Earlier this year, I took to the pages of Education Next to make the case for NAEP to test starting in kindergarten, stating that, “The rationale for testing academic skills in the early elementary grades is powerful.” Therefore, “Starting NAEP in 4th grade is much too late.” I was wrong, and I’m sorry. Kindergarten is much too late. We must begin a program of NAEP testing for newborns.
Military truism: “Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics.”
College-readiness corollary: “Amateurs talk high schools. Professionals talk elementary schools.”
In recent weeks, I’ve written about the problems with America’s “college for all” approach to secondary education, and proposed a return to tracking, properly conceived. I’ve celebrated the fact that, in the wake of the pandemic, fewer young Americans are heading into postsecondary programs they’re ill-prepared to succeed in, and I’ve explored ideas for how our lowest-performing teenagers might better spend their junior and senior years—time when they are currently trapped in the “credit recovery track.”
Needless to say, this has led to plenty of pushback on social media and beyond. Andy Rotherham, in a series of tongue-in-cheek jabs, has essentially accused me of wanting to send the little ones off to the salt mines:
"I don't like it either, but fact is some kindergartners should quit school and get factory jobs"— Andrew Rotherham (@arotherham) February 11, 2022
By Mike Petrilli @MichaelPetrilli
Others are less generous in their chiding:
2/2 …at the 5-7th grade level (if they’re low performing in 10th grade this is most likely where they are academically), means they will have no chance of getting higher paid jobs or better opportunities because a mentor is assigned to them through HS? This reads like a bad joke— Julia Cohen // Black Lives Matter (@JuliaACohen) March 25, 2022
I get it. Like many of you, I would love to live in a world where all eighteen-year-olds, including those who grew up in poverty, have the knowledge and skills to succeed in college or career—to choose either a traditional postsecondary route, or a more workforce-oriented one, leading to a solidly-middle-class lifestyle or better.
But that’s not the world we live in, not by a longshot. In rough numbers, we get about a third of our students to the “college and career ready” level by the time they turn eighteen. A third! If we count kids who come close, maybe (maybe!) we can get to half. But that means that half of America’s young people go through our schools and come out the other side nowhere near ready for what comes next.
And yes, that should make us angry. It sure makes me angry. But the question is where to direct our anger. My argument is that, for almost every kid in the not-ready-for-college-or-career half, high school is way too late. The brutal truth is that very few students who fall several grade levels behind in elementary school catch up enough to be successful in higher education.
Sure, some kids are late bloomers, and they beat the odds and go on to college success and beyond despite early struggles. They are the exception that proves the rule.
Think of it like a sports season. Every once in a while, a team has a miraculous turnaround, propelling it from last place at the midpoint of the season right on to the championship. My hometown St. Louis Blues pulled off such a feat a few hockey seasons ago. But it was notable because it’s so rare. Almost always, teams that are in the back of the pack face a cruel clock as the season progresses, with every lost game further depressing their odds of making a comeback. Just ask the thirteen NHL teams already out of contention (according to Five Thirty Eight), even though the playoffs are still a month away.
The same goes for kids. Every year from K through 12 that they aren’t on track for college and career readiness, their curve gets steeper. That’s one sober takeaway from a 2021 paper by Dan Goldhaber, Malcolm Wolff, and Timothy Daly. From its abstract:
We use panel data from three states—North Carolina, Massachusetts and Washington State—to investigate how accurate early test scores are in predicting later high school outcomes: tenth grade test achievement, the probability of taking advanced math courses in high school, and graduation. We find third grade tests predict all of these outcomes with a high degree of accuracy and relatively little diminishment from using eighth grade tests.
What that means is that, for most students, relative achievement doesn’t change much from third to eighth grade, or from eighth grade into high school. Kids who are low-performing tend to stay low-performing. Stability is the name of the game.
Again, there are outliers—amazing schools (many of them in the charter sector) that accelerate student progress such that kids make gains in grades three through eight and beyond. But even those schools tend to see incremental progress, and it’s often not enough to get students all the way to the college-and-career-ready level.
So if we want to dramatically boost the number of kids ready for college and career, the surest way is by getting them on track in the primary grades, then keeping them on track the rest of the way.
That means getting serious about improving what’s happening in the humble elementary school, and becoming monomaniacal about making sure those schools use evidence-based practices, especially when it comes to early reading. It means adding the essential K–2 years to our testing and accountability systems, and embracing third-grade reading guarantees. And it means considering outside-the-box ideas to get kids on track before passing them along to middle school, like adding another grade to elementary education.
