Sarah Garland
Sarah Garland is a staff writer. She has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, Newsday, The New York Sun, The New York Post, The Village Voice, New York Magazine and Marie Claire. She was a 2009 recipient of the Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received her master’s degree from New York University as a Henry M. MacCracken fellow. Her first book, Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence Are Changing America’s Suburbs, was published by Nation Books in July 2009.

Affirmative action on the docket again: Justice Kennedy’s past opinions hint at outcome

Affirmative action in college admissions is on the Supreme Court docket again this year after a white student named Abigail Fisher challenged a University of Texas program meant to promote diversity on UT campuses. Affirmative-action proponents, including many university leaders, are concerned that if the University of Texas loses, efforts to increase diversity in U.S. […]

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Is the era of teaching to the test nearing an end?

One more state received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act requirements this week, and the debate about what the waivers will mean for education policy continues. New Mexico, which was left waiting for a verdict on its application after an announcement that 10 other states had been granted waivers last week, […]


Obama’s new teacher plan: Not so new?

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made his case yesterday for the $5 billion that he and President Barack Obama want Congress to put toward a new grant competition to overhaul the teaching profession. The program would follow the mold of the administration’s $4.35-billion Race to the Top competition in form and, it seems to a […]


An American problem: Is changing culture enough to stop youth violence?

Halfway into The Interrupters, a documentary airing Tuesday night on PBS’s Frontline, Caprysha Anderson, an 18-year-old teenager from inner-city Chicago, rides a carousel for the first time. The seemingly mundane event is transformative for Caprysha and for the audience’s understanding of the depths of her violent upbringing. She has just gotten out of jail. Her […]

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Ten states let off the No Child Left Behind hook

U.S. President Barack Obama announced today that he is letting 10 states off the hook for meeting requirements in the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The law, passed in 2001 with bipartisan support under President George W. Bush, called for all students to reach proficiency in English and math by 2014, a goal that […]


Are school choice and integration the secret ingredients to lowering crime?

Young African-American men at risk of committing crimes were much less likely to do so when they attended higher-performing schools outside their neighborhoods, according to a study published today in Education Next. The study, by David Deming, a professor of education and economics at Harvard, looked at students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the North Carolina school district where […]

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New evidence that small schools work?

You might have forgotten about the small schools movement amid all the recent hubbub about overhauling teacher evaluations. But a study released on January 25th reminds us that only a few years ago, reducing the number of total students in a school was seen as a key weapon in the arsenal of urban school reform, […]


The battle over treating teachers as professionals

Should teachers be treated as professionals? The question may seem easy enough to answer—most people in education, whether they are union representatives or reformers advocating for more charter schools, say “yes.” Yet the question is in many ways at the heart of the raging debate–currently boiling over in New York–over how to improve struggling schools. […]

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Report cards for teachers: Are they fair?

A new study underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which is among the funders of The Hechinger Report) tackles the question of whether the new teacher evaluation systems going into effect in school districts across the country are accurate and reliable in identifying which teachers are good and which are not. The researchers […]


Winners of the Early Learning Race to the Top competition

—UPDATED— The announcement of nine winners in the Obama administration’s latest version of its “Race to the Top” education competition will push forward reforms that early learning advocates have lobbied heavily for over the past several years. The winners of the “Early Learning Challenge,” as the grant competition was called, are California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, […]


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