K-12 Schooling

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Christopher Cerf discusses the challenges of improving educational standards and opportunities across income groups.

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A new report on the ‘origins’ of school vouchers offers a warped and inaccurate history of school choice.

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rural small town school

For too long, we’ve neglected the schools serving boys and girls in rural America. Rural counties are now worse off than inner cities in poverty, educational opportunity, male employment, and a host of other measures. Yet few extra resources are directed toward rural schools. That’s a problem philanthropists can remedy.

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What tends to get lost in the ongoing debates over charter-school authorizing is the practical question: whether responsible authorizing can entail less bloat, bureaucracy, and paperwork.

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The best path forward is to identify, support, and highlight the work of leading, innovative states, focused on advancing whole families through a two-generation human capital development strategy that simultaneously enables adult work and supports young children’s learning and development.

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We must find new ways to promote and leverage growing state commitment to early childhood, to incentivize state innovation, and to highlight strategies and activities of currently leading states.

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The whole episode around the Department of Education’s determination of Delaware’s ESSA plan is a remarkable example of bureaucracy and paper-pushing run amok. It’s also eerily familiar.

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Hess offers something like life lessons to colleagues: Be humble, presume good intentions and learn from everyone, do favors, be temperate and self-disciplined, keep your word, don’t get too impressed by yourself. “Education reform is hard,” he writes. “Doing it well is at least as much about discipline and precision as it is about passion.”

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Join AEI for remarks by Liberia’s Minister of Education George K. Werner, who will discuss the Partnership Schools For Liberia program, followed by a panel discussion on the growing movement toward charter-like schools across the developing world.

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Much of education policy is focused on finding effective ways to help the majority of students, especially those who struggle academically. Advanced learners are frequently left out of education reform conversations, even though talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds have lower achievement than they should.

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For a quarter-century now, reformers have been slowly chipping away at the Progressive Era decisions that determined the shape of America’s system of public schooling. Advocates, policymakers, and conservative reformers should understand charter-school and private-school choice initiatives as part of a paradigm shift, not merely as discrete programs. Sometimes we need to see ambitious reform proposals not merely as radical change, but as truly revolutionary.

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