May 2012

Study looks ‘under the hood’ of new teacher-evaluation systems

More and more states are adopting new teacher-evaluation systems in response to a growing consensus that improved teacher quality can spell improved student achievement. The idea is that measuring how teachers perform in the classroom will help schools take the first steps toward helping them get better. But so far, there’s little consensus on the […]


Fact-checking Romney’s claims in his education speech this week

Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney focused on education this week, releasing a 35-page plan outlining his education platform and giving a speech on education to the Latino Coalition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. Below, we scrutinize some of Romney’s claims. Statement: “Among developed countries, the United States comes in 14th of […]

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How summer increases the achievement gap

As I was visiting a school in Delaware last month, an elementary school principal ushered me over to his computer to show me a graph that distressed him. It traced how one of his students, who came from a poor family, had progressed over the course of two years. A test taken in September of […]


Causes and consequences of high suspension rates

Sarah Carr, a contributing editor at The Hechinger Report, talked recently with ABC radio about the causes and consequences of high suspension rates in schools. The Hechinger Report focused on these issues in a recent piece for set in New Orleans and Baltimore. Both the article and the radio interview dive into the long-term […]

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What can the failures of desegregation teach us?

In a New York Times editorial over the weekend, University of California, Berkeley professor David Kirp asks why we’ve turned away from school integration, an education reform that has quite extensive evidence showing it worked: “Economists’ studies consistently conclude that African-American students who attended integrated schools fared better academically than those left behind in segregated […]


What value-added models can—and can’t—tell us about teaching and learning

Getting your middle-schooler in front of a high-quality teacher for even one year will improve his or her chances of going to college and earning a good salary later in life, according to a recent study. The study’s authors used value-added modeling—predicting how well a given student will do on a standardized test, controlling for […]


Radio interview: Funding community colleges based on their success

With the debate continuing about matching graduates’ skills with workforce needs, Hechinger contributing editor Jon Marcus speaks on the Callie Crossley Show on WGBH, Boston, about a proposal in Massachusetts to fund community colleges based on their success in training students for jobs in growing industries. Long-neglected community colleges are being pressed to do more […]

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New report suggests School Improvement Grants are paying off in California

In 2009, the federal government made an unprecedented investment in the country’s lowest-performing schools when it sent them $3.5 billion with an order: turn things around. Sufficient time has now passed for researchers and policymakers to begin examining how well the School Improvement Grant program (SIG) is working. So far, the evidence has been largely […]

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