Fear not, I’m not letting middle schools and high schools off the hook. Keeping kids on track is no small thing. As the Goldhaber et al. paper indicates, poor students in particular face downward pressure on their achievement as they rise through the grades—perhaps because of low teacher expectations and other forms of bias and/or the ongoing challenges that poverty creates.
Back to another sports analogy: Think of elementary schools as running the first two legs in a 4x400 meter race. If elementary educators do their jobs well, and many more students are on pace as the baton gets passed to middle school and then high school, the last two legs still need to run well to win the race. It’s not a foregone conclusion. But it is a lot more doable than trying to catch up from far behind.
I started this series by complaining that American education keeps acting like “college for all” is our policy, even if we say it isn’t. Let me finish this series by reminding us that “college readiness begins in Kindergarten.” Let’s start acting like it does.
It’s no secret that Denver’s latest school board is wreaking havoc on the suite of bold education reforms that the Mile High City was known for over the past two decades. Parker Baxter and Alan Gottlieb recount the sorrowful saga at some length in the latest issue of Education Next.
As they write:
Denver Public Schools’ plunge over three years from one of the nation’s most carefully planned and promising examples of public-education transformation into a district led by a school board in disarray has multiple causes, and there’s plenty of blame to spread around.
Ultimately, however, it is the result of a concerted effort over more than a decade by organized and committed activists, local and national, who have opposed changing the governance and operation of school districts in any significant way.
The reforms now consigned to (or fast heading toward) the scrap heap took multiple shapes, consistent with the basic principle that comprehensiveness is essential if real change is to occur in something as complex and deeply rooted as public education. They focused chiefly on teacher quality (including a much-discussed merit-linked compensation plan), school accountability, and several forms of choice. For a long time—including fourteen years under superintendents Michael Bennet (now U.S. Senator) and Tom Boasberg—they enjoyed steady hands on the tiller and bipartisan support on the board and in the community. That’s strategically important in blue-ing Denver (and Colorado), and is important everywhere if changes are to endure. (Massachusetts was another long-running example of such support that’s beginning to show signs of unraveling.)
School choice took two important forms in Denver. The first was originally imposed by Colorado’s vigorous and early (third in the country) approach to charter schools, which included backup state authorizing of quality charter applicants rejected by districts. Denver resisted chartering at first—and got overruled more than once—but its twenty-first-century charter strategy was positive until the recent turnabout. As a result, Denver has a fine crop of charter schools—nearly sixty of them, attended by more than a fifth of the city’s pupils—including such highly regarded examples as the eight-campus Denver School of Science and Technology. Charters long benefited from a cooperative relationship with the district, including a unified enrollment system and a shared approach to special education. Now, however, the climate is chilling. Chalkbeat reported a year ago that “The Denver school district once represented fertile ground for charter schools. But shifting politics and declining enrollment mean Colorado’s largest school district is becoming less friendly territory for the independent public schools.”
Some board members buy into the narrative that Denver’s charters—all nonprofits—have some sort of profit motive, and they describe charters as part of a corporate- and privatization-backed conspiracy to weaken traditional public schools. To many who oppose choice, charter schools present a threat to their vision of what public education ought to be.
Yet Denver’s charters still enjoy protection under state law, which means they’ll be around for a long time, albeit hemmed in and railed against by local authorities.
What’s unprotected are Denver’s fifty-two semi-autonomous “innovation schools.” Though permission to liberate some schools was granted to districts by Colorado’s “Innovation Schools Act,” the impetus for that law came from Denver, the vast majority of the state’s innovation schools are now located in Denver, and decisions about how many there are and how free they will or won’t be are entirely in local hands. There’s no appeal.
That’s why the Denver school board’s recent five-to-two vote to rein in its innovation schools is so ominous. That’s also why it’s reason to question the wisdom and foresight of some cherished colleagues, such as my friends at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, who have long advocated “portfolio districts” and other ways of fostering innovation and choice without going all the way to schools—like charters—that (in a state with a decent law) are almost entirely beyond the district’s control. Important ed-reform thinkers such as Paul Hill and Ted Kolderie have pushed for more flexible options—and for tempting districts into doing this themselves, not waiting for outsiders to antagonize them with external eruptions of non-district innovation and choice.
