EdNext Podcast: 2020 Presidential Candidates Press For Higher Teacher Pay

Last week, Kamala Harris made headlines with an ambitious—and expensive—plan to raise teacher pay, and she’s not the only Democratic presidential candidate talking about education. Marty West discusses what the candidates have been saying with Ira Stoll, EdNext’s managing editor, who has been reporting from the campaign trail in New Hampshire and who wrote “Teacher Pay Emerges as Democratic Primary Issue.”

The Education Exchange: Fixing the Culture of Contempt

In a new book, “Love Your Enemies,” Arthur Brooks describes the rise of a culture of contempt—a habit of seeing people who disagree with us not as merely incorrect or misguided, but as worthless–and considers what we can do to bridge divides and mend relationships. He talks with Paul E. Peterson about how contempt corrodes our own happiness, about remembering the difference between people we disagree with and the ideas they embrace, and about the role universities can play in repairing our culture.

EdNext Podcast: Reading in the Age of Screens

The rise of digital media has made it harder than ever to engage in deep, contemplative reading. As Maryanne Wolf writes in her new book, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, skimming is the new normal. Marty West speaks with Doug Lemov, who reviewed Wolf’s book for Education Next.

The Education Exchange: How Declining Birth Rates Could Affect Schools

A decline in birth rates in the U.S. could mean that the school-aged population will spiral downward in the next decade and beyond. Would this be a disaster for schools? Or could there be a silver lining? Mike Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss his new article, “The Baby Bust Goes to School.”

EdNext Podcast: The Persistence of Achievement Gaps between Haves and Have-Nots

The conventional wisdom is that, as income inequality has grown in the United States, inequality in education has increased as well. A new study finds that gaps in student achievement along lines of socioeconomic status have not grown over the past half-century. But neither have they narrowed; rather, they’ve been strikingly persistent.

What We’re Watching: Education 20/20 — William Damon & Robert P. George

On March 26, 2019 at 4 pm, Fordham and Hoover will host two speakers on schools, patriotism, and illiberalism.

The Education Exchange: How Much Should We Spend to Tackle Climate Change?

What tradeoffs are involved when we choose to spend huge sums of money to slow global warming? Are there more cost-effective ways to do more good in the world, through spending on education, for instance? Bjorn Lomborg talks with Paul E. Peterson about his research on the impact on global temperatures of goals set in the Paris climate accord and how the funds being used to meet those goals could be better spent.

EdNext Podcast: Using Behavioral Science to Improve School Attendance

Can research help reveal what works and what doesn’t work to reduce student absences? New studies find that attendance awards may actually hurt attendance, but that correcting parents’ false beliefs about their child’s school absences may help. Marty West speaks with Todd Rogers, professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Education Exchange: Looking Beyond Academic Impacts of School Voucher Programs

This week, Paul Peterson speaks with Corey DeAngelis, an education policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and co-author, with Patrick J. Wolf, of the new study, which is described in “Private School Choice Helps Students Avoid Prison and Unplanned Pregnancies.”

EdNext Podcast: How Would a Federal School Choice Tax Credit Work?

Last Thursday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, along with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Bradley Byrne of Alabama, announced a bill to create a nationwide tax credit to provide school choice scholarships. Marty West talks with Jim Blew, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education, about how the tax credit will work, why the administration looked to the tax code to promote school choice, and what would have to happen for the bill to be enacted.

The Education Exchange: Subject Tests for Prospective Elementary Teachers Have High Failure Rates

Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, sits down with Paul E. Peterson to discuss a new report by the NCTQ, “A Fair Chance: Simple steps to strengthen and diversify the teacher workforce.”

EdNext Podcast: Comparing Teacher Skills in the U.S. and Abroad

The cognitive skills of teachers differ widely among nations. A new study investigates whether these differences affect student achievement and how the U.S. might recruit teachers with stronger cognitive skills. Eric Hanushek joins Marty West to discuss his article, “Do Smarter Teachers Make Smarter Students?,” co-written with Marc Piopiunik and Simon Wiederhold.

