Education policy

The grammar of schooling and testing mandates in a pandemic

Why did the Biden administration deny the request by Georgia and South Carolina to waive federal requirements for achievement testing in schools this year? According to Aaron Pallas and many others, there is no discernible added information we can expect from state-level testing that is only for a summative judgment of schools, in a year […]

March 2021 changes to CDC guidance on schools: brief comment

Five weeks ago, after the CDC released its first set of new school operations guidance under the Biden administration, I wrote in summary, “Remember: [these recommendations come] three and a half weeks into the new administration. In reality, that’s fast. There were bound to be omissions or emphases that are wrong in retrospect.”

Motte-and-bailey clues to the structure of the school choice coalition

This spring, conservatives in the Arizona legislature look like they can’t make up their mind. Do they support public-school choice that allows parents to pick a public school, or do they want to mandate and ban subjects as they would prefer? Conservative legislators consistently say they support school choice, and the state Senate education committee […]

Transmission chains broke trust chains

The debates over schooling in the pandemic are best explained by a concept defined by Anthony Bryk and Barbara Schneider in their 2004 book about Chicago school reform, Trust in Schools: relational trust. As they describe in the book’s second chapter,1 relational trust is the social glue needed within the type of organization that requires […]

It’s the summer, sunshine

If the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package passes with funding for K-12 summer school, we’ll see a great deal of things more clearly as a result. How much are parents worried about the academics their children have missed, as opposed to all the other roles of schools? How much have teachers been stressed to the […]