State Policy

Putting the Brakes on Turnarounds

Though the inclination to fix our worst schools is understandable and is often the result of the best intentions, it is misguided. Turnarounds have not only consistently failed in education; they fail in the vast majority of instances in other industries and sectors. Moreover, and most importantly, continuing to pursue turnarounds actually inhibits our ability to build healthy urban school systems.

3X for All: Extending the Reach of Education’s Best

Instead of just trying to recruit more great teachers, what if schools chose to reach more children with the great teachers they already have?

Getting Less for Less

Hawaii decided to fix their budget shortfall by eliminating 17 days from this school year in exchange for an 8 percent reduction in teacher salaries. It’s not a bad deal… as long as you are a teacher.

Instead of Creating Charters, Just Incarcerate the Students

A Massachusetts state commission has solved the high school drop-out problem. Just incarcerate the students. That’s the thrust of its recommendation.

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.

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.

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.

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