Education Next

A quarterly scholarly journal of the Hoover Institution that explores issues relating to education policy and K-12 education reform in the United States.

Articles from Vol. 4, No. 4, Fall

A Stranger in Two Worlds: Moving from Segregated to Integrated Schools Proved to Be a Mixed Blessing
In 1960 my world changed radically when, as a 2nd grader at P.S. 121 in East Harlem, I learned that I was among a group of students who would help fulfill the integration mandate of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. My principal and teacher...
Fallin Behind: As Children Move through School, the Black-White Achievement Gap Expands
On average, black students typically score one standard deviation below white students on standardized tests--roughly the difference in performance between the average 4th grader and the average 8th grader. Historically, what has come to be known as...
How Vouchers Came to D.C.: The Inside Story of the Bush Administration's Successful Effort to Bring School Choice to the Nation's Capital
"We walk away from these kids in every regard. We never fix these schools," said a disgusted Rep. Richard K. Armey (R-Texas). The date was May 23, 2001, and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had rejected a proposal to fund a pilot...
Netting an Elusive Breed: Disadvantaged Schools Need Better Teachers. Here's How to Attract and Retain Them
If there is one lesson I learned before being elected governor of Virginia in 2001, it is that the most important asset of any enterprise is the talent and enthusiasm of its workforce. In operating a successful business, there is no greater challenge...
School Inflation: The Dramatic Growth in School Size during the 20th Century Yields Evidence That Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better
"How much of our academic talent can we afford to waste? If the answer is 'none,' then ... the elimination of the small high school through district reorganization and consolidation should have top priority." --James Conant, president of Harvard University,...
Selling Supplemental Services: Can School Districts Regulate the Growing Tutoring Industry While Also Serving as a Major Provider?
During the summer of 2002, Martha Fritchley was leafing through the Yellow Pages in search of tutoring firms. As an assistant superintendent of the Hall County school system in Georgia, Fritchley needed to enlist firms to tutor children in four underperforming...
Technical Difficulties: Information Technology Could Help Schools Do More with Less. If Only Educators Knew How to Use It
In 2000, at the height of the technology boom, Maine governor Angus King made a splash by proposing to give laptops to all of the state's 7th graders. His stated purpose was to "do something different from what everybody else is doing." Missing from...
The Brown Irony: Racial Progress Eventually Came to Pass-Everywhere but in Public Schools
Oliver Brown, on behalf of his daughter, Linda, sued a school board, not a public park commission or state-run railroad, though throughout the South these public facilities were no less segregated than schools. Within the private sector as well, discrimination...
The Days before Brown: Growing Up in Segregated Schools
During the early 1950s, in the era before Brown v. Board of Education, I attended W. S. Creecy High School in Rich Square, North Carolina. Because of the state's segregated school system, W. S. Creecy's students were all black. W. S. Creecy was...
The Detracking Movement: Despite the Efforts of the Educational Progressives, Tracking Remains Standard Practice
The practice that has come to be known as "tracking" began as a response to the influx of immigrant children into America's schools during the early 20th century. To educate this newly diverse student population, school officials thought it necessary...
The Human Touch: In the Rush to Place a Computer on Every Desk, Schools Are Neglecting Intellectual Creativity and Personal Growth
In 1922 Thomas Edison proclaimed, "I believe the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks." Thus began a long string of spectacularly...
The Struggle Continues: Brown V. Board of Education Ended Legally Sanctioned Segregation, but the Decision's Promise Awaits Fulfillment
Relatively few people, black or white, who know anything about the reality of race relations in America during the 1950s would contest the revolutionary nature of the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. However, 50 years later,...
Will Vouchers Arrive in Colorado? the Legislature Enacts a New Voucher Law-And the Courts Say, Not So Fast
In April 2003 the Colorado legislature created a school voucher program that has the potential to become one of the largest in the nation. Initially the number of children eligible for vouchers will be limited to 1 percent of the student population...