Month: November 2017

Education for the Common Good – by Ashley Berner

Why should taxpayers support the education of other people’s children? In democracies, the answer is because these children’s lives (including workforce participation and social wellbeing) and political involvement (understanding democratic institutions, analyzing legislation, and voting) shape ours. Since the late-18th and early-19th centuries, governments have rested their c...

Summit Now Partnering With Over 300 Schools – by Joanne Jacobs

A student and teacher work together at SLP partner school Chicago International Charter School. Summit Public Schools’ personalized-learning model, known as the Summit Learning Program (SLP) is replicating rapidly, I wrote in the fall 2017 Education Next. The non-profit charter network’s approach, which uses an online platform developed with engineering help from Facebook, meld...

Are Pension Plans ‘Better’ for Charter School Teachers? – by Chad Aldeman

Last month, I wrote about a recent report comparing apples and oranges. More precisely, the National Public Pension Coalition (NPPC) claimed that state-run defined benefit plans offered better benefits than defined contribution plans. As I pointed out at the time, the NPPC report ignored how much money was going into each of the plans, and they looked only at the retirement ben...

In the News: Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting. – by Education Next

In the New York Times, Susan Dynarski reviews the research on the use of laptops in classrooms. A growing body of evidence shows that over all, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures. They also tend to earn worse grades. The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them. It’s not much of...

Education Reform’s Race Debate – by Education Next

Nearly everyone agrees that education reform would benefit from having more leaders of color, to better reflect and include the communities it aims to serve. But some advocates argue that this is not enough, because the movement reflects entrenched interests and embodies white privilege. This view holds that true school reform must be part of a broader social justice campaign ...

EdNext Podcast: How Teacher Expectations Directly Impact Students – by Education Next

The expectations teachers have for how far students will go with their education have an impact on how much education those students actually complete. And white teachers have lower expectations for black students than for similarly situated white students. To better understand these dynamics, Marty West talks with Seth Gershenson about his new study, “The Power of Teach...

Can Online Credit Recovery Recover? – by Michael B. Horn

A series of articles in Slate has upped the ante on the mounting evidence that online credit recovery has a rigor problem, even as such programs have become nearly ubiquitous across the country. As the reporter wrote, the practice of offering online credit recovery seems to be “falsely boosting graduation rates” at the expense of rigorous learning experiences for students. Wha...

Reform Leaders: You’re Fired – by Robert Pondiscio

Note: This is part of a forum on Education Reform’s Race Debate. Why isn’t Marilyn Anderson Rhames running Education Post? When I published a piece earlier this year about the tense estrangement between conservative education reformers and the movement’s increasingly dominant social justice wing, it did not sit well with members of the latter group, including Rhames, who ...

Is A Solid Curriculum a Constraint on Teacher Creativity? – by Kathleen Porter-Magee

“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them.” —Werner Heisenberg Not three months after graduating from college, I got a job teaching middle school science at a local parochial school. For my orientation, I was given a tour of my classroom and the keys to a closet that contained my students’ textbooks. Wheth...