Lessons from abroad: If Republicans controlled U.S. education policy? Australia offers a sneak peek

What would happen if conservative ideas for improving education were given free reign in the United States? If Republicans take over the Senate and then the White House, a possibility, Americans might find out in the near future. Australia, similar in many ways to the U.S., provides a glimpse of what a transfer of power […]


Which winning ideas could the U.S. steal from Singapore?

Singapore has one of the best education systems in the world, according to international assessments. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk about its performance. United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited in 2012 and her counterpart at the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, has praised its teacher training. And […]


States are slow to adopt controversial new science standards

All but five states have signed on to the Common Core State Standards in math and English, but states have been more tentative about picking up new science standards released in April. Known as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the new guidelines, which call for a greater emphasis on problem solving than previous standards […]


The radical changes to New Orleans’ schools

Sarah Carr, a contributing editor at The Hechinger Report, went on NBC’s Education Nation on Friday to talk about the radical changes to New Orleans’ school landscape since Katrina. The city has a higher percentage of charter schools than any other since the flood. Education Nation traveled to New Orleans last week to see how […]

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Can we please change the conversation about college admissions?

If you’re spending any time in the company of ambitious high-school seniors or hyper-competitive parents these days, you may be reading Facebook posts with status updates proclaiming acceptances at prestigious colleges: “Dartmouth! Duke! Vassar! Swag! I’m three for three!” You may not read about rejections, but you will certainly hear plenty about them, along with […]


Local school districts are new target of education reformers

The large amounts of outside money flowing into the Los Angeles Unified school board election represent a new front in the reform battles that have shaken up education politics over the last decade. Donations of $1 million by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and $250,000 by former District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor […]


Is closing a struggling school the right choice?

Hundreds of schools have closed in urban neighborhoods in recent years, mostly in low-income, minority neighborhoods. Would-be education reformers like Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City have argued that closure is the only way to turn around some persistently failing schools. Critics have argued that closing a school is a drastic step with collateral damage that […]


Board OKs charter takeover of California public school after ‘parent trigger’

The real-life version of “Won’t Back Down” — the recent movie that promoted the controversial “parent trigger” law — appears to finally be getting a happier ending than the box office flop. Parent union members at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, Calif., have become the first in the nation to convert their struggling neighborhood […]


Report: More states using student data in reform

The number of states embracing contentious education reforms meant to increase teacher accountability rose rapidly last year. In 2009, no states tied tenure to a teacher’s performance in the classroom as measured by student achievement on standardized tests. Now, 15 states have policies that base teacher tenure partly on student test scores, up from eight […]


No consensus on which skills should be included in teacher evaluations

At least 30 states are launching new systems to evaluate teachers using more rigorous criteria about what makes a good teacher, but so far there is little consensus on what the criteria should be. Can the quality of a teacher be measured by looking at just a few key skills, such as setting academic goals […]