Focus Federal Investments to Give Every Student Access to Excellent Teachers

To transform America’s public education system, it’s all-hands-on-deck time.

Behind the Headline: Student Test Scores Depend on Accountability

The scores of U.S. students on PISA tests in math and science rose significantly in 2009, but fell in 2012.

School Improvement Grants in Colorado

SIG is failing both because turnarounds seldom work and because state processes for doling out funds have been unsound.

Common Core and the Food Pyramid

The idea that the Common Core might be a “game-changer” has little to do with the Common Core standards themselves and everything to do with stuff attached to them, especially the adoption of common tests that make it possible to readily compare schools, programs, districts, and states.

SIG’s Downfall: Judge, and Be Judged, by Proficiency Rates

The SIG analysis released by the Department of Education is completely worthless. Looking at changes in proficiency rates tells us virtually nothing about the progress (or lack thereof) of these schools.

Interesting SIG vs. Non-SIG Comparisons

It’s hard to make the case that this massive program had a transformative influence on the state’s most troubled schools.

School Improvement Grants and the Lessons of History

The data are so discouraging that even the Department’s press statement found it difficult to conceal disappointment.

Some Perspective on Common Core

I am not against having better learning standards, but I also believe that we cannot be distracted from more fundamental reform of our schools.

Hold Me Accountable on SIG

I’ve predicted that SIG was not going to produce anything remotely close to the results the Department and others were promising. If I got it wrong, I’ll say so.

Uncle Sam Shouldn’t Try to Manage School Staffing

The desire to more evenly distribute effective teachers is laudable, but the feds should take care not to accidentally undermine successful schools, compromise teacher effectiveness, or drive good teachers from the profession.

Arne the Octopus

While Arne Duncan continues to champion ideas that enjoy bipartisan support, his methods have become increasingly imperious.

President Obama’s Not-So-Secret School Accountability Plan

Way back in March of 2010, President Obama released his blueprint for reauthorizing NCLB. Three years later, we’re still operating as if the blueprint never happened, as if three years of policymaking hasn’t happened.

Partisanship and Bipartisanship

Gridlock and stasis don’t seem to be leaving the K–12 space in Washington anytime soon.

The Enduring Saga of SIG Shenanigans

I’ve been yearning for real data showing how the program is doing. I’m not the only one.

Repairing the Conservative School Reform Coalition

For nearly 30 years, education-minded conservatives have embraced a two-part school reform strategy, focused on rigorous standards and parental choice. Recent events have frayed that coalition, but it’s not too late to stitch it back together.

NCLB’s Critical Design Flaw and the Lesson to Take

A decision to focus NCLB reauthorization on promoting transparency, honest measurements of spending and achievement, and on ensuring that constitutional protections are respected ought not be seen as a retreat from NCLB but as an attempt to have the feds do what they can do sensibly and well.

Ending the SEA As We Know It

While working for the New Jersey Department of Education, I consistently struggled with a basic problem. My organization wasn’t designed to do the things that our leadership team prioritized.

Obama for Governor!

But first clean up Head Start

The Unheralded Virtues of Grown-Up Policymaking, New Jersey-style

How New Jersey has tried to bridge the gap between policy and practice on teacher evaluations.

The Edu-Capture of NCLB

Is it right to set lower standards of academic performance for students from minority groups?

Obama the Education Spending Hawk

It’s a safe bet that an Obama victory will mean more federal funding for education than would a Romney victory. But, either way, federal edu-spending is going to be on a lean diet for a good, long while.

Obama Administration and K-12: The Good and the Bad

We’re rolling into the final sprint to the election; this makes it a good time to look back at what the Obama administration has done with its time in office.

Maintenance of Inefficiency

School district officials who have attempted to do more with less have been stymied by federal maintenance-of-effort requirements for special education.

Flap in Virginia Shows Reformers’ Fealty to Ideology over Implementation

No Child Left Behind’s aspirational aims were more effective as rhetoric than as an accountability regime.

Why the Latest Race to the Top Competition Matters

The Department of Education’s latest foray into digital learning is a big deal.

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Harvard Kennedy School Program on Educational Policy and Governance

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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

Sponsors