State Policy

The College Board and Foreign Languages

Italian professors all across the country should salute the College Board and the advocates who pressed for reviving the course, including Dr. Margaret Cuomo, the Italian Language Foundation, and the Italian Government.

Proposals for a Cost-Conscious Era: Gold Star Teachers

The Gold Star program offers teachers who are at least reasonably effective the opportunity, should they so choose, to teach more kids per class and to be rewarded for taking on a larger workload. Such a state-level program would offer a chance to reshuffle the incentives and create a productivity-enhancing dynamic.

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.

A New Start for Head Start — If Congress Doesn’t Get in the Way

The Head Start program has needed a radical overhaul for the past 45 years, i.e. ever since its founding and its near-immediate demonstration that it doesn’t do much lasting good by way of readying poor kids to succeed in school. But Head Start’s iconic status, powerful lobby and influential friends have stymied every effort to turn it into a proper school-readiness program and to purge it of its many shoddy operators.

High Schools, Civics, and Citizenship: What Social Studies Teachers Think and Do

Remarkably little has been written about the state of citizenship education in our schools. Pollsters/analysts Steve Farkas and Ann Duffett have delivered an invaluable service in their new study "High Schools, Civics, and Citizenship: What Social Studies Teachers Think and Do."

Cracks in the Ivory Tower? The Views of Education Professors Circa 2010

Fordham’s newest report, Cracks in the Ivory Tower? The Views of Education Professors Circa 2010, authored by veteran analysts Steve Farkas and Ann Duffett, surveyed over 700 education professors across the land to determine how they view their own roles and what they think of myriad K-12 policy developments that have taken place over the last decade

Austan Who?

The headline in the Washington Post was “Austan Goolsbee: triathlete, improv comedian, economist.” Given the state of the economy, Obama’s new Chairman of the Council on Economic Advisers might need the improv comedian talents more than anything. But what might not show up in the quick list of resume references is an interesting story Goolsbee and Jonathan Guryan (both professors of economics at the U. of Chicago) penned for Education Next in 2006: World Wide Wonder? Measuring the (non-)impact of Internet subsidies to public schools

Mathews on Saving Schools

In his commentary on my book, Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning, Jay Mathews doubts that he will find any time soon “something of the new electronic era that significantly increases achievement in reading and writing for all kids.”

Holding Students Accountable for Changing into Their Gym Clothes

Are traditional P.E. classes likely to be an effective tool in fighting obesity? What little research there is finds no association between PE and weight loss and obesity. One reason more P.E. has not led to weight loss might be that traditional PE classes do not always offer students a real workout, particularly in high school. Students don’t like having to change into gym clothes and get sweaty in the middle of the day. So P.E. teachers may end up grading students in part based on whether they change into their P.E. clothes. The 25th Hour PE class at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia is different.

Money Talks – But Does It Educate?

This is American education’s sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. Or is it $64 million? Billion? Or, how about $26 billion? That’s the number moving through the Capitol at the moment.

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