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. 3, Summer

Competition Passes the Test: Still More Evidence from Florida That Public Schools Improve When Threatened with the Loss of Students and Money
Do public schools respond to competition from private schools by improving the quality of instruction? This is one of the key questions in the voucher debate. Advocates of vouchers believe that public schools facing the threat of losing students and...
Driving Change: A Progress Report on Urban School Districts' Efforts to Execute the Mandates of No Child Left Behind
The leadership of America's large urban school systems supported the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) as the legislation was heading to the House and Senate floors because of its intent to improve performance and close achievement gaps. But at the same...
Faith in the Law: The Supreme Court Upholds Religious Discrimination
On February 25, I lost a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. I had lost at the district court level as well, but a victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had lifted my hopes. What's more, a ruling in my favor seemed a natural extension of the...
Lost at Sea; Time to Jettison One of the Chief Obstacles to Reform: The Local School Board
EARLY 20TH CENTURY PROGRESSIVE REFORMERS established elected school boards as a means of shielding public school systems from the politics and patronage of corrupt city governments. Citizens, rather than political dons or their favored appointees,...
One Child at a Time: An Inside Look at One City's Efforts to Offer Families the Opportunities Promised by No Child Left Behind
JAMES CARADONIO CAN BARELY CONTAIN HIS ODIUM for the federal government's latest efforts at education reform. The mere mention of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) sparks a tirade: "Reductio ad absurdum, you know. But this is what we're dealing with...
Portfolio Assessment: Carrying Less Weight in the Era of Standards-Based Accountability
At the Beacon School in Manhattan, the teachