November 2010

Progress on the dropout crisis?

The Johns Hopkins researchers who in 2002 counted 2,000 “dropout factories” in the U.S. — high schools that graduate fewer than 60 percent of their students within four years — are reporting that there’s been significant progress in reducing the number of those schools. “The number of dropout factories fell by 13 percent – from […]


Experience necessary?

The outcry over Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed appointment of Cathleen Black to head the New York City public schools may have taken his administration by surprise, but perhaps it should have been expected. The controversy over Black is not just about her, or New York City. The choice of Black highlights an issue that is at […]

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In Republican-controlled House, will many federal education programs be cut?

U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-MN), fresh from re-election to a fifth term and about to be part of the new Republican majority in the House, said this morning that there are 60 federal education programs that could be cut or combined. In an interview on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) with Cathy Wurzer, Kline didn’t list […]

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Competition and public schools: A look at Florida

Will injecting competition into the educational system save America’s schools? The idea — that if public schools are forced to compete for students (and therefore for funding), they’ll find ways to improve themselves — has been around for decades. Without the pressure of competition, proponents of school-choice argue, schools stagnate. This thinking has led to […]


New Brookings report from scholars in favor of value-added measures

“‘Where are the academics who are in favor of value-added?’ Here they are, with persuasive reasoning.” So concludes the press release that today announced a new Brookings report, “Evaluating Teachers: The Important Role of Value-Added.” The report was co-authored by Steve Glazerman (Mathematica Policy Research), Susanna Loeb (Stanford), Dan Goldhaber (University of Washington-Bothell), Doug Staiger […]


Turning teacher education “upside down”?

“Bold” is a favorite word among education reformers everywhere, and supporters of a new plan put forward by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to overhaul teacher education are no different. James Cibulka, president of NCATE, is quoted in the Wall Street Journal today saying that teacher education is due for […]

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Will the Tea Party try to do away with the U.S. Department of Education?

On the campaign trail, it became “cool” among Tea Partiers to support the elimination of the federal Department of Education. The proposals revive an old Republican idea that lost steam last time it was introduced, once winning candidates faced the reality of day-to-day lawmaking. Whether the new crop of Republicans will actually attempt to do […]

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When the best and brightest aren’t really the best (or brightest)

It’s no secret that students in the U.S. stack up poorly against their international peers on math assessments. But even our best and brightest don’t match up with the highest achievers internationally, according to a new comparison. In the Winter 2011 volume of Education Next, “Teaching Math to the Talented” — by Eric Hanushek, Paul […]


Sarah Garland talks to PBS about Joel Klein’s departure

In the wake of Joel Klein’s resignation as head of the nation’s largest school system, Sarah Garland of The Hechinger Report spoke with Gwen Ifill of the PBS NewsHour on November 10th. Garland discussed the significance of Klein’s departure and what lies ahead for New York City, as well as what the research says about […]


Joel Klein’s legacy of reform, rage and rising graduation rates

Joel Klein, one of the longest-serving chancellors of the New York City public schools, is stepping down. Klein was appointed in 2002, when the state legislature gave Mayor Michael Bloomberg control of the city’s school system. He oversaw a sweeping overhaul of the city’s public schools that was both lauded and condemned. Supporters say his […]


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