William Torrey Harris warned against “hothouse” education in the 19th century, and the New York Times is on it!

Science writer David Kohn has an op-ed in this morning’s New York Times, Let the Kids Learn Through Play. For historians, the first three words ring alarm bells: Twenty years ago, kids in preschool, kindergarten and even first and second grade spent much of their time playing… [emphasis added] Great: another Myth of the Golden Age. Maybe […]

Deist school reform and teacher evaluations

As my colleague Audrey Amrein-Beardsley pointed out earlier today, there is a battle royale coming up this week in New York, with a hearing on the changes in state teacher evaluation policy mandated by this year’s budget agreement in Albany. Amrein-Beardsley sees the issue focused on value-added measures, in part because that is the obsession […]

Marc Tucker and the declension myth in American education debates

This month, Marc Tucker has written two blog entries for Ed Week that together present a frequently-used argument about the decline of America’s schools.1 On April 16, Tucker argued that a reduction in the difficulty level of high school senior textbooks has led to the watering down of college curriculum. Here’s the argument and payoff in a […]

What do doctoral admissions committees look for?

Last week, I was in Portland with a chance to rub elbows with some very important people–no, not anyone who is likely to attend Davos next year but Gates Millennium Scholars. These students are on an alternative-spring break week engaged in service in Oregon. Most are undergraduates, with a sprinkling of masters and doctoral students. It’s a great […]

Different ways to think about the "Florida package"

Different ways to think about the “Florida package”

My second email Q&A over Florida’s recent reform history is up at Valerie Strauss’s blog. I’m flattered that she calls me an expert on Florida reform. I’m more of a scholar of accountability who was also a local observer for 18 years, and one of those who have written about the state’s education reforms. (See a […]