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Hoover Daily Report items by Chester E. Finn Jr.

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April 7, 2014 | Politico

America, the Land of Workarounds

April 1, 2014 | National Review Online

The Two Tracks of School Reform

Standards-based testing and school choice go together.
February 26, 2014 | Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

No (Gifted) Child Left Behind

November 4, 2013 | New York Post

De Blasio’s Education Agenda is Full of Hot Air

Bill de Blasio’s public-education agenda consists of seven boasts (things he says he’s already done, part of his record as public advocate) and 19 plans for future changes (“policies, agendas…
July 10, 2013 | Politico

Education Reform A Test For GOP

May 29, 2013 | Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

The GOP and the Common Core

May 16, 2013 | Atlantic

Why Private Schools Are Dying Out

April 10, 2013 | Houston Chronicle

Texas Should Keep its School Testing Standards

March 14, 2013 | Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

A Short History of K-12 Reform

November 30, 2012 | National Review Online

Just How Potent Are Teacher Unions?

September 18, 2012 | New York Times

Young, Gifted and Neglected

June 25, 2012 | Wall Street Journal

Should All U.S. Students Meet a Single Set of National Proficiency Standards?

Yes, says education expert Chester E. Finn Jr., because it will ensure that students have the skills they need to compete globally...
April 4, 2012 | Atlantic

Why School Principals Need More Authority

Under the current system, educational leaders have all of the responsibility but none of the power. Allowing principals to act like CEOs may foster a more efficient system...
January 27, 2012 | National Review Online

The State of Education

Can schools rekindle the American work ethic...?
July 14, 2011 |

Don't ditch testing after Atlanta cheating, boost test security

Cheating should not lead us to abandon assessments, even as we develop additional performance indicators for our schools and educators...
July 11, 2011 | Weekly Standard

Let’s Talk Education Reform

The Republican presidential field is beginning to take shape, and candidates and maybe-candidates are figuring out where they stand and what to say. Sooner or later, they will need to say something about education. May we suggest a few talking points...?
June 15, 2011 | National Review Online

Good for Texas. Good for America?

Rick Perry should not be hasty in applying Texas’ education lessons to the whole country...
May 9, 2011 | Columbus Dispatch (OH)

Are charter-school reforms on right track?

No: Bill would reward poor performers and keep out strong ones...
December 8, 2010 | Wall Street Journal

A Sputnik Moment for U.S. Education

China delivers another wake-up call to those who think American schools are globally competitive...
November 23, 2010 | Education Next

After the Election, What Will States and Districts Do?

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk about how the Republican landslide will affect education policymaking at the state and local levels. Will state and local governments figure out how to downsize? Can they accomplish reform through reallocation...?
November 23, 2010 | New York Post

Senseless 'certificate'

Cathie Black may or may not be a fantastic education-reformer-in-waiting. Michael Bloomberg may or may not have made an inspired selection. But he's the guy responsible for New York schools these days...
November 17, 2010 | Education Next

How Our Best and Brightest Measure Up

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. discuss a new study finding that U.S. schools are producing a smaller percentage of high-achieving math students than are schools in many other countries.
November 12, 2010 | Education Next

The New Congress and Education Policy

Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk about what the election results are likely to mean for federal education policy. Will the landslide be followed by gridlock...?
October 28, 2010 | Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

The welcome earthquake

...[A] week before the election we could be sitting on a tectonic fault with the potential to turn into an education earthquake—and that might actually be a blessing. It has to do with teachers, their unions, and U.S. politics—all of which would benefit from some profound movement...
October 15, 2010 | Education Next

Republicans and Education

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (October 15) about what Republican victories in November might mean for education policy, particularly at the federal level...
October 7, 2010 | National Review Online

Congress and Education Reform

Republicans want to eject Uncle Sam from education; Democrats want to micromanage everything from Washington. What we need is Reform Realism...
October 1, 2010 | Education Next

At the Movies with Paul and Checker

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (October 1) about Waiting for Superman—the movie and the movie reviews...
September 23, 2010 | Education Gadfly

Would a Republican Congress be good for school reform?

We hope that a Republican takeover might lead to a productive policy environment, with the GOP even teaming up with the Administration to promote the “tight-loose” framework. But that’s no sure thing...
August 17, 2010 | Education Next

Race to the Top Round 2

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (August 17) about how many states are likely to win Race to the Top grants and whether politics will come into play...
August 9, 2010 | Education Next

Common Standards Remarkably Uncontroversial

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (August 9) about the politics and economics of the Common Core standards...
July 22, 2010 | National Review Online

The Common Core Curriculum

National education standards that even conservatives can love...
June 23, 2010 | Education Next

Virtual Education and Common Core Standards

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (June 23) about whether common standards create economies of scale for virtual learning products...
June 8, 2010 | Education Next

Teacher Bailout Bill, R.I.P.?

