The Fall 2016 Issue of EdNext is Here!

ednext_xvi_4_cover_emailOur Fall 2016 issue examines surprising contradictions in school reform. Although 38 states have left one or both of the assessment consortia aligned to the Common Core, the vast majority of departing states have held on to the Common Core standards. Meanwhile, thousands of students refused to sit for state assessments again this year, a phenomenon that has captured widespread media attention. But new analyses of the opt-out movement shed light on who is opting out and why, and just how significant the movement really is.

Despite public protests that school closures in New York City would harm students, a new research article shows the policy actually benefited rising ninth graders. In the Bronx, Icahn Charter Schools are lifting student achievement using a content-rich curriculum that some experts had cautioned was not “well-suited” to the school’s student population.

Not all surprises offer good news. In Los Angeles, families have embraced the city’s growing number of high-performing charter schools, with more than 40,000 students waitlisted for enrollment. But a leaked plan to double the number of charters in the city has triggered a battle with the district and the local union over further expansion. And in Baltimore, an attempt to give school leaders greater autonomy with greater accountability fell short, leaving principals feeling demoralized rather than empowered.

Also in this issue, a profile of how Newark’s new superintendent is building trust in a district plagued by conflict; an assessment of whether 3-D technology will break through to the educational mainstream; and an update on transitions underway both at Education Next and in American education.

See the full list of contents below or at




The Bronx is Learning

Content-rich curriculum drives achievement at Icahn Charter School

By Charles Sahm

Ed Reform Battle in Los Angeles

Conflict escalates as charter schools thrive

By Richard Whitmire

Incomplete Reform in Baltimore

A shift in authority to school leaders falls short

by Betheny Gross and Ashley Jochim

Continuing Change in Newark

To protect reform, Chris Cerf builds collaborative relationships

By Richard Lee Colvin

The Politics of the Common Core Assessments

Why states are quitting the PARCC and Smarter Balanced testing consortia

by Ashley Jochim and Paul McGuinn


Making Sense of the Opt-Out Movement

Education Next talks with Scott Levy and Jonah Edelman


School Closures in New York City

Did students do better after their high schools were closed?

By James J. Kemple

From the Editors

Transition Time

by Martin R. West

Legal Beat

Reaping the Whirlwind

by Joshua Dunn

Book Reviews

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth & Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why by Paul Tough

As reviewed by Jay P. Greene

The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City Classroom by Ed Boland & The Secret Lives of Teachers by Anonymous

As reviewed by David Steiner

What Next

Virtual Reality Disruption

by Michael B. Horn

School Life

Think Big, Go Small

by Matt Candler

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