Our annual look back at the year’s most popular Education Next articles is itself a reader favorite. That’s so perhaps not only because of its status as a kind of “greatest hits” album, but because the list itself can offer some insights into the current state of the education policy conversation.
This year, with structural overhauls at the national level largely stalled as a divided Congress focused on other issues, the attention of our readers was drawn to what is going on inside classrooms. Our most popular article of 2019 was “The Best Way to Help Children Remember Things? Not ‘Memorable Experiences’,” by a British educator, Clare Sealy. She discussed ways for teachers to plan math and science lessons so that students learn the material even if they don’t remember the individual classes. “Serving the Math Whiz Kids,” by Kathryn Baron, covered math education. “Put ‘Whole Language’ on Trial,” by Michael J. Petrilli, is about how best to teach reading.
Technology increasingly seems to affect education. Doug Lemov’s review of Maryanne Wolf’s book about “The Reading Brain in a Digital World” was one of our top articles, as was Kenneth R. Foster’s careful assessment of the health threats of technology in schools.
Not that the education reform agenda of choice and accountability has entirely lost steam. An article by Ron Matus about “Miami’s Choice Tsunami” is on the list of our top stories. Even higher up on the list, though, was “The Achievement Gap Fails to Close,” an article by Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Laura M. Talpey, and Ludger Woessmann documenting, largely, a lack of progress over a half-century of testing. Perhaps next year, or next half-century, will bring better results. Or perhaps not. In the meantime, here is this year’s full list, the Top 20 Education Next articles of 2019:
|1.||The Best Way to Help Children Remember Things? Not “Memorable Experiences”
The difference between “Episodic Memory” and “Semantic Memory,” and what it means for teaching and learning
By Clare Sealy
|2.||The Achievement Gap Fails to Close
Half century of testing shows persistent divide between haves and have-nots
By Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Laura M. Talpey and Ludger Woessmann
|3.||Forgetting How to Read
A neuroscientist examines reading in the age of screens
By Doug Lemov
|4.||Is Summer Learning Loss Real?
How I lost faith in one of education research’s classic results
By Paul T. von Hippel
|5.||Do Smarter Teachers Make Smarter Students?
International evidence on teacher cognitive skills and student performance
By Eric A. Hanushek, Marc Piopiunik and Simon Wiederhold
|6.||Rise and Shine
How school start times affect academic performance
By Jennifer Heissel and Samuel Norris
|7.||Public Support Grows for Higher Teacher Pay and Expanded School Choice
Results from the 2019 Education Next Poll
By Michael B. Henderson, David Houston, Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West
|8.||The Education Opportunity in Opportunity Zones
Can incentivized investment in distressed communities close the prosperity gap?
By John Bailey
|9.||The Lost Children of E.D. Hirsch
Natalie Wexler’s ‘The Knowledge Gap’ is a first-rate argument for content-rich curriculum. Will it make a difference?
By Robert Pondiscio
|10.||Put “Whole Language” on Trial
The case against reading instruction that leads to illiteracy
By Michael J. Petrilli
|11.||Serving the Math Whiz Kids
Private enrichment programs step up to meet the need
By Kathryn Baron
|12.||New York State Cracks Down on Jewish Schools
Senator Simcha Felder and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel meet the long shadow of Joseph Hodges Choate
By Menachem Wecker
|13.||Has President Trump Scared Away All the Foreign Students?
The facts behind fears of a higher-education revenue recession
By Alex Usher
|14.||How To Tackle Student Absenteeism
Late winter is a peak period for school absenteeism. How can schools best combat that problem?
By Todd Rogers and Carly Robinson
|15.||The Right Way to Capture College “Opportunity”
Popular Measures Can Paint the Wrong Picture of Low-Income Student Enrollment
By Caroline Hoxby and Sarah Turner
|16.||A Certificate, Then a Degree
Certificate-first programs can help tackle America’s college-completion crisis
By Clark G. Gilbert and Michael B. Horn
|17.||Miami’s Choice Tsunami
Carvalho, competition, and transformation in Miami-Dade
By Ron Matus
|18.||Is Wi-Fi a Health Threat in Schools?
Sorting fact from fiction
By Kenneth R. Foster
|19.||How To Make School Start Later
Early-morning high school clashes with teenage biology, but change is hard
By Danielle Dreilinger
|20.||How Teach for America Affects Beliefs about Education
Connecting Classroom Experience to Opinions on Education Reform
By Katharine M. Conn, Virginia S. Lovison and Cecilia Hyunjung Mo
Congratulations to all of our authors!
— Education Next
P.P.S. You can find the Top 10 Education Next blog posts of 2019 here.