast, three teachers discuss the best and worst advice they’ve ever received.

05/07/2015

Behind the Headline: Most States Lacked Expertise to Improve Worst Schools

The Obama administration spent over $3 million on School Improvement Grants to states to help them turn around their lowest-performing schools, but a new report from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education finds that most states lacked the capacity to improve those schools.

05/06/2015

Teacher Licensing Reform and the “Massachusetts Education Miracle”

The revision of the teacher licensing system in Massachusetts contributed significantly to the long-lasting effects of the state’s first-class standards.

05/06/2015

Behind the Headline: Zuckerberg, Tech Investors Fund AltSchool Initiative

AltSchool, a high-tech, personalized learning startup, announced Monday that it had raised $100 million from investors including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

05/04/2015

What We’re Watching: Welcome to National Charter Schools Week

Nina Rees of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has a welcome message for National Charter Schools Week, which began Monday.

05/04/2015

School Closures and Student Achievement

Though fraught with controversy and political peril, shuttering bad schools might just be a saving grace for students who need the best education they can get.

05/04/2015

Baltimore and the Societal Factors Influencing Our Schools

I’ve spent a good bit of time looking into a wide range of issues associated with the tough conditions faced by millions of city kids and what we might do to offer these boys and girls better opportunities.

05/04/2015

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

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

05/04/2015

What We’re Watching: IDEA Public Schools Celebrates College Signing Day

Seniors at IDEA Public Schools, a charter school network in Texas which has sent 100% of its graduates to college for seven years straight, reveal their college plans.

05/01/2015

Simpson’s Paradox Hides NAEP Gains (Again)

The achievement scores of black, Hispanic, and low-income students have increased dramatically.

05/01/2015

Behind the Headline: The Childless Millennial

A new study from the Urban Institute finds that women in their twenties have a lower birth rate today than in any previous generation.

05/01/2015

School Closures, Student Learning, and the New System of Schools

There are ways to far better serve millions of low-income kids than the turnaround- and district-focused strategies of the last several generations.

04/29/2015

Why Our 19th Century Education System Belongs in the Museum

The Digital Learning Report Card looks at programs adopted by states to expand competency-based education.

04/29/2015
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