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School Reform for Rural America

Innovate with charters, expand career and technical education

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

The Rise of Micro-schools

Combinations of private, blended, and at-home schooling meet needs of individual students

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Power to the People

A review of “The School Choice Journey” by Thomas Stewart and Patrick J. Wolf

The Origins of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Excerpts from No Struggle, No Progress: A Warrior’s Life from Black Power to Education 
Reform

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Should Personalization Be the Future of Learning?

Benjamin Riley and Alex Hernandez square off

At Success Academy, Strong Content and Curriculum are Keys to Success

Progressive education techniques and innovative teacher training help the charters outperform NYC public schools

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

What Explains Success at Success Academy?

Charter network focuses on what is being taught, and how

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Breaking the Mold

A review of A Democratic Constitution for Public Education, by Paul T. Hill and Ashley E. Jochim

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

More Middle-Class Families Choose Charters

A political game changer for public school choice?

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Boot Camps for Charter Boards

Finding and training civic-minded leaders

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

School Closings Due to Bad Weather Have Little to No Effect on Student Achievement

But individual absences caused by weather when schools don’t close have negative effects on achievement

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

In Defense of Snow Days

Students who stay home when school is in session are a much larger problem

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

How NYC Expanded Its Charter Sector

An excerpt from Joel Klein’s Lessons of Hope

We’re All Art Teachers

Don’t try to quantify its worth

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Twenty States Increased Academic Proficiency Standards between 2011 and 2013

For the first time since the passage of No Child Left Behind, state standards have risen; all states that show strong improvements have adopted Common Core

States Raise Proficiency Standards in Math and Reading

Commitments to Common Core may be driving the proficiency bar upward

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

A Breakout Role for Teachers

Excerpts from The Cage-Busting Teacher

How Many Charter Schools is Just Right?

Education Next talks with Scott Pearson, John H. “Skip” McKoy, and Neerav Kingsland

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

The New Orleans Case for All-Charter School Districts

Across the country, children in urban districts are being denied rich, rigorous educational opportunities.

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

D.C. Students Benefit from Mix of Charter and Traditional Schools

Charter schools are revolutionizing public schooling in Washington, D.C. In just 18 years, charter schools have grown from an initial 5 to 112 schools today, managed by 61 nonprofit organizations.

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Education Gap Grows for Adolescents from Single-Parent Families

Young people raised in one-parent homes complete fewer years of schooling and are less likely to receive a B. A. degree

Was Moynihan Right?

What happens to children of unmarried mothers

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

One-Parent Students Leave School Earlier

Education attainment gap widens

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

Fool’s Gold

Office of Civil Rights takes on school finance

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Match Corps Goes National

Successful high-dosage tutoring model spreads to other schools

How Can Schools Address America’s Marriage Crisis?

Prepare young people for rewarding careers

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

Purposeful Parenthood

Better planning benefits new parents and their children

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

The Meaning of Community at Democracy Prep

School culture supports students and their families

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

Black Men and the Struggle for Work

Social and economic barriers persist

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

More Harm Than Good

A review of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed,” by Jason L. Riley

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

A Tribute to Martha Derthick

With Martha Derthick’s passing on January 12, 2015, America lost one of its preeminent scholars of American politics.

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

New Hampshire’s Journey Toward Competency-Based Education

State lifts barriers to innovation, allowing districts and charters to personalize learning

Family Breakdown and Poverty

To flourish, our nation must face some hard truths

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

Race and Poverty in Baltimore

A review of “The Long Shadow” by Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson

Spring 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 2

U.S. Students from Two-Parent Families Achieve a Grade Level Higher than Peers from Single-Parent Families

The United States has one of the highest percentages of single-parent families among developed countries

An International Look at the Single-Parent Family

Family structure matters more for U.S. students

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

What Does Online Learning Look Like?

Examples from Florida and Pennsylvania

50 Years after the Moynihan Report, More than One-Quarter of Young Black Males Are Neither Employed nor Enrolled in School or Vocational Training

The incarceration rate for young black men without a high school diploma rose from 10 percent in 1980 to 37 percent by 2008

Government Should Subsidize, Not Tax, Marriage

Social policies have influenced the rate of growth in single-parent families

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

Wrong Diagnosis on Homework Help from Parents

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

SPRING 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 2

Single-Parent Families: Revisiting the Moynihan Report 50 Years Later

An event will take place on March 5 in Washington, D.C.

An Uncommon Leader

A review of No Struggle, No Progress by Howard Fuller

Does Better Observation Make Better Teachers?

New evidence from a 
teacher evaluation pilot in Chicago

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

NYC’s Former Schools Chancellor Recounts Struggles and Successes

A review of Joel Klein’s “Lessons of Hope”

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Moynihan and the Single-Parent Family

The 1965 report and its backlash

SPRING 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2

In the U.S., Nearly a Quarter of All Children Live with an Unmarried Mother

50 years after the Moynihan Report, the percentage of children in mother-only families has risen from around 25% to 50% among blacks, and around 7% to 19% among whites.

