Education policy

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 […]

Research synthesis requires giving up information

What do we want? Evidence-based change! When do we want it? After peer review! – sign at 2010’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear Ten years after1 his most famous article, Why Most Published Research Findings are False, John Ioannidis has been interviewed by Vox. The interview does not explore Ioannidis’s underlying reasoning, which presumes that […]

Irregular verbs in federal law rewrite debates

At one level, the most recent debate over federal elementary and secondary education policy is about annual testing: will the next rewrite of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act continue to require that states test public school children annually in grades 3-8? The draft bill released by Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) suggested he was considering two possible policies: a […]