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (June 8) about the belt-tightening that will hopefully take place if the $23 billion edujobs bill dies in Congress...

May 17, 2010 | National Review

Chinese Educators in America

Beijing has extended its educational tentacles into 90 countries, including the U.S...

April 21, 2010 | Education Next

Do U.S. Students Spend Enough Time Learning?

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week about whether American kids need a longer school day, a longer school year, more time on task, or more customized learning experiences...

April 7, 2010 | Education Next

Let’s Hear It for Florida

Hurrah for the Education Policy Council of Florida’s House of Representatives for endorsing the bold teacher-reforms of pending bill HB 7189, now headed for the House floor tomorrow or Thursday. This pathbreaking legislation–twinned with an identical measure already approved by the State Senate–has many moving parts but three of its provisions are noteworthy.

April 5, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Should Undocumented Students Get Federal Support?

Thousands rallied on the National Mall on March 21 in support of comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act…. Do you suppot the DREAM Act?

March 20, 2010 | Wall Street Journal

The Case for Saturday School

How many days a year did the future Alexander the Great study with Aristotle? . . .

March 16, 2010 | National Review

Back to Basics

For five good reasons, conservatives should take seriously the potential of the newly released (in draft form) “common” education standards to strengthen U.S. education. . . .

March 11, 2010 | AOL News

A Turning Point on Education Reform

If the nation's education system finally makes a meaningful turn for the better, March 10 may very well mark the turning point. . . .

March 3, 2010 | Forbes

School’s Out

Diane Ravitch’s important new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, will surely stir controversy, exactly as she intends. . . .

January 14, 2010 | National Review

The Great Centrist Issue

Is 2010 the year for No Child Left Behind? . . .

January 6, 2010 | National Review

Racing to National Tests?

Any national tests and standards need to be strong, substantive, and well administered. . . .

December 15, 2009 | National Affairs

The End of the Education Debate

The education-reform debate as we have known it for a generation is creaking to a halt . . . .

November 12, 2009 | National Review

Education Reforms . . . or Union Jobs?

What the stimulus really stimulates. . . .

September 23, 2009 | Forbes

Early Childhood Misstep

While the Senate is consumed by health care, other problem topics are piling up...

September 17, 2009 | National Review

Health Care and an Educated Citizenry

What kind of education would one need to make sense of the current health-care debate?...

September 15, 2009 | Education Next

The Preschool Picture

The campaign for universal preschool education in the United States has gained great momentum...

August 25, 2009 | Forbes

SAT Upon

The College Board, as always, hung a smiley face on it but the latest SAT results are a real bummer...

August 6, 2009 | Forbes

A First-Rate Education For All

If America's elementary and high schools laid a sounder educational foundation for more of their students, America's colleges would be far more successful at constructing a solid and artful edifice atop it...

August 6, 2009 | National Review

A Constitutional Moment for American Education?

Vacation gave me the opportunity to catch up with a bit of early American history, particularly the eventful last two decades of the 18th century...

June 12, 2009 | San Diego Union-Tribune

Good for some, but many parents don't want it

The RAND Corp.'s new study of preschool (“Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California”) confirms the wisdom shown by Golden State voters in 2006 when they decisively rejected Proposition 82, also known as the “Rob Reiner Preschool for All Initiative.”...

May 31, 2009 | New York Post

Say No to Universal Preschool

It's easy to assume that government-financed preschool would do much to cure what ails American education if only it were provided to everybody...

May 15, 2009 | Washington Post

Slow the Preschool Bandwagon

President Obama has pledged to spend $10 billion more a year on "zero to five" education, and his 2010 budget makes a $2 billion "down payment" on that commitment...

May 14, 2009 | Forbes

Our Government, For Better Or Worse

Ever since I came into contact with government, both state and federal, and especially in the four decades since first going to work in it, I've been struck by the gap between what many Americans expect of government and what it's actually good at doing...

April 21, 2009 | Washington Post

Our Endangered Catholic Schools

The positive findings in the Education Department's recent evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program provide more evidence that high-quality private and parochial schools can have invaluable benefits for low-income, minority students...

March 11, 2009 | Education Week

Stimulating a Race to the Top

Public education stands to receive some $100 billion from the enormous economic-stimulus package enacted last month by Congress, about one-eighth of the total...

February 26, 2009 | National Review

Obama Gives Failing Schools a Pass

President Obama’s address to Congress is earning plaudits for its honesty, candor, and can-do/will-do/must-do spirit...

January 29, 2009 | Forbes

Will The Recession Kill School Reform?

Few doubt that we're living through profound changes on many fronts...

December 11, 2008 | Forbes

School For $6 A Month

The private sector takes education to India's slums...

November 13, 2008 | Forbes

Bill Gates' New Education Plan

Version 2.0 contains laudable goals but little actionable policy...

