History

How the “industrial era schools” myth is a barrier to helping education today

Betsy DeVos got slammed on Twitter Tuesday after posting a tweet from SXSWEdu that included the following: Everything about our lives has moved beyond the industrial era. But American education largely hasn’t. Last time that I checked, that tweet had 629 likes, 194 retweets, and about 5200 replies, most of which read something like the following: […]

The missing methods section: Origins of the dropout problem

A quarter century ago, the History of Education Quarterly accepted my first article, on when and why people in the United States began to use dropping out as the dominant term for people who left school without a high school diploma. Spoiler: we started using the term not because dropping out was a growing problem in the 1960s […]

When Sherman went to prison

This afternoon my wife, daughter, nephew, and niece toured Taliesin West, the Scottsdale campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, where Wright set up shop for the winter months in the 1930s through his death. I’ll have some things to say about it in a post I want to write, and it reminded […]

Erwin V. Johanningmeier

I was sorry to hear earlier this spring that my former colleague Erv Johanningmeier had died. As the chair of a search committee in 1996, he was responsible for Barbara Shircliffe, Chris Ogren, and my coming to the University of South Florida.1 In my job interview I found a gruff, intellectually curious future colleague who […]

The pendulum and the ratchet

My thoughts on this start with education policy but is more general: Whether elected Republican officials can reverse a slew of Obama administration policies may depend on whether each policy area is more like a pendulum or more like a ratchet. Elite Republicans hope that by the end of 2018, federal health care, environmental, tax, and […]