Sound And Fury

Insights, Ideas, Opinions

Fulfilling the Promise of Community Colleges

America’s community colleges hold great promise in helping disadvantaged students gain the credentials they need…

Isn’t School for Math and Science and Reading?

One question haunts George Packer’s Atlantic 10,000-word essay that has roiled the education world, and it…

A Reality Check on the Benefits of Economic Integration

School districts from New York to San Antonio are turning to a new strategy to…

Lessons in SEL from the California CORE Districts

This blog post was originally posted on CASEL’s Measuring SEL blog. Nearly a decade…

Tapping Medicaid to Address Mental Health at School

In Florida and New Jersey, public schools are adding mental health classes to their curriculum.

What LeBron James Can Teach Us About Chronic Absenteeism

Amid the fanfare over the public school that NBA star LeBron James opened last year…

Closing the Communications Gap Between Home and School

Most parents know the frustration of asking their early adolescent son or daughter how their…

Tackling the AP Success Gap

Schools across the country have made rapid gains in expanding Advanced Placement courses to traditionally…

The High School Side of the Higher Education Act

With taxpayers shelling out more than $120 billion in federal funds each year on student financial…

What Debate Bingo Says About Education Policy

Democrats ranked education as their No. 2 priority, behind health care, in a recent Pew…

The Case for College Behind Bars

The United States’ criminal justice system is under increasing scrutiny from both sides of the…

How Moving the Poverty Line Could Harm Schools and Students

The Trump administration wants to redefine the way we set the poverty line in this…

What Teachers Think: TALIS and the Future of Teaching

On June 20, FutureEd and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) joined in releasing…

Teacher Mindsets Matter in Higher Education, Too

FutureEd’s recent report on Teacher Mindsets illustrates how adult attitudes, beliefs and behaviors are…

Teaching Needs More Than Pay Hikes

This piece was first published in The New York Times. Democratic presidential…

‘Walking School Bus’ Drives Better Attendance

The first stop on the “walking school bus” route came with a quick rap on…

Giving Employers a Stake in Education Through CTE

What does it mean for students to be “career ready”? It should mean they’re prepared…

How Education and Health Sectors Can Collaborate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls integrating health and education initiatives “an untapped…

Measuring Social-Emotional Skills, Carefully

In the often-fraught debate over education policy, there is growing agreement that educators should pay…

A New Lever for School Improvement: Student Surveys

This commentary was initially published by RealClear Policy. The survey results shocked the staff…

What Education Leaders Can Do to Stop the Spread of Measles

This piece was published by The 74. The surge in measles cases across the United…

Is Free College Best for Helping Low-Income Students?

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

After Reforming Public Education, Why Subsidize Private Schools?

This piece was also published in The Tennessean. Update: The bill was signed into…

The Toll That Measles Outbreaks Take on Schools

There is a post circulating on Facebook from a young mother asking for advice on…

The Diversity Dilemma in Selective Public Schools

With only 7 African American students among the 895 students admitted to NYC’s most selective…

Fixing Schools Doesn’t Have to be ‘Disruptive’

There is lots of talk today about new, “disruptive” ways to improve the achievement of…

A New Ally in the Fight Against Absenteeism: Pediatricians

As school districts across the country dig into the hard work of combating chronic…

What a California School Survey Can Tell us About Measuring Social and Emotional Skills

This post was initially published on OECD’s Education and Skills Today blog. Educators across…

Principals as Instructional Leaders

Research makes clear that effective school leaders are key to effective schools. Increasingly, that means…

The School Improvement Gains Nobody’s Talking About

In Houston, high doses of tutoring helped raise test scores at struggling secondary schools. In…

California School Dashboard Redux

The California School Dashboard, the state’s tool for rating schools and identifying those in need…

Why School Ratings Should Stress Learning Gains

Imagine how it might feel to be an educator at a school deemed “failing,” despite…

Giving Districts Guidance on ‘Supplement, Not Supplant’

More than a year later than promised, The U.S. Education Department just released its…

Visiting Families at Home Leads to Better School Attendance

What if you could improve a student’s attendance and achievement by getting to know his…

Tennessee Puts Teacher Prep on Its To-Do List

Improving teaching quality starts with how teachers are trained, but often that’s the last stop…

Nudging Students and Families to Better Attendance

As many as 8 million U.S. public school students struggle academically simply because they miss…

The Path to Professionalizing Teaching

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the…

Making School Performance Data Work for Families

With a swipe of our smart phone we can find the shortest route to a…

Reducing the ‘Toxic Stress’ of Starting High School

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

The Promise of Partnership Schools in Atlanta

Imagine a traditional neighborhood school with a defined enrollment boundary that serves all students within that boundary.

How Should States Weight Funding for Disadvantaged Students?

Many states are doggedly, sometimes desperately, working to get their state finance policies right. Many…

Past Is Prologue on Common Core Tests

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

The Educators’ Case for Preserving Medicaid

When Congress considered gutting Medicaid last year, school superintendents and other educators spoke out to…

Another Piece of the School Choice Puzzle: Vaccinations

Campaigns of mass vaccination against infectious diseases represent one of the most successful public health…

The Education Imperative in a Digitized World

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the…

Laptops in the Classroom: An Open and Closed Case

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

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…

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…

Let’s Not Miss the Opportunity In Weighted Student Funding Pilot

This year, the federal government is offering school districts the opportunity to change the way…

Closing the Latino Leadership Gap

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

Mental Health in High School: The Teacher’s Perspective

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

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…

Piloting a New Way to Fund Schools

Deep within the Every Student Succeeds Act lie a few pages describing a pilot program…

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…

School Finance is Coming Out of the Dark Ages

An unprecedented trove of fiscal data is coming our way—let’s make the most of it…

The Challenge of Paying for a New Kind of Learning

Wouldn’t it be great if we had to pay for instruction only when we had…

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…

The Smart Money: Designing A School Budget

In this hands-on workshop presented at NAIS national conference in March 2017 school leaders dove…

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…

A Better Way to Compensate Teachers

By most accounts, teachers aren’t paid enough. On an annual basis, teacher salaries lag…

Keeping Teacher-Pension Debt Under Control

Unfunded pension liabilities for U.S. teachers are massive—nearly $325 billion in 2012—and only one-fifth of…