Education Archives

America never seems to suffer from a lack of corporate types — Ross Perot, Mitt Romney, Meg Whitman, Linda McMahon, etc. — who seem to think their boardroom expertise will translate into political success and effective policy.  This may not make a whole lot of sense — there are constraints and concerns on public-sector bureaucrats Read More

Under Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s signature education initiative, state governments were lured by the prospect of billions of dollars in federal grants to bringing their school systems in line with certain vogue-ish educational reform ideas championed by the White House. Among the chief criteria for winning the money: relaxing local rules to encourage the Read More

Over on her blog, Dana Goldstein makes the important point that in so many discussions about education reform — a topic that seems to be inescapable right now — the issue of race is avoided. It’s important to note that the major problem with American education is the problem of class and race inequality. As Read More

Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who with Cory Booker and Barack Obama formed the triumverate of the “new wave” of black politicians emerging as national leaders, lost his re-election bid to Vince Gray, the D.C. council chair last night. A lot was made of race: polls showed that white voters overwhelming supported Fenty, while black Read More

Say what you will about Spike Lee’s polemics; the man knows how to craft a powerful narrative. Whereas Part One of If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise opened with the excitement of the Saint’s Superbowl win, the opening montage of Part Two—filled with footage of the havoc wreaked by the oil spill—set Read More

[cross-posted from TAPPED] Ross Douthat spent his precious column real estate Monday on the plight of poor, white Christians from red states who suffer disproportionately, he says, from elite-college admissions policies that favor lower-income black and Hispanic students over them. He borrows liberally from a blog post by Russell K. Nieli on Minding the Campus, Read More

Ed. Note: I’m guest-blogging at The American Prospect this week. This post is cross-posted from TAPPED. Yesterday, New York City finally shuttered its notorious “rubber rooms,” the Kafkaesque solution devised by officials to deal with teachers who were deemed unfit to remain in classrooms but, armed with tenure, were essentially unfireable. Suspended teachers could only Read More

When critics of standardized testing talk about how such tests are culturally biased, there’s a tendency to dismiss that concern as a bunch of p.c. claptrap. But what tests do is measure how well kids get the mechanics of the task; they’re actually not all that useful as gauges of whether  kids understand what they’re Read More

Last week, Arne Duncan met with leaders and faculty from HBCUs to touted the financial support the White House had thrown behind black colleges, but also to press them to improve their graduation rates, which lag behind those of non-HBCUs (a disparity that is particularly pronounced among men). My blogmate Shani, a Howard grad, bristled Read More

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