Someone is trying to gag the National Assessment Governing Board’s board members.

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — more commonly known as “the nation’s report card.” As the NAEP website puts it, “First administered in 1969, [NAEP] is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation’s students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science, and writing.” In short, NAGB is in charge of the most reliable, trusted data on how American students are faring.

NAGB’s sprawling 26-member governing board includes a lively mix of…

A decade ago, a push to change the nation’s reading and math standards blew up into a ferocious, multiyear clash. Obama administration efforts to promote the Common Core State Standards via its Race to the Top program and concerns about the impact on math and reading instruction combined to fuel a fight which ultimately turned a vaguely popular notion into a poisoned brand. The dispute wound up swallowing much of what the Obama administration sought to do in K-12 schooling.

You’d think the lesson would’ve stuck. President Joe Biden, after all, saw all of this up close as Obama’s VP…

For high school students, choosing a college can be both exhilarating because of the opportunities ahead and stressful due to the amount of money involved. Degree Insurance is a new company that aims to make investing in a college degree less risky. It offers insurance policies that guarantee a graduate will receive the typical income earned by a degree in their major for the first five years after college. The for-profit startup was co-founded by CEO Wade Eyerly, who has worked as an economist at the Pentagon and successfully launched other startups such as Surf Air, a member-only airline. …

Those readers who’ve been at this long enough will recall — in painful, vivid detail — the Common Core State Standards imbroglio that dominated education in the first half of the 2010s. At times, the Common Core seemed like it blotted out everything else. It drew rapturous praise, with then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan celebrating it as potentially “the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown v. Board of Education.” And it drew lots of equally vehement pushback.

But, in a new Harvard Education Press volume, Between the State and the Schoolhouse, Tom Loveless concludes…

In a new study, “Are School Reopening Decisions Related to Union Influence?,” Corey DeAngelis, the American Federation for Children’s national director of research, argues that reopening decisions are in fact related to teachers’ union strength. A prolific writer, Corey is also the executive director at the Educational Freedom Institute and has been named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list. I recently spoke with Corey about his paper’s findings and its implications for education.

— Rick

Rick: So what got you interested in studying this whole union and reopening question in the first place?

Corey: There was a stark contrast…

I tend to think philanthropy has a valuable role to play in American education. As I suggest in A Search for Common Ground, unlike those who insist that education giving is “anti-democratic,” I believe philanthropy can make “for a more pluralistic, responsive education system by supporting voices, programs, and organizations that challenge the routines of district and state machinery.” It can offer a lifeline to those otherwise boxed out by teachers’ unions, education bureaucracies, textbook companies, and ed. schools.

Yet, just because philanthropy can play this role doesn’t mean that it will. Indeed, too often, as in the cases of…

During the pandemic, nearly every American schoolchild has experienced some kind of mixture of home-based and school-based learning. What many may not realize is that this phenomenon was happening even before the pandemic. Mike McShane, the director of national research at EdChoice, spent a year talking to parents and educators involved in this kind of learning for his new book, Hybrid Homeschooling: A Guide to the Future of Education. I recently spoke with Mike about the realities of hybrid home schooling, what it looks like when done well, and why he calls it the future of education.

— Rick

Rick…

The “Roadmap” issued by Educating for American Democracy (EAD) is barely a month old, but EAD is already experiencing the good times that await anyone audacious enough (or foolhardy enough) to pursue national initiatives regarding the stuff of history, civics, and standards. The Roadmap has been hammered as a politicized, ideological exercise.

My friend Mark Bauerlein, English professor at Emory and senior editor at First Things, has written, “Organizers present the Roadmap as bipartisan and balanced, but if you scan the details, you’ll find it relentlessly focuses on group identity, access and exclusion, agency and dissent, and diversity.” Joy Pullman…

Dr. Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University, where his research examines how people judge the credibility of digital content. His work has appeared in prominent publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, and Smithsonian Magazine. The digital document-based history curriculum he helped create has been downloaded 10 million times. Of note: Wineburg is the only one out of the top 50 in this year’s RHSU EduScholar rankings with a primary focus on online learning or education technology. …

Recently, in the midst of a short, charming interview, an award-winning 2nd grade dual-language teacher casually offered an offhand comment that gave me pause. She said, “With gentrification, there are many more affluent families in the neighborhood who are attracted to the benefits of bilingual education. It takes a conscious effort on my and the school’s part to make sure that our dual-language classrooms serve our Latinx families and put their language needs first.” The teacher later added, “Latinx children are diverse and have varying needs,” and explained, “I teach for equity, not equality.”

The interview clearly revealed a thoughtful…

Frederick M. Hess

Direct Ed Policy Studies at AEI. Teach a bit at Rice, UPenn, Harvard. Author of books like Cage-Busting Leadership and Spinning Wheels. Pen Ed Week's RHSU blog.

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