When APUSH Comes to Shove

In the halls of my suburban Massachusetts high school, any mention of Advanced Placement U.S. History (lovingly referred to as “APUSH”) drew collective groans. Its workload was recognized as the heaviest in the school, and there was a whole lunch table dedicated to frantic studying for its daily quizzes. The students who took the class … Read more

No Common Core, No Common Ground: The Battle for Hoosier Education

No Common Core, No Common Ground: The Battle for Hoosier Education

Shocking electoral defeats. Meeting walkouts. Accusations. Litigation. Reconciliation. Is this Netflix’s hot new political thriller, or the fight over Indiana education? For the past three years, the state has been embroiled in a political struggle plucked straight from a television writer’s draft table. Although other states have faced issues similar to those plaguing Indiana, it seems … Read more

The Incubation Period: Why Stanford’s Startup Culture is Only the Beginning

This week in a provocative New Yorker post, Nicholas Thompson suggests that Stanford should be relabeled as a startup incubator, rather than a university. He cites the case of Crinkle, a young Silicon Valley startup with strong ties to Stanford undergraduates and faculty, and argues, “The leadership of [Stanford] has encouraged an endeavor in which … Read more

The False Diversity of Elite Universities

Almost every year, it seems, Harvard sets a record for the “diversity” of its newly admitted students. “Harvard Accepts a Diverse Class of 2015” announces the Boston Globe this year, rather blandly, in an article that reads exactly like a press release from the Harvard admissions office. But how to measure diversity? While there has … Read more

Education and American Exceptionalism

The crisis in American education has catapulted to the spotlight in recent years.  Or so it seems.  With the release of the critically acclaimed Waiting for Superman and education interest groups taking a more principled and seemingly more powerful stance on education reform, the issue of whether America’s education system is failing has become very prominent. … Read more

Margaret Spellings

Margaret Spellings on reforming education By Matthew Bewley Matthew Bewley: Looking back on No Child Left Behind—which you played a large role in passing and implementing—what do you think were its greatest achievements and its greatest flaws? Margaret Spellings: It was absolutely a major game-changer in reframing the conversation around outcomes and results of schools … Read more

The Future of Reform

Last Wednesday, Michelle Rhee, the most visible advocate for education reform, resigned as chancellor of the District of Columbia’s public schools, triggering three critical questions: (1) what is the future of D.C. schools?; (2) what is her next move?; and (3) who will emerge as the next national face of reform? Despite being highly divisive … Read more

Weighing Superman’s Argument

Even if you’re not an education policy wonk, you’ve probably heard about Davis Guggenheim’s new documentary, Waiting for “Superman.” And, like many Americans, you may be planning to watch it. After all, Guggenheim’s last film, An Inconvenient Truth, changed the way many people think about global warming. What’s not to like about the fact that … Read more

Where Miseducation Meets Tolerance

The Cambridge School Committee recently decided that, beginning in the 2011-12 school year, schools will close for one Muslim holiday each year. On the heels of two events that paint America as an increasingly Islamophobic nation, those being the controversial Ground Zero “mosque” and the lunatic antics of that pastor in Florida, the School Committee’s … Read more