Excellence Redefined for the 21st Century

This is the concluding article to my co-edited symposium with Allan Ornstein on “21st Century Excellence in Education.” The original article–as well as references to other articles in this symposium–can be accessed in the journal Society. Since the Nation at Risk report over thirty years ago, the United States education system has focused on standards […]

Should U.S. Panic Over Latest International Creative Problem Solving Test Scores?

The gap in problem solving test scores between U.S. and Asian countries reflects the reality that the way students operate in school often has little to do with how they operate in real life.  U.S. educators may be surprised to see that students in Asian countries scored significantly higher on creative problem-solving tests than American […]

Expanding the Six-Year High School Model

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the six-year high school model, where four years of high school are combined with two years of college for an equivalent of an associate’s degree. Known as the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (or P-Tech for short)—made famous by the high achieving P-Tech school in […]

Common Core: The Conservative Dilemma

The Common Core State Standards is furthering a rift within the already embattled conservative party. For pro-business groups—who tend to lean toward de-regulation and other conservative, laissez-faire measures—the standards are essential to their interests and the long-term economic viability of their states. They believe high school students are not college- or career-ready, and that they […]

What Can We Learn From the “One-Percent”?

Instead of deriding the one percent as being out of touch with the rest of us, maybe we can learn something from them–like how to improve our children’s educational success. Dr. Sean Reardon, a Stanford professor of education and sociology, believes that high-income parents are enriching their children’s educational opportunities, from the day they are […]

The Impact of Demographics on 21st Century Education

This article was originally published in Society (May/June 2013, Vol. 50, Issue 3). The final publication is available at link.springer.com The National Academy of Sciences’ (2007) report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, called for more scientific and technical innovation to maintain America’s economic growth and vitality. Countless other reports over the past few decades have all […]

Book Review. The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City.

  This article was originally published in Education and Urban Society (Jan. 2013, Vol 45, Number 1, pp. 163-165).  Who owns public goods? Conventional wisdom supposes that tax-paying citizens do, via the stewardship of elected officials. Education, housing, and transportation all fall into this category and are thus considered nonexcludable (no one can be effectively […]

A Socially-Conscious Orientation in Education

No matter our ideology, education will always be closely linked with a nation’s economy. We saw a ramping up of science and math education during the Sputnik era in the 1950s-1960s, another call for rigorous standards when fears emerged about international competition from Japan (and Germany) in the 1980s. Of course, the past decade has […]

A Divided Public: 2012 PDK Poll on Public Education

Uncertainty and disagreement characterized a large portion of the general public’s attitudes toward education issues, according to the recent 2012 Phi Delta Kappan’s annual Gallup poll. Among the major highlights, the public is divided about whether: Teachers should be evaluated based on student standardized test scores (52% favor; 47% opposed) Parents should receive vouchers to […]