Press / Reinventing America's Schools

Press

By / 3.30.2017

The defeat of the Republican plan to overhaul President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act last week offered a stark reminder about how much coalitions, persuasion and raw self-interest matter in politics. President Donald Trump failed to persuade almost anyone to join his side, there was no coalition for reform and the health care law’s benefits […]

By / 3.21.2017

The presidential budget request is always a mash up of policy, politics, signaling and negotiation. Yet even with the caveat that any budget request is best taken seriously but not literally, President Trump’s first budget stands out as an exceptional missed opportunity in education and across a range of federal agencies. Ignore the theatrics about […]

By / 10.13.2016

In my home state of Massachusetts, voters will decide in November whether to expand the number of urban charter schools — now capped at 18 percent of students in a city. The propaganda wars have begun, and the lies are flying as fast and thick as they do from Donald Trump’s mouth. Charters are public […]

By / 10.7.2016

School performance standards are outdated. Here are six ways we can improve them. Because Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act last December, states are revamping their federally required systems to measure school quality and hold schools accountable for performance. But most are doing so using outdated assumptions, holdovers from the industrial era, when cookie-cutter […]

By / 8.25.2016

By David Osborne and Anne Osborne Critics of charter schools love to charge that charters “cream” the best students by making it hard to apply and pushing out low performers. That’s why charters outperform traditional public schools, they assert. But they rarely present evidence, and they never admit that traditional public schools do exactly the […]

By / 8.9.2016

By David Osborne and Richard Whitmire The list of failed school reforms launched since 1983’s A Nation at Risk is embarrassingly long. Worse yet, these sputtering reforms appear to be stacking up at a faster rate: Common Core, evaluating teachers partly on student test scores, luring top teachers into low-performing schools. Nothing seems to work out, with […]

By / 5.24.2016

In 2005, Denver stepped into the national spotlight by adopting a performance pay system negotiated with the teachers’ union, financed by a $25 million-a-year boost in property taxes. The subsequent decade of experience reveals a surprising lesson: No one in Denver thinks performance pay has made much difference in student outcomes, but most agree that […]

By / 5.13.2016

Some of the most dramatic gains in urban education have come from school districts using a “portfolio strategy”: negotiating performance agreements with some mix of traditional, charter and hybrid public schools, allowing them great autonomy, letting them handcraft their schools to fit the needs of their students, giving parents their choice of schools, replicating successful […]

By / 4.14.2016

If the democratic candidates are serious about combating inequality, they should start by embracing education reform. For education reformers, the 2016 presidential primaries have been a wasteland. The Republican circus has produced many memorable moments, but few if any have touched on education. Even on the Democratic side, education has been virtually invisible. The major […]

By / 4.12.2016

Some of the most dramatic gains in urban education have come from school districts using what’s known as a “portfolio strategy.” Under this approach, districts negotiate performance agreements with public schools—traditional, charter, and hybrid models. The arrangement affords school leaders substantial autonomy to handcraft their schools to fit the needs of their students. Districts give […]