Arne Duncan, Lamar Alexander, and the Rule of Law

Duncan decried the “dysfunction” in Washington. But surely impugning the “motivations” of our political opponents doesn’t help to add function.

Mr. Duncan’s Sad Legacy

On Monday, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan returned to Washington DC to speak at a Georgetown University conference.

Every School Can Have a Great Principal: A Fresh Vision for How

A new kind of principal would work with a “team of leaders” made up of great teachers within their school and could also lead multiple schools.

Why I’m Not Outraged by the Vergara Reversal

Courts are useful guardians of access to schooling but poorly suited to monitor the quality of policy or practice.

Behind the Headline: Texas, Arizona High Schools Dominate New U.S. News Rankings

U.S. News and World Report has released its 2016 rankings of the country’s best high schools, identifying the public high schools that do the best job of preparing students for college and careers.

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Stop Seeing Education Policy as the Only Driver of Educational Change

Policy change alone is not going to get us to the promised land of more effective, productive, and equitable schools.

The Teacher Hazing Ritual

It’s difficult to pinpoint why we seem so averse to making classroom management the centerpiece of new teacher training.

Behind the Headline: Better Adult Outcomes for Charter School Students

A study released earlier this month by Mathematica finds that students attending charter high schools in Florida scored lower on achievement tests than students in traditional public schools, but years later, the charter students were more likely to have attended at least two years of college and also had higher earnings.

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Behind the Headline: Sharply Divided Reactions as Vergara Is Reversed

Last week, an appeals court in California reversed a lower court ruling in Vergara v. California that had struck down several state laws involving teacher tenure. The plaintiffs in the case, minority students in California, had argued that California’s teacher tenure system violates the equal protection clause because it protects teachers who are ineffective, and poor and minority students are more likely to be assigned these ineffective teachers.

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Blended Learning Can Enable Teachers to Focus on Cognitive Skills

An interview with Megan Toyama, a blended-learning teacher of AP US history and 10th-grade modern world history at Summit Tahoma

Behind the Headline: ESSA Can Help States Offer a Well-Rounded Education, John King Says

In a speech he gave on Thursday in Las Vegas, Education Secretary John King urged states to use the flexibility they’ve been granted by the Every Student Succeeds Act to expand their focus beyond the subjects of reading and math.

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Behind the Headline: House Oversight Committee Reauthorizes D.C. Voucher Program

The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday voted to reauthorize the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to low-income D.C. students. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan praised the program at a press conference on Thursday.

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Measuring and Teaching Character Skills

A study finds that students who are more non-responsive to survey questions (skipping items or saying “don’t know”) have significantly lower educational attainment and fare less well in the labor market,

How Career and Technical Education in High School Improves Student Outcomes

A new study finds that Arkansas students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and have higher wages.

How ED’s Proposed Supplement not Supplant Regulations Could Backfire on Equity

If these rules are put into place, districts will face several incentives at odds with helping disadvantaged students.

What Frustrates Me About AERA

Over the past few days, nearly 20,000 education researchers descended on the nation’s capital for the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) 100th annual conference.

Helping to Level the AP Playing Field: Why Eighth Grade Math Matters More Than You Think

The evidence presented in Loveless’ study suggests that tracking students in eighth grade is an effective way to prepare students for academic excellence, as measured by performance on Advanced Placement exams.

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Behind the Headline: Black and Latino Parents Want Better Teachers and Harder Classes for Their Kids

A new survey of black and Latino parents finds that they want their children challenged more in school and that lack of funding, inadequate teachers, and racism are the main reasons why their children do not get as good an education as white children.

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Trump’s Rise Is a Wake-up Call for Education Reformers

Some advice on how to bring disaffected Trump voters back into the fold—or the economically disconnected in for a landing,

What Teachers of the Year Have to Say About Federal Education Policy

Teachers of the Year offer the kind of practical advice from seasoned professionals that administrators and policymakers sorely need—and need to treat very seriously.

Behind the Headline: Chicago Public Schools 101: The Politics, Passion, and Hopeless Financials Behind a System in Crisis

Matt Barnum and Naomi Nix of the 74 tell you all you need to know about what’s happening in Chicago now, answering questions starting with Why is Chicago in the news? Who is Rahm Emanuel? and Who is Karen Lewis? and moving on to What happened during the last strike? What is the financial situation in Chicago schools? Have recent reform efforts improved Chicago’s schools? and Why is Chicago important in the larger education debate?

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ESSA Accountability: Don’t Forget the High-Achievers

The NCLB approach signals to schools that their low-achievers should be a higher priority than their high-achievers.

If Republican Legislatures Drown in Trump’s Wake, What Will Happen to Education Reform?

If November 2016 ushers in widespread erosion in the ranks of Republican policy makers, what might we anticipate on the education reform front?

How Friedrichs Saved Public Sector Unions – But Not In the Way You Think

If agency fees were ruled unconstitutional, states that currently have agency fees would not simply readjust to operate more like their right to work counterparts. Rather, all teachers’ unions in all states would suffer – and especially the states that are already operating under unfavorable labor law.

Local Control Versus State Obligation

Even a careful observer of education policy could wonder, “Who’s actually in charge of public schooling?” That is, at which level of government does the buck stop?

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