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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Privatization of Public Education

The New York Times‘ article recently listed the educational background of the major players in the current ed reform movement. David Guggenheim, producer and director of the widely acclaimed and pro-charter school documentary Waiting for Superman went to Sidwell Friends School, the same one that President Obama’s daughters are attending, for example. Accountability advocate and […]

Conservatives: What Happened to Personal Responsibility?

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times highlighted the woeful state of children’s health and fitness: about 1 in 3 California students passed the physical fitness test in 2010. Specifically, 28.7% of students in grade five, 34.6% in grade seven, and 38.5% in grade nine were rated as “fit,” or to use accountability parlance, […]

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 […]

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.