Faith, Hope, and Hard Work: Reflections on Year One of Partnership Schools

June marked the end of my first year as superintendent of Partnership Schools, a nonprofit school management organization that was granted broad authority to manage and operate six K–8 urban Catholic schools.

A Checklist for Fixing ESEA

Things are moving rapidly here in DC. Yesterday, on a 218-213 vote, the House narrowly passed the Student Success Act.

Summer School is Coming, Get Parents Involved

Parents who are given actionable feedback on how their kids are doing in summer school are more likely to talk with their kids and their kids are more likely to earn course credit.

Wisconsin High Schools Learn from New PISA Test

International comparison drives efforts to improve

Big Impact: Supreme Court Housing Decision Could Have Significant Effect on Education

The education community should be watching to see how the Supreme Court rules on a housing case from Dallas which considers whether plaintiffs can bring “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Want More College Graduates? Improve Our K–12 System

We have already closed the gap between college readiness and college attainment.

Four Lessons from the Opt-Out Debate

It’s still too soon to gauge whether the opt-out movement is a true groundswell of opposition, a union-driven blip on the radar, or something in between.

Education Savings Accounts Turn 5 Years Old

Some 3,000 students in Arizona and Florida are now using education savings accounts, more than half of them children with special needs.

What Explains Success at Success Academy?

Charter network focuses on what is being taught, and how

Memo to Teachers’ Unions: Now Might Be a Good Time to Start Panicking

In Friedrichs, ten California teachers are arguing that agency fees (combined with onerous “opt-out” procedures) violate their rights to freedom of speech and association

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.

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.

Testing, Testing 1-2-3

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

School Vouchers Help Low-Income Minority Students Earn a College Degree

For the first time, we are able to show that vouchers may have a long-term positive impact on college graduation rates.

Big Data Wins the War on Christmas

A social scientist analyzes whether Christmas affects test scores

Charters Can Do What’s Best For Students Who Care

Schools of choice can make their discipline codes clear to incoming families (and teachers); those who find the approach too strict can go elsewhere.

inBloom’s Collapse Offers Lessons For Innovation In Education

inBloom, a non-profit that offered a data warehouse solution designed to help public schools embrace the promise of personalized learning, collapsed and has ceased to exist, as privacy concerns from interested parties mounted over a period of many months

Dispelling Five Falsehoods About Newark’s School System

Having served as New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education from 2011 to 2014, I have had an inside view into efforts to improve Newark’s struggling school system.

By Guest Blogger    Blog, Editorial, On Top of the News  

Fixing Detroit’s Broken School System

Improve accountability 
and oversight for district and charter schools

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.

The Challenges of AP History: Are You Sure You Want College Credit?

The trickle downward of university curricular mischief into our schools and other institutions continues unabated, and it’s not a problem that the College Board alone can solve.

Accountability for Students: Exit Exams

An excerpt from What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools, a new book edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Richard Sousa

Still Reforming after All These Years

A conversation with Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier

Script Doctors

A compelling play on the wrong stage?

U.S. Students from Educated Families Lag in International Tests

It’s not just about kids in poor neighborhoods

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