Student privacy and social infrastructure

Current debates over student privacy should remind us that infrastructure leaves legacies for decades, including policy and technological infrastructure.1 This weekend, the New York Times published a column by Sue Dynarski about one proposal to change student privacy laws, a proposal that would make it almost impossible to use administrative records for educational research. Dynarski identifies this problem proposal as S. […]

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 […]