A district managing a portfolio of schools serves students by providing schools in many ways—supporting existing schools that serve students well, developing new sources of help for educators in struggling schools, creating new options for students in schools where student gains have been low for many years, encouraging new schools that incorporate promising ideas about how to meet the needs of a particular group of students, and seeking promising ideas about instruction and school culture from groups both inside the school system and in the broader community (and nationally). Such a district might both operate some schools in the traditional way and sponsor some schools in new ways, via chartering, contracting with independent groups, and increasing freedom of action for educators employed in district schools.
It’s truly seductive—and I’ve been known to advocate this model myself. But the recent goings-on in Colorado’s capital have got to give us pause. For Denver may fairly be termed the poster child of the portfolio-district concept and its half-hundred “innovation schools” qualify as the nation’s premier example of turning this concept into practice. Or did.
They were part of the district’s previous five-year education strategy, dubbed “Denver Plan 2020,” which highlighted “flexibility” and committed the system to:
- Empower schools through flexible, school-based decision-making, including the use of resources.
- Expand high-quality school choices in all communities through differentiated supports for existing schools, new school strategies, turnaround efforts, and strong accountability systems.
- Provide schools with opportunities to innovate and create environments that best meet the academic and social-emotional needs of their students, including expansion of personalized learning environments.
“Innovation” schools (and “innovation zones”) weren’t the only form that this flexibility took but (along with charters) they were key to its implementation. That called for waivers from all manner of otherwise-uniform district-wide policies and practices, especially in the realms of human and financial resources, as well as devolution to individual schools of key decisions about staffing, scheduling, calendar, and much else.
Those waivers are what the new board is rolling back. The original proposal submitted by two members would have forced all Denver public schools, including innovation schools, to adhere to a uniform calendar and work week, as well as to all provisions of the teachers’ union contract and tenure protections.
Protests from many in the innovation-school community led to a partial scale-back of the changes, but the March 24 board meeting to consider those new limits still faced many protests. As Chalkbeat reports:
Students, parents, teachers, and principals from at least eleven of the fifty-two innovation schools spent hours asking the board not to pass the proposal, which some called secretive, irresponsible, and oppressive. They said their schools serve students well and treat teachers fairly, even without the contract protections, and questioned what problem the board was trying to solve.
Enforcing the contract is most of what the board finally passed that evening. But more rollbacks surely lie ahead, for the voters have elected a union-dominated school board that doesn’t believe in innovation, choice, or school autonomy.
Some in the innovation-school universe are OK with this sort of thing, saying (for instance) that the board’s move will give classroom teachers greater say over what happens in their schools. Odds are those folks work in unhappy innovation schools, of which Denver surely has a few.
From the perspective of big-picture education reform, however, what’s going on in the Mile High City is another deeply depressing example of the fragility of changes and innovations that depend entirely on local elections. One recalls the Los Angeles reforms spearheaded by former mayor Dick Reardon that were largely undone by a subsequent school board election, as well as the array of reforms put into place in New York City by Mayor Mike Bloomberg and schools chancellor Joel Klein, only to be weakened or erased by the de Blasio team that followed them into office.
Nobody should think that reforms nailed into state policy are inviolate. But they’re harder to undo overnight in the aftermath of a local election. That’s why, in most of the country, charters are a more durable reform than portfolios. Yet nothing is guaranteed. We’ve known for ages that public education (like pretty much everything in the public sector) resembles a giant rubber band that, with effort, can be stretched but that yearns and struggles to resume its previous shape.
Yes, I believe in democracy. The voters are and should be in charge. Unlike our former president, I accept election results. But we also need to guard against self-interested factions seizing control and overriding the public interest. Rubber-band democracy isn’t what the founders sought. In the education space, however, those bands are likeliest to snap back via thinly attended off-cycle board elections dominated by selfish factions, followed by back-room compacts to repeal reforms and dump superintendents.
Denver’s children will now pay the price. And for now, I’ll stick to charters and other forms of innovation and choice with stronger legs.
Biden administration’s proposed rules for Charter School Program empower districts at the expense of communities
The Biden administration is proposing an unprecedented rewrite of the bipartisan federal Charter Schools Program (CSP): new regulations that are unprecedented not just for the CSP but for all federal K–12 programs. They would add pages of new requirements for applicants that are not in the statute and are unrelated to student outcomes. Instead, they focus on inputs. Rather than enforcing existing statutory safeguards that were negotiated by both parties and are intended to ensure that high-quality public charter schools can launch or grow without governmental micromanagement, the Education Department would act like a national charter school board, complete with one-size-fits-all rules for when a charter school should open (or not).
