The Value of NAEP Achievement Levels

NAEP’s achievement levels, especially “proficient,” do expect a lot from American schools and students, but proficiency in twelfth-grade reading on NAEP equates pretty closely to college readiness.

In the News: Coming of Age in a City Coming Apart

Khalil Bridges is a senior at one of Baltimore’s poorest and most violent high schools, Renaissance Academy High School.

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The Disconnect Between Changing Test Scores and Changing Later Life Outcomes Strikes Again

Given the disconnect between test scores and later life outcomes we need significantly greater humility about knowing which schools are succeeding.

In the News: The Exit Exam Paradox

In an article for The 74, Matt Barnum looks at what states are doing about their exit exams now that they are using Common Core-aligned tests,

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Personalized Learning and Sound Curriculum—Two Sides of the Same Coin

Personalization should not compromise students’ mastery of core knowledge; indeed, it is a powerful means for enabling students to master core knowledge

School Reform Is the New Ed. School

Both communities are bound by a stifling orthodoxy so ingrained that it’s invisible to its adherents.

School Choice as an Antipoverty Strategy

Even in a time of great political polarization, at least some school choice policies have the potential to foster bipartisan collaboration.

Russ Whitehurst Throws Cold Water on the Grit Craze, But Is the Water Too Cold?

There seems to be something very important about character skills in education even if we do not fully understand how to define, measure, or alter them.

What “Hamilton” and Its 11 Tonys Say About Grit and Privilege

What we teach our kids about responding to adversity says a lot about our vision of America.

In the News: Why I Reject the American Obsession with Achievement Gaps

When Jay Mathews looked at which school district had the smallest black-white achievement gap, he was surprised to find that it was Detroit, which he calls “our nation’s worst school district, or close to it.”

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More on Soft Skills: Time to Flit the Grit

Grit is a personality trait, not a skill to be taught. It is highly heritable. We have no validated interventions for teaching it that can be used by schools.

Giving Education Reform Tools Directly to Parents and Teachers

Instead of obsessing over laws and regulations, should education reformers focus more on getting better information and resources into the hands of parents and teachers?

Open Educational Resources Are Just Building Blocks—An Education Requires An Architect

Great lessons may not add up to a great education. A great education is carefully mapped out.

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Gates’ Common-Core Mea Culpa and the School Reform Divide

Given that the problems with Common Core were predictable, why did they catch so many advocates off-guard?

No Excuses for Stagnant Student Achievement in U.S. High Schools

With graduation rates at an all-time high, , but federal achievement data indicate that these students likely have no better math or reading skills than their parents did.

In the News: Invite All Comers to Teach in Our Public Schools

In an op-ed in the New York Daily News, RiShawn Biddle and Jeremy Lott argue for a new approach to boosting the number of high-quality teachers in our schools: “right-to-teach” laws.

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In the News: Student Absences a Growing Problem

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that nearly 1 in 7 public school students miss too many days from school — at least 10 percent of the school year.

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Open Educational Resources Will Evolve to Address the Problems We Hire Them to Solve

OER content gives schools and teachers instructional “Legos” that they can organize, revise, and combine more easily to create custom learning solutions that meet their students’ needs.

In the News: If MCAS Is So Good, Why Are We Ditching It?

The MCAS was long considered one of the best tests in the nation. But last fall, the Massachusetts Board of Education decided to create a new test that would combine elements of the MCAS with elements of PARCC.

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In Vergara, Low-Income Students Pay … One Way or Another

The real question is whether the California laws that were challenged by the plaintiffs in the case “inevitably cause” poor and minority students to be provided with a lower quality education, and the answer is Yes.

Should the Charter Sector Focus on Expanding and Perfecting the No Excuses Model?

The no-excuses model ought to remain a sturdy pillar of the charter sector, but bona fide school choice means plenty of different options,

In the News: New Rules To Ban Payday Lending ‘Debt Traps’

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed new regulations affecting payday loans. The CFPB argues that these loans are set up in a way that makes it very difficult for lenders to repay them, so people end up borrowing more and more and ultimately pay far more in fees and interest than they borrowed.

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In the News: Bursting the ‘Personalization’ Bubble: An Alternative Vision for Our Public Schools

A few years ago, Benjamin Riley sparked a debate over personalized learning with a blog entry arguing “Don’t personalize learning.” Not long after, Riley and Alex Hernandez debated “Should Personalization Be the Future of Learning?” in an EdNext forum.

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Could ESSA Spark an Overhaul of How We Fund Schools?

Three provisions in the new law might help states and school districts improve their systems of school finance.

In the News: Bill Aims to Ease Teacher Mobility Across States

Newly introduced federal legislation would make it easier for teachers to move to other states for teaching jobs without having to deal with licensure hassles.

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