Homework is the perennial bogeyman of K–12 education. In any given year, you’ll find people arguing that students, especially in elementary school, should have far less homework—or none at all. Eva Moskowitz, the founder and CEO of Success Academy charter schools, has the opposite opinion. She’s been running schools for sixteen years, and she’s only become more convinced that homework is not only necessary, but also a linchpin to effective K–12 education.
What parents are looking for in an ideal school choice scenario is often very different from what they settle for in the real world. Cost, distance, academic quality, safety, extracurricular options, and a host of other factors are all at play, meaning trade-offs are unavoidable. Recently-published research findings try to capture the matrix of compromises being made.
It makes good sense for the federal government to provide grants to high-quality public charter schools seeking to open or expand. That’s the gist of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last month.
This study examines the role that high expectations should play in our nation’s academic recovery and how they operate in the traditional public, charter, and private school sectors.
This week’s news of sharp declines on the National Assessment of Educational Progress gave partisans yet another chance to relitigate the debate over keeping schools closed for in-person learning for much or all of the 2020–21 school year. We conservatives are eager to identify the teachers unions as the primary culprits, and we’re not wrong. But there is one complication we should acknowledge: the curious case of urban charter schools.
High-quality studies continue to find that urban charter schools boost achievement and other outcomes by more than their traditional-public-school peers—an advantage that has only grown larger as the charter sector has expanded and matured. Where the research literature is less clear is why urban charter schools consistently, and increasingly, outperform district schools. Still, it does offer some hints and plausible hypotheses.
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Jennifer Alexander, Executive Director of the Policy Innovators in Educatio
After a tumultuous reception, the Biden administration’s regulations for the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) were finalized in July.
For-profit charter schools” are non-profit organizations that contract out some services to a for-profit organization—meaning the schools themselves are not for-profit. This study explores whether such contracting affects school quality.
Charter school achievement in D.C. was decimated by the pandemic. Here’s what we can learn from that.Marc Porter Magee
Nine percent. That’s how many Black boys met expectations in math in D.C.’s traditional public schools in 2022, down from 17 percent before the pandemic. It’s also how many met those expectation in the city’s charter schools, down from 22 percent. The word “disaster” is used a lot lately, but it is absolutely the right fit here. There are, however, lessons we can learn from this catastrophe.
The pandemic accelerated a mental health crisis for children and teens that was already apparent prior to spring 2020. It is a serious issue, and schools have expanded mental health services to meet the needs of a greater number of struggling students. At the same time, as we commence a school year in which educators must continue the intensive work of repairing the pandemic’s academic damage, focusing on student emotional wellness does not require relinquishing academic learning.
Whether or not the bipartisan education consensus is dead, one of its most visible and effective reforms lives on: so-called “No Excuses” model schools, institutions famous for their exacting behavioral and academic standards.
Earlier this month, I argued that “education reform is alive and well, even if the Washington Consensus is dead for now.” What’s more, I wrote that we should stay the course on the current reform strategy:
Does school choice work? That depends on who you talk to and what you mean by “work.” For education researchers and policy wonks, school choice works if it raises math and reading scores for students who take advantage of choice programs or, more broadly, if market competition improves measurable outcomes for all students.
In a recent piece about the state of standards-based reform, Dale Chu weighs the benefits and challenges of a district “relinquishment” versus “instructional coherence” approach to improving student learning.
Susie Miller Carello may not be a household name in education, but she’s a household name among those who are. For twelve years ending earlier this month, she led the Charter Schools Institute at the State University of New York—the largest university-based charter school authorizer in the nation, and arguably the most successful.
The latest declaration of education reform’s demise comes from two of Mike’s favorite people: Checker Finn and Rick Hess. But what they actually describe is the end of the bipartisan ed reform coalition—what Mike and Rick used to call the “Washington Consensus.” Even with it gone for now, however, education reform continues apace—and continues to rack up victories for kids. And there are ways to rebuild the coalition.
In the latest issue of National Affairs, Chester Finn and Frederick Hess chronicle the splintering of the school reform movement that lasted from roughly 1983 until Trump’s presidency.
Student demographics in traditional district schools largely reflect patterns of housing availability and affordability within neighborhoods. Much of that is due to strict attendance zoning.
Our host Mike Petrilli is on vacation this week, so we're republishing our most popular podcast episode for three year
Anyone who says the recently proposed Charter Schools Program (CSP) rules are just about scoring grant proposals and otherwise “ordinary” requirements (
Just over thirty years ago, the first public charter school law was passed in Minnesota. One year later, City Academy Charter School opened its doors in St. Paul. The charter sector now boasts more than 7,700 schools serving over 3.4 million students nationwide.
NOTE: This editorial is adapted from Michael J. Petrilli's public comment on the U.S. Department of Education's proposed Charter Schools Program regulations, available here.
With Democrats facing trouble in the midterm elections, the Biden administration has inexplicably decided to try to stave off disaster by doubling down on the teachers unions’ hoary anti-reform agenda. One example is its not-so-sneak attack on charter schools in the form of execrable regulations that could bring charter growth to a standstill. But it’s not the only one.
Last week, Chester Finn used a recent vote of Denver’s anti-reform school board to make three points: first, that the “portfolio” reform there—based on school autonomy, family choice, and chartering out schools where kids aren’t learning—is finished; second, that Denver’s reversal predicts doom elsewhere for complex reform initiatives meant to transform the ways whole public systems operate; an
After living through the transformation of K–12 education in Alberta, Canada, we moved from Calgary to Colorado in 2010. Since then, we have watched the Denver Public Schools story unfold from next door in Jefferson County.