Such regulations would severely narrow what types of schools could even apply for federal funding for startup or expansion grants. They empower districts to disadvantage charter openings near them by refusing to cooperate on mandated “partnership” priorities. They also have the potential to ripple through state charter laws and policies in ways that make it harder for all charter schools to open or get renewed by their authorizers.
Wrong-headed standards for “community impact”
The impact that a charter school may have on its community is best evaluated as part of the authorizing process by people who know the context of that community. Yet the proposed regs would grant authority to nameless and unaccountable reviewers to award points depending how well they feel the new federal definition of community “impact” has been met. The criteria appear to be more about protecting the perceived interests of school districts than the educational interests of children.
For example, there is no consideration of whether there are enough seats in high quality schools to serve the most underserved students. Nor is the possibility even considered that a charter could boost the outcomes of district schools, as multiple studies have found to be the case. It treats district enrollment and demographics as the gold standard, when in fact many are vestiges of red-lining and other attempts to restrict access to higher quality schools. In many places, charter schools are how students whose educational needs are not being met by the district get access to a high-quality education.
Another troubling element in the proposed new rules is the expectation that a charter school’s mission is to serve “extra” students that exceed district capacity:
“Charter school must provide evidence that demonstrates that the number of charter schools proposed to be opened, replicated or expanded...does not exceed the number of public schools needed to accommodate the demand in the community.” (Community Impact Analysis requirement (e)) (emphasis added)
That language implies that charters should not open in communities with flat or declining enrollment—which, in the wake of the pandemic and a longstanding baby bust, is the reality in many communities.
This comes on top of existing federal law that already requires community engagement and consideration. When a school receives an approved charter, it means the applicants have gone through a rigorous approval process that examines the justification for their new (or renewed) school. Current requirements include community engagement. The new rules set forth a burdensome one-size-fits-all requirement that will scare many smaller and less well supported applicants from applying.
New roadblocks for culturally affirming schools and those that serve indigenous populations
The essence of charter schooling is enabling a wide range of public school models to open and empowering parents to choose what model works best for their children. The administration’s new rules would insist that a school must be “diverse,” regardless of its location or the preferences of its community. Current law encourages diverse charter schools, but it also encourages and allows for other models, such as dropout recovery schools. Nor does it dictate the process that must be followed to open a diverse school. The proposed new rules do precisely that. Perhaps in recognition that the proposed requirements could be read this way, they attempt to clarify in the explanatory text on page 14,200 that “an applicant that proposes to operate or manage a charter school in a racially or socioeconomically segregated or isolated community still would be eligible to apply for funding, even if the student body of the charter school would be racially or socio-economically segregated or isolated due to community.” But that language has no legal impact on how the grants will be scored by peer reviewers, and they could very well prevent the funding of those grants based on the proposed regulatory criteria.
In summary, these regulations would have a chilling effect on the number of CSP applicants, even as parental and student demand for slots in high-quality charter schools continues to rise across the country. From small single-site school operators to large CMOs, all will have difficulty responding to these new requirements. While the rules include some reasonable provisions regarding transparency around management contracts, their overall effect signals that the administration wants to rein in charter schools—and to force its own narrow “vision” of when and where they should be allowed to operate. It is doubly unfortunate that, today, when there is more agreement than ever on the need for different learning opportunities for students, the Education Department would put the brakes on charter school growth and make it harder to open culturally affirming public schools in order to serve some of the highest need communities in the country.
Hispanic students make up theof charter school students nationally, but research focusing specifically on Hispanic school choosers is lacking. A new report describes a qualitative case study of families in Houston, Texas, looking to determine how and why they settled on their school. While the report is framed as “why they chose to exit district schools,” it is clear that the families were, more accurately, moving toward the best fit available to them.
Researcher Julia Szabo of Rice University conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with thirty-four parents (representing thirty-one families) whose children were accepted to start sixth grade at the pseudonymously-christened Houston College Prep Charter School (HCP) in the 2019–20 school year. Sixth is the first grade offered at HCP. Study participants were recruited in the summer before the start of school during a mandatory registration day event. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish per the parents’ preference and done in person or over the phone. Interviews lasted, on average, 1.5 hours, and families received $20 honoraria for their time.
HCP is part of a large charter network in the region that has operated for more than twenty years, drawing students who are zoned for both Houston ISD and an anonymous neighboring district. HCP is a high performing school whose students far outpace both district and state averages on raw test scores and performance indices. Ninety-five percent of HCP students are Hispanic, as compared to 62 percent in Houston ISD and 80 percent in the suburban district. Eighty percent of HCP students are economically disadvantaged, the same as Houston ISD and slightly lower than the suburban district. HCP was founded on “no excuses” principles—including rigorous data-driven instruction, highly structured behavior management, and a strong focus on getting students into college. Although the terminology has been dropped in recent years, practices grounded in those principles remain. Szabo notes that HCP has a far lower exclusionary discipline rate than either of the neighboring districts, and is lower than the charter network’s average.
