June 2011

New website showcases rocketing college costs

For parents and students struggling to figure out how to best compare the price tags of different colleges, life just got a little easier. The Department of Education unveiled on Thursday the College Affordability and Transparency Center, which houses several lists of colleges and their prices. The new website also showcases how much tuition has […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (0)


Impact evaluations under fire again

The New York Times has a front page piece today on Impact, the controversial teacher evaluation system where teachers can be (and have been) fired for poor performance. The piece, set in Washington, D.C., mostly focuses on criticisms of Impact, with teachers complaining that: -The system doesn’t take into account the economic backgrounds of students […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (0)


Are Obama’s higher education goals enough?

A new report out from the Center on Education and the Workforce underscores a point that politicians, like President Obama, have started drilling in their speeches: America is falling behind its peer countries when it comes to education. This paper, The Undereducated American, highlights in particular the dearth of American college graduates in the workforce. […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (0)


Taking a look at subgroups within a subgroup

The No Child Left Behind Act has received almost universal praise for its requirement that schools, districts and states disaggregate test scores according to things like race and socioeconomic status. Schools can’t hide behind high overall performance if a subgroup is doing poorly and, in theory, they are thus compelled to zero-in on traditionally disadvantaged […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (0)


Are start-up charters a better bet than traditional school turnarounds?

Opening up new charter schools is a more promising strategy than trying to turn around traditional public schools that are failing, according to a caveat-laden analysis in the most recent Education Gadfly from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The study’s author, David Stuit, looked at 81 cases of charter start-ups opening near failing regular public schools. Because […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (0)


Are texting, multitasking teens losing empathy skills? Some differing views

Psychiatrist Dr. Gary Small recently expressed a sentiment that may have crossed the minds of parents and educators who see how much time teenagers spend chatting online and texting: He worries they may not be learning empathy skills. The digital world has rewired teen brains and made them less able to recognize and share feelings of […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (2)


Updated: Facts and opinion from Steve Brill’s new book

Steve Brill, the entrepreneur and journalist who wrote the New Yorker story about New York City’s teacher rubber rooms, says he knows what’s wrong with failing American schools after two years of reporting on the subject: teacher union contracts. He is not alone in this, of course, but he’s about to publish a book this […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (2)


Teacher takes classroom discussion, debate online

Santa Monica High School English teacher Jennifer Pust enjoys moderating spirited discussions among students about everything from zero tolerance weapons policies to the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The debates, which could rage over topics as small as store receipts that waste paper, are all posted on an internet bulletin board. […]

PERMALINK   |   COMMENTS (0)