August 2013

Survey: As Common Core enters schools this fall, it’s still a mystery to most Americans

Despite intensifying political battles over the new Common Core State Standards in many states this summer, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans have never heard of them. The new math and English standards, developed to increase rigor in classrooms and better prepare students for college, have been adopted by 45 states and […]


Conflicting ideas about how to rate teacher prep programs

After winning a hard-fought battle against the teachers union to impose a new teacher evaluation system, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has turned to evaluating the training programs that produce the city’s teachers. The New York City Department of Education recently released what it dubs as “the nation’s first ever district level Teacher Preparation […]

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Massachusetts boards performance funding train

With the announcement that Massachusetts community colleges will be funded based on graduation rates and other measures, Hechinger’s Jon Marcus spoke about this national trend on public-radio station WBUR’s Radio Boston program. The state joins dozens of others in which public higher education competes for dwindling state funding based on outcomes, not just enrollment. Some […]

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Why did Tony Bennett change Indiana’s school grading system?

In 2010, I visited Christel House Academy, a charter school in Indianapolis that differed starkly from regular Indianapolis public schools. Spanish classes started in kindergarten. In fourth grade, overnight camping trips began and by fifth grade, so did college trips. As part of the school’s focus on project-based learning, a group of middle schoolers were […]