The Coming Common Core Assessments: How They Could Stop Patronizing our Students

If the new tests assess knowledge in ways that demand mastery of knowledge, sophisticated vocabulary, rich content, and cross-disciplinary learning, educators across the country would have a much greater incentive to bring challenging content into their classrooms.

Current Teacher Pension Systems Impose A “Tariff” On Labor

What if, instead of busing students from failing school districts to accredited ones, we bused great teachers from accredited schools into the failing districts? One obstacle: the incompatibility of different pension systems.

Common Core: Teachers’ Unions Think Again

As implementation nears, they aren’t liking what they see.

The Imperfect “ObamaCore” Analogy

There are vast differences between ObamaCare and the Common Core when it comes to federal involvement.

Washington State’s Waiver May Be in Jeopardy

Most states are living up to the promises in their waiver, but Washington over-promised in this case, and failure to fix it may force them back under No Child Left Behind.

Disciplining the Undisciplined

The tough letter that senior House Republicans sent last week to Arne Duncan and Eric Holder should have been even tougher. For the “guidance” that their agencies issued to U.S. schools in the guise of improving school discipline can only make it harder for educators to create safe, serious, and effective learning environments.

The Pre-K Problem: A Great Investment or Passing the Buck?

What should we be talking about when we talk about universal pre-K?

What Do We Know About Professional Development?

Teachers who seek to improve their own practice are primarily guided by common sense, intuition, word of mouth, personal experience, ideologically laden ideas about progressive or traditional instruction, the guidance of mentors, and folk wisdom—not a body of knowledge and practice that has been rigorously tested for its efficacy.

Julie Young: Disruptive Innovator For Students

Julie Young’s guiding vision for the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) began in 1996 as she wrote the word “student” at the center of a piece of paper and then asked a series of questions of the team gathered around her. What could school look like if the student was at the center?

School Improvement Grants: The Disaster Continues

The most persistently low-performing schools in American got several million dollars, on average, and yet a third of them got worse.

The Common Core Sanity Check of the Day: Estimation Is Not a Fuzzy Math Skill

Those who criticize the Common Core standards for asking kids to estimate the answer to a math problem get a few things wrong.

Ten Map Meditations on Economic Mobility

The places in our nation with the highest percentages of African Americans offer the lowest-income kids the bleakest hopes of making it to the top.

The Connection between Choice and Humility

In New Orleans, we no longer have to argue about “What is the perfect school?” There is no perfect school. At best, there are perfect matches—situations where a student finds that exact environment where she can thrive.

The College-Readiness Kerfuffle

Pell Grants don’t cause college readiness problems, but they do reveal them. The real blame lies with the combination of shoddy elementary and secondary schooling and, yes, students’ failure to prepare themselves for the rigors of college.

The Missouri Compromise

The U.S. Department of Education’s waiver guidelines do not allow state education agencies to use the fairest type of growth model, but there is a way to get around that.

Poll: Should Pell Grants Target College-Ready Students?

Financial aid spending by the federal government includes about $35 billion in Pell Grants, which provide students from low-income families up to $5,645 per year to defray college expenses.

By Education Next    Blog, Editorial  

Two Graphs on Urban Teachers and Their (Lack of) Pensions

The majority of teachers in these cities do not remain in the same district long enough to qualify for even a minimal pension, and only a very tiny fraction of teachers stay long enough to receive a pension that would be sufficient for a stable retirement.

The Big Apple’s Chance to Course-Correct on Testing

Those who follow New York City schools have been witnessing a time-honored ritual — pro-testing school reformers have mightily overreached, inviting pushback that’s now poised to dismantle much of their useful handiwork.

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Common Core

If you want to understand why supporters of the Common Core are frustrated—OK, exasperated—by some of our opponents’ seemingly unlimited willingness to engage in dishonest debate, consider this latest episode.

Are New York’s New Diploma Options the Future of the Common Core?

As an advocate for struggling learners, I support the Common Core. Why? For these students, there’s nothing more effective than high expectations and accountability. The Common Core is tough love.

“Pulling” In New Edtech Solutions? The Federal Agenda to Bolster Learning Technology

How can the government best incentivize and speed up the creation of “high impact” learning technologies?

Successful ‘Edupreneurs’ Reignite For-Profit Debate

Critics often accuse school reformers of “privatizing” public education. When for-profits enter the conversation, those same critics level more serious charges and often accuse those companies of having one motive: making money off of the backs of kids.

California Pension Reform: An Interview With San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

Will states and cities facing skyrocketing costs find a way to protect the retirement benefits that people have already earned while making changes to the way benefits are earned in the future?

How Private Schools Adapt to Vouchers: Five Case Studies from Ohio

Private schools that accept voucher students struggle to make ends meet, but are strikingly mission focused, often with a crusader’s zeal to educate every child that comes through their door, bearing a voucher or not.

Charter Lessons for School Choice, Including Accountability via Authorizers

Having state-approved authorizers oversee private schools that participate in voucher programs would expand the educational options available to disadvantaged kids, ensure that participating schools are high performing, and allow private schools to maintain their distinctive characteristics.

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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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