Educational Testing: When to Welcome an Outsider’s Assessment

The latest report on US high school graduation rates brings good news.  The 2014-2015 academic year shows the graduation rate has risen to 83%.  Higher graduation rates were achieved by all demographic segments.  Yet, compared with White students, there are persisting shortfalls among Black, Latino, and Native American students.  Unfortunately, some find the higher graduation […]

Consumers Invest in Themselves Through Savings

Consumers have experienced paltry progress in middle class incomes during the period of 2007 through today, and some say that stagnation has persisted for decades.  Income stagnation has been ascribed to disappointing labor productivity and to high unemployment that became nearly full employment, which too often pays just subsistence wages.  Many job openings remain unfilled […]

Should Coding Be in the K-6 Curriculum?

There have been reports of elementary students being taught computer coding, i.e. writing computer procedures that achieve a specific task. Anyone who has written successful computer code will recognize this as an abstract form of “programming.” An important issue is whether the educational benefits from learning to code exceed the benefits from other uses of […]

Beyond Student Loans

Student loans regularly grab headlines, but loans are typically a small part of financing a college education.  Personal and family contributions, federal grants and subsidies are actually a bigger part of the total outlay.  College students and their families have been borrowing and repaying for almost a lifetime. Today’s hideous $1.2 trillion total of student […]

The Education Sector Is Truant for Tests

The main parts of our education sector are trying to shirk assessments. Some teachers, parents, students and college administrators are each asserting reasons for avoiding standardized tests that measure how well students can perform.  Of course, none admits that the funding provided to develop student performance is no longer needed. Teachers unions have been resisting […]

A Degree in Hypersensitivity

Colleges have become giant petri dishes for an intellectual experiment seeking to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. A foundation for this malady took root in the 1980s when the politically correct (PC) movement was embraced by activist liberals. Ostensibly the PC regime is obsessed with […]

Peer Assessment Won’t Cut It

Most teachers are dedicated and hardworking, but some are not preparing children with the right stuff to succeed in today’s competitive world of jobs. US graduates and young adults underperform in math, technology and literacy compared with our developed economy competitors.  We cannot expect our new graduates to play a role in winning high value […]

What Graduates Need and What Teachers Don’t Like

While activists may tug educators in other directions, the central goal for high school graduates is to be educated as thoughtful citizens and as employable entry-level workers, or as students who can thrive in college or university. Obtaining an entry-level job shortly after graduating is an important step for many along the path to becoming […]

Equal Access to Quality Teachers – Done Right

A decade ago, Congress urged states to eliminate the disparity that left low-income students without a highly qualified teacher.  The feds think holding a degree, a teaching license and a background in the subject being taught is enough to be “highly qualified.”  However, being highly qualified does not equate to actual effectiveness in teaching.  To […]