State Policy

What We Can Learn from Utah’s Open High

In Utah, around 7 percent of the students are now going to charter schools, creating financial conflicts of interest between district and charter schools, as both sides are trying to persuade the state legislature that they need more of the dwindling pot of state dollars. Into this mix has walked the Open High School of Utah, a charter school that is offering a virtual education that is based almost entirely on curricular materials available free-of-cost from open sources.

Can an Education Bill Save the Obama Presidency?

March 18, 2010 was a red letter day. On that date, for the very first time, more Americans disapproved than approved of the way President Obama was handling his job as president. Obama needs to move beyond divisive partisanship if he is to re-cement his relationship with the American public. The President’s education bill gives him the opportunity to rediscover the middle ground.

Back to Basics

For five good reasons, conservatives should take seriously the potential of the newly released (in draft form) “common” education standards to strengthen U.S. education.

We Need Fewer Teachers, Not More

In Sunday's NYT, Elizabeth Green explains beautifully the challenges of classroom teaching. She says we will need millions of additional teachers to cover baby boom retirements, and wonders how we can find enough good ones. The answer is that we can't.

A Pernicious Parlor Game

So, the announcement of the round one Race to the Top finalists is upon us. In the run-up, a pernicious parlor game in edu-policy circles has been “name the RTT finalists.” Thankfully, it’s about to come to a close. Unfortunately, it’ll be followed by “name the RTT winners.”

Will the Common Core Standards Prove Safe and Effective?

Even though they still haven’t seen the light of day in draft form, much less been joined by any assessments, the evolving “common core” standards project of the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is already being laden with heavier and heavier burdens. This is enormously risky and, frankly, hubristic, since nobody yet has any idea whether these standards will be solid, whether the tests supposed to be aligned with them will be up to the challenge, or whether the “passing scores” on those tests will be high or low, much less how this entire apparatus will be sustained over the long haul.

Atlanta Grades

A story last week in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that fully 191 schools in the state of Georgia, 10 percent of the total number of elementary and middle schools, are up for investigation for altering test answer sheets. The next day's story put the count at one in five Georgia public schools.

Book Excerpt: Kay Merseth Reads From Inside Urban Charter Schools

Last fall, Ed Next published a short review of a new book, Inside Urban...

Book Excerpt: Richard Whitmire Reads from Why Boys Fail

EdNext is teaming with authors of newly released books to provide 15-minute audio excerpts...

It Depends on What the Meaning of “Transparency” Is

Yesterday, on his Eduwonk blog, Andy Rotherham weighed in on the brewing controversy over the Race to the Top review process. Rotherham suggests that Duncan try a variation of the “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” defense, explaining, "'Transparent' is not synonymous with contemporaneous. In other words, a process can be transparent while it is going on or it can be transparent after the fact." It'll be amusing to see whether Duncan tries that defense; somehow, I don't think it'll play that well.


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