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Analysis and Commentary

The Federal Charter Schools Program: A Short, Opinionated History, Part I

by Chester E. Finn Jr.via Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

With four billion dollars of funding over twenty-five years, the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) has turned out to be one of the larger and (in my view) more successful examples of government-supported R & D in the K–12 realm, with heavy emphasis on the “D,” but in ways that have also fostered considerable innovation. It has, in the words of veteran education analyst Christy Wolfe (now at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools), “played a critical role in increasing the number of charter schools across the country.”

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New Issue Of Hoover Digest Online

via Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The summer issue of Hoover Digest is now available online. The journal focuses on topics both classical—the economy, personal freedom, the role of government—and timely, such as cybersecurity, terrorism, and geopolitical shifts. 

Analysis and Commentary

Perhaps Progress Against Poverty Helped Test Scores Rise

by Michael J. Petrillivia Education Next
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

This is the fourth in a series of posts looking at whether the nation’s schools have improved over the past quarter-century or so—what might be considered the modern “reform era” of American education. The first two posts demonstrated that student outcomes rose significantly from the mid-1990s until the Great Recession —especially in reading and math, but in other academic subjects, too. 

In the News

The World’s Top 50 Thinkers 2019

quoting Niall Fergusonvia Prospect
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prospect salutes the scientists, philosophers and writers reshaping our times—and asks for your help choosing our 2019 winners. Never doubt that thoughtful minds can change the world; they are the only things that ever do. Margaret Mead is thought to have said something like that, which chimes with Keynes, who wrote that the self-styled practical men running the world were unwittingly guided by forgotten academic scribblers. For Victor Hugo, meanwhile, the one thing stronger than all the armies in the world was “an idea whose time had come.”

In the News

Study: Maryland Charter Students’ Gains Outpace Those At Traditional Schools; Black, Hispanic Pupils Benefit Most

quoting Margaret (Macke) Raymondvia The Baltimore Sun
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A new study has found that students at Maryland charter schools, especially those who are black or Hispanic, have on average made greater academic progress than their counterparts in traditional public schools. While the study noted deficiencies in about a third of charter schools, the student gains were the equivalent of them getting about an extra month of learning over the typical 180-day school year, according to Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO.

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What a Reformer Believes

by Michael J. Petrillivia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Improving education isn’t just one long policy battle. Reformers of all stripes can claim common ground and even—sometimes—common sense.

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Is Reform Even Possible?

by Chester E. Finn Jr., David Steinervia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It’s easy to get discouraged about the many stubborn obstacles to better schools. Thoughts on giving the system the jolt it needs.

Friedman FundamentalsFeatured

The Good Intentions And Unfortunate Consequences Of Government Programs

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Milton Friedman explains that in case after case, government programs adopted for good purposes have had the opposite effects. Federal programs on housing, schooling, health care, and job training have created as many problems as they have solved. There are almost no exceptions of governmental programs that have achieved their initial stated goals.

Analysis and Commentary

Summer Reading For The College Class of 2023

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Monday, July 15, 2019

Most colleges and universities have a summer reading program.  A faculty member or high-ranking administrator typically selects three books (or more) and sends them to every first-year and transfer student.  When they arrive on campus for orientation week, they discuss the readings with fellow students, faculty, and sometimes the authors of the books.

Analysis and Commentary

How Rising Costs Have Affected Higher Education

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 15, 2019

Richard Vedder, a Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Ohio University, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss his new book, "Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America," and how rising college tuition costs have changed the dialogue around higher education.


K-12 Education Task Force

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.

CREDO at Stanford University