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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Toward a Holistic Approach to Education

Despite continued pessimism about the state of American public education, there is reason for hope. Why? Within the past year or so, there appears to be a small but noticeable shift in public discourse towards exploring non-school factors in reform. Generally, the past three decades have brought on a “no excuses” accountability movement, epitomized by […]

Finally Getting School Reform Right

The National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) has presented a new paper that appears to understand what is needed to improve American education, titled Standing on the Shoulder of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform. Notably, its recommendations are free of solutions that characterize much of current debates such as charter schools, […]

Tunnel Vision Reform

Education researcher Esther Quintero lucidly dissected the inherently illogical foundations of current reform efforts in the Shanker Blog, entitled The Un-American Foundations of Our Education Debate. Her perspective mirrored my own about the misplaced emphasis on teacher accountability without a concurrent one on student and family accountability (see my article, Conservatives: What Happened to Personal Responsibility?). […]