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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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, […]

The DOE Needs a Mission Statement

What is the mission statement for American education? America’s middling scores on the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has spotlighted the conflicted state of American education. Is it in need of improvement and/or reform? Are these scores a reflection of our high poverty rate, as pointed by Diane Ravitch and countless others, or […]

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?). […]

Tracing the Roots of our Malaise

With a spirited public discussion on education reform by politicians, educators, and the media reaching critical mass, it is somewhat comforting to witness such a concerted effort to solve America’s education problems. Such extensive attention to reform leads to a thought-provoking question: Why are we in this mess?