October 1, 2008 | Forbes

Schools No More For Scandal

School reform is bloody hard--Admiral Rickover compared it to moving a graveyard--and harder still in big cities...

September 9, 2008 | National Review Online

The Law that Dare Not Speak Its Name

As the new school year and the climactic period of the presidential election both commence, the future of federal education policy is murkier than ever before...

June 19, 2008 | National Review Online

No Child Gets Ahead

In his seminal 1961 book, Excellence, John W. Gardner posed the question, “can we be equal and excellent too?”...

April 26, 2008 | Wall Street Journal

Twenty-Five Years Later, A Nation Still at Risk

Today marks the 25th anniversary of "A Nation at Risk," the influential Reagan-era report by a blue-ribbon panel that alerted Americans to the weak performance of our education system...

March 30, 2008 | Washington Post

5 Myths About No Child Left Behind

It's the 800-pound gorilla of U.S. education....

February 27, 2008 | Education Week

Lessons Learned

Yes, I’ve learned plenty in the 57 years since I entered 1st grade in Dayton, Ohio’s Fairview Elementary School, and the four decades since I taught social studies at Newton High School in Massachusetts...

January 30, 2008 | National Journal

Com“Pell”ing Proposal

The president wasn’t wrong when he said during his State of the Union address that the No Child Left Behind Act is “succeeding,” though he cherry-picked the available evidence to document his claim...

October 5, 2007 | Wall Street Journal

Dumbing Education Down

President George W. Bush's signature education reform -- the No Child Left Behind Act -- is coming in for a close inspection in Congress...

September 12, 2007 | National Review Online

No Question Left Behind

With every passing week, the 110th Congress looks less likely to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the fate of which will therefore hinge on the 2008 election...

August 8, 2007 | Wall Street Journal

Senior Fellows Diane Ravitch & Chester Finn: Not By Geeks Alone

In a globalizing economy, America's competitive edge depends in large measure on how well our schools prepare tomorrow's workforce...

July 11, 2007 | Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

Beyond the Basics: Achieving a Liberal Education for All Children

History offers many explanations for why people should acquire a broad, liberal-arts education...

June 19, 2007 | Education Week

Federalism in the Land of Oz

The United States isn’t the only land where primary-secondary schooling was traditionally the responsibility of the states or provinces, while the national government played a minor, even peripheral role...

March 6, 2007 | American Enterprise Institute

What Innovators Can, and Cannot, Do

K-12 education should abound with opportunities for entrepreneurial activity...

February 14, 2007 | National Review Online

Fool Me Twice

With all the trappings of an IMPORTANT WASHINGTON EVENT, including the presence of the top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House education committees, the Commission on No Child Left Behind yesterday unveiled a report that should be called “No Idea Left Behind...."

January 18, 2007 | New York Sun

Hurry Up and Weigh

In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced sweeping reform in how New York City funds public education...

November 30, 2006 | National Review Online

My Kind of GOP

To be a heartfelt Republican has gotten hard in recent years, but while we were in charge in Washington and most state capitols it was easy, though perhaps unwise, to keep still about this...

October 1, 2006 | Washington Post

The Education Issue

There should be efforts to very actively recruit middle-class people into neighborhood schools and make sure these really are schools that prepare kids for college...

October 9, 2006 | National Review

All Aboard The Charters?

Charter schools have taught us much...

July 17, 2006 | National Review Online

Private Performance

Predictably, Diana Jean Schemo and the New York Times found front-page, above-the-fold space on Saturday to cover on a new National Center for Education Statistics report, drawn from 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress data, that finds private schools only slightly more effective than public when analysts control for income, race, parent education, and such…

June 13, 2006 | National Review Online

World Standards

For young Americans in 2006, world history must no longer be seen as an elective subject…

March 30, 2005

Judging Charter Schools

There is no dispute about the charter school movement's growth to 3,300 schools enrolling close to a million children.

February 2, 2005

The Blind Men and the High School

U.S. high school education remains sorely afflicted, both by sky-high dropout rates and by weak academic achievement among those who do finish.

March 8, 2004

Why Must College Be So Costly?

We are headed toward the quarter-million-dollar B.A.

February 2, 2004

Education in Urban America

Washington's ambitious goal of getting every young American to the "proficient" level is akin to crossing the Grand Canyon

September 15, 2003

Professionalizing Teachers versus Improving the Profession

What started as an effort to improve the teaching profession has turned instead into professionalizing teacher improvement.

May 12, 2003

The Social Studies Wars

One found little in the curricular suggestions about who attacked us and why.

March 17, 2003

Our Schools and Our Future:...Are We Still at Risk?

The commission's report hit like a bomb when it declared that the weak performance of America's schools placed the nation itself at risk.