Ninety percent of the surveyed parents were Hispanic and 94 percent were female. The group was evenly split between U.S. born and foreign born individuals, and most of the U.S. born individuals were second-generation immigrants. Eighty-four percent of respondents had a high school diploma/GED or above, including five individuals with master’s degrees. Two out of three families were zoned for the suburban district—the rest for Houston ISD—although the number of individual elementary and middle school assignment zones represented was large.
Szabo recorded, catalogued, and coded the structured and freeform responses and presented her findings in terms of observed patterns related to risks that influenced the choice to enroll at HCP. “Present risk” factors cited by a majority of parents include school safety—specifically fights, bullying, and drug use, as observed first hand by children—and academic quality based on what they experienced in their previous schools. Examples of the latter included “a focus on the low” (meaning the lowest achievers), which left no time and teacher attention for students who could do more, class periods that featured just fifteen minutes of instruction followed by unstructured time daily, and a self-paced science class that many children completed in March and were then left to “review” on their own for two additional months until the year ended. These fears were exacerbated when parents attempted to raise concerns with teachers and school administrators but were greeted with disbelief, disrespect, or inaction.
“Future risk” factors were particularly pronounced for parents whose students would have changed school buildings between fifth and sixth grade. These included more of the same in terms of safety and academics, as well as overcrowding. Those who had experienced poor treatment from district officials were expecting even more of it in higher grades. Additionally, parents who expressed general satisfaction with their district schools for fifth grade knew of or anticipated the academic and school culture problems expressed by their peers in sixth grade. Interviewees noted all that they had heard from the news and from friends and neighbors, as well as what they had observed in their own communities about the quality of the schools around them. It is also clear that parents were looking beyond middle school as well. The outcomes of district graduates were not felt to be compatible with their own aspirations for their children. If HCP was indeed the right fit, they may never need to change schools again and could stay put in the right choice until graduation.
Although parents characterized their choice to go to HCP as an “experiment” or a “test,” it is clear that they were testing different factors than those that had raised alarm bells for them in their district schools. That is, while they did not fully know how the school culture and academic support was going to be at HCP, their research had convinced them that the risk factors they experienced or predicted were lower or nonexistent at the charter school. They were experimenting to see if they would get not only the basics of education and safety—which they expected and for which they moved—but perhaps even more supports and services beyond the basics. Parents expressed universally high academic hopes for their children and were expecting to find that their new school did, too.
There is a lot more to read and learn in this report. However, none of it feels very specific to Hispanic families. The experiences of and calculations made by these Texas parents sound, except that school choice is the default in London. Researcher Szabo fails to note that the “experiment” characterization denotes empowered parents. Having made one move, they now knew they could make another if they needed to—the feasibility of acceptable additional options notwithstanding. These parents had been given the power to put their children’s needs first, and they did so.
SOURCE: Julia Szabo, “,” American Educational Research Journal (March 2022).
What makes an effective English language arts curriculum? Is it the books and other readings that it includes? The skills that it imparts to students? Something else? This perennial question has taken on renewed interest lately, as the learning loss caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and schools’ reaction to it, becomes clear. Students are behind in many subjects, and chief among them is reading. This is cause for concern because students who cannot read at grade level are likely to struggle in other subjects.
A consensus is building that the development of content knowledge is a key component of a quality ELA curriculum. Reading is always reading about something, be it the Civil War, the water cycle, or Elizabethan poetry. Students who possess deep background knowledge can more easily comprehend texts and draw important connections. The scholar E.D. Hirsch has promoted this view since the publication of Cultural Literacy in 1987. More recently, a Fordham study found a correlation between increased instructional time in social studies and improved reading ability. Writers like Robert Pondiscio and Natalie Wexler have shown that the “knowledge gap” between affluent children and their less-advantaged peers contributes to the larger achievement gap, especially when it comes to reading.
But how can school leaders know which of the myriad ELA curricula on the market deliver the most comprehensive content knowledge? Thankfully, there’s a new tool to assist them.