The Education Exchange: Public Sector Unions Not Devastated by Janus

When the Supreme Court ruled last year in Janus v. Afscme that unions could no longer collect agency fees from employees who choose not to join, many predicted a major decline in union membership. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public union membership declined less than 1% in 2018. In this episode, Paul E. Peterson talks with Daniel DiSalvo.

EdNext Podcast: School Districts Need to Prepare for the Next Economic Downturn

It may seem like money is tight, but we’re actually spending at a relatively high level on schools right now. When state revenues decline, districts will have to make some tough choices. Marty West talks with Marguerite Roza, the Director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University, about what’s coming and how school districts can prepare.

The Education Exchange: Florida Tax Credit Scholarships Boost College Enrollment

The Florida Tax Credit (FTC) scholarship program is the nation’s largest private school choice program. A new study finds that students who enroll in private schools through the FTC program are more likely to go to and graduate from college than their public school peers.

EdNext Podcast: Tom Boasberg’s Legacy in Denver

As superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Tom Boasberg implemented a wide array of unconventional reforms, building a coalition based on pragmatism and a shared belief that change was a long overdue moral imperative. Boasberg talks with Ed Next editor-in-chief Marty West about his decade-long effort to improve Denver’s schools.

The Education Exchange: Charter School Effectiveness Growing in Texas

Most studies of charter schooling look at how charter schools compare with traditional schools at one point in time, but the success of the reform depends on whether the charter sector improves over time. So explain Eric Hanushek and his colleagues, the authors of a new study looking at changes over time in the charter school sector in Texas.

EdNext Podcast: Identifying the Colleges That Successfully Recruit Low-Income Students

Colleges are trying harder to recruit high-achieving students from low-income families. And some organizations are now ranking colleges on the extent to which they provide opportunities to those students. But new research identifies problems with the way these rankings are calculated, and suggests that colleges should be looking at the numbers differently. Caroline Hoxby joins Marty West to discuss her latest research on this topic.

The Education Exchange: Public Opinion on Education is Less Polarized Than on Other Issues

Polling data reveal that when it comes to most debates in education policy, the divide between Republicans and Democrats is not growing. Only on issues like teacher tenure and merit pay is public opinion becoming more polarized. David Houston, a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss his latest paper, “Polarization and the Politics of Education: What Moves Partisan Opinion?”

What We’re Watching: Sen. Lamar Alexander on Reforming the Higher Education Act

On Monday, February 4, the American Enterprise Institute hosted Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for a speech on the committee’s agenda for reforming the Higher Education Act.

EdNext Podcast: New Rules Will Change How Schools Handle Sexual Assault Allegations

The Department of Education’s proposed new Title IX regulations have generated over 72,000 comments and a lot of debate, especially the requirement that schools allow students who have filed sexual-assault complaints to be cross-examined. As the public comment period for the new rules is about to close, Shep Melnick joins Marty West to discuss how federal mandates on sexual harassment have evolved and what happens next.

The Education Exchange: Remembering Nathan Glazer

Nathan Glazer, urban sociologist and scholar of ethnicity, race and education, died recently at the age of 95. On this episode, Peter Skerry, Professor of Political Science at Boston College, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss Glazer’s work and the ideas he wrestled with.

EdNext Podcast: How School Shopping Websites Affect Parents’ Choices

Parents often rely on school shopping websites to find out more about schools they are considering for their children. A new study looks at how the content and layout of these websites influence how parents judge schools. Ira Nichols-Barrer of Mathematica, one of the authors of the study, joins Marty West to discuss his findings.

What We’re Watching: The New Congress – What’s Next on Crucial Health and Education Issues?

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Politico and the Harvard Chan School of Public Health hosted a forum on key health and education policies that are likely to be enacted by the new Congress.

The Education Exchange: Surge in Non-Teaching Staff Strains School Budgets

As teachers strike or threaten to strike in several cities, one of the key issues is pay. But while teachers want higher salaries, school districts face a number of financial challenges. One source of strain in school district budgets is what economist Ben Scafidi calls the staffing surge, a major increase in non-teaching staff hired over the past few decades.

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