Month: October 2019

A Strong Case for a Knowledge-Centric Curriculum – by Chester E. Finn, Jr.

Don Hirsch has done it again. Never mind that he’s eighty-eight. Why Knowledge Matters: Rescuing Our Children from Failed Educational Theories, his fifth book on education reform—there were at least five earlier ones in his original field of English literature, criticism, and composition—is as clear and trenchant as Cultural Literacy was in 1987. And it is arguably even more ne...

Democrats Dodge a Charter Question — and for a Reason – by Martin R. West

It took until the third hour of the third Democratic presidential debate—the first of the 2020 cycle to gather all top-tier candidates on the same stage—for education policy to make an appearance. What ensued over the next 14 minutes in response to ABC correspondent Linsey Davis’s query about charter schools was a remarkable exercise in dodging the question. Why were the candid...

In The News: Break Up the Big Break? – by Education Next

While some schools have shortened summer vacation to reduce summer learning loss, not everyone agrees that more school is the best way for kids to spend their summer. These students attend eStem Public Charter School in Little Rock, where summer break is less than 8 weeks long. Bobby Ampezzan of NPR affiliate KUAR spoke with school leaders and students at schools that have exte...

What To Make of the 2019 Results from the ”Nation’s Report Card” – by Education Next

On October 30, 2019, federal officials released results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, in reading and mathematics for grades 4 and 8.  Education Next asked a series of education-policy thinkers to share initial reactions to the results and thoughts about their implications. State NAEP rankings largely stable, even as reading scores drop Ma...

Strange Bedfellows? Why School Reformers Should Rethink Teachers Unions – by Robert Maranto

Thousands of striking Chicago Teachers Union and their supporters march around City Hall in October 2019. School reformers have long criticized teachers unions, often for good reason. In big cities like New York, teachers unions dominate education politics, negotiating hundred-page contracts and making it impossible for administrators to manage anyone, much less terminate the i...

As Google Steals its Education Thunder, What Can Microsoft Do? – by Michael B. Horn

In schools across America, the operating system inside its computers is once again changing. Whereas Microsoft played the role of disruptor the first time around, in this chapter, Google is disrupting Microsoft and threatening to drive it out of most U.S. K–12 schools. What’s so striking about this shift is that we have seen a version of this movie before. In the early 1980s, A...