What “average effect” means and does not mean

Earlier this month, Politico education reporter Stephanie Simon wrote an article on what she describes as minimal positive effects of vouchers on student achievement. Rick Hess wrote one of the more visible responses, which repeated the following from an Ed Week column last year he was a co-author on: Among voucher programs, random-assignment studies generally find modest […]

Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed

I’m partway through Paul Tough’s new book, How Children Succeed. In his first book, Whatever It Takes, most readers focused on Tough’s portrayal of the Harlem Children’s Zone. What I noticed as an historian of education was his intellectual history of the culture-of-poverty arguments–a nice long chunk I would like most graduate students in the […]

Books on college teaching: The get-in-it-and-drive list

Over on her blog, Rebecca Onion distills her tweeps’ recommendations for readings on (mostly college) teaching, and her list includes classics from McKeachie’s Teaching Tips to Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do. I like almost everything on the list a great deal, but I would not recommend that a teaching assistant (or faculty member) […]

Data to explore implementation of federal graduation rate definition

Florida has released some data on high school graduation rates, using the new federal definition that requires high schools to be responsible for dropouts who immediately enroll in GED programs (previously, those dropouts were deleted from the state’s official longitudinal rate which had been following 9th graders through graduation or attrition). This data provide an […]

Teaching humans who cheat on rationality

In the past year, for diversion I’ve read some books intended for a general audience written by psychologists–several of my department colleagues would find these watered down from research journals, but I can justify the brain candy: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow Antonio Demasi, Self Comes to Mind  Claude Steele, Whistling Vivaldi  Roy Baumeister and John Tierney, […]