What If the Government Shut Down Failing Schools and Left the Rest (Mostly) Alone

Policymakers in Washington and in state capitals nationwide should stop trying to micromanage the vast majority of schools. But on the flip side, policymakers should be much more aggressive about shutting down failed schools in any sector.

Competitive Grants and Federal Education Policy

Conventional formula-based programs can divvy up dollars evenly, but they don’t change behavior much. The right kind of competitive grant, however, allows the federal government to set a priority while enabling state and local direction and innovation.

Heroism and Humility in Education Reform

If this is really to be about “the kids” and not just our own search for meaning, we need to be careful not to lapse into morality plays. We need to be particularly mindful not to malign our opponents. And we need to be humble enough to acknowledge the technical challenges in what we’re trying to achieve.

The New ESEA Will Help America’s High Achievers, But Only If States Rise to the Challenge

The draft bill includes a provision that allows states to use computer-adaptive tests to assess students on content above their current grade level. That’s truly excellent news for kids who are above grade level.

Anti-Semitism and Religious Schools

A new study finds that the more people attended religious private schools as children, the less anti-Semitic they are.

Graphs: Teacher Pension Costs Are Higher Than Teacher Pension Benefits

Pension debt alone now eats up to about 10 percent of the average teacher’s compensation. This is money that is spent on teachers but isn’t actually going to them now or in the future; it’s money just to pay down debts that were accrued in the past.

A Tribute to John Chubb

John Chubb passed away on November 12, 2015, after a valiant struggle with cancer.

Hillary Clinton Should Listen to Her Friend Raj Chetty on Teacher Effectiveness

She could learn about his work linking value-added measurement (VAM) scores of teachers to their students’ long-term life outcomes

The New ESEA, in a Single Table

Capitol Hill staff have reached an agreement on the reauthorization of ESEA. What’s in the compromise? Here’s what I know.

Time’s Up: Full-Time Virtual Charter Schools Must Become Transparent Together

The full-time virtual charter schools that care about quality need to band together and create a membership organization and take responsibility for their industry’s results.

R.I.P. John Chubb

John Chubb was a fine scholar, tireless education reformer, and creative innovator.

District and Charter Schools Communicate More Than Before, but True Collaboration is Limited

A new report looks at district-charter engagement in five cities.

Six Headlines From 2015 NAEP TUDA

The results from 2015 NAEP TUDA data didn’t get much media coverage. That’s a shame because these are the best assessments for understanding student performance in America’s biggest urban districts.

Should NAEP Tests Be Updated to Reflect What’s in the Common Core?

It’s critical that NAEP’s math (and reading and writing) frameworks not flex with recent changes in standards, curriculum or pedagogical emphasis.

Charter Schools Are Much More Than R&D Labs for School Districts

When Hillary Clinton recently told an audience that the purpose of charter schooling is to “learn what works and then apply (it) in the public schools,” she made two mistakes.

Rethinking Charter School Evaluations When the Gold Standard Is Off the Table

The methods used by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) to analyze charter school effectiveness offer a reasonable alternative when the gold standard is not feasible or possible.

Are Disruption-Free Schools Only for the Rich?

Why is it “unfair” to give poor families the studious, disruption-free schools the rich take for granted?

Why Do German Students Learn More, When Their Schools Get Less Money?

Back in 2000, U.S. and German students at age 15 were performing at roughly the same level on international tests . By 2012, German 15-year-olds were outscoring their U.S. peers by 32 points in math, a difference representing more than a year’s worth of learning.

New York City is Failing Its Bright Poor Students

New York is leaving too many gifted children behind, especially disadvantaged students who are gifted.

Can We Allow Some Schools To Exclude Disruptive Students?

If the Success Academies and schools like them didn’t exist, many hard-working, high-achieving students would be in chaotic, low-performing public schools.

Pell Grants Should Go (Only) to Needy Students Who Are Ready for College

What if we stopped subsidizing remedial courses on campuses and insisted that students pursuing higher learning be prepared for college-level courses? And what if those courses were also made available to young people even before they matriculated to a four-year program?

Teacher Retention and the Economy: An Example from North Carolina

Teacher turnover rates don’t change all that much over time, but we see higher turnover during economic expansions than during recessions.

Can City Schools Address the Achievement and Opportunity Gap?

A new report looks at how public education is delivering on the promise of educational opportunity in 50 mid- to large-sized cities in the United States.

How Do States Really Stack Up on the 2015 NAEP?

The declines in NAEP scores from 2013 to 2015 are unlikely to be explained by shifts in student demographics.

Fix Online Charter School Policy: It’s Past Time

A trio of new studies show that most online charter schools don’t work in their current context, but they don’t show that they can’t work.

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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