December 9, 2002

Leaving Many Children Behind

This halfhearted choice provision was supposed to take immediate effect for pupils in more than 8,000 schools that have already lingered for two years or more on their states' lists of education failures.

June 17, 2002

The Challenges of Charter Schools

The charter movement itself cannot decide whether it is a trade association obliged to defend every school that wears the charter label or an education reform movement responsible for ensuring that only good schools are so labeled.

May 4, 2002

Beaucracy and School Leadership

There are not nearly enough qualified people to lead some 91,000 public schools and nearly 15,000 school systems.

December 24, 2001

The High School Diploma Drought

If just three-quarters of young Americans—and barely half of black and Latino students—are managing to graduate from high school on time, we've got a whopping problem.

June 25, 2001

How Bad Is the Education Bill?

There will, in fact, be no fundamental overhaul of this LBJ-era legislation, despite decades of evidence of its failure. But there will definitely be a whopping price tag.

October 23, 2000

Teachers Versus Children

This power grab is carefully concealed under the fig leaf of “teacher professionalism.”

April 10, 2000

Charter Schools in Action

Almost 1,700 charter schools now operate in the United States, enrolling 300,000 youngsters. In the District of Columbia and Trenton, 10 percent of all schoolchildren attend them. In Kansas City, it's 13 percent.


April 14, 2014 | Education Next

The Opt-Out Outrage

March 7, 2014 | Education Next

Education’s Endless, Erroneous Either-Ors

February 21, 2014 | Education Next

Disciplining the Undisciplined

The tough letter that senior House Republicans sent last week to Arne Duncan and Eric Holder should have been even tougher. For the “guidance” that their agencies issued to U.S. schools in the guise of improving school discipline can only make it harder for educators to create safe, serious, and effective learning environments.
January 29, 2014 | Education Next

Flipping Out: Controlled Choice Restricts Options

“Controlled choice”restricts families’ education options and imposes a top-down, government-run, social-engineering scheme based on somebody’s view of the value of racial and socioeconomic integration.
January 27, 2014 | Education Next

Knowledge at the Core

For thirty years, Don Hirsch has tried to persuade policymakers to undertake perhaps the one reform we’ve never tried: the widespread adoption of a coherent, sequential, content-rich curriculum. What might change the outcome over the next thirty years?
January 8, 2014 | Education Next

The “War on Poverty” and Me

Forgive an aging education-reformer’s reminiscences, but LBJ’s declaration of war on poverty shaped the next 50 years of my life.
December 11, 2013 | Education Next

Gifted Education— What I Saw, What I’m Learning

I've visited eight countries to see how they educate their high-ability kids in the hope that we might pick up tips that would prove useful in improving the woeful state of “gifted education” in the U.S
November 11, 2013 | Education Next

Be Careful What You Wish For

Besides its influential teacher union, Taiwan has a powerful parent union that appears to cause at least as much harm as it does good.
November 1, 2013 | Education Next

Japan’s Robin Hood School-Voucher Program

October 31, 2013 | Education Next

Common Core in the Schools: A First Look at Reading Assignments

Common Core standards expect English language arts teachers to do things very differently than they have in the past. Will that really happen?
October 16, 2013 | Education Next

Rethinking High School

As waves of reforms and would-be reforms have washed over American public education these past three decades, high schools have mostly stayed dry.
October 14, 2013 | Education Next

Two Speeches

Although the latest glum international-education data weren’t even released until this week, last week brought a pair of provocative and contrasting speeches about the state of American education in 2013, both of which repay close attention.
September 20, 2013 | Education Next

Governance Matters

Tucked away in Amanda Ripley’s pages are a number of examples of how Finland, South Korea and Poland organize and govern their education systems, and these are illuminating as well as actionable in the policy realm.
September 18, 2013 | Education Next

Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned!

Don’t call me and my friends Chicken Littles. The sky was beginning to fall three decades ago.
August 19, 2013 | Education Next

Let’s Hear It For Proficiency

July 29, 2013 | Education Next

Partisanship and Bipartisanship

Gridlock and stasis don’t seem to be leaving the K–12 space in Washington anytime soon.
July 25, 2013 | Education Next

Chicken Little Goes to School

The Common Core sky is not falling. Rather, the Common Core is right sizing.
July 12, 2013 | Education Next

Summer School for Republicans

June 19, 2013 | Education Next

The Big Squeeze

June 14, 2013 | Education Next

Disappointing Science Standards

May 20, 2013 | Education Next

Why Private Schools Are Dying Out

April 23, 2013 | Education Week

We've Made Progress, But There's More to Do

April 12, 2013 | Education Next

Texas: Big, Proud…and Wimpy?

April 9, 2013 | Corner (National Review Online)

Margaret Thatcher, Education Reformer

April 2, 2013 | Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)

The Good News from Pakistan

March 22, 2013 | Education Next

Accountability Dilemmas

February 14, 2013 | Corner (National Review Online)

Obama for Governor!

