History

A year since Michael Brown’s death

A year ago, Michael Brown’s body was lying in the street in Ferguson, Missouri, and would continue to lie in the street for several more hours after being shot by police. No one should wonder why Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the vulnerable body as the keystone concept in Between the World and Me–yes, it becomes his atheist counterpoint to […]

Zombie stats: “dropout rate” as a case in point

Education has a whole host of statistics that are unreliable, that have been unreliable or unnecessary or off-target for years, and that continue to be created, published, and reported on. “Dropout rate” is one of those. It’s been around for more than forty years, crafted in the late 1960s when there was no way to […]

Contradictory arguments about “teacher equity” and the missing market analysis

Bottom line for this long post: few people take labor markets seriously in education. I mean seriously, not ideologically.1 We need some work in market design for the hiring of new teachers and the issue of teacher skill distributions. On May 13, Allyson Klein wrote a brief but illuminating Ed Week blog entry about the […]

Walking through a mental neighborhood

Severe storms at the USF Tampa campus pushed me off campus this afternoon, and I’ve used it in part to catch up on reading, such as Joy Ann Williamson-Lott’s article “The Battle over Power, Control, and Academic Freedom at Southern Institutions of Higher Education, 1955–1965” ($$) in last November’s Journal of Southern History. It’s an important […]

The first rule of White Club (privilege discourse and history)

Nevada freeloader-rancher Cliven Bundy and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling happened to say a lot about American racism this week in ways that sometimes require open prejudice to show: we’re nowhere near a post-racial society.