March 2014 Archives

Loads of interesting stuff in this new New America Foundation report on graduate student debt--a major and underacknowledged contributor to sky-hight national student debt levels. But what strikes me is that a lot of the growth in this sort of graduate debt is directly related to public and licensure policies. Consider: Fully 16% of graduate student debt holders hold a master's degree in education--many as a direct result of certification policies that require individuals to earn such credentials to become teachers through alternative route programs and/or to earn a certain number of graduate credentials every so many years in ...


Robert Gordon and I have a new article about Head Start up at The New Republic today. We argue that Head Start works better than many of its critics--and many K-12 education wonks--realize, but that it could--and must--do a much better job of preparing our nation's poorest kids for school. We also offer some suggestions for how to make Head Start better. Read the whole thing here....


I'm pretty fascinated with these NPR charts comparing adults' professions and earnings today with their families' incomes when they were children (even though my own profession is too obscure to show up in them)! But dang, the information on childcare workers in these charts is depressing. Of all the professions included, childcare workers tend to come from families with some of the lowest earnings--and their economic status is worse as adults. In other words, childcare is downwardly mobile work, even for people from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds to start with. What a sad reflection of how we as a society value ...


Charter supporters nationally are focusing on New York City, where recently-elected Mayor deBlasio seems to be making good on campaign promises to oppose charter co-locations and charge charter schools rent (never mind charter parents are city taxpayers, too...)--a potentially a significant blow to the city's charter sector that has garned significant national criticism for the Mayor. While lots of smart folks have written on this, I can't help be struck between the contrast between what's going on in New York right now--and the consternation among charter supporters leading up to last year's election there--and the current D.C. Mayor's ...


Today's weather has schools closed throughout the DC area. This year's high number of snow- and cold-related school closures along the East Coast has frustrated a lot of parents and teachers--who are particularly concerned about how districts are going to make up for the high number of closures, which has already exceeded the excess days many school systems built into their calendars this year. I spoke to one teacher recently whose school district has chosen to make up days by holding Saturday classes, and others frustrated that they may have to cancel planned (and paid for) spring break trips due ...


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