February 8, 2013 | Education Next

Science Standards 2.0

February 5, 2013 | Education Next

On Closing Schools

January 27, 2013 | Economics One

Cutting to the Chase

January 4, 2013 | Education Next

Gifted Students Have ‘Special Needs,’ Too

December 20, 2012 | Education Next

Oh, Starr-y Superintendent

December 19, 2012 | Education Next

Revamping Teacher Preparation and Licensure

December 14, 2012 | Education Next

MOOCs in Size Small, Please

December 4, 2012 | Education Next

Bar Exam for Teachers?

November 29, 2012 | Education Next

Jeb Bush on Education Reform

November 2, 2012 | Education Next

Let a New Teacher-Union Debate Begin

October 28, 2012 | Education Next

The Election Contests that Really Matter

October 22, 2012 | Education Next

The Best Bargain in American Education

October 4, 2012 | Education Next

Gotham's Exam-School Problem

September 28, 2012 | Education Next

How The Common Core Changes Everything

September 24, 2012 | Education Next

Common Standards≠ National Curriculum

September 21, 2012 | Education Next

The Chicago Strike’s Silver Lining

September 7, 2012 | Education Next

Maintenance of Inefficiency

August 31, 2012 | Education Next

Vouchers − Darwin= ??

August 24, 2012 | Education Next

Raising the Floor, but Neglecting the Ceiling

July 27, 2012 | Education Next

The Credit-Recovery Scam

July 23, 2012 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Bravo for Rewarding Excellence

June 22, 2012 | Education Next

Disruptive Innovation and Independent Public Schools

[Clayton] Christensen and colleagues don’t suggest that [our K-12 education system is] going out of business but they do say it will be transformed by a pair of disruptive innovations: technology (online learning, in particular) and a shift to “student-centric” learning...
June 13, 2012 | Education Next

Confessions of a Former Luddite

Not so long ago, I doubted that computers, cell phones, and the internet would make any more difference in American education than television had...Well, I was wrong...
June 1, 2012 | Education Next

“Voucherizing Title I” is Worth a Shot

Why not try strapping the money to the backs of needy kids and letting them take it to the schools of their choice?...
May 14, 2012 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Hey Guys, Common Core Is Voluntary

In truth, states are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves whether the Common Core is the way to go in English and math standards. It's VOLUNTARY...
April 15, 2012 | Education Next

The Voucher Animus

Rumor has it that we will soon see an actual education plan from Mitt Romney, his team having been loath to wade into this debate during the primaries...
March 16, 2012 | Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

The disparities of disparate impact

Is there a racist behind every tree in the American education forest...
March 9, 2012 | Education Next

The Conservative Case for the Common Core

This is the best path toward getting Uncle Sam and heavy-handed state governments to back off from micro-managing how schools are run and to return that authority to communities, individual schools, teachers, and parents...
March 5, 2012 | Education Next

The War Against the Common Core

The Common Core State Standards Initiative landed in our midst with four great assets...Ever since it landed, however, the Common Core has been the object of ceaseless attacks from multiple directions...
February 24, 2012 | Education Next

21st-Century VocEd Could Be Key to Future Economic Prosperity

I’m a huge fan of high-quality liberal-arts education for everybody and really do think it would go far to prepare better citizens, neighbors, and consumer/transmitters of America’s cultural heritage and democratic underpinnings...
December 15, 2011 | Education Next

Texas Hit the Accountability Plateau, Then the Rest of the Country Followed

Like the meteor that led to the decline of the dinosaurs and the rise of the mammals, results-based accountability appears to have shocked the education system. But its effect seems to be fading now...
December 9, 2011 | Education Next

The Euro and the Common Core

If you hope the Euro crashes, that this week’s Brussels summit fails, and that European commerce returns to francs, marks, lira, drachma, and pesetas, you may be one of those rare Americans who also seeks the demise of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in U.S. education...
December 5, 2011 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

A Modest Federal Role

Some things are simply beyond Uncle Sam's reach, and one of those is competent enforcement of spending comparability in the absence of state/district school budget and financing based on KIDS rather than GROWN-UPS...
December 2, 2011 | Education Next

Too Many Cooks, Too Many Kitchens

Despite America’s romantic attachment to “local control of public education,” the reality is that the way it works today offers a worst-of-both-worlds scenario...
September 23, 2011 | Corner (National Review Online)

The Unilateral Repeal of NCLB and the 2012 Election

The Obama administration’s new waiver plan doesn’t officially repeal the No Child Left Behind Act, but it is tantamount to making large-scale amendments to it. Which it does unilaterally, without even a thumbs-up from Congress...
August 26, 2011 | Education Next

Duncan vs. Perry

The gloves are off. What vestiges remained of bipartisanship on education in Washington has been buried. And education may yet turn into a major issue in the 2012 presidential race...
August 19, 2011 | Education Next

Up With Teachers, Not So Much With Unions

Over the next couple of weeks, youngsters across the land will strap on their SpongeBob backpacks and lace up their new Converses...
July 29, 2011 | Education Next

Is the Charter-School Movement Stuck in a Rut?

