The Top 10 Education Next Blog Posts of 2023

District spending, math instruction, artificial intelligence draw readers’ interest

In the year since the technology company OpenAI launched its generative artificial-intelligence tool ChatGPT, nearly everyone from the technophobe to the tech-savvy has clamored to make sense of what it will mean for the future of the production and consumption of content. The education sector is particularly fraught with both excitement and concern over AI’s utility in the classroom.

This interest was evident on the Education Next blog in 2023, with three posts related to AI cracking the top ten most read articles this year. In the seventh spot, Education Next executive editor Rick Hess mused if ChatGPT would compel teachers to “unflip” their classrooms, bringing students’ writing assignments back to school under their supervision. University of Texas at Austin researcher Paul von Hippel explained the limitations of using ChatGPT to teach math in not one but two posts early in the year—evidence of the rapidly evolving nature of AI technology.

But by far the most widely read blog article was the analysis by Georgetown’s Katie Silberstein and Marguerite Roza of how school districts are spending the mortal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER, funds. The federal government’s infusion of $112 billion in Covid recovery dollars to 14,000 districts will expire in the fall of 2024, and Education Next readers seem especially interested in the authors’ investigation into how effectively (and transparently) that money is being spent.

As always in education, there is much about which to be hopeful and leery, and it is evident that our readers are paying close attention to both.

The full top ten list is here:

1. The Massive ESSER Experiment: Here’s what we’re learning.
Big investments in labor and vendor contracts, but scant information on how the spending affects students.
By Katherine Silberstein and Marguerite Roza




2. Stanford Summer Math Camp Defense Doesn’t Add Up, Either
Flawed, non-causal research that the proposed California framework embraces
By Tom Loveless




3. Does Anyone Really Believe the Student Loan “Payment Pause” Will End Anytime Soon?
Expensive, regressive, and maybe with us until after the 2024 election
By Education Next




4. ChatGPT Is Not Ready to Teach Geometry (Yet)
The viral chatbot is often wrong, but never in doubt. Educators need to tread carefully.
By Paul T. von Hippel




5. Education Choice Means Accountability to Families
Concerns about waste and fraud in ESAs are misplaced, especially in comparison to other government programs.
By Jason Bedrick




6. Eliminate Department of Education, Four Republican Presidential Candidates Say
Senator Tim Scott proposes to “break the backs of the teachers unions”
By Ira Stoll




7. Will ChatGPT Unflip the Classroom?
Teachers must ensure students are learning—and not just outsourcing tasks to artificial intelligence
By Frederick Hess




8. GPT-4 Is Still Not Ready to Teach Geometry
But the forthcoming Wolfram plugin could change that.
By Paul T. von Hippel




9. Social-Emotional Learning: “No One Is Fooled”
Why not just talk about “respect” or “responsibility”?
By Frederick Hess




10. Six Questions to Ask the School-Board Candidates
If a candidate claims only the superintendent is responsible for academics, vote for someone else or run yourself.
By Robert Maranto

— Education Next

P.S. You can find the Top 10 Education Next blog posts of 2022 here, 2021 here, 2020 here, 2019 here, 2018 here, 2017 here, 2016 here, 2015 here, 2014 here and 2013 here.

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