(4.03.08) Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Across the country, tax credit legislation is fast emerging as a popular, politically viable path to educational choice. Democrats and Republicans alike have embraced tax credits as a way to widen the aperture of educational freedom for low- and middle-income families. Seven states have already passed laws permitting tax credits or deductions for education expenses, empowering parents and saving millions of dollars.
(3.27.08) Class Size Conundrum
Do small classes boost student performance? Many parents and teachers think so: polling generally reveals widespread support for class size reduction. Decreasing class size is also popular among legislators, prompting billions of dollars in expenditures to fund ever-shrinking classes in states from California to North Carolina.
(3.20.08) Lost in the Middle
Much has been said in recent years about reforming our high schools. Given widespread data documenting a worrisome dropout crisis, this makes good sense. But what about the critical school grades that bridge the gap between late childhood and full-blown adolescence? Do these middle school years impact a student’s determination to stay in school?
(3.13.08) Don’t Bully That Pulpit
Bullying on K-12 campuses is a serious problem that merits our renewed attention. Recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicate that 28 percent of students between the ages of 12 and 18 are harassed at school.
(3.06.08) Historical Fiction
“What’s past is prologue.” These words, from William Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, affirm that history sets the stage for what’s yet to come. The patterns of the past are, as the Bard wrote, inextricably intertwined with the future.
(2.28.08) Cheating Us Blind
News stories this week are likely to intensify already palpable worries about the prevalence of high school cheating. Administrators at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill recently discovered a longstanding cheating ring of up to 30 students.
(2.21.08) Teacher Pay, Revisited
Nineteenth century historian and political scion Henry Brooks Adams had an infinitely high regard for the power of the teacher. Said Mr. Adams, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Research on teaching efficacy generally supports his claim: teachers have a significant and enduring influence on student performance.
(2.14.08) A Not-so-Silent Epidemic
Two years ago, the national report, The Silent Epidemic (pdf), heralded America’s growing – but largely unrecognized – high school dropout crisis. Now, this epidemic is silent no more.
(2.07.08) New Movement on Charters
It’s no secret that the education establishment regards charter schools with great suspicion. Charter schools may be public, but they’re also free to innovate and otherwise shake things up. This is good news to many education reformers, among whom these maverick schools enjoy rock-star status. But such freedom is discomfiting for education officials intent on maintaining the status quo.
(1.31.08) School Choice Gets a Boost
A high school diploma is a critical determinant of later vocational and life success. In our competitive global economy, kids who don’t graduate don’t stand a chance. Not only do high school dropouts face long odds when it comes to securing gainful employment, research shows they’re also at risk for a host of adverse outcomes, including poverty, single parenthood, and incarceration.