The Knowledge Map Project, an initiative of the Institute of Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Chiefs for Change, evaluates twelve ELA curricula and rates how well they deliver content knowledge. The project team, led by David Steiner, has performed the challenging task of reading each text in each grade level and analyzing them in terms of the knowledge they offer students about the world and the human condition. How topics are sequenced across grade levels is also evaluated to determine how well students have the opportunity to build on prior knowledge in a systematic way.
Using these data, the team then “maps” the domains of knowledge onto color-coded charts. This creates a clear visual representation of the strengths and gaps in each curriculum. Here is the knowledge map for Open Court Reading, for example, published by McGraw Hill. The curriculum is rich in material about animals; each grade from kindergarten to fifth grade has five or more texts on the subject. However, there are no texts about astronomy in kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade. There are no materials about chemistry until fifth grade.
The Knowledge Map project also represents the quality and coherence of materials using “proximity analysis.” These starburst-like designs show how well supporting materials connect with the anchor text of a unit. Ideally, the various materials should be tightly aligned to foster connections. Here, for instance, is the coherence map for unit 11 in first grade of Open Court Reading. Each box at the end of a spoke represents a supporting text in the unit. The number in each box represents the percentage of topics that the text shares with the unit’s other materials. A greater percentage means a stronger thematic connection.
Each curriculum receives its own report. As for how they did, the project awarded Wit & Wisdom (published by Great Minds) high marks, saying it contains “high-quality texts with extensive topical coverage,” and “makes especially good use of the visual arts.” Core Knowledge Language Arts, which is associated with Hirsch, also scored highly, although the analysts suggested several improvements. It offers “intentional reinforcement of knowledge across grades and units.”
Not every curriculum received positive remarks. For Units of Study, the popular reading and writing program headed by Lucy Calkins, “knowledge reinforcement is generally light, as is the coherence within units.” While many of the texts are high quality, “it should be noted that at times the texts fall below grade level, creating a lack of rigor in the curriculum.”
In the “Knowledge Map Findings Brief,” the team notes that students in the early grades “must be taught to read through the science of reading” using phonemic awareness and the skills of decoding. “But,” it continues, “children also need simultaneously to learn about the world: its history, geography, science, myths, stories, and cultures.” This is an elaboration on the adage that “children first learn to read and then read to learn.” The Knowledge Map project is a valuable tool for school leaders who need to choose the best ELA curriculum to teach students to read to learn.
SOURCE: “Knowledge Map for English Language Arts,” Institute of Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Chiefs for Change, retrieved March 2022.
 The evaluated curricula are Abeka, BJU Press, Calvert Curriculum, Core Knowledge Language Arts, EL Education, HMH Into Reading, Journeys, Living Books, My Father’s World, Open Court Reading, Units of Study for Teaching Reading, and Wit & Wisdom.
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast (listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify), Rick Hess, Senior Fellow and Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the cohost of the “Common Ground” podcast, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss how to advance an ed reform agenda in the midst of ongoing culture wars. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber Northern discusses a study on housing affordability’s impact on student outcomes.
You can find this and every episode on all major podcast platforms, as well as share it with friends.
- Rick Hess’s plan for post-pandemic schooling in The Dispatch, “Schools Are Exiting the Pandemic. What Now?”
- Rick’s podcast, “Common Ground,” which he cohosts with Pedro Noguera on Spotify and Apple podcasts.
- The study that Amber reviewed on the Research Minute: Jennifer Jellison Holme, “Growing Up as Rents Rise: How Housing Affordability Impacts Children,” Review of Educational Research (March 2022).
Have ideas or feedback on our podcast? Send them to our podcast producer Pedro Enamorado at [email protected].
- The Bronx’s P.S. 236 is ditching a disproven reading curriculum and adopting Wit and Wisdom, an engaging and content-rich alternative. —Chalkbeat NY
- MIT is reinstating the SAT or ACT as part of its admissions process again. —Washington Post
- Chicago Public Schools won’t make up the five school days that were lost during a January standoff with the teachers union. —Chicago Sun-Times
- Many schools are addressing learning losses with extra school time, but rarely choose to extend school years or days. And the neediest students are least likely to opt-in to the supplemental instruction. —Chalkbeat
- “Hiccups and hard lessons: What it takes to bring big new tutoring programs to America’s classrooms.” —Chalkbeat
- How districts can design effective summer learning programs. —The 74
- Voters think Democrats have abandoned common-sense positions related to education, according to recent polling data. —Ruy Teixeira
- Forty-eight large, urban districts are facing staff shortages, leading them to pursue creative hiring solutions. —The 74
- “Big urban school districts can improve, but it’s complicated and messy.” —Jay Mathews