Recently in Education Policy Category

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October 20, 2011

Can Early Ed. Reduce Income Inequality?

Riffing on the Occupy Wall Street movement, New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof argues that the most effective way to reduce inequality in the United States would actually be to expand early child education. Kristof reports—as any elementary teacher already knows—that si...

October 05, 2011

New Evaluation System Faces Backlash

Tennessee's newly implemented teacher-evaluation program is getting a less than enthusiastic reception from many educators, with some even abandoning the classroom because of it, according to a story in The Tennessean. The new evaluation program, developed in connection with the federal Race to th...

September 30, 2011

Taking a Philosophical View of Standardized Tests

On the New York Times' Opinionator blog, a Notre Dame philosophy professor warns against the inclination to take "immediate and drastic" corrective action based on subpar student standardized test scores. Tests, he suggests, are not always a good gauge of students' applicable knowledge in a particul...

September 29, 2011

The Tao of Finland's Schools

This month's Smithsonian magazine includes an interesting article exploring the (relatively recent) success of Finland's school system. The author highlights a certain Zen-like quality in the way Finnish schools operate: Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend les...

September 01, 2011

Teacher Collaboration: The Missing Link in School Reform?

The current education reform ethos has centered on improving individual teachers' effectiveness and accountability—through merit-pay programs and the use of value-added performance data, for example. But in an interesting article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Carrie R. Leana, a prof...

August 29, 2011

A Teacher's Take on Brill's 'Class Warfare'

In the Washington Post, English Teacher Patrick Welsh reviews Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools, Steven Brill's much talked about chronicle of the current education reform movement. Welsh says the book is fascinating for the "privileged glimpses" it provides into key developme...

August 24, 2011

Is Rampant Test-Tampering Inevitable?

Responding to news of possible "test tampering" in New York City, NYC Educator makes a troubling prediction: Count on this—the cheating we hear about is the tip of the iceberg, and as long as we have this insane emphasis on test scores, it will grow exponentially worse. On the other hand: ...

August 23, 2011

An Ed Week History Lesson

Education Week will hit the big Three-O this year. To mark the occasion, our stellar Web Team—with help from the editors—has put together an excellent interactive timeline of the past 30 years in U.S. education. The timeline tracks key events and developments and includes applicable links ...

August 03, 2011

Urban Teacher: Class Sizes Matter

In an op-ed piece in the L.A. Times, Ellie Herman, a charter school teacher in South Los Angeles, takes on the now-trending argument that great teachers can make up for larger class sizes. That view, she says, essentially romanticizes the practice of great teaching and disregards the diversity and c...

July 29, 2011

'No Silver Bullet' for Great Teaching

The consensus at an education-policy forum on developing great teachers and leaders, held in Washington on July 27, was that teacher-centered efforts that support professional development and effective performance evaluations have the most impact on improving instruction. The briefing, hosted by two...

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