As the U.S. charter fleet sails past the 5,000-school and two-decade markers, there is reason to worry that it’s getting complacent, unimaginative, and self-interested...
July 21, 2011 | Education Next

This Glass is Half-Empty, Maybe Two-Thirds

...[O]ur kids on average are woefully lacking in essential skills and knowledge across every subject in the curriculum...
May 25, 2011 | Education Next

Bill Bennett, James Madison, and National Curricular Materials

The big fuss about “national curriculum” has lately slid into an argument about whether the federal government may—and should—have anything to do with “curriculum...
March 11, 2011 | Education Next

The Rebirth of the Education Governor

Thirty years ago, Saturn started its current revolution around the Sun, Mt. St. Helens erupted, and Americans began to understand that governors are the most important people in U.S. K-12 education...
February 7, 2011 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

A Question of Vouchers: The Mouse and the Elephant

Is there a place for vouchers in the current elementary and secondary education system...?
February 4, 2011 | Education Next

Nobody Deserves Tenure

...[N]obody has a right to lifetime employment unrelated either to their on-the-job performance or to their employer’s continuing need for the skills and attributes of that particular person...
January 24, 2011 | Education Next

The Rope with which We Hang Ourselves

V. I. Lenin may or may not have actually declared that “the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” but something of the sort is occurring nowadays between American educators and the Communist regime in Beijing...
January 4, 2011 | Room for Debate (New York Times)

Do Home Schoolers Deserve a Tax Break? Yes, but Tests Are Necessary

In return for the financial help...home-schooled students should be required to take state tests, just as they would do in regular school, charter school or virtual schools...
December 13, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Shame on You!

Who really cares about gold medals? Oscars? Nobel Prizes? Three Michelin stars? Yet you want us seriously to ponder the possibility that average is fine for the United States when it comes to education...?
December 6, 2010 | Education Next

Re-Imagining Local Control

Writing last week in the Wall Street Journal, my friend and long-time former co-author, Diane Ravitch, challenged resurgent Congressional Republicans to return K-12 education to “local control...”
November 19, 2010 | Education Next

Seeds of Reform Sown by Moynihan (and Coleman)

Seven years after his death, Daniel Patrick Moynihan still makes the front page of the New York Times. The immediate context one day in mid-October was an article on the “culture of poverty” and how it is now legitimate to attend to this ticklish topic that had been taboo for so long...
November 18, 2010 | Education Next

Thanks but No Thanks, NAEP

The latest 12th grade National Assessment results (from 2009), released this morning, show small (but statistically significant) upticks over the past four years in both reading and math...
November 15, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Reform Realism Redux

Not long after the 2008 election, Mike Petrilli and I penned an "open letter" to the new powers that be in Washington...Fourteen months later, the White House released an Obama/Duncan "blueprint" for ESEA reauthorization that begin with something of a "reform realist" perspective...
November 8, 2010 | Education Next

Mixed Signals on Quality for Preschoolers

A couple of fine new studies attest to the importance of quality instruction for preschoolers—and the dizzying (“stunning” says one research team) range of bad-to-excellent offerings in today’s early childhood programs and centers...
October 6, 2010 | Education Next

A New Start for Head Start — If Congress Doesn’t Get in the Way

The Head Start program has needed a radical overhaul for the past 45 years...Now the Obama administration is trying again and one can only hope that they, too, aren’t blocked...
October 6, 2010 | Corner (National Review Online)

Baltimore Schools Take Tentative Step in Right Direction

If ratified by union members on October 14, Baltimore’s new teacher contract will move the “Charm City” a modest distance into the 21st Century...
September 28, 2010 | Corner (National Review Online)

Bravo, Brockton!

Brockton High School, one of the largest in America, is now producing very strong (not yet stellar) results; it used to produce dreadful results. It has accomplished a successful school turnaround, one of the toughest feats in U.S. education...
September 27, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

An Education-Reform Wasteland

Lots of promising developments in U.S. education are occurring in a number of states and localities, and some good things have been coming out of the U.S. Department of Education, but for the most part the U.S. Congress remains an education-reform wasteland...
September 16, 2010 | Education Next

Waiting for “Superman”

Aside from all that glitz and glamor, Waiting for “Superman” is quite a movie to boot...
September 15, 2010 | Education Next

You’ll be Sorely Missed, Mike Castle

Besides almost certainly forfeiting a Senate seat that the GOP could have taken in November, Delaware’s Republican primary voters yesterday made a colossal mistake when it comes to education policy...
September 10, 2010 | Education Next

Whither 21st Century Skills?

