On Common Core, we cry uncle

When it comes to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, Fordham has long worn its heart on its sleeve: we were among the first to call for a multi-state push for higher standards and for more rigorous (and comparable) assessments. Our enthusiasm for this particular set of standards stems from our finding, dating back to 2010, that the Common Core standards are significantly stronger than what was on the books in three-quarters of the states and on par with the rest....

As announced last fall, Michael J. Petrilli will be succeeding Chester E. Finn, Jr. as president of the Fordham Institute come August. Here’s an update on the transition.

Big changes lie ahead for Fordham when Mike Petrilli finally gains control of the place in August. “I promised you change you can believe in,” he reminded the board, which in a close contest elected him rather than Arne Duncan to take charge once Checker (at long last) surrenders the reins that he has gripped so tightly...

After Mayor Bill de Blasio made good on his threat to deny public-school space to Gotham’s charters, Eva Moskowitz and her Success Academy Charter Schools will set up shop in the one place in New York where Moskowitz doesn’t need the mayor’s approval: she’s moving back in with her mom. And this fall, the Success Basement Academy will open for grades K–3.

The new charter will feature innovative instructional models. Students will rotate between the musty couch, unused elliptical,...

United Opt Out is backtracking this week from its campaign to opt teenagers out of driving tests after a spate of car accidents nationwide. While the news was lauded by transportation secretary Anthony Foxx, the insurance industry, and the American Automobile Association, Diane Ravitch was unrepentant. “This is yet more proof that Pearson and its cronies in the corporate ‘deformer’ movement are running, and ruining, our schools,” she blogged. To which a spokesperson from Pearson replied, “Huh?

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Cutting class to smoke behind the bleachers. Playing Call of Duty until 3:00AM and sleeping through U.S. History class. Snapchatting selfies during study hall. They did all that, and more—and they had the time of their lives.

In her new book, The Dumbest Kids in the World, author Mananda Pipley follows three exchange students from high-achieving nations across the globe who spent a year in the United States: Wei, from Shanghai, spent nine months in Tallahassee;...

When it comes to education, the wheels on the bus gotta go round and round. Vanderbilt analysts have found that students whose school bus had a driver performed significantly higher on standardized tests than children whose bus lacked anyone at the wheel. Using a “gold-standard” randomized-control trial, the study estimates that the magnitude of the “bus-driver effect” is up to nine additional months of learning per year. Researchers looked at 1,000 elementary-school students in Ohio who were slated to attend public...

Not since Scammon Wattenberg’s The Real Majority has this politically incorrect slice of American demography been so closely examined: As exotic as the red-crested tree rat—though admittedly less rare—the white suburban mother is a complicated and understudied mammal. This article from the Journal of Social Education lifts that curtain and reveals many of their exotic habits, practices and preferences.  For example, these mothers regularly shop for black yoga pants at Target, underreport their wine consumption, don’t understand the rules of soccer but fervently...

After waiting years for the release of the very expensive, highly advanced Elementary/Secondary Information System (ElSi) database, education researchers from across the United States and around the world who met this week at the annual American Education Research Association (AERA) conference finally got a peek. And the more than 13,000 attendees, many of them highly regarded in the field, came to a shocking conclusion: the U.S. education system has been completely stagnant for the past two years. According to these comprehensive data, gathered...

Saving the education system, one irrelevant question at a time.

Take this quiz to find out which ed reformer you are!...

Join us Thursday afternoon for a lecture by Friend-of-Fordham Rick Hess about the latest book in his Cage-Busting series, Cage-Busting Kindergarteners. Following the success of Cage-Busting Parents, Cage-Busting Counselors, Cage-Busting Custodians, and Cage-Busting Coaches, Cage-Busting Kindergarteners urges kids to “refuse to accept the limitations of cages of your own design,” such as dress codes (“winter is a fine time for shorts!”), recess norms (“‘everyone’s a winner,’ my a$$”) and lunchroom etiquette (“don’t let the USDA put YOU...

"Hunt or be hunted, Mr. Secretary."