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Does Everyone Need to Go to College?

Just google “does everyone need to go to college?” and you will have ample opportunity to view all the reasons why other pathways to good paying jobs are available. That’s what I did. In many cases, I did read some persuasive arguments about the rewards of pursuing career and technical education (CTE) skills leading to … Read more »

Professional Development: On the Chopping Block

Photo by U.S. Department of Education, https://flic.kr/p/r5uQ5y

I love the definition of insanity often attributed to Einstein: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I think of that often when I am trying to put together one of my grandson’s new toys without success. So does this definition of insanity resonate with educators? In education, we often struggle with … Read more »

Is “For-Profit Education” an Oxymoron?

We applaud entrepreneurs that have an idea, take a risk and strike it big. It’s the American way. So some may ask, why does government and the larger educational community look skeptically at a for-profit entity that is operating a school or college? Why can’t for-profits operate effectively in public sector arenas such as education? … Read more »

The Case for New Metrics

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) introduces a major policy shift. Responsibility is going back to the states for setting academic standards and holding schools accountable for ensuring that students are learning. With each state now determining its own metrics for gauging student success, the question arises: how can states ensure that a student graduating … Read more »

Is it worth investing in education?

A 2017 Institute of Education Sciences report labeled some of the school improvement models mandated under ESEA as ineffective. So, does this mean we need to stop trying to grow our knowledge on how to improve chronically underperforming schools? Do we need to stop investing in education and let market forces dictate how our educational … Read more »

“Why can’t the Feds just leave us alone and let us do our jobs?!”

All indications are that when ESEA is finally reauthorized states and local district leaders will get what they say they want: significantly more flexibility. But to these happy folks I say, be careful what you wish for! As a former state education official I longed for flexibility with federal mandates. But I would be less … Read more »

An Educational “Bucket List” for Parents

For many parents the political tug of war over “transformational changes” to fix our schools is bewildering. Suppose you have a child starting school. Concerned that she gets the best education possible, you do your research on schools. You may even go so far as to move to a new neighborhood to enroll your daughter … Read more »

An Open Letter to the New Congressional Leadership, Part 2

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner, In December I wrote to you about the opportunities and challenges you now face in crafting an educational agenda to meet the needs of all our citizens. I posed the following points for your consideration: Emphasize consistency of educational opportunity; Focus on evidence-based reform; Promote the teaching profession; … Read more »