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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

Disparate Impact Indeed

Court’s latest ruling will hurt minority students

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Tracking Is a District Problem

A review of “On the Same Track” by Carol Corbett Burris

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Taking On the Opportunity Gap

A review of “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” by Robert D. Putnam

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Increased Per-Pupil Spending Yields Improved Educational Attainment and Higher Future Wages for Students from Low-Income Families

How money is spent matters; school districts use unexpected increases more productively than they use other resources

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings

Does school spending matter after all?

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

CREDO Reveals Successful Charters’ Secret Sauce

What are the general lessons to be learned from the many case studies of successful chartering?

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 

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

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

What Twitter Says about the Education Policy Debate

And how scholars might use it as a research tool

FALL 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 4

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

How NYC Expanded Its Charter Sector

An excerpt from Joel Klein’s Lessons of Hope

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

More Middle-Class Families Choose Charters

A political game changer for public school choice?

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

The Rise of AltSchool and Other Micro-schools

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

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

Turnaround School Districts

States try managing lowest-performing schools

Boot Camps for Charter Boards

Finding and training civic-minded leaders

SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

New York City’s Small-Schools Revolution

Breaking up large high schools improved graduation rates

Blog Posts/Multimedia

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


A Tribute to John Chubb

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


R.I.P. John Chubb

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


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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?


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.


New York City is Failing Its Bright Poor Students

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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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