New America’s Education Policy program uses original research and policy analysis to help solve the nation’s critical education problems, crafting objective analyses and suggesting new ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large. We combine a steadfast concern for historically disadvantaged populations with a belief that better information about education can vastly improve both the policies that govern educational institutions and the quality of learning itself.
Pew with some troubling data on how scared kids are about gun violence at school. Troubling in no small part because it’s a level of anxiety entirely disproportionate to the threat. You might be surprised at the many things, from the too common – cancer and car accidents – to the unusual – becoming a child bride – that are more likely to happen to young people than being shot in school. It’s terrifying when it happens, yes, and we should improve policy here, yes, but we shouldn’t let that cloud our judgement in how we present this to kids.
These kinds of pension stories about outliers and weird spikes are hard to lay off of, so they get headlines and illustrate that pension plans are a lot more arbitrary than people think. But they’re not the core problem – the core problem in education is that traditional pensions are just a poor fit for the labor market today and need some updating.
If you just think the voucher program is bad policy, then join the campaign against it. That’s the right way to voice your judgments about the merits of educational policy. You don’t want to sacrifice your son’s education to abstract principle, especially given that you’re not going to end the voucher program by failing to make use of it.
Janus inoculation. Look for more of this as well as additional legal wrangling in the wake of the Janus decision – assuming it goes against the union, which seems a safe bet given that the court took the case.
Ashley Brenner on educational pluralism. Worth watching. The kind of questions that don’t get enough air in the back and forth about education today.
The Democratic Party has a structural problem on education – its activist class opposes ideas that the people Democrats claim to want to help support. Short term outcome is stuff like this. Longer term outcome, TBD. It’s not tenable over time. The Dems definitely have one asset going for them though that cannot be overvalued in the current moment: The Republicans.
For a while education has been animated by the idea that with all this technology around us who needs to know “mere” facts. You can just look stuff up. That ignores how people learn, but more troubling it may lead to things like this: A startling number of millennials don’t know some of the basic dynamics of the Holocaust.
Also leads to this:
“Don’t believe every quote attributed to me on the internet, especially on my birthday” – Thomas Jefferson letter to Adams, 1821.
“Teachers come to me and tell me, ‘My principal’s making me feel like it’s my fault when students misbehave,’ and ‘I’m asking for help, and they’re still putting it on me,’ ” Anna Fusco, the Broward County teachers’ union president, tells me the following day. We are at a downtown café between sessions in the all-day school board meeting, and she is describing a form of negligence that doesn’t show up in any documents. “Management denies it,” she says, but hundreds of teachers have complained to her about the district’s “unspoken” rule to avoid referrals.
7 Stages of NAEP:
1) pre-release spin, leaks, inferring
2) Sober takes on results
3) Statements from people it never occurred to you to think, “I wonder what [x] thinks about NAEP?”
4) Subtle causal claims
5) Openly causal claims
6) Blame! Recrimination!
7) Business as usual
This is a smart take on the geezer war and what it means for debates over teacher pay. I’ve been doing this work for a couple of decades and the relative shift in state spending on Medicaid and schools is one of the most pronounced changes over that time.