The New Education Trust Report: The Triumph of Hope Over Experience

When designing accountability systems, we need to find the sweet spot between defeatism and utopianism. In my view, that’s exactly what the states are trying to do. They deserve our praise, not our derision.

Ed Reform’s Blind Spot: Catholic Schools and Social Capital

By ignoring the closure of urban Catholic schools, we have not only allowed high-quality seats to disappear, we’ve also allowed the further deterioration of the threadbare social fabric of fraying communities.

School Reform, Philadelphia Style

On Monday, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission shocked the city by announcing that it would unilaterally cut health care benefits to city teachers rather than continue to negotiate with the teacher’s union.

Time for a Reboot

It’s probably time for education reformers and policymakers to admit that just pushing harder on test-driven accountability as the primary tool for changing our creaky old public school system is apt to yield more backlash than accomplishment

How To Kill Reading Achievement

Complaints about close reading bother me less than its potential overuse, or the creeping notion that close reading is what all reading instruction should look like under Common Core. That would be bad for the standards, and even worse for reading achievement in the U.S.

Teach for America’s Retirement Gap

While most TFA teachers may not realize it, almost all are losing out on retirement benefits for their time in the classroom.

District School Authorizers and Next-Generation Accountability

Two important events provide the outlines for a new approach to state-level accountability.

The Latest XPrize and How It May Succeed or Fail

The XPrize is funding its first edtech competition to handsomely reward the team that develops the best software to help children in developing countries teach themselves basic literacy and math.

New OCR Guidance on Equitable Resources: A Godsend for Charter Schools?

I’d love to see charter associations ask OCR to investigate states that don’t do enough to provide equitable funding to charter schools serving high proportions of poor and minority children.

Ending Teacher Tenure Would Have Little Impact on its Own

Data from North Carolina suggest that principals are not using the four-year period before teachers qualify for tenure to identify and remove their lowest performers.

Leveled Reading: The Making of a Literacy Myth

Opponents of the Common Core question the idea of improving literacy by introducing higher levels of textual complexity into the instructional mix.

Broadening the Discussion of Good Schooling

These measures help to offer a more holistic take on the quality of a state’s school system.

Teacher Retention Varies Across and Within Districts

According to national data, four out of ten teachers will leave the classroom within five years. But turnover isn’t evenly distributed.

By    Blog, Editorial  

Amidst Edtech Horror Stories, Some Blended-Learning Schools Shine

A growing number of examples show that used well, blended learning—and hence education technology—can help boost student achievement in both charter and district school settings.

Montgomery County’s Elementary School Curriculum: Where’s the Beef?

The MCPS curriculum is weak when it comes to content in science and extremely weak in history.

Unions Praise Social Security, But Like Pensions Even More

Public sector unions praise Social Security. Except they don’t want it for all of their workers.

It’s Time to Reimagine School Information

Well-designed applications and websites have allowed consumers to review easy-to-digest information like never before. Most parents, however, lack access to the useful information they need to determine how their child’s school is performing.

By Guest Bloggers   and   Blog, Editorial  

A Lion in Winter and a Coming of Age

Over the last month or so, there’ve been a number of notable stories highlighting the passing of the torch from urban districts to urban chartering.

Look to Course Access to Expand Students’ Horizons

Course access is a powerful tool to make particular courses available to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take them.

Charter School Teachers Subsidize State Pension Plans

Charter schools and their teachers pay the same high employer and employee contribution rates as all other schools, but higher turnover rates mean their teachers will get much less in return.

Where Does Government Education Research Really Come From?

When Congress convenes in lame-duck status between November and January, taking up the future of NCES would be timely.

Is Character Education the Answer?

Developing teenagers’ self-regulation may require something other than parables, slogans, inspirational banners, and encouragement from compassionate teachers.

Where Common Core Is Not Controversial

Those who see Common Core as a curricular monoculture, a boondoggle for publishers, or a violation of local control would do well to come to Reno.

Demonstrate College Readiness If You Want a Federal Grant or Loan

Before receiving a federal grant that never needs to be repaid (as is the case with Pell grants and some loans), the recipient should demonstrate that they are worthy of support by passing an appropriate set of examinations.

Classroom Observations Offer Biggest Room for Improvement in Teacher Evaluations

Addressing the design flaws we have identified in teacher evaluation systems will bring districts closer to achieving the primary goal of meaningful teacher evaluation: assuring greater equity in students’ access to good teachers.

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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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