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (known as P-21) announced the other day that it has entered into a “strategic management agreement” with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)...
September 8, 2010 | Corner (National Review Online)

Universal Preschool by Stealth

In the name of boosting academic performance and giving struggling kids a better shot at succeeding in first grade, California appears to be headed down the slippery slope to universal preschool...
August 25, 2010 | Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)

A sober reflection on Race to the Top results

On sober, morning-after reflection, let me say this about Race to the Top. Arne Duncan deserves at least a B for initiating and persevering with it...
August 2, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Do Competitive Grants Hurt Equal Opportunity? Failed Imagination--and Memory

The Obama administration's education-reform agenda was already in trouble with the teacher unions. Now it's in trouble with the old-line civil rights community, too...
July 26, 2010 | Corner (National Review Online)

Three Cheers for Michelle Rhee

[Rhee] keeps her eye on the ball, doesn’t take no for an answer, recognizes and rewards talent, and purges the ranks of mediocrities...
July 26, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Conflicting Research On Core Standards: Nothing "converse" about it!

Are Common Core Standards an effective education reform tool..?
July 16, 2010 | Education Notes Online (Blog)

Harvard Wimps Out on Testing

To oppose “results-based accountability” in education is close to a taboo nowadays, a position so antithetical to the spirit of the age that few dare mention it...
July 12, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Defining Effective Teachers - Half Brainer

The easy part of this question is the definition. An effective teacher is one whose pupils learn what they should while under his/her tutelage...
July 6, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

Save Teachers Or Education Reform Programs? Kudos to Obama on This One

Are the education reform programs appropriate places to cut? If not, what are better alternatives and why...?
June 17, 2010 | Education Next

Denial vs Paranoia with Common Core Education Standards

I deny that I’m in denial. But I don’t deny that Neal McCluskey is paranoid, along with Jay Greene and a few other ardent blogsters and op-edsters...
June 7, 2010 | Education Week

Book Alert: Taking Measure of Charter Schools

This collection of eleven essays is specialized, even wonky, but it addresses a key issue in the charter-school world, namely how to improve the research into and evaluation of this new universe of schools...

June 2, 2010 | Education Next

Common Core State Standards: Better Than Ever

Today marks release of the final “Common Core” standards–symbolically occurring in a state capital (Atlanta) rather than Washington, D.C...

May 27, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

We know 'em when we see 'em

We do know why these schools are failing. It's because they're not doing the things that cause schools to succeed...

April 13, 2010 | National Journal Expert Blog: Education

How Should Students Be Assessed?

As states work to devise modern testing regimes, how much weight should they put on evaluating students consistently versus depth of analysis? Do you favor a particular assessment model? If so, why?

April 12, 2010 | Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)

Chinese influence in U.S. schools

How do you feel about the government of China paying for American public schools to teach our kids Mandarin? And sending teachers from China to the U.S. to assist in this venture?

March 5, 2010 | Education Gadfly

Can we get to national standards, considering the pitfalls?

My feet aren't frozen, but as the march toward national or "common" academic standards trudges through deepening snow, they're getting chilly. . . .

January 28, 2010 | Corner (National Review Online)

Obama on Education: Not Bad, Not Great

On primary and secondary education, as on most topics, Mr. Obama stayed at 30,000 feet in his speech last night. . . .

September 24, 2009 | Corner (National Review Online)

Heavy Lifting Needed on No Child Left Behind

Eight months into the Obama administration, the White House has been mute on its intentions regarding No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush's signature education accomplishment — and a statute that nearly everyone in America believes needs a makeover...


October 26, 2013 | WGBH (New England)

Chester Finn and Paul Peterson on Innovation Hub (:50)

iTunes | XML | IHub on Facebook | IHub Twitter | Back to IHub Homepage Guests: Paul Peterson, professor at Harvard University and co-author of Endangering
December 20, 2012 | Sirius XM Radio

Chester Finn on The Fran Tarkenton Show

March 6, 2012 | PBS NewsHour

Report: Minority Students Face Harsher Discipline

Black and Hispanic students are more likely to be suspended than white students, according to a report released Tuesday by the Education Department's Office of Civil Rights...
July 7, 2011 | Willis Report (Fox Business)

Atlanta School System Faces Cheating Scandal

Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Chester Finn, Jr., on the growing problem of cheating by teachers and principals in an effort to boost results for standardized tests...
June 14, 2011 | NBC Nightly News

Honest Abe is forgotten history for students

According to "The Nation's Report Card," released on Tuesday, a significant number of students are not grasping historical concepts as basic as identifying a picture of Abraham Lincoln...
December 14, 2010 | Bloomberg Television

