The Summer 2017 Issue of Education Next Is Here!

The Summer 2017 cover article helps parents make a seemingly life-altering decision for their child: to redshirt or not to redshirt. An analysis of the available research finds that redshirting your kindergartener, or holding them back a year to give them more time to develop physically, socially, or emotionally, can actually do more harm than good.

This issue’s research section offers a first-of-its-kind study examining the impact of instructor quality on student achievement in the higher education sector—finding that students taught by above-average instructors receive higher grades and test scores, are more likely to succeed in subsequent courses, and earn more college credits. Another study finds that a recognition program for high-achieving Hispanic high school students boosts Hispanic college enrollment at four-year institutions as well as bachelor’s degree completion rates among those who were otherwise at the highest risk for dropping out of college.

What do you need to know about the new education secretary and Supreme Court justice? This issue features profiles of Secretary Betsy DeVos, a longtime education reformer and school choice advocate, and Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose judicial record may shed light on how he might rule on consequential education cases coming before the Court. For an assessment of one such case that could help states clarify matters on school vouchers—which the Supreme Court considered just days after Justice Gorsuch’s arrival on the bench—check out this issue’s editor’s letter.

Also in this issue: A look at how the hottest show on Broadway is reinventing the way high school students experience the lessons of American history; an expert account of the role that school building design can play in supporting a school’s mission; and a three-pronged debate on whether test-based accountability is dead, with a look to the future.

See the full list of contents below or at



New Blueprints for K-12 Schools
Innovative design supports blended learning
By Larry Kearns

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
“Redshirting” may do more harm than good
By Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Stephanie Howard Larson

Betsy DeVos, the (Relatively Mainstream) Reformer
A long record refutes the radical image of the education secretary
By Michael Q. McShane

Gorsuch, the Judicious Judge
A common-sense approach to education issues
By Clint Bolick

Hamilton Goes to High School
How students are learning U.S. history from the hottest show on Broadway
By Wayne D’Orio


Is Test-Based Accountability Dead?
Education Next talks with Morgan S. Polikoff, Jay P. Greene, and Kevin Huffman


Boosting Hispanic College Completion
Does high-school recruiting help more students graduate?
By Oded Gurantz, Michael Hurwitz, and Jonathan Smith

Measuring Up
Assessing instructor effectiveness in higher education
By Pieter de Vlieger, Brian A. Jacob, and Kevin Stange


Justice Gorsuch, Meet James G. Blaine
By Martin R. West


Special Education Standards
By Joshua Dunn


Class Clowns: How the Smartest Investors Lost Billions in Education by Jonathan A. Knee
As reviewed by Julie Landry Petersen

The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools by Jonathan Zimmerman and Emily Robertson
As reviewed by David Steiner


A Common Core Curriculum Quandary
By Michael J. Petrilli


Vague Answers to Pointed Questions
By Sheila Byrd Carmichael

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