Behind the Headline: The ‘Intolerable’ Fight Over School Money

Yesterday marked the latest skirmish in the battle over how to implement Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which sends $15 billion from the federal government to school districts to help schools serving low-income students.

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Behind the Headline: New Evidence that U.S. Schools are Resegregating

A new report released by the Government Accountability Office finds that poor, minority students are increasingly isolated from their white, affluent peers in school.

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What Do Pac-Man and Pensions Have in Common?

If states continue to preserve their existing pension systems at any cost, teachers will see the Pension Pac-Man eat further and further into their take-home pay.

Behind the Headline: Virginia Governor Moves to Upend Traditional High School

In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation last week that will lead to an overhaul of the state’s high school graduation requirements.

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Portfolio Management Fails in New Orleans

A big problem with building a centralized authority to govern all schools is that you cannot count on the good guys being in charge of that process forever.

Behind the Headline: Detroit schools’ decline and teacher sickout reflect bad economy and demographic shifts

Earlier this month, teachers in Detroit staged a sick-out, shutting down 97% of the district’s schools.

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How We Make Teaching Too Hard for Mere Mortals

Expecting teachers to be expert pedagogues and instructional designers is one of the ways in which we push the job far beyond the abilities of mere mortals.

Is Dumping the District the Way to Break the Link between Socioeconomic Status and Student Achievement?

If we know that high-performing, high-poverty schools are possible, why is it that not a single urban district in this entire nation has been able to bring those results to scale—even after fifty years of effort?

What Was Accomplished in the Era of Reform via Federal Regulation?

For all their differences, George W. Bush and Barack Obama shared a surprisingly common approach to school reform: a regulatory approach.

What Was Behind the Rise (and Subsequent Fall) in Teacher Turnover?

Despite the conventional wisdom, there’s very little evidence that current education policies are driving teacher turnover.

Behind the Headline: Appeals Court to Consider Teachers’ Lawsuit Over Tax-Credit Scholarships

An appeals court heard oral arguments yesterday in a lawsuit that a Florida teachers union has brought against the state’s tax credit scholarship program.

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Debate: Are Math and Reading Test Scores Reliable Indicators of School Quality?

And should schools with persistently low test score gains be shut down even if parents continue to choose them?

The Inconvenient Truth About Personalized Learning

Simply asking what works stops short of the real question at the heart of a truly personalized system: what works, for which students, in what circumstances?

Where Did Charter Schools Come From?

The onset of chartering was no lightning bolt. This audacious innovation had multiple ancestors and antecedents.

Test Score Gains Predict Long-Term Outcomes, So We Shouldn’t Be Too Shy About Using Them

Short-term test score gains don’t lead to long-term test score gains, but they do lead to long-term success.

Regulators Need To Use Test Scores With Great Care

If tests were reliable indicators of school and program quality, they should consistently be predictive of later-life outcomes. But they’re not.

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Local Control and Equity Do Not Mix

The fundamental organization of our school system—a patchwork of 14,000 school districts with geographic monopolies over the residents who live within them—contributes both to spending and educational inequities.

By Guest Blogger    Blog, Editorial  

Behind the Headline: Has the MCPS Board Learned Its Lesson?

How does a local school board hire a superintendent? Or fire a superintendent? In Montomery County, Md., a suburban school district outside of Washington, D.C. with over 150,000 students and an annual budget of $2.4 billion, much of the work of the school board seems to take place behind closed doors.

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Test Scores Don’t Tell Us Everything, But They Certainly Tell Us Something About School Quality And Student Success

For elementary and middle schools, test data should play a more central role in evaluating school quality than it should for high schools.

Rely on Local Actors, Instead of Faulty Information, To Make Judgments about School Quality

if we’re unable to develop strong measures of school quality that can be used remotely, we should instead rely on the judgments of those closer to the situation, including parents.

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Shut Bad Schools for Low Performance, But Don’t Draw Conclusions from Test Scores Alone

Not that it’s easy to identify measures beyond reading and math scores that are valid and reliable indicators of school success.

Student Achievement and Every State’s Economic Future

Vast economic gains are likely to accrue to any state that can improve the quality of its schools.

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The Weak Predictive Power of Test Scores

If regulators were to rely primarily on test scores when deciding which programs or schools to shutter and which to expand, they would make some horrible mistakes.

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