Is Public Education a “Natural” Monopoly, or Do Parents Need More Choices?

We should never accept the idea that organizations can’t strive for continuous improvement, but perhaps is it reasonable to wonder, do we need to fund alternatives to the existing system – is that the most efficient way to ensure every child gets a great education?


The District-Charter Relationship: Is Goodwill Enough?

I’m part of a team that studies District-Charter Collaboration Compacts. How well are these agreements working? They’ve fostered increased goodwill, but that may not be enough. A refresh and refocus is needed for Compacts to achieve their original goal: improving education for all kids in a city by sharing resources and responsibility across sectors.

What Type of Society Do We Want to Live in?

There are lots of provocative ideas in this blog post discussing a new book from John Abbott, director of the 21st Century Learning Initiative, but I was most struck by this sentence: “disaffection with the education system reflects a much deeper societal malaise.” I’ve never been a fan of the idea that our country has been in…

Do We Really Need Test Scores?

In a conversation about education reform recently, someone asked me about the focus on test scores and whether that resulted in entirely too much class time on “test prep”. I think it is a risk, to be sure, that “test prep” will consume instruction. But I think several trends mitigate this risk. For one thing,…