Category Archives: education policy

why we miseducate children to think of values as opinions

In “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts,” Justin P. McBrayer observes that his second-grade son has been taught to distinguish between facts (which can be “tested or proven”) and opinions (which are just what “someone thinks, feels, … Continue reading

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civic education and deeper learning

Today, Jobs for the Future (JFF) a national nonprofit that advocates for all youth to gain the skills they need to succeed in the economy, releases a paper entitled “Civic Education and Deeper Learning” by me and CIRCLE Deputy Director … Continue reading

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the monumental task that confronts a high-stakes testing state

Let’s say you don’t especially trust teachers to assess their own students, because their ratings can be inconsistent and biased. So you want to use validated and standardized assessments to evaluate students, schools, and teachers. Let’s say, furthermore, that your … Continue reading

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from the achievement gap to empowerment

Harry Boyte argues that the “achievement gap” is the wrong framework for thinking about education. It “assumes the point is upward mobility — how to give poor people, especially racial minorities, resources and remediation so that they can make it … Continue reading

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intelligence is more like confidence than height

(Washington, DC) According to experimental studies collected by Gregory M. Walton*: You can explain to seventh-graders that people build their intelligence by working and learning, and their grades on math will be better for the whole school year. You can … Continue reading

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where is the public on Common Core?

(Durham, NC) The Common Core standards are the most significant policy change in US education today, and they are increasingly controversial. Strong critics can be found on both the right and left. Meanwhile, the most influential proponents don’t exactly have … Continue reading

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discrimination and educational ambition

I thought this was a crucial moment in the recent debate between Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehesi Coats: Chait: The argument is that structural conditions shape culture, and culture, in turn, can take on a life of its own independent of … Continue reading

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civics projects are good for AP scores (and what that means more generally)

University of Washington Professor Walter Parker and colleagues are running experiments in which some classes take AP US Government as it’s typically taught (textbooks, lectures, and some discussion), and others experience a curriculum based on mock trials and other projects. … Continue reading

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the president and the humanities

At a General Electric plant in Milwaukee last month, President Obama seemed to disparage one of the disciplines of the humanities: “I promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might … Continue reading

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the Common Core and civic education

The Common Core is a powerful reform movement in education. State standards are regulatory documents that prescribe the expected outcomes, the content, and (to some extent) the pedagogy used in our public schools. The forty-five states that have adopted the Common … Continue reading

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