What the 2014 Senate Elections Might Mean for Education

If the Republicans take the Senate, Senator Lamar Alexander would take the helm of the Senate HELP Committee, which is a big deal.

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.

Behind the Headline: How the Education Spendthrifts Get Away With It

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Peterson looks at why it is so popular for politicians to call for more spending on schools.

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.

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.

K-12 Leaders & Laggards Circa 2014: How the States Are Doing

Leaders & Laggards grades each state on how it’s doing in 11 areas, using an A to F scale.

What Parents Think About Their Public Schools

If one judged public opinion by conventional public discourse, one would soon conclude that parents in the United States are neatly divided between devotees of district-operated schools and choiceniks determined to avoid them. But Americans are a good deal more practical than that.

Thanks, Bobby Jindal!

When the court decides, as it almost certainly has to that, in fact, no one forced Louisiana or any other state to adopt Common Core, the most effective anti-Common Core argument goes, “Poof!”

Stuck in the Middle with State-Level Reform

There is a yawning gap between the stirring language in state constitutions promising great primary and secondary schools and the nitty-gritty work of actually living up to that responsibility.

What We’re Listening To: A Tale of Two Polls

A story on NPR’s Morning Edition looks into why two new surveys come to different conclusions about the extent of support for the Common Core.

Why Do “Anti-Corporatists” Defend Factory-Style School Leadership?

There’s little reason to expect that century-old assumptions about how to organize and deliver schooling are the smartest way forward.

Save Our Data! Protect the Integrity of Education Statistics

Everything you may be trying to accomplish, change, or protect in American education hinges more than you might realize on the integrity of our education data system and that data system is more vulnerable than you might think.

Race to the Top Wasn’t

What President Obama termed “the most meaningful education reform in a generation” has proven to be more a cautionary tale than a model.

The Federal Government Is Not a State, and ESEA Does Not Give Arne Duncan Mandate Authority

Where is the “plain language” of ESEA that gives the Department of Education the authority to mandate statewide teacher-evaluation systems, particularly for states that want waivers on school accountability. Just as with ObamaCare and the question of whether the federal government is a “state,” the administration won’t have a good answer.

Former Indiana State Chief Tony Bennett and the Politics of Personal Destruction

Last summer, Tony Bennett resigned the Florida superintendency when slammed with alleged improprieties from his tenure as Indiana state chief. Last week, he was cleared of all but one very minor charge.

Whither the NEA?

Perhaps the historic coupling of the NEA and the Democratic Party is loosening a bit.

On School Discipline, Let’s Not Repeat All Our Old Mistakes

President Obama’s policy will have a predictable effect: eliminating suspensions and expulsions as an option for school administrators.

Vergara, Harris, and the Fate of the Teacher Unions

We’re in a period of profound change in teacher-union leadership, with more combative leaders in ascendance, But what the unions really need are leaders able to craft winning platforms with a new orientation.

Pie in the Special-Ed Sky?

Will the new federal regulatory scheme lead to real change on the ground?

Americans Want Choice, Not Government Mandates

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice has released the results of a national survey on education policy.

Five Thoughts on Randi Weingarten’s AEI Remarks

Why teachers unions and school reformers distrust each other and where they might find common ground.

Behind the Headline: Teachers Unions Threaten Common Core Implementation

The Washington Post editorial board notes that teachers unions are beginning to push back against the Common Core standards in several states.

SEA Reform and Violent Agreement

Our report on reforming state departments of education has generated some very thoughtful responses.

USED, Indiana’s ESEA Waiver, and an Unexpected Federalism Paradox

Now that Washington State has lost its waiver and Indiana could be on a path to nonrenewal, we shouldn’t be surprised if people start asking increasingly pointed questions about why other states, similarly noncompliant, haven’t been dinged.

Common Core: The Day After

What happens when opponents of the Common Core State Standards finally succeed in getting a state’s policymakers to “repeal” the education initiative?

By Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman    Blog, Editorial, Standards, Testing, and Accountability, State and Federal  
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Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform

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