- Higher Education
- K-12 Education
Chad Aldeman’s most recent blog raises some fundamental issues about what we mean by accountability. Do we compare schools against some established academic standards or do we compare them against each other? Is academic proficiency absolute or relative?
While I have reservations about our current testing regime, I have to say that grading on the curve may make sense for courses that areContinue Reading »
Yesterday, the Obama administration approved Pennsylvania’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) flexibility request, making the grand total of states with approved waivers 41 plus D.C.
In a recent Education Sector report, John Chubb and I take a look at state performance on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) since NCLB was enacted. We use those resultsContinue Reading »
The Wall Street Journal last week ran an op-ed by Professor Paul Peterson of Harvard University reporting that the academic achievement of African-American students has progressed little if any in recent years, an outcome he attributes to lax federal education policy. The study attracted much attention in Washington, where the major federal education policy, the Elementary and Secondary EducatiContinue Reading »
One of the most important lessons of No Child Left Behind is that raw test scores are not a reasonable proxy for school quality unless they are combined with other measures. Yet the implementation of one of the Obama Administration’s signature initiatives, the School Improvement Grant program (SIG), suggests we have yet to absorb this lesson.
SIG targets those “persistently lowest achievContinue Reading »
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 »
Rewriting NCLB. The Bush-era education act has resulted in varied performance among states, but one thing is for certain: The feds “haven’t found the right tools yet,” says Education Sector’s John Chubb. (New York Times)
Higher standards = lower grades, at least for now. Early results from Georgia math assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards illustrate the importance of educaContinue Reading »
The Obama Administration has granted waivers from No Child Left Behind to 33 states and the District of Columbia in return for adopting college- and career-ready standards, creating new accountability systems, and implementing teacher and principal evaluation and support systems*. The Department defines “college- and career-ready standards” as:
…content standards for kindergarten throughContinue Reading »
As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney’s record on education mirrored that of President Bush, including rigorous standards, assessments, and charter schooling. He even supported No Child Left Behind. But as Andy Rotherham noted in TIME nearly a month ago, “As the presumptive nominee of a party that is increasingly allergic to a robust federal role in most areas of domestic policy, Romney talContinue Reading »
While the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind is rather unlikely at this point, reforms around academic standards and testing are still alive—and arguably more so than a decade ago. My colleagues, Susan Headden and Bill Tucker, contribute to a special report from Washington Monthly, out today, that explores new Common Core State Standards, the assessments associated with them, and how testiContinue Reading »
In the spirit of Lent, I have a confession to make. I, too, have taken one for the team.
For those of you who perhaps did not pay rapt attention during the twentieth Republican Presidential debate last evening, here’s a short recap. In answer to a question about his vote for No Child Left Behind, Santorum offered this explanation: “It was against the principles I believed in,Continue Reading »