Do We Need National Standards to Prevent a Race to the Bottom?

If a race to the bottom is fueled by the desire to satisfy federal bureaucratic rules, why would we think the solution is in the adoption of more federal bureaucratic rules?

International Benchmarking of Student Achievement

Most educational standard setting, performance assessment, and judgments about appropriate levels of achievement today are based on history and custom with a little bit of “professional dreaming.” The process generally lacks any context of what our international competitors are doing.

Is the Common Core Just a Distraction?

All of the intense pushing and shoving about the Common Core leaves one simple question: should we care?

We Don’t Judge Teachers By Numbers Alone; The Same Should Go For Schools

Why not add a human component to the process, via school inspectors like those in England?

The War Against the Common Core

It will be ironic as well as unfortunate if the Common Core ends up in the dustbin of history as a result of actions and comments by its supporters. But in March 2012 there can be little doubt that the strongest weapons in the arsenal of its enemies are those that they have supplied.

What We’re Watching: Teacher Test Scores Go Public

Eric Hanushek talks with the Wall Street Journal about why teachers’ value-added scores should be made public.

Common Core Quality Debated

If they agree that Common Core is sort of mediocre, why does Wilson support them while Wurman oppose them?

The Test Score Hypothesis

Student achievement matters a lot. But does it matter the most?

Five Thoughts About NCLB on its Tenth Anniversary

The federal law that everybody loves to hate turns ten on Sunday. Here’s what to think about it…

The Accountability Plateau

In Texas and across the nation, high-stakes testing regimes produced real gains for a few years, then flat-lined

In Texas and across the nation, high-stakes testing regimes produced real gains for a few years, then flat-lined

Grinding the Antitesting Ax

More bias than evidence behind NRC panel’s conclusions

More bias than evidence behind NRC panel’s conclusions

When the Best is Mediocre

Developed countries far outperform our most affluent suburbs

Developed countries far outperform our most affluent suburbs

View the Global Report Card
View the Methodological Appendix

Evaluate Teachers on How Much Students Have Learned

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, a group of parents and taxpayers sued the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to make the district follow the law, by evaluating teachers based on how much their students have learned.

NAEP 2011: The Reading First effect?

Last night was fun for the kids, but today is every education wonk’s favorite holiday: NAEP release day!

The Past, Present, and Future of Common Standards

A new book explains in depth the content of the standards, what they expect of students, and how the assessment of student results is going to be carried out.

Poor Results for High Achievers

New evidence on the impact of gifted and talented programs

New evidence on the impact of gifted and talented programs

A Teacher’s Response to Mike Petrilli’s Article, Accountability’s End?

Mike Petrilli’s article was probably my favorite article ever about accountability. To be fair, it doesn’t have much competition. Many articles about the subject are so one-sided they leave me too frustrated to even try to respond.

A progressive school finds some accountability religion

I was prepared for a rant against all things reform when I started reading the New York Times Q & A interview with Maria Velez-Clarke, the principal of the Children’s Workshop School in Manhattan’s East Village, about the school’s C-grade from the City.

Why Not Have Open Tests?

A more complete integration of testing, accountability, and teaching would be superior to dealing with the integrity of testing in isolation. Let’s put the tests out in the sun instead of trying to lock them up in more and more secure rooms.

Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?

The latest on each state’s international standing

 
The latest on each state’s international standing

Cheating and Other Deceptions About Students’ Learning

If the USA Today allegations are true, then the adults who changed students’ answers did much more than just cheat on a test. They also cheated those students, by allowing them — and their families — to think that they had learned material they clearly hadn’t.

Mandating Betamax

Once the Gates-Fordham-AFT-USDOE coalition settles on the details of nationalizing standards, curriculum, and testing, it will become extremely difficult to change anything about education.

And the Answer Is? (Shh! We Can’t Tell You!)

Though nothing that most educators didn’t know, Jennifer Medina’s front-page story in the New York Times this morning is worth reading—if you like reviewing, in slow motion, the tape of a train wreck.

State Standards Rise in Reading, Fall in Math

Most state standards remain far below international level, with Tennessee, a Race to the Top Winner, at the very bottom

Most state standards remain far below international level

View the Underlying Data

Will the Common Core Standards Prove Safe and Effective?

Even though they still haven’t seen the light of day in draft form, much less been joined by any assessments, the evolving “common core” standards project of the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is already being laden with heavier and heavier burdens. This is enormously risky and, frankly, hubristic, since nobody yet has any idea whether these standards will be solid, whether the tests supposed to be aligned with them will be up to the challenge, or whether the “passing scores” on those tests will be high or low, much less how this entire apparatus will be sustained over the long haul.

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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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