Teachers’ authority in the classroom is being undermined by policies of “restorative justice”—a non-punitive approach to discipline. But the predictable albeit unintended consequence of these well-meaning policies is that disruptive students get away with previously unacceptable behavior. Outbursts of student vulgarity and incidence of violence have become normalized as something teachers and other students have to endure.
Teachers are now planning instruction for the new school year. But very quickly after their pupils arrive, many will realize that some students will not be adequately challenged by the grade-level curriculum typically assigned for the class. Some will already have mastered that material and are ready to move on.
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.
It’s one of those zombie mantras that just won’t die: Letting students cut corners, giving them grades they haven’t earned, and generally lowering the bar is a nice thing to do for vulnerable kids—those living in poverty, often with turbulent home lives or mental health struggles to boot.
Editor’s note: This is an edition of “Advance,” a newsletter from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute written by Brandon Wright, our Editorial Director, and published every other week. Its purpose is to monitor the progress of gifted education in America, including legal and legislative developments, policy and leadership changes, emerging research, grassroots efforts, and more.
Last week, the Biden administration released new guidance for how schools should handle discipline for students with disabilities.
School shootings are profoundly tragic—scarring not only the families whose children become victims, but casting a shadow over the lives, mental health, and outcomes of the surviving students. But evidence is also clear that it’s not only horrific mass shootings that can lead a child to miss school. Any feeling of not being safe can prompt children and teenagers to stay home.
A major, though largely unnoticed, development in America’s support for families with children is the recent release of the “Family Security Act 2.0” by Senator Mitt Romney, along with fellow Republicans Richard Burr and Steve Daines. It could and should serve as the starting point for bipartisan negotiations for a new federal investment in families that might stand the test of time.
In 2004, the late Sara McLanahan published a landmark article called “Diverging Destinies: How Children Are Faring Under the Second Demographic Transition.” The paper was the first scholarly attempt to propose that the decline of the two-parent family in the United States since the 1960’s was intensifying the already unequal l
“New data suggest that the damage from shutting down schools has been worse than almost anyone expected,” the Economist tweeted recently to promote a
High-achieving students from low-income backgrounds are half as likely to be placed in a gifted program as their more affluent peers, according to our new study.
Few people have done more to boost academic standards in U.S. schools than Michael Cohen and Laura Slover, coauthors of a new paper offering a bright vision for revitalizing them. But there are reasons to doubt the feasibility of its proposals.
The “tripod” of standards, testing, and accountability has taken a real beating in recent years, following decades in which it was accepted dogma within reform circles.
Dozens of states and cities provide “college promise” programs.
The universe of private elementary-secondary schooling in America today is diverse and confusing, with innumerable twists and turns in efforts to use public funds to help families access schools that suit them—including private schools of all colors and stripes. But the virtue of these institutions is that they’re different, which also means very different from each other. Which complicates the quest to deploy public dollars to assist families to choose them.
The relationship between teacher and student has profound effects on learning. A new study explores whether schools can strengthen this relationship over time by keeping students with teachers for more than one year.
This is the first edition of “Advance,” a new Fordham Institute newsletter that will monitor the progress of gifted education. Here, Wright recounts recent developments that reinforce two truths: Gifted education is a clear and substantial good, and it can be much better.
Research has found that high-quality pre-K programs can have positive impacts on children’s learning and development, improving outcomes like literacy and math skills in the short-term and even increasing
One of the most unlikely education stories of the last decade has been the rise of Mississippi as a star of NAEP and a science of reading proof point. When looking for models to follow, researchers and policy wonks usually point to places like Shanghai and Finland, even Massachusetts. But Mississippi? Who saw that coming?
States and districts face no shortage of seemingly overwhelming problems, especially the devastating learning loss among vulnerable students from extended pandemic school closures. But leaders do have money: States and districts got $123 billion in federal emergency (ARP ESSER) relief.
If you want to know which schools are good, ask a realtor—so goes the conventional wisdom—and families often do so.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education launched an offshoot of the Pell Grant program intended to assist low-income high schoolers in accessing college credit through dual enrollment.
Great education requires great teachers, but the existing system makes it too difficult to retain the best and replace the worst. Fixing this requires, among other things, more generous pay. Instead we face the profession’s persistent, declining productivity.
We know that most American students are suffering from unprecedented learning loss.
Districts across the land are witnessing a mass exit of teachers from classrooms, the likes of which has never been seen. It’s going to get worse, says Adams. And it isn’t about low salaries, paltry pensions, or lack of financial support. Teachers are leaving in droves because so many of our children are utterly broken, student behavior is abhorrent, and accountability is out of vogue in our schools.
More and more schools across the U.S. have adopted a new grading fad: Teachers cannot assign a grade lower than 50 percent. If a student doesn’t turn in an assignment? 50 percent. Do they miss every problem on a vocabulary quiz? 50 percent.
Providing transportation for students to and from school is a basic requirement of most public school districts in America. During the 2018–19 school year, nearly 60 percent of all K–12 students nationwide, public and private, were transported by those ubiquitous yellow buses.
As a charter school leader in the South Bronx for the past decade, Rowe has seen what happens when resources are forcibly removed from the “privileged” and given to the “unprivileged” in the pursuit of “equity” over “equality”—with little regard for students’ uniqueness, humanity, or agency. Better is to teach disadvantaged children to defy, rather than confirm, diminished expectations.
Covid “learning loss” has two causes: the loss of in-person instruction in the spring of 2020 and the reliance on remote learning thereafter (which Tom Kane and colleagues quantify in an article in The Atlantic).
Awful tragedies like the shooting in Uvalde notwithstanding, firearms will remain ubiquitous. The question is whether policymakers can bring measured thinking and nuance to bear in solving the thorny problem of gun violence in schools. This is particularly challenging in a media climate that hypes and distorts the prevalence of what happened in last week, even as schools continue to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.