K-12 Education Task Force

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Classroom students
Featured Commentary

We’ll Miss You, Michael Gove

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via National Review Online
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Recent revelations suggest that David Cameron’s unexpected move to replace reform-minded education minister Michael Gove (who’s been popular with British conservatives) with Ms. Nicky Morgan might have been triggered by more than crass pre-election maneuvering to placate teachers and women.

Blogs

Whither the NEA?

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Friday, July 11, 2014

I’ve never been to the annual conference of the National Education Association and I’ve never regretted it, but it would have been fun to be a fly on the chandelier at last week’s shindig in Denver.

Learn to Spell “Compromise”

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

“Either/or” positions have paralyzed education reform. Let’s pull our desks into the middle.

Open Book Image
Blogs

The ‘Balanced Literacy’ Hoax

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Monday, June 30, 2014

My chief mentor, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, occasionally warned against “semantic infiltration,” which he correctly attributed to the late arms-control expert, Fred Ikle. It is, of course, the judo-like practice of using terms that are appealing to an audience as fig leaves for practices that the same audience would find repugnant—turning one’s own language against one’s interests, you might say.

High school students in class
Featured Commentary

How Teachers Unions Use 'Common Core' to Undermine Reform

by Eric Hanushekvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 30, 2014

This year's battle over the introduction of Common Core standards in public schools has diverted attention from a more important but quieter battle led by teachers unions to eliminate school accountability and teacher evaluations.

Classroom students
Other Media

Should We Be Treating Principals Like CEOs?

quoting Eric Hanushekvia Atlantic
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It’s a widely held belief that a talented leader is the key to a successful school. Research shows that highly effective principals put a student’s achievement gains two to seven months ahead in a single school year—while weak leaders slow a student’s progress by the same amount.

Interviews

Terry Moe on the Reform School Program (2:17)

interview with Terry M. Moevia Choice Media
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Senior Fellow Terry Moe discussed his book excerpt, "Facing the Union Challenge, " on the Reform School Program.

Blogs

There Is No War on Teachers

by Eric Hanushekvia Education Next
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Public schools are constitutionally empowered to educate our next generation, but they often stray from that path to over-emphasize the rights, pay, and benefits of their employees.

school children
Blogs

Between A Rock and A Hard Place

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Education Next
Monday, June 16, 2014

Last week, Gates Foundation education chief Vicki Phillips wrote a “letter to our partners” urging that states give students and teachers time to adjust to the new Common Core standards before using those standards as factors “in high-stakes decisions on teacher evaluation or student promotion for the next two years, during this transition.”

teacher and student
Featured Commentary

More Easily Firing Bad Teachers Helps Everyone

by Eric Hanushekvia Education Next
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teacher tenure discussions often suggest that what is in the best interest of teachers is also in the best interest of students. But the groundbreaking decision in the Vergara case makes it clear that early, and effectively irreversible, decisions about teacher tenure have real costs for students and ultimately all of society.

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The K–12 Education Task Force focuses on education policy as it relates to government provision and oversight versus private solutions (both within and outside the public school system) that stress choice, accountability, and transparency; that include systematic reform options such as vouchers, charter schools, and testing; and that weigh equity concerns against outcome objectives.

Its collaborative efforts spawned a quarterly journal titled Education Next, one of the premier publications on public education research policy in the nation.

Chester E. Finn, Jr. serves as chair of the Task Force on K–12 education.