The Evolution of Teacher Pensions

Over the years, legislators increased pension benefits significantly, but they have not distributed those increases evenly to all teachers.

Saving Schools—Launching My MOOC on HarvardX

On September 8, “Saving Schools” launches. Four (free!) mini- courses on “History, Politics and Policy in U. S. Education”

Save Our Data! Protect the Integrity of Education Statistics

Everything you may be trying to accomplish, change, or protect in American education hinges more than you might realize on the integrity of our education data system and that data system is more vulnerable than you might think.

Is Education Reform Anti- Conservative?

How could I be disposed to preserve venerable institutions and yet favor dramatic K–12 change?

Education Reform in 2014

On August 1, Chester E. “Checker” Finn, Jr., will step down from his role as founding president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, passing the baton to Michael J. Petrilli. Here is his “farewell address” as president.

Teacher-Tenure Decision Is NOT an Abuse of Judicial Power

Vergara precedents are multiple, judge's actions restrained

Vergara precedents are multiple, judge’s actions restrained

A Few Reflections on the Common Core Wars

Monday’s Politico story on the messaging battle over the Common Core has kicked up another round of recriminations, particularly on the Right.

Abracadabra

When policy discourse is taken over by slogan-speak, it undermines the credibility of future attempts at serious policy discussion.

Five Reasons Districts Should Love Course Access

Course Access is still a new policy, but for many students, no matter where they live or what school they attend, it will give them a significantly greater chance to fulfill their potential.

Pre-Kraziness

What is the benefit conferred by preschool if there’s no school after the pre?

Race to the Top Wasn’t

What President Obama termed “the most meaningful education reform in a generation” has proven to be more a cautionary tale than a model.

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.

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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.”

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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

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Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform

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

Harvard Kennedy School Program on Educational Policy and Governance

Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform

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