Why Common Standards Won’t Work By P.L. Thomas

In 2010, with the blessing and encouragement of the nation’s president and secretary of education, we are establishing “common-core standards” to address the historical claim that our public schools are failures. In the 1890s, a similar lament was voiced by the group known as the Committee of Ten: “When college professors endeavor to teach chemistry,… Read more »

Will the “right teachers” improve our schools? By Anthony Cody

President Obama last week made a major speech before the National Urban League in which he defended Race to the Top and his education reform agenda. It is rather remarkable that such a defense should be necessary. After all, should not the constituency of a progressive president embrace improvement of schools for children in poverty?… Read more »

Radio Show Today

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The Importance of Affect in the Classroom By Walt Gardner

The New York Times published a front-page story about the delayed impact the best kindergarten teachers have on their students (“The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers”) on the same day I wrote about the benefit in delaying evaluation of teachers until years after their students graduate (“Who’s a Good Teacher”). Raj Chetty, who conducted the… Read more »

What Would Real School Reform Look Like? By James Farwell

Public school reform seems to boil down to closing schools; sending students to higher-achieving schools; converting a “failing” school to a charter school; replacing the principal, reforming instruction, and increasing learning time; and giving teachers monetary incentives to do better. Such “reform” seems as off the mark and ineffective as placing a Band-Aid on a… Read more »