- Higher Education
- K-12 Education
This will be my last post as policy director of Education Sector. On Monday, I’ll start work as director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation. While it’s an exciting opportunity to join a fantastic organization, leaving a place I helped create seven years ago is bittersweet. I’ve never worked with a more talented, committed, and warm-hearted group of pContinue Reading »
A couple of weeks ago, while discussing the announcement of the Harvard / MIT edX initiative, I included a brief recap of what’s been happening over the last six months in the land of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which began as follows:
Throughout the fall 2011 semester, a group of well-known Stanford professors had been running an unorthodox experiment by letting over 10Continue Reading »
Today, Harvard University jumped on the accelerating online education train. The creation of edX in partnership with MIT marks the latest development in what’s shaping up to be a fascinating contest between the nation’s leading research universities and its most ambitious private-sector entrepreneurs for domination of virtual higher education.
Things began heating up last DecContinue Reading »
I spent the last two days on jury duty in the District of Columbia. (Whatever the broader shortcomings of DC municipal government, their process for hauling you into the jury pool every two years works with uncanny efficiency; watch this space for jury-related blog posts in early May 2014.) It was a DUI case, and, sidebar, before we talk about the need for statistics education, let me say this:Continue Reading »
The present for-profit higher education industry is largely an artifact of federal financial aid policy. Students have the right to sign over their federal grant and loan dollars to any accredited college, and if you look at how much the big publicly-traded for-profits charge, you’ll see a tight distribution of price points that not coincidentally track closely with the maximum amount of Continue Reading »
There’s an important distinction between what an organization does and what it sells. Sometimes those are the same thing, like at the sandwich shop near my office. But sometimes they’re different. For example, there was once a common misconception that newspapers were in the business of selling news stories to news readers, when they were in fact in the business of selling advertisiContinue Reading »
In a post titled, “We Need Both Plumbers and English Majors,” Kevin Drum suggests that Rick Santorum may have a point in criticizing the Obama administration’s focus on helping more people earn post-secondary credentials:
The detracking movement did a lot to undermine vocational education, and people like Bill Gates and others have since been influential boosters of theContinue Reading »
The highly-controversial New York City teacher value-added scores released yesterday are being presented by the New York Times with substantial margins of error. And in the end, understanding and reacting to margins of error is the essential challenge of teacher evaluation. Teaching, learning, and the interaction between them are incredibly complicated. As such, there’s no way to measure Continue Reading »
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to testify at a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee hearing on innovations in higher education affordability. You can watch the video here. It was an interesting morning marred by a long discussion of an essentially bogus idea: that college keeps getting more expensive because of onerous federal regulations.
Senator BarbContinue Reading »
In the State of the Union and again in a speech at the University of Michigan last Friday, President Obama laid out a new higher education agenda. As I wrote at The New Republic, it’s an ambitious and welcome plan that’s important less for what policies are likely to pass Congress in an election year (few) and more for setting the parameters of future debate. Naturally, the higher eContinue Reading »