Education Gadfly Weekly

Opinion + Analysis: 
Opinion
As opposition to the Common Core State Standards has gained momentum in parts of the land, it’s important to ask what happens if a state changes its mind and renounces those standards—which, as we’ve long said, states have every right to do. But then what? Does the state revive its old academic...
Briefly Noted
This week’s education-focused Washington Post Magazine told the story of high-flying sixteen-year-old Carolina Sosa , who is Hispanic, low income, and bedecked with academic honors. At age 6, she was “chatty and insatiably curious” but struggling to read. Seeking participants for Fairfax County’s...
Briefly Noted
This week’s education-focused Washington Post Magazine told the story of high-flying sixteen-year-old Carolina Sosa , who is Hispanic, low income, and bedecked with academic honors. At age 6, she was “chatty and insatiably curious” but struggling to read. Seeking participants for Fairfax County’s...
Reviews: 
Journal Article
The 2008 federal economic stimulus act invested $5 billion to support early-childhood programs, including $500 million for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, which pushes states and localities to participate in the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). One of the quality measures...
Report
High-quality teachers are distributed across schools in patterns that resemble life in the desert, fleeing harsh terrain for soothing oases, fleeing poorer schools for more affluent. This report from the Center for American Progress analyzes the policies that regulate the equitable distribution of...
Gadfly Studios: 
Podcast
Dara and Brickman enthuse about early-talent identification programs, rue Indiana’s subpar state standards, and wonder how much is too much to pay superintendents. Amber finds little to no connection between a popular pre-K quality measure and pupil outcomes. Amber's Research Minute “ Do Standard...
Featured Video
If America is to remain internationally competitive, we need to maximize the potential of our top students. Over the last decade, however, federal and state education-accountability systems?particularly in the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001?have placed primary emphasis on...

As opposition to the Common Core State Standards has gained momentum in parts of the land, it’s important to ask what happens if a state changes its mind and renounces those standards—which, as we’ve long said, states have every right to do. But then what? Does the state revive its old academic standards, be they good, bad, or average? Does it rewrap the Common Core and affix its own label thereon? (That’s happened already in several places, including some states where the Common Core wasn’t particularly controversial but ...

This week’s education-focused Washington Post Magazine told the story of high-flying sixteen-year-old Carolina Sosa, who is Hispanic, low income, and bedecked with academic honors. At age 6, she was “chatty and insatiably curious” but struggling to read. Seeking participants for Fairfax County’s Young Scholars program, which aims to diversify gifted programming, her teacher identified her as being especially talented—and the rest is history. Heart-warming, too. A round of applause to a promising young woman, a teacher with a sharp eye, and early talent identification programs.

On Wednesday, ...

This week’s education-focused Washington Post Magazine told the story of high-flying sixteen-year-old Carolina Sosa, who is Hispanic, low income, and bedecked with academic honors. At age 6, she was “chatty and insatiably curious” but struggling to read. Seeking participants for Fairfax County’s Young Scholars program, which aims to diversify gifted programming, her teacher identified her as being especially talented—and the rest is history. Heart-warming, too. A round of applause to a promising young woman, a teacher with a sharp eye, and early talent identification programs.

On Wednesday, ...

The 2008 federal economic stimulus act invested $5 billion to support early-childhood programs, including $500 million for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, which pushes states and localities to participate in the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). One of the quality measures endorsed by QRIS is the widely popular Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale–Revised (ECERS-R). Much research has shown a positive relationship between higher scores on ECERS and children’s development, including academic and social outcomes—but the measure has neither been tested in a nationally representative sample nor subjected to a robust set of controls to lessen the impact of selection bias (e.g., motivated parents might choose higher-quality child care). In this study, Terri Sabol of Northwestern University and Robert Pianta of the University of Virginia use data from the...

High-quality teachers are distributed across schools in patterns that resemble life in the desert, fleeing harsh terrain for soothing oases, fleeing poorer schools for more affluent. This report from the Center for American Progress analyzes the policies that regulate the equitable distribution of teachers and recommends policy changes that could lead some teachers to choose the more challenging environments for themselves. First, the researchers reaffirmed that despite the many equity-promoting provisions of NCLB, disparities in teacher quality persist: experienced, effective teachers, who hold at least some the keys to closing student achievement gaps, are disproportionately absent from low-income and minority schools. CAP recommends that states and districts develop systems that link teacher-effectiveness data to pupil achievement in order to identify high-quality instructors and...