Education Inequality: Broadening Public Attitudes through Framing

This article was originally published in the Journal of Social Issues (December 2016, Vol. 72, Issue 4). The final publication is available at Wiley Online Library. Research over the last 50 years have been remarkably consistent when it comes to addressing education inequality: background factors like family and socioeco- nomics matter to school success. Yet policies remain narrowly focused […]

Introduction: Reframing the Inequality Debate toward Opportunity and Mobility

This article was originally published in the Journal of Social Issues (December 2016, Vol. 72, Issue 4). The final publication is available at Wiley Online Library. Inequality has become the defining issue since the end of the Great Recession. In U.S. education, however, the discourse remains inadequate, because it focuses on programs and initiatives that primarily help disadvantaged […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Broadening the Mind Part I: Know Your Target Audience

As a former advertising executive, I learned an important lesson: Know your target audience. It means that you need to get into the minds of whoever you are selling to. For example, advertisers ask questions like: Why do people want to buy an iPhone instead of a Blackberry? Why should one use an online bank […]

The One Thing Successful People Have Isn’t Taught in Schools

Success can be defined in many ways and can be seen in people as diverse as Steve Jobs, Jay-Z, Gandhi, or Lance Armstrong. They all have different skills that range from the entrepreneurial to the athletic, but one trait they have in common is the one thing that schools neglect to teach. A certain character […]

America’s Outlook: Looking Ahead or Looking Back?

  The debate on America’s global position between geopolitical analyst Fareed Zakaria and journalist David von Drehle in this week’s Time characterizes the typical dichotomous perspective in current political polemics: One is forward-thinking, while the other looks back. For quite some time Zakaria has questioned America’s commitment to maintain economic dominance, as written in the […]

Creating a Culture of Education (Part 4): The Government’s Role

In a culture of education, the school, family, community, and government need to work cooperatively — one aspect working without the other three can only improve learning and education by so much. Currently, policymakers have been consumed with piecemeal efforts like teacher accountability, putting millions of dollars into research and systems that determine the teachers’ effectiveness on student achievement. No doubt the teaching profession need continual improvements, but not at the expense of developing students and family. The government will need to be a big part of that, but not in the way they have been currently operating.

China’s Entrance Exam System: Time for a Change?

China’s emphasis on the all-important gaokao (college entrance exams) unintentionally creates three roadblocks toward premier status: 1) it sustains an anachronistic culture of rote learning in a modern era; and 2) it creates a social and economic divide; and 3) it sustains a thriving industry of fraud that jeopardizes China’s legitimate power.