Op-eds and Articles

By / 1.25.2018

In November, NPR uncovered a graduation scandal at Ballou High Schoolin Washington, D.C., where half the graduates missed more than 90 days of school. Administrators pressured teachers to pass failing students, including those whom teachers had barely seen. Policy wonks have had a field day with the report, adding graduation scandals to their lists of […]

By / 1.12.2018

Washington Democrats employ legions of political consultants, entrail readers and data-crunchers to help them figure out how to sway voters. They could save a lot of money by listening instead to Democrats who win elections in red and purple states. That’s the idea behind a trenchant new report that should be required reading for national […]

By and / 1.8.2018

A recent New York Times article suggested that Chicago had the nation’s fastest-improving large urban school district. In it, reporters Emily Badger and Kevin Quealy summarized data from a new study by Sean Reardon of the Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis. For many, that was surprising news, since the district has received heat […]

By / 1.3.2018

When Congress passed a massive tax giveaway to the richest that will add at least $1 trillion to America’s debt late last year, GOP lawmakers were remarkably candid about the next step: cutting the safety net for hundreds of millions of Americans by going after Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. As Sen. Marco Rubio […]

By / 12.30.2017

Education was mostly a sideshow in the massive tax overhaul Congress passed just before Christmas. But one marginal issue passed in the dead of night may end up playing a big role in the school choice debate going forward. Under the new law, money from 529 college savings accounts can now be used for private […]

By / 12.26.2017

We often hear how “precious” a child is, what a “treasure” she is, and how our kids are “our greatest resource.” Neuroscientists tell us that ages 0-3 are the most critical years for cognitive, social and moral development. Economists and business leaders tell us that early childhood education offers one of the best lifetime returns […]

By / 12.26.2017

“Another such victory and we are lost,” King Pyrrhus of Epirus lamented after suffering staggering losses in defeating the Romans in 279 B.C. This bit of ancient history seems relevant now as President Trump and the Republicans celebrate a pyrrhic victory of their own on taxes. In ramming through Congress a huge package of tax […]

By / 12.21.2017

The Associated Press recently published an analysis that claims charter schools increase segregation in America’s public schools. Charter schools are public schools operated by independent organizations, usually nonprofits. Freed from many of the rules that constrain district-operated schools, they can craft programs that meet the needs of their students. In exchange for increased autonomy, they […]

By / 12.21.2017

Public education in Detroit is a mess. In a new national study, Detroit emerged as one of the nation’s worst big cities, with district eighth-graders performing at a fifth-grade level, on average. Even charter schools, which enroll the majority of public school students, lag behind those of many cities. Though we have the nation’s second highest […]

By / 12.8.2017

Last week, Republicans played elves to President Trump’s Santa, cobbling together an atrocious package of tax giveaways that will mostly help wealthy Americans while piling at least $1 trillion on the national debt. So much for GOP claims to be the party of working people and fiscal responsibility. Now Trump and the Republican National Committee […]