As we were putting the final touches on our new report, The Supplemental Curriculum Bazaar: Is What's Online Any Good?, Amazon unveiled a “new storefront” called Amazon Ignite. The site will allow educators to earn money by publishing—online, of course—their original educational resources (lesson plans, worksheets, games, and more).
David Steiner, the Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the review of the Providence Public School District recently undertaken by Johns Hopkins. The review includes distressing news on proficiency in math and reading, teacher morale and deteriorating facilities.
The nation is stuck with a bad equilibrium in terms of teacher salaries: salaries are insufficient to attract new teachers who can fuel improved schools and yet they are not even high enough to satisfy current teachers. One result has been uncompromising rhetoric replacing viable solutions, and political responses that leave us in a worse position. The Chicago teachers’ strike continued the strife that played out last year from West Virginia to Los Angeles. Sequential appeasement of these outbreaks of union combativeness and teacher frustration will almost certainly not help the students and will likely make teachers worse off in the long run.
California’s latest K–12 test scores were released earlier this month. Despite spending 26 percent more per pupil after inflation since 2011, test scores remain low, and improvement is proceeding at a glacial pace. Just 40 percent of California schoolchildren are proficient at math. What should be done? Seattle’s idea is to teach their students that US math education is racist, is used to oppress people of color and the disadvantaged, and has been used to exploit natural resources.
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.