Opportunity Investments: The Struggle to Increase Political Will

  As reported in previous articles in this blog, early childhood education and development are worthwhile investments (see here and here). Research has shown positive impacts of early childhood education throughout an individual’s life-span, including, but not limited to, increased lifetime earnings, lower rates of special education needs, higher educational achievement, better health, and benefits …

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I Stand With Smokers

One of the earliest models of the policymaking process was known as the Rational Planning Model, in which policymakers behave as rational actors and proceed through a series of logical steps to produce public policy. First, policymakers identify a social problem. Then they search for solutions and, after weighing all possible alternatives and available evidence …

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R.I.P. Coalition of Essential Schools

When was the last time you heard anything about the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES)? Have you ever? According to the headline of an Education Week article posted January 20, 2017, “Iconic School-Reform Group Ends 33-Year Run.” The article lead identifies the CES as “a progressively oriented school reform network” that “will cease its national …

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Empty Seats

What might the travel ban mean for university campuses? The last several weeks have been very busy in the world of immigration policy. The anxiety on campus, especially for graduate students making summer research plans, is palpable. The new travel ban, although suspended at the moment, could mean that international graduate students from the seven …

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Asking for a Skeptic Friend

I sometimes get email from people asking, in one way or another, whether our long-term evolution experiment (LTEE) with E. coli provides evidence of evolution writ large – new species, new information, or something of that sort. I try to answer these questions by providing some examples of what we’ve seen change, and by putting …

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Feds and States and Widgets—Oh My!

The Feds For nearly seven years the Obama Department of Education (USDOE), through its Race to the Top (RttT) program and its issuance of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers, pushed states to establish “rigorous” teacher evaluation systems that incorporated student achievement evidence, the results of which would then be used in personnel decisions. The …

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Preparing Teachers for Middle School

Teachers must be prepared for the additional challenges of middle school. Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks. Middle school is a challenging time for young people. Adolescents straddle the line between childhood and adulthood, struggling to assert their independence and form their identities while also still relying on parents and other adults. The brains of middle school …

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Attack of the Monster Syllabus

Image courtesy of Creative Commons By Jessica Landgraf While the syllabus is an important component of a college course at any level, over the last decade they have morphed into new beasts, made up of copious amounts of class specific information supplemented with institutional policies, personal preference statements, and living document clauses leading to a …

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Social Emotional Recognition

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Thinking back to my own training as an elementary school preservice teacher, I remember the lack of preparation dedicated to handling classroom discipline or behavioral issues. It was clear to me then, as it is now, that understanding how to help students recognize and control their emotions and develop ways …

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Testing and Accountability for Public Power

Testing and accountability policy has consistently been held up as a way to empower parents, especially in poor neighborhoods. Give parents clear, objective information about how schools are doing, and schools, facing complaints from parents and shrinking enrollments as parents opt to send their children elsewhere, will be pressured to reform themselves. In essence, accountability …

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Why you should hire me (feat. Hamilton)

[Anna writes..] I think I’d really enjoy being a costume designer, Broadway superstar, or Olympic gymnast. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly have the credentials for those positions. ​ Over here in reality, I will soon be “moving out of higher education in search of new challenges and opportunities” (thanks, Jobs on Toast). So I’m currently putting …

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Secretary DeVos and Title I Portability: A Renewed Push for Federally-Funded School Choice?

  New Education Secretary: What Policy?                                                                                                In all likelihood, Betsy DeVos will soon become Secretary of Education. As an earlier Green & Write post has pointed out, DeVos is best known as a very rich, very well-connected champion of school choice and publically-funded vouchers. Remarkably influential in Michigan politics, she has provoked criticism, and garnered support, …

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Social-Emotional Learning: States Consider New Accountability Indicator

In December 2015, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), bringing changes to accountability requirements for state systems. While many of the accountability provisions were consistent with the flexibility permitted via ESEA waivers, one noteworthy addition was the explicit requirement to include a non-academic indicator of …

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Are Teacher Preparation Programs the Smartest Investment We Can Make?

Elementary teacher preparation programs have made recent gains in reading instruction but still struggle with math and classroom management. Photo courtesy of Ilmicrofono Oggiono. Undergraduate elementary teacher programs have made progress recently, but still have room for improvement according to a recent report released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). NCTQ examined 875 …

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International College Ranking Metrics

Over the past decade, an interesting phenomenon emerging from the marriage of big data analytics with social media and online platforms is the widespread availability of online reviews and rankings. Consumers now have a plethora of information to consult when buying cars or choosing economically competitive hotels or finding new employment opportunities. What is the …

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Head Start’s New Start

For the first time since 1975, the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) have had a full revision. Head Start, for our readers that might not be familiar with the program, was started as a part of ‘the war on poverty’ program initiatives of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Head Start and Early Head …

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An Issue to Re-Unite Us

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons By Jessica Landgraf We have hit the one-week post-election milestone. As the dust begins to settle, and more letters of condemnation roll in, we need to step back and think about the effects of this election on our youngest citizens. Children Are Our Mirrors As we can all attest anecdotally, …

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