Americans have generally wanted much the same things taught in their public schools. Elementary students should learn three “R’s”—reading,’riting and ‘rithmetic. In high school, it’s time to prepare for college or a career by studying core subjects, such as English, history, algebra, biology, and a foreign language. That basic understanding has not prevented political spats over school spending and school attendance boundaries. But the core operations of schools have usually been left undisturbed.
But partisan debate has increasingly turned the core curriculum into a political football.
So begins Paul Peterson in a new Ed Week commentary, “Does the Partisan Divide Include the K-12 Curriculum?”
Peterson goes on to examine the findings of the ninth annual Education Next survey of public opinion, which included questions about how much additional emphasis people would like to be placed on a particular subject. “On several matters,” he notes, “the thinking of parents differs from that of teachers, as do the opinions of Republicans from Democrats.”
The biggest divide is over the issue of global warming, Peterson notes. Democrats want the topic to be given much more emphasis than they say the schools are currently giving, while Republicans prefer less emphasis. Republicans want more emphasis on reading, math, and history than Democrats do. Democrats want more emphasis on the arts, character education, and bullying prevention. “On key topics,” Peterson writes, “teachers lean in the same direction as Democrats.”
Please read the full article “Does the Partisan Divide Include the K-12 Curriculum?”
The latest SAT scores are out and seem to show that education reform is hitting a wall in high school.
While public schools in New Orleans educate mainly children from poor families, “several new schools are attracting families who could afford private or parochial school, the same type of families who started leaving the school system 45 years ago,” writes Danielle Dreilinger on nola.com.
Which strategy should the charter sector pursue in the short- to medium-term: selective chartering or a district-wide replacement strategy?
Here are six education policy themes—and associated infographics—that I hope the Presidential candidates embrace.
The school board in Indianapolis has approved a new teacher contract that will allow six schools to implement an experimental program that allows high-performing teachers to take on new roles, reach more students, and earn higher salaries.
In US News, Nina Rees takes a close look at what the public says about testing in two recent polls, and in particular considers why PDK/Gallup found that respondents believe there is too much emphasis on testing, while EdNext found that respondents support annual standardized testing.
The cover features three articles assessing school reform in New Orleans on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Our education governance system, lamented and disparaged as it often is, is one of the least understood aspects of American K–12 schooling.
Should charter schools be forced to backfill — to admit new students whenever they have an open seat because a student has left? Charter school advocates are divided over this issue. Paul Hill and Robin Lake of CRPE lay out their positions for and against backfilling on The Lens, the blog of CRPE.
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The Ed Next blog aims to provide lively commentary on education news and research and to bring evidence to bear on current education policy debates.
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