Behind the Headline: America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future

A new report from ETS highlights a troubling paradox. While millennials in the U.S. have attended more years of school than previous generations, their skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving are lower than those of previous generations and of their peers in other nations.

Behind the Headline: Title I Portability Sticky Wicket in NCLB Rewrite

While the debate over annual testing has gotten a great deal of attention, the issue of Title I portability is emerging as possibly a bigger obstacle to agreement on reauthorization of NCLB, notes Lauren Camera of Politics K-12.

The Future of School Accountability

Telling states how to operate their accountability systems hasn’t worked. It’s time to put the accountability monkey back onto the backs of states.

Where Did The Idea of School Accountability Come From?

As policymakers, educators and parents continue to debate concepts like standardized testing, it’s worth remembering that school accountability has a proud parentage that is worth preserving and modernizing.

NCLB Accountability is Dead; Long Live ESEA Testing

Despite frantic efforts by a number of groups to preserve some sort of federal accountability mandates in the next ESEA cycle, I think these should go away and almost surely will.

Ohio’s Chain of Charter Accountability

In Ohio’s charter school sector, too many poorly-performing schools are allowed to remain open.

Backfilling Charter Seats: A Backhanded Way to Kill School Autonomy

I respect schools that welcome students at any grade when space opens up, but whether to do this should remain the prerogative of the school, not the state or its regulators.

Nine Questions: What Does It Even Mean to Oppose the Common Core?

What does it mean when Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, or Bobby Jindal says he “opposes” the Common Core?

Portfolio Districts: One Ring to Rule Them All

I am wary of portfolio districts, mayoral takeovers, and other proposals for a super-regulator to govern all choice and traditional schools.

Improving Educational Options for Georgia Children

Raising the cap on Georgia’s scholarship tax credit program is an ideal way to bring freedom and excellence to K-12 education.

The Case Against Federal Accountability Mandates in Education

Instead of demanding that states intervene in failing schools, allow students to escape the worst schools through the powerful mechanism of parental choice.

How Charters Are Innovating on Pensions

Charter schools recognize that current teachers are increasingly mobile, so they offer teachers portable benefits.

Good Reads for National School Choice Week

These articles illuminate some elements of the world of school choice that don’t always get the most attention.

On Designing K-12 Education Savings Accounts

Education savings accounts operate like the “partial voucher” that Milton Friedman envisioned more than a decade ago.

Stump Speech Contest: What Members of Congress Should Say About Testing

Here are some “talking points” that members of Congress might use when the testing issue comes up at town hall meetings and the like.

Will the Common Core Lead to More Schools Labeled Failing? Not Really.

Since the Obama Administration has quietly transitioned to a normative accountability system, where schools are compared to each other rather than to some pre-determined “proficiency” benchmark, it doesn’t matter if all students appear to perform worse this year.

Fixing No Child Left Behind: Oral Testimony of Martin West

Congress should maintain the law’s current annual testing requirements while restoring to states virtually all decisions about the design of their accountability systems.

Views from Private Schools

Policymakers seeking to improve the quantity and quality of educational options for families through private school choice programs should consider the opinions of the school leaders poised to serve those customers.

2015: The Year of Curriculum- Based Reform?

Curriculum and content matter—and for no one more than poor kids who get too little of that knowledge and vocabulary at home.

Timely Ohio Report Could Change the ESEA Testing Debate

A new report from the Ohio Department of Education looks at the number of hours students spend preparing for and taking tests.

Exit, Voice, Loyalty—and the Common Core

Increasingly, parents and taxpayers view the public schools as an unresponsive bureaucracy carrying out edicts from distant capitals.

Optimistic Predictions Notwithstanding, Common Core Faces Brutal 2015

Common Core proponents need an updated advocacy playbook. The political terrain of 2010 and 2015 are very, very different.

Grade-Span Accountability Is A Bad Idea: Just Ask CAP and the AFT

Rather than having regular check-ups on student progress, with relatively low stakes on those results, we’d have much higher stakes attached to a smaller number of test scores.

State Chiefs Speak on ESEA

State education chiefs may have helped turn the tide against what appeared to be a mounting anti-assessment, anti-accountability wave.

Testing, Testing 1-2-3

Ending statewide, comparable, annual testing is an overreaction that creates more problems than it solves.

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