SPRING 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 2

Revisiting the Moynihan Report on its 50th Anniversary

Education Next is running a series of articles on the state of the American family.

Modern Maturity for Charter Schools

Litigation shows they have arrived

Top 10 Education Next Blog Entries of 2014

A list of lists

The Top Education Next Articles of 2014

Just the facts, please!

Moving Toward a Teaching Profession

A review of The Teacher Wars by Dana Goldstein

No Common Opinion on the Common Core

Also teacher grades, school choices, and other findings from the 2014 EdNext poll. Full results also available at education next.org/edfacts

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Fixing Detroit’s 
Broken School System

Improve accountability 
and oversight for district and charter schools

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Jeb Bush Speaks Out

Talking education policy with Florida’s former governor

Common Core in the Classroom

New standards help teachers create effective lesson plans

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, No. 1

Disruptive Innovation in Practice

A review of Michael B. Horn’s and Heather Staker’s “Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools”

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

Getting 
Classroom 
Observations 
Right

Lessons on how from four pioneering districts

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

Teachers Unions and the Common Core

Standards inspire collaboration and dissent

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

A New Breed of Journalism

Education coverage is on the rise

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Experimental Study Shows Major Benefits for Students Who Attend Live Theater

Culturally enriching field trips increase knowledge, tolerance, and the ability to read emotions of others

Learning from Live Theater

Students realize gains in knowledge, tolerance, and more

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

Methodological Appendix for the Live Theater Experimental Study

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

Criticizing Charter Schools for Lacking Diversity and Unions Misses the Point

A review of A Smarter Charter by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter

What Effective Schools Do

Stretching the cognitive limits on achievement

FALL 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 4

Teachers Unions and the War Within

Making sense of the conflict

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Diplomas Must Recognize College and Career Readiness

Forum: Rethinking the High School Diploma

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Hold Students Accountable and Support Them

Forum: Rethinking the High School Diploma

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Different Kids Need Different Credentials

Forum: Rethinking the High School Diploma

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Rethinking the 
High School Diploma

Education Next talks with 
Chester E. Finn, Jr., Richard D. Kahlenberg and Sandy Kress

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Does Student Attrition Explain KIPP’s Success?

Evidence on which students leave KIPP middle schools and who replaces them

FALL 2014 / Vol. 14, No. 4

Disrupting 
the Education 
Monopoly

A conversation with
 Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

The Philadelphia School District’s Ongoing Financial Crisis

Why the district has a money problem

FALL 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 4

Collective Panic

Court decision terrifies unions

WINTER 2015 / Vol. 15, No. 1

Substantial Opportunities for Improving Teacher Evaluations Lie in the Area of Classroom Observations

Researchers recommend adjusting classroom observation scores for student demographics, using observations conducted by trained external observers

The Force Behind Sisulu-Walker

A review of Mary C. Bounds’ “A Light Shines in Harlem: New York’s First Charter School and the Movement It Led”

WINTER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 1

Blog Posts/Multimedia

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

Education Reform’s Women — and the Credit and Opportunities They Deserve

When the history of this era’s urban-education reform movement is written, four big policy innovations are sure to get attention: the nation’s first voucher program, first charter law, first mayor-controlled charter authorizer, and first “extraordinary authority” unit (the RSD).

04/28/2015

Defining ‘College Readiness’ Down

Not only is middle school content finding its way into college classrooms, college credit is being awarded for learning it.

04/27/2015

The Next Phase Of Teacher Evaluation Reform: It’s Up To You, New York, New York!

Students will not achieve at higher levels until teachers teach at higher levels—and that’s simply not going to happen without quality feedback and evaluation.

04/27/2015

Behind the Headline: Harvard’s Roland Fryer Wins John Bates Clark Medal

This year’s John Bates Clark medal, given to the most promising American economist under 40, has been awarded to Roland Fryer.

04/27/2015

Teachers May Want a Refund on Their Pension

Just because a teacher has the option to get a pension at some point down the road doesn’t necessarily mean she should take it.

04/24/2015

What “The Cage-Busting Teacher” Means For School Reformers

Four ways for policymakers and reformers to create the conditions whereby cage-busting teachers can thrive

04/24/2015

The Best Part of NCLB Reauthorization You’ve Never Heard Of

The larger legacy of the Every Child Achieves Act may well be how it cleans up supplement not supplant, a little discussed and often misunderstood fiscal rule

04/23/2015

Schools Can’t Innovate Until Districts Do

Districts are currently unwittingly hostile to school-level innovation. For that to change, they must aggressively work to change the incentives, policies, and structures so that they encourage and free up schools to innovate.

