Edu-Philanthropists’ Dangerous Zero-Sum Game

I don’t think education philanthropies like the Gates Foundation are conspiring to “buy schools,” as some critics think. Nor am I against school choice. For that matter, I don’t care for bloated teachers unions, either. But, as an education researcher, I am wary of their increasing interest in K-12 education over the past ten years. Frederick […]

The Most Valid and Reliable Teacher Assessment (Hint: It’s Not VA)

What’s the point of performance-based teacher evaluations? A few years ago, one of my former graduate professors casually suggested, “Let the children grade the teachers. It’s just as reliable as any out there now if not more.” Intellectually, it made no sense: students, especially young ones, can’t possibly know what makes an effective teacher. Their […]

The Long-term Impact of Early Childhood Education on Student Outcomes

Does going to a high-quality early education program help young disadvantaged children do significantly better at the age of 28? That is the question Reynolds, Temple, Ou, Arteaga, & White sought to answer in their comprehensive 2011 study of the Child Parent Center (CPC), an early childhood-based intervention program in the heart of Chicago’s high […]

New York’s Teacher Evaluation System

New York State education officials and the local teachers’ union reached a deal on a new teacher evaluation system on Thursday February 16, just before Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deadline for imposing his own measures for teacher quality. Essentially, 40 percent of teachers’ evaluations will be measured by students’ performance on standardized test scores, half of […]

Richard Rothstein: How To Fix Our Schools

Richard Rothstein, research associate at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), has written a lucid article on How to Fix Our Schools, which I have reprinted in its entirety below. Essentially, he asserts that education reform is more complicated than the accountability reformers would have you believe, and he happens to be right on point. Enjoy. […]

Thomas Friedman: How About Better Parents?

The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has finally asked the question that I, along with other critics of the current teacher accountability reform movement, have been covering in this blog since its inception: How about better parents? His column, printed below in its entirety, will hopefully be the tipping point in shaping a more […]

Applying the Right Business Mentality to Education

Why is it that the business people who are increasingly influencing education policy do not follow the doctrines that have made them successful in their industry? Chief among them is how executives and managers allocate limited time and resources on the things that generate the biggest returns, not on the least profitable ones. This metaphor […]

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 […]

Teacher Accountability Starts with Better Teacher Preparation

Accountability initiatives like Race to the Top has focused on creating models that gauge teacher effectiveness by linking evaluations (in part) to student progress. Under New York’s new legislation, for example, 40 percent of a teacher’s grade will be based on standardized tests (with the balance based on more subjective measures such as principal observations). […]

Charter Schools vs. Public Schools: Comparing Apples and Oranges

This is not another article bashing charter schools — far from it. They continue to thrive not only because of widespread dissatisfaction with public schools, but more importantly because they have duplicated the quintessential culture of education that I have advocated for (i.e., that student learning and subsequent success are possible when surrounded by support and […]