3 ways Congress can support public education 

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By taking policy positions that are out of step with public opinion, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could trigger some bipartisan actions by Congress. For many of us in Washington, the Obama years already seem like the distant past, shrouded in amber with a touch of bittersweet nostalgia. Even though the Trump administration has been in [...]

Could American support for public education be slipping?

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According to this year’s PDK poll, many parents would be willing to abandon public schools if a voucher were dangled before them. Is this really a shift in public opinion or just a reflection of what might be best for their own child? Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to participate in an international [...]

A new push for integrating college and career preparation?

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  This year’s PDK poll reveals a sharp rise in public support for integrating academic and career preparation. By Maria Ferguson What a difference a year can make. In fall 2016, the country appeared to be headed toward another milestone — after electing the nation’s first African-American president, voters seemed poised to make history again [...]

The shape of the federal role in education

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No matter what President Trump and Secretary DeVos might claim, their power to influence K-12 education is limited — significant, but limited. Just about everybody thinks they’re an expert on education; after all, just about everybody has been to school. But while many Americans are intimately familiar with their local schools, most have no idea [...]

Good time to be a data nerd

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Despite the Trump administration’s worrisome embrace of “alternative facts,” education researchers have cause for optimism: They now have access to richer and more reliable data than ever before.  Using data to understand and improve education has been at the top of the to-do list for most education reformers in recent years. Data-driven decision making and [...]

Big change on both sides of the pond

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Two countries confronting worries about jobs and immigration see solutions tied to education. A brief vacation in London earlier this year gave me the opportunity to chat with some education counterparts who, like me, bridge the academic and policy worlds. The timing of my visit made for much mutual commiserating. Like the U.S., the United [...]

Choice for Secretary of Education

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The new Secretary of Education is likely to have a hard time pushing her school choice agenda. Donald Trump’s selection of billionaire Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education generated an impressive amount of news when it was announced in late 2016, despite the fact that little attention was paid to education during the [...]

Next up: Team DeVos

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After all the fuss and drama associated with a presidential campaign, election, and inauguration, you’d think most political types would want to step away from the fray and go into hibernation somewhere far away from the nation’s capitol. Not so in Washington. Political gamesmanship is never more prevalent that during a presidential transition. As the [...]

One step forward, two steps back in Maryland

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The influence of a single industry seems to be swaying policy makers to introduce changes in the school calendar at a time when national leaders are calling for more and better time for learning. If you wonder how well and how much states heed messages from Washington, you need look no farther than the nearby [...]

Education for the ‘us first’ crowd

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Now that Election Day has come and gone, my reckoning on the 2016 presidential campaign is underway. Putting aside Donald Trump’s historic upset over Hillary Clinton, the issue I have struggled most with is the divisiveness and anger that was exposed during the campaign. The toxicity of this race had a way of invading everything, [...]

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