Charter School Productivity Report: Red Flags or Red Herrings?

Our finding that charter school sectors in all 28 states that we study demonstrate higher productivity and/or return on investment than their traditional public school sectors has ruffled some feathers at the National School Boards Association.

The Politics of Teacher Evaluation Formulas

As states revamp their teacher evaluation systems, they continue to search for that magic number: the percentage of a teacher evaluation rating that should be based on student academic performance.

Remembering Gene Maeroff

Gene Maeroff was an education reporter for the New York Times who later served as founding director of the Hechinger Institute and wrote a number of books about education policy. He died last week in New York at the age of 75.

By    Blog  

Not Teacher Quality, but Quality Teaching

Any pedagogy, curriculum, approach, or technology has to be within the skills of ordinary teachers to implement well and effectively. If it takes a superstar teacher it’s a nonstarter.

Can We Strike 1-to-1 from the Edu-Dictionary?

A 1-to-1 laptop or iPad roll out is not a new instructional model. Whether a student can or cannot carry a machine around all day tells us little to nothing about a school’s actual pedagogy, about the quality of interactions between students and teachers, or about the rigor of the software programs delivered through those devices.

Behind the Headline: After 10 Years at Work, Teachers in Some States Make Less than $40,000

In a post on Vox.com, Libby Nelson notes that the average teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience earns less than $40,000 in many states, and that “relatively low salaries for experienced teachers with bachelor’s degrees are the norm, not the exception, in the US, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.”

By    Blog  

Behind the Headline: Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Plan is Paternalistic

On Thursday, Paul Ryan announced a new anti-poverty plan in a speech at AEI.

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Americans Stink at Math (But We’re Much Better Now)

Elizabeth Green’s story for Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?” is a must-read. But for all the time Green spends documenting the ways Americans stink at math, she never mentions that we’ve gotten much better.

Rosetta Stone, MegaStudy and Educational Software in Korea

In Korea, where popular teachers become millionaires by broadcasting their lectures online, schools and families are only very slowly warming up to other kinds of online learning.

Teacher Retention and Quality in Tennessee

Some Tennessee districts are much better at retaining highly effective teachers than others.

Course Access Opens New Horizons for Students

Course access programs allow students to enroll in a variety of online, blended, and face-to-face courses from a wide selection of accountable providers, in addition to the courses they take through their local schools

We’ll Miss You, Michael Gove

The path on which Gove and his predecessors placed English education resembles the path taken by U.S. education reformers.

The Federal Government Is Not a State, and ESEA Does Not Give Arne Duncan Mandate Authority

Where is the “plain language” of ESEA that gives the Department of Education the authority to mandate statewide teacher-evaluation systems, particularly for states that want waivers on school accountability. Just as with ObamaCare and the question of whether the federal government is a “state,” the administration won’t have a good answer.

Money-Ed

Across all 28 states in the study, public charter school sectors were more cost effective and/or generated a higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional public schools

Sweden and School Choice

Last week, Slate published a critique of Sweden’s school choice program that managed to be both inaccurate and fallacious.

Five Thoughts on the New Yorker Cheating Story

Rachel Aviv’s article about a cheating scandal involving teachers at one middle school in Atlanta is very well-written, but the sources of the pressure on Atlanta teachers and principals to improve and the threat behind it are more complex than NCLB alone.

Why Kids are Hiring Competency- Based Education

An alternative school in Boston offers flexibility in pacing, help when students need it, and the chance to continuously reengage on material even if you didn’t master it the first time around–in all, the flexibility, support, and hope that human beings, and particularly teenagers, crave.

Glenn Beck’s Common Core Hysteria Doesn’t Help Advance Conservative Education Policy

Screenings of “We Will Not Conform” might channel populist angst on the right against the Common Core, but they do nothing to address the very real concern that inspired the Common Core in the first place — the fact that standards for what kids should know varied wildly across the states — or to propose alternative standards.

By Guest Blogger    Blog, Editorial  

The Future of Test-based Accountability

We may be in a transformative period fueled by a kind of restlessness that nobody is getting accountability right, the achievement problem remains, and ideas are not manifold about what to do next.

Computers Enable Good Teachers

The power of educational technology does not come from replacing teachers, but from empowering teachers to provide better instruction.

Former Indiana State Chief Tony Bennett and the Politics of Personal Destruction

Last summer, Tony Bennett resigned the Florida superintendency when slammed with alleged improprieties from his tenure as Indiana state chief. Last week, he was cleared of all but one very minor charge.

Behind the Headline: Karen Lewis For Chicago Mayor? Union Leader Forms Exploratory Committee

Karen Lewis, the controversial head of the Chicago Teachers Union, has formed an “unofficial exploratory committee” to look into a possible challenge to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in next year’s mayoral race.

By    Blog  

Two Charter School Debates: When Philosophical Opposition Masquerades as Policy Commentary

There’s lots of important work out there aimed at improving the way the charter sector works, but it often gets overshadowed by articles that are just thinly veiled attacks on the idea of charter schooling.

The Splintering School Reform Movement

Different reformers prefer different reforms, and those reforms are colliding. Something has to give. We need to either pause the move to the tougher tests or pause the stakes attached to the teacher evaluations.

Private Schools Should Learn from Charter Schools Without Adopting their Regulatory Scheme

Do we really want government agencies to oversee and regulate private schools that participate in choice programs?

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

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Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform

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