Publications / Education

Publications

Policy Proposal

By / 10.16.2017

A four-year degree is not the only path to middle-class security. High-quality occupational credentialing opportunities deserve equal standing and federal support. Many progressives believe “free college” to be the best way of helping more Americans achieve economic mobility and security. On average, workers with four-year degrees enjoy greater earnings and job security than high school […]

Policy Report

By and / 7.18.2017

Last week, the National Education Association (NEA) voted to adopt a new policy statement[1] on public charter schools. Ignoring mounting evidence that the best charter systems are finally giving urban children a shot at a decent education, the NEA calls for a moratorium on the creation and expansion of public charter schools. The NEA says […]

Political Memo

By / 1.12.2017

Springfield, Massachusetts, is where the United States’ one wholly indigenous sport – basketball – was invented. It may soon be known for a completely different innovation. The Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership (SEZP) is an attempt to create within the public schools the conditions that make charter schools successful, without the poisonous politics that often accompany […]

Policy Brief

By / 12.15.2016

Our urban school systems struggle because so many of their students live in poverty, but they also struggle because they were designed a hundred years ago, for an industrial society. In an increasing number of cities, they are being replaced by 21st century systems, in which the central administration does not operate all schools and […]

Policy Report

By / 10.19.2016

Because Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 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 But most are doing so using outdated assumptions, holdovers from the Industrial Era, when cookiecutter public schools followed orders from central headquarters and students were assigned to […]

Policy Memo

By / 9.8.2016

The college affordability crisis looms large for working and middle class Americans. Parents and students are reeling from record levels of student loan debt and ever-increasing tuition hikes. Total student loan debt is now a record $1.26 trillion and the typical 2016 college graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last […]

Policy Report

By / 5.4.2016

Some of the most dramatic gains in urban education have come from school districts using what many call a “portfolio strategy.” Others call it “reinvention,” a “21st century approach,” or “relinquishment.” By whatever name, it generally means that districts negotiate performance agreements with some mix of traditional, charter, and hybrid public schools, allow them great […]

Political Memo

By / 3.15.2016

As Americans choose a new president in 2016, populist anger dominates the campaign. To hear Donald Trump or Senator Bernie Sanders tell it, America is either a global doormat or a sham democracy controlled by the “one percent.” These dark narratives are caricatures, but they do stem from a real dilemma: America is stuck in […]

Political Memo

By and / 3.9.2016

Growing inequality has emerged as a central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Yet none of you has paid much attention to a major source of economic inequality in America: the uneven quality of our public schools. As far as we can determine, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has no thoughts on how to improve K-12 […]

Policy Memo

By / 1.7.2016

The first time I visited a Summit Public School, in February 2014, I pulled up in front of a long, low, one-story building in an office park setting. I was sure I had the wrong address—but no, there was a sign. This was Summit Denali, in Sunnyvale, California. Inside, my surprise deepened. All the students, […]