Eric Hanushek and Paul Peterson discuss education proposals in President Obama’s State of the Union Address of 2013. The missing discussion of K-12 schools was remarkable, given the need to improve our schools. While pre-school and college readiness were mentioned, the federal government has little to do with these except for its Head Start program – which has not been an effective educational program.
Bill Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education who specializes in research on education policy, especially as it pertains to curriculum, teaching, testing, accountability, and school finance from kindergarten through high school, discusses media coverage of education issues. Evers notes there was plenty of coverage of teachers’ unions and charter schools but little coverage of curriculum changes, especially “common core” standards.
Eric Hanushek and Terry Moe, Hoover senior fellows and members of the K–12 Education Task Force, discuss Moe’s recent book on teacher union power titled Special Interest. Moe’s analysis pinpoints the self-interest of unions that leads them to block many education reform ideas. He concludes that “reform unionism” is unlikely to lead to any major policy changes and that improving schools requires curbing the power of unions.