Transgender Rights vs “Restroom Safety” in Education

The Trump administration has reversed transgender protections that allowed individuals in public schools to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity rather than their biological sex. It seems there are several misunderstandings surrounding the issue of transgender experiences. This post will attempt to mediate the disagreement with available evidence.   Misunderstanding 1: The difference …

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Let This Be the Beginning of a Trend

There is reason to be excited in the world of early childhood education. This blog has previously explored topics highlighting the importance and strong support for investing in early childhood education. Soon, the New Mexico Legislature will be voting on a constitutional amendment that would create a new funding source to support the state’s early …

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The Eyes of Texas

 The Eyes of Texas Sorry for the blogging interruption. I’m at the annual AAU (Association of American Universities) meeting of Senior Research Officers in Austin, Texas. UT Austin has a beautiful clock tower just up the street from our hotel. As pretty as it is I couldn’t help but think about the 1966 tower sniper (45 …

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Thawing the Freeze

In the last week there have been several reports of military-base childcare and preschool centers closing due to President Trump’s executive order instituting a federal civilian hiring freeze. Pushback in response to the placement of blame on the order has cited the exemption of “positions providing child care to the children of military personnel.” The …

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When “Legal Technicalities” Matter

“First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This line from Shakespeare’s Henry VI reflects a popular sentiment toward lawyers who make the simple complex for their own interest. Only lawyers would take such a technically highfalutin’ issue such as this to the highest court in the land: Whether 20 U.S.C. 1415(l) requires petitioners …

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MSU Students Do Microfinance

Several years ago, I found out about Kiva.org, an online “microfinance” site where individuals can make small loans ($25 is the standard increment at Kiva) to entrepreneurs in low income settings. The entrepreneurs actually apply for larger amounts, which they typically receive from third-party “field partners”. The entrepreneurs repay the loans with interest to the …

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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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A Professor meets the Alt-Right

A Professor meets the Alt-Right Thomas Main, Professor in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, is working on a book about the Alt-Right, to be published by Brookings. Below you can listen to a conversation between Main and prominent Alt-Right figure Mike Enoch (pseudonym). It’s an interesting encounter between academic political theory and …

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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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