Sound And Fury

Insights, Ideas, Opinions

Past Is Prologue on Common Core Tests

The PARCC and Smarter Balanced state testing consortia set in motion significant improvements in state…

Reducing the ‘Toxic Stress’ of Starting High School

In a few weeks, roughly 4 million students will enter high school for the first…

Laptops in the Classroom: An Open and Closed Case

A recent commentary piece in the New York Times generated a flurry of debate…

Mental Health in High School: The Teacher’s Perspective

The recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., provoked a rash of conversation about what schools…

Beyond the Border: Serving English Language Learners

The nation is rightly focused on the plight of thousands of immigrant children who have…

How the Common Core Changed Standardized Testing

When the U.S. Department of Education awarded $350 million to two consortia of states in…

Districts Waiting for Guidance on ‘Supplement, Not Supplant’

The U.S. Department of Education and state education authorities are churning toward the introduction of…

Closing the Excellence Gap

One of few bright spots in the just-released National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) results…

Helping Struggling Job Seekers Via Online Marketplaces

This year’s college graduates are facing one of the best job markets in years. Unemployment…

How Will Reversal of Diversity Guidance Affect Higher Ed?

On July 3, the Trump administration announced it will reverse several policy memos…

Learning How to Measure Social and Emotional Learning

We know that content knowledge alone cannot determine students’ success. This is true in school—where…

What Teacher Protests Can—And Can’t—Accomplish

The wave of teacher protests in the nation’s heartland are turning much-needed attention to the…

An Important Piece of the Student Motivation Puzzle

Shortly after our daughter started high school, our third-grade son started crying every night while…

The Audacious Ambition of “A Nation at Risk”

It has been 35 years since a federally funded commission charted a bold new course…

Consolidating Without Merging: A New Option for Higher Ed

With nearly 3,000 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. higher education market—many in difficult…

Graduation Scandal Shouldn’t Overshadow DCPS Reforms

The recent furor over District of Columbia high schools issuing dubious diplomas has …

How Schools Can Help Expand Health Coverage for Children

Despite gains in expanding health coverage to children over the past decade, we still have…

Want to Make School a Safer Place? Stop Paddling Students

Since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., a month ago, school safety has dominated the…

Closing the Latino Leadership Gap

Representation matters. But for most Latino students across the country, a stark under-representation of Latinos…

How Can Schools Help Lift Health Barriers to Learning?

It goes without saying that a healthier student is a better student, but it’s less…

The Bigger Story Behind D.C.’s Graduation Scandal

Updated 1/30 Education leaders in Washington, D.C., released two reports in recent weeks on…

Getting Teachers On Board With Evaluations

After nearly a decade of teacher evaluation reform, we are in the position to ask…

For Educators: More Lessons from the Gridiron

In a recent blog post, I shared an interview I did with New England…

Reflections on Teacher Leaders: From a Pro Football Coach

It’s 2006 at a Minnesota Vikings practice. Darren Sharper, a ninth-year veteran and star player, is loafing…

What Chile Teaches Us About School Vouchers

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supports vouchers that allow parents to use taxpayer funds to help…

California Must Set Ambitious Goals to Combat Chronic Absenteeism

This piece was published in EdSource on Dec. 12 and draws on FutureEd’s report…

How One Ohio School District Is Beating the Odds

Steubenville, Ohio has proven to be one of the nation’s highest achieving high-poverty districts. In…

An Economist’s View on Tax Reform and Public Schools

Public K-12 education depends heavily on state and local funding. But the federal government makes it…

5 Myths About Critical Thinking

No one disputes the need for critical thinking in the classroom. Many school districts mention…

Why Net Neutrality Matters for K-12 Education

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its plan to dismantle the Obama Administration’s…

Closures and Mergers Aren’t the Only Options for Struggling Colleges

Earlier this month, in an appearance on CNBC, Clay Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor,…

We Can Fix Chronic Absenteeism

Education Week published a joint commentary piece by Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang and…

A Simple Way to Confront School Absences

FutureEd Editorial Director Phyllis W. Jordan partnered with Philip J. Cook, a professor emeritus…

“Fitting In” and Rising Graduation Rates at UT Austin

Senior Fellow Craig Wacker wrote this piece in July. We’re reprising it with the…

Overcoming the Stigma of Voc Ed In Today’s CTE

In this except from their new book, Making College Work, Georgetown University Professor Harry J. Holzer…

For Teachers: The Most Powerful Question

I would argue that the question most likely to result in improvement of a school…

Making College Work: Nudging Student Behavior

In their new book, Making College Work, Georgetown University Professor Harry J. Holzer and Urban…

Is Free College Best for Helping Low-Income Students?

From presidential candidates to state legislators, policymakers are talking about “free college” as a way…

Enemies, Idiots, and Outcomes in the Charter World

When it comes to measuring success in charter schools, there are two well-established camps. In…

Tuition Tax Credits: Boon or Boondoggle?

Earlier this summer, we published a blog post by Carl Davis of the Institute…

Op-Ed: The Weakness in D.C.’s Voucher Program

  FutureEd Director Thomas Toch and Editorial Director Phyllis W. Jordan turned our report on…

A President’s Commitment to the Common Good

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia shared the following letter with the university community at…

The Don’t Do It Depository

We have known for quite a while that schools engage in all manner of tricks…

Let’s Not Panic About Growth Mindset

Growth mindset, the belief that intelligence can be developed, has become a central tenet of…

What’s at Stake for Schools in the Health Care Bill?

With the Senate agreeing to vote on a bill that could repeal Obamacare and restructure Medicaid, schools superintendents have…

Some New Teacher Evaluation Systems Do Make a Difference

When Education Next paired my recent article, “A New Era for…

A New Era for the Battle Over Teacher Evaluations

The Obama administration has worked hard to strengthen public-school teaching—a $400 billion-plus workforce,…

Voucher Research Shows Decline, Rebound in Scores

Two studies released Monday confirm that students who use vouchers to move to private schools initially lose…

California Accountability: An ESSA Bellwether?

California has released a pilot version of its long-awaited school and district performance dashboard…

Tuition Tax Credits Let Private School Donors Turn a Profit

State and federal lawmakers interested in steering public funds toward private and religious schools have…

Between District and Charter: The Middle Path

School districts across the country are grappling with how to respond to their growing charter…

To Find the Value a Teacher Adds, Look Beyond Test Scores

A few years ago, a young economist at Northwestern University named Kirabo Jackson decided he…

What’s Next for the Common Core and Its Assessments?

Millions of dollars and thousands of development hours have been spent creating a…

Measuring Teacher Performance More Meaningfully

For most of public education’s history, teacher evaluation was an after-thought. Despite the centrality of…

Bursting the Bubbles in American Testing

They were designed to move American education into the next generation of assessment,…

How Did Chronic Absenteeism Become a Thing?

If you look at the accountability systems states are developing to meet federal requirements, you’ll…

Proficiency vs. Growth: Toward a Better Measure

When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos famously stumbled in her confirmation hearing over a question about measuring…

Exploring The Human Side of Teacher Evaluation

Over the past decade we have learned a tremendous amount about measuring teaching effectiveness, but…

Being There Matters: Tracking Student & Teacher Attendance

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires all states to include at least one non-academic…

In Defense of the Common Core and Its Tests

As everyone in the education community knows only too well, the Common Core State Standards…