Finn Says U.S. Needs to `Get Serious' About Education

Chester Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, talks about the outlook for the U.S. education system. Finn speaks with Carol Massar and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart..."
December 8, 2010 | BBC News

Chinese pupils top global education league table

A survey of half a million 15-year-old school pupils around the world shows that those in the Chinese city of Shanghai lead the world in reading, science and maths...Former US assistant education secretary Chester Finn gives his reaction...
August 3, 2010 | WBEZ

Some Catholic Schools Under New Management

The Archdiocese of Chicago is taking steps to halt declining school enrollment. It's taking over management of 16 Catholic schools...
July 6, 2010 | Education Next

Tough Love for Charter Schools

Chester Finn and Terry Ryan describe the efforts of the Fordham Institute to rescue struggling charter schools in Ohio while serving as a charter authorizer...
April 1, 2010 | Economist

Eight questions for Chester Finn

CHESTER FINN has spent most of his adult life studying and trying to improve America's education system... Last week we asked him why he thinks the system "needs a shakeup from top to bottom."

March 5, 2010 | Education Next

The New Normal for Federal Education Spending

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (March 5) about whether the federal share of education spending is likely to remain at 15 percent and whether the $1 billion bonus for reauthorizing ESEA this year is likely to be awarded. . . .

January 7, 2010 | Education Next

Studies Find No Effects

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (Jan. 7) about whether randomized field trials in education should be abandoned, since they so rarely find that the treatments have any effects. . . .

November 24, 2009 | Education Next

Saving Jobs or Stimulating Reform?

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (Nov. 24) about the effect of the stimulus package on education, a sector that has proven to be very good at job creation. . . .

Other Media

September 19, 2011 | National Affairs

Beyond the School District

Round after round of education reform has failed in recent decades, and one major reason is our anachronistic and deeply flawed system for organizing and operating public schools...
June 22, 2011 | Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

How to Run Public Schools in the 21st Century

Our current models are bad for taxpayers--and calamitous for kids...
February 1, 2011 | Education Next

A Battle Begun, Not Won

The following essay is part of a forum, written in honor of Education Next’s 10th anniversary, in which the editors assessed the school reform movement’s victories and challenges to see just how successful reform efforts have been...
October 19, 2010 | Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Now What? Imperatives and Options for Common Core Implementation and Governance

This Fordham Institute publication—co-authored by President Chester E. Finn Jr. and VP Michael J. Petrilli—pushes folks to think about what comes next in the journey to common education standards and tests...
August 4, 2010 | Education Next

After Bucking Unions, Obama Administration Breaks Ranks with Civil Rights Groups over Charter Schools

Education Next’s Paul Peterson and Chester E. Finn, Jr. talk this week (August 4) about why civil rights groups have been reluctant to embrace charter schools, even as a new Ed Next poll shows that support for charters is rising among minority parents...
July 7, 2010 | Education Next

Authorizing Charters

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation’s long and deep immersion in Ohio education policy, particularly in the charter-school realm, includes a half decade of direct experience as “authorizer” of several charters...
April 19, 2010 | National Affairs

The End of the Education Debate

The education-reform debate as we have known it for a generation is creaking to a halt. No new way of thinking has emerged to displace those that have preoccupied reformers for a quarter- century...

June 29, 2009 | National Journal

What's The Best Use Of Stimulus Money?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained more than $100 billion for education, including $40 billion to stabilize state education budgets and $5 billion in discretionary money for incentive grants...

June 2, 2009 | Corner (National Review Online)

Declaring Educational Bankruptcy

Turning around bad schools is harder than turning around Chrysler, GM, or AIG — but our fearless new federal administration seems bent on doing this, too...

March 5, 2009 | Education Gadfly (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

Can we get to national standards, considering the pitfalls?

My feet aren't frozen, but as the march toward national or "common" academic standards trudges through deepening snow, they're getting chilly...

February 19, 2009 | Education Week

Obama's Education Plan

Good afternoon, and welcome to Education Week’s live chat on President Obama’s education plan...

December 18, 2008 | Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

An open letter to president-elect Obama, secretary-designate Duncan and the 111th Congress

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute appraises the current policy landscape and its main players, and outlines the ideal federal role in K-12 education...

April 26, 2008 | America's Business With Mike Hambrick (Podcast)

America's Business: April 26, 2008

Education is a top priority for manufacturers who need a skilled workforce to operate increasingly complex shop floor computers and equipment...

October 11, 2007 | Education Gadfly

Leave no (none, zero, nada) child behind?

Passed by Congress in late 2001 and signed by President George W. Bush one year after his inauguration, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is the most ambitious federal education statute ever...

August 14, 2007 | PBS

School Districts Find Loopholes in No Child Left Behind Law

School districts are getting around certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind law by setting the bar measuring student progress low in the beginning....