November 2011

Should schools alone be held accountable for student achievement?

What if schools didn’t have to work alone to improve student achievement? That was the question we asked in a recent article about the miserable state of public education in Camden, N.J., one of the poorest cities in the country. Now, a study out today by Education Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based education policy think tank, delves further into […]


Kindergartners at the keyboard [podcast]

In October, Hechinger Report writer Jill Barshay reported on computer instruction in kindergarten classrooms in a story that ran in Education Week and newspapers across the country. Last week she was a guest on American RadioWorks, where she spoke with executive editor and host Stephen Smith about the story.

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The new G.I. Bill: Big money, big challenges [podcast]

In September, Hechinger Report writer Jon Marcus reported for The Washington Post that universities were heavily recruiting veterans to get a piece of the $11 billion made available through the new post-9/11 G.I. Bill, but providing little of the additional support that many veterans say they need. Marcus was a guest on the public-radio program […]


How a “tech break” can help students refocus

Psychologist Larry Rosen laments the fact that technology is driving us all to distraction. This past weekend, he spoke at a Hechinger Institute seminar for education reporters, which focused on how digital media are transforming teaching and learning in U.S. schools. The seminar, held in Chicago, was made possible by support from the John D. and […]


Students as software testers

How do advocates of digital learning know that students learn better via computers than more traditional methods? Katie Salen is tired of hearing people say, ‘Prove to us that technology works before we buy it.’ She says waiting for irrefutable proof is the wrong approach. Salen—a professor in DePaul University’s School of Computing and Digital […]


With concentrated poverty on the rise, should ed reformers be worried?

The number of people living in concentrated poverty rose substantially over the past decade, according to a Brookings Institution report published on Nov. 3rd: “After declining in the 1990s, the population in extreme-poverty neighborhoods—where at least 40 percent of individuals live below the poverty line—rose by one-third from 2000 to 2005–09.” Education reformers who ascribe to the […]


NAEP scores rise, but income gap sees little change

Fourth- and eighth-graders’ scores showed modest improvement and racial achievement gaps narrowed on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” which was released Tuesday. The gap between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers remained largely unchanged, however, and widened in fourth-grade reading. Compared to 2009, this […]