History

Broken field defenses

Jack Schneider has a defense of American public schooling up at The Atlantic this week, and while it has an historian’s argument, it feels much like the claims of David Berliner and Bruce Biddle in The Manufactured Crisis, published 20 years ago, in the middle of the Bill Clinton era and most of a decade before No Child […]

Thinking out loud: voluntarism in schools and historical perspective

This post is largely to think out loud about historical perspectives, and more specifically a topic I have not (yet) tried to put in historical perspective: volunteers in school. This is not probably a post that will provide great insight, and it certainly does not show great wisdom on my part: as you will see […]

Who will tell you that your utopian school-improvement gambit has been tried before?

Jack Schneider is the star of Amy Scott’s Marketplace piece last Friday on the XQ competition to redesign high schools: [P]eople have tried to reinvent high school before. “That idea is as old as students sitting in desks and a teacher lecturing at the front of the classroom,” said education historian Jack Schneider, an assistant professor at […]

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 […]