The Blog

D.C. School Enrollment: Numbers, Damn Numbers and Statistics

Washington D.C. school enrollment is looking like a footrace that both the traditional and charter schools can claim to be winning. Auditors: Start your calculators.

Nobel Prize Winner Elinor Ostrom and Her Theory of Co-Production

The selection of political scientist Elinor Ostrom as worthy of a Nobel prize in economics has been as astonishing to many economists as was the choice of President Obama as peacemaker of the year. In her case, the question is not “What has she done?” but “Who is she?” To those of us influenced by her work, however, her selection has been deeply satisfying.

Blasting Off

As surely as the sun rises in the east, defenders of America’s traditional schools recite the litany of demographic reasons for the racial gap in academic achievement. Not everywhere, however.

Flat NAEP Results Should Be a Signal That Real Change Is Needed

There’s not much good news in the NAEP results for mathematics, which were released earlier this week. Fourth graders have made no progress since 2007, and 8th graders have made very little progress. What is worse than sluggish NAEP scores is their combination with steady, substantial increases in per-student spending in public schools.

Three Voices for English Knowledge: Hirsch, Willingham, and the AFT

Hirsch, Willingham, and the AFT are powerful voices arguing against one of the sorriest trends in English Language Arts over the years, namely, the attempt to convert it into a skills discipline that emphasizes cross-disciplinary capacities (critical thinking, "media literacy," reading comprehension strategies, etc.) and downplays English knowledge.

Backlash Against Teacher Firings in D.C. Tests Rhee’s Political Strength

It’s hard to tell whether Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee courts controversy or is merely dogged by it. Either way, Rhee once again finds herself in the thick of it, just as her school-improvement efforts are starting to take hold and Washington had begun to exhale over her stick-it-in-your-eye style.

The One Winner in Today’s NAEP Release: Michelle Rhee

There’s not much good news in today’s National Assessment of Educational Progress results for mathematics. But there is a silver lining for DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee: her schools, and those in just four states, were the only ones to post gains in both fourth and eighth grades over the past two years.

The Ordeal of Equality

If Secretary Duncan is serious about "listening" to ideas for the next ESEA reauthorization (aka "fixing what's wrong with NCLB"), he would do well to start with this important and depressing book.

Happy T-1 Peoples Day

Controversies surrounding the celebration of Columbus Day raise a number of interesting questions. Unfortunately, many of the new answers offered are at least as simplistic and historically false as the established answers they are meant to replace.

Inside Look at School Boards

Readers who have enjoyed Peter Meyer’s Ed Next blog entries about serving on his...

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