What happens when teachers run a school? One charter school in Brooklyn is finding out. TCF fellow Halley Potter says that the results so far look promising.READ MORE
When Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, the then-distant date of 2014 was the point at which we would reach educational nirvana and 100 percent of American students would be proficient in math and reading. The goal was never met because, as a fundamental matter, individual human variability makes 100 percent proficiency to a meaningful standard an impossibility. But there were other problems as well: NCLB did not itself provide sufficient incentives for students to work hard, as only teachers were held accountable for failure, and the legislation did not end the enduring inequalities of educational opportunity for low-income and minority students that underlie the achievement gap.
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At Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, teachers are trying something that is still pretty rare in the charter school movement—they’re unionizing. TCF education intern Margaret Mattes explains why.READ MORE
Jason Renker—TCF’s editorial director and the former school board president of the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City—explains why LCCS values teacher voice and shows how that commitment has helped the school make tough decisions together and emerge stronger from the process.READ MORE
On average, charter schools turn over 24 percent of their teachers each year. But at Soulsville Charter School in Memphis, TN, teachers stick around. Soulsville math teachers Jon and Teresa Alfuth explain that the key to Soulsville’s retention is giving teachers a voice in the school.READ MORE
TCF senior fellow, Richard D. Kahlenberg writes about the rhetoric surrounding education reform for the New Republic.
Public school teaching, writes education reporter Dana Goldstein, has “become the most controversial profession in America.” The “ineffective teacher,” she writes, has become “a feared character,” comparable to “crack babies or welfare queens” in earlier eras. Long accustomed to being the punching bag of the right, teachers and teachers unions are newly targeted by Democratic education reformers; the Obama administration, too, has championed a series of center-right reforms fashionable among hedge fund managers. Not surprisingly, between 2008 and 2012, teacher job satisfaction “plummeted from 62 to 39 percent, the lowest level in a quarter century,” Goldstein notes in her smart and valuable new book, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession.
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Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.
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