04/23/2015

A Test of Education Reform

I’m a strong supporter of assessments and accountability, and I wouldn’t opt out, but I think it’s unfair to discount the views of those who disagree.

04/22/2015

Charter Schools and Backfill: The Debate We’re Not Having

The backfilling debate is something of a proxy fight between two very different visions for charters. Are they a replacement strategy for disappointing schools and districts? Or are they closer to a poor man’s private school?

04/21/2015

What We’re Listening To: What Makes A Land Of Opportunity?

Krissy Clark of Marketplace visits Dayton, Ohio, which has one of the worst rates of economic mobility in the U.S, but which is also the home of a great deal of education innovation.

04/21/2015

Partisanship and Public Opinion on the Common Core

In Louisiana, where the fight over Common Core has been particularly salient, the effect of the “Common Core” label was even more negative than in the American public as whole, and the impact on polarization was greater.

04/20/2015

Teacher Layoffs Are Coming, and It’s the Great Recession’s Fault

Much like the Great Depression did, the onset of the Great Recession led to a sharp decline in the U.S. birth rate.

04/19/2015

What We’re Watching: The Game Believes in You

On April 28, the Fordham Institute hosted a conversation with Greg Toppo about his new book, The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter.

04/19/2015

What We’re Watching: Does Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Test Miss its Goal?

PBS NewsHour looks into the impact of legislation that promised to hold students back who cannot pass the state’s reading test by the end of third grade.

04/18/2015

Debunking a Misleading Report on School Choice

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability released a misleading report on school choice programs in Indiana and elsewhere

04/16/2015

What’s Next on ESEA?

Today’s 22-0 vote from the Senate HELP committee on ESEA reauthorization is an amazing tribute to the bipartisan leadership of Chairman Lamar Alexander and ranking member Patty Murray.

04/16/2015

A Response to “Breaking the Mold”

Mike Kirst’s review of our book, A Democratic Constitution for Public Education, is insightful and constructive and raises important questions about how our proposal would work in practice.

04/16/2015

Behind the Headline: This Viral Math Problem Shows What American Schools Could Learn From Singapore

“A headache-inducing logic problem from Singapore’s Math Olympiad went viral this week, sparking online debates, a Twitter hashtag, and even a song that mimics the process of elimination that leads to the correct answer,” notes Libby Nelson in Vox.

04/16/2015

The Great Achievements of the Every Child Achieves Act

The bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill crafted by Senators Alexander and Murray represents a very smart compromise on the key issue of accountability

04/15/2015

Opt-Out Movement Likely Inconsequential for Teacher Evaluations

In the majority of classrooms, where opt-out appears likely to remain at low levels, the data strongly suggest that students sitting out of standardized testing will have only a trivial impact on the ratings received by their teachers.

04/15/2015

Behind the Headline: Fixing Failing Schools

The state of Massachusetts is poised to take over the schools in Holyoke, after taking over the schools in Lawrence four years ago.

04/15/2015

Patty Murray and the Return of Wishful Thinking

The bipartisan bill to update the No Child Left Behind Act requires states to pledge that they will get all of their students to college or career readiness, and build those expectations into their accountability systems.

04/14/2015

Behind the Headline: Is Education Technology Where Women Are Starting To Buck The Tech World’s Sexist Trends?

“In the geeky boys’ club of tech, education tech may be one of the few slightly more bright spots where female founders and CEOs are showing up—and staying the course—in greater numbers,” writes Tony Wan in Fast Company.

04/14/2015

Bravo

The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, unveiled a few days back by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray and scheduled for HELP Committee mark-up on April 14, is a remarkable piece of work.

04/13/2015

Alexander-Murray: This Is What Compromise Looks Like, in a Single Table

The language in the Alexander-Murray compromise is much less prescriptive than No Child Left Behind’s “adequate yearly progress” concoction, but it’s fairly prescriptive nonetheless.

04/13/2015

Behind the Headline: Study of Black and Latino Boys Excludes Charter Success

When the Boston Public Schools commissioned a study to identify schools that are helping black and Latino boys close the achievement gap, they were unable to find any traditional district schools where black and Latino boys were achieving at levels that matched or exceeded state averages, writes Michael Jonas in Commonwealth magazine.

04/13/2015

What We’re Watching: What Can We Learn From Cage-Busting Teachers?

Teacher Marilyn Rhames gives teachers strategic advice on how to start new school programs. Rhames appeared at a Cage-Busting Teacher event at AEI.

04/13/2015

Creativity, Cartels, and the Supply Side of Choice-Based Reform

Both the pro- and the anti-school choice crowds tend to ignore what should be the central issue when it comes to markets, which is their immense creative potential and the way they can shatter comfortable cartels.

04/10/2015
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