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March 02, 2015

The Declining Value of Value-Added Models, and Why They Persist Anyway

Not content to leave a bad idea alone, policymakers now seem intent on applying value-added methods as a means of assessing teacher effectiveness. To just about anyone who has ever actually spent a significant amount of time teaching, this is a terrible idea. But the policy machine marches on anyway—how come?

February 19, 2015

Oklahoma Is Not OK

Out in Oklahoma, a state representative wants to repeal and replace AP US history. Here we go again.

February 14, 2015

The Future Is Now for NCLB... Or Is It?

The battle lines in the debate over ESEA reauthorization—the debate to put NCLB behind us, once and for all—are now as clear as they've ever been, but the bills likely to come out of Congress do more to push an ideological agenda than they do to improve education. Don't expect big changes any time soon.

February 08, 2015

Are We Ready to Have a Real Conversation About K-12 Grading?

Looking at all the ways my kids are being graded has me thinking: is there anything we can do about it? We could start by slowing down to think about the nature of intelligence, what graded assessment tells us about it, and what it would take to think about it differently.

February 03, 2015

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Look at Another Report Card: Here Comes One From Pre-K

Just when you thought you'd seen it all: along comes a report card for a four-year-old. And it's probably even more ridiculous than you thought it would be.

January 15, 2015

'It's Like They're Building the Airplane While It's in the Air'

We've made so many changes to our education system just in the past 15 years that it's hard to keep up with all of them. Worse, we've done it with a sense of impatience and misplaced urgency that would make an impulsive teenager blush. What if we just stopped making changes for awhile and spent some time reflecting on how we got here?

January 12, 2015

This Is What Local Control Looks Like

The fight over common core is often framed as a fight over the limits of federal power—and an expressed desire to protect "local control" of public schools. But what does local control really mean? And is it actually more democratic?

January 07, 2015

Overhauling No Child Left Behind: Careful What You Wish For

There is a new sheriff in town in DC: the Republicans have control of both houses of Congress and are promising to scrap the much-hated No Child Left Behind law. This might not be the good idea you think it is.

December 23, 2014

The Contrarian's Guide to Holiday Conversation

The holiday season is upon us. Are you ready to discuss contentious educational issues with your friends and family?

December 15, 2014

What Would You Do With an Extra $1.5 Trillion to Spend on Education?

Congress just passed a huge appropriations bill filled with riders that funded, and de-funded, some significant programs. What if it spent money on education the way it spends money on other things?

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