- Higher Education
- K-12 Education
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten made a big announcement today by calling for a moratorium on all stakes associated with the Common Core State Standards until students and teachers have been given ample training and time to “master this new approach to teaching and learning.” This is a reasonable statement on its face, but what does it mean in practice?
For someContinue Reading »
Someone needs to tell U.S. News & World Report‘s Robert Morse that data he says he wants to include in his magazine’s high school rankings are already available. In a short interview with the Education Writers Association’s Emily Richmond, Morse said:
The rankings don’t tell us how students do once they leave a high-scoring high school – for exContinue Reading »
As a graduate of The College of William and Mary (master’s of public policy, 2008), I was disappointed to read about the school’s adoption of the so-called “high-tuition, high-aid” financial model. Proponents claim that this model helps institutions target resources to low-income students, but that goal fails when low-income students are scared off by high sticker prices and when institutions rContinue Reading »
More than 1.3 million high school seniors have already completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this year, up 2.4 percent from the same time period last year. In D.C. public schools, however, the percentage of students completing a FAFSA is down 6.9 percent from a year ago. (You can download the data for your local high schools here.)
We’ve been tracking this data allContinue Reading »
This spring the U.S. Department of Education has been releasing real-time completion data for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for every high school in the country. I’ve been following the progression in D.C. public schools for the The Quick and the Ed (see the latest installment here). This month, I sat down with Greg Darnieder, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of EducatiContinue Reading »
The blog Stories from School, where National Board Certified teachers in Washington state engage in policy discussions, has posted a couple responses to my piece on evaluation systems in Washington school districts. First, I want to say thanks to Maren Johnson and Tom White, and their commenters, for reading and engaging with my work. I’ve already responded to some of the points that they have Continue Reading »
In my recent paper, The Evergreen Effect, I show that nearly every employee in Washington school districts—including all teachers, principals, superintendents, and school support staff like janitors and librarians—is given a satisfactory performance evaluation. The problems with this seem self-evident to me and, as I articulate in the piece, if an employer can’t differentiate between their emplContinue Reading »
In a new Education Sector Chart You Can Trust, I show that Washington’s motto as “The Evergreen State” applies not just to an abundance of evergreen coniferous trees, but also to the state’s school districts, which almost never identify low-performing employees. Across all districts statewide, only a minuscule number of employees were deemed unsatisfactory: 0.92 percent of teachers, 1.42 percenContinue Reading »
Conventional wisdom says that public sector pensions are far too optimistic in assuming an 8-percent investment return. Indeed, the stock market has far underperformed that goal lately, leaving pension plans in precarious financial shape.
But, if we expand our time frame to a longer horizon of, say, 25 years, it turns out that conventional wisdom is false. Using actual investment return Continue Reading »
North Dakota withdrew its request for an ESEA waiver on Monday after months of working with the federal Department of Education on its plan.* According to North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler, the disagreement boiled down to how the state should set performance targets for its schools, commonly called Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs). North Dakota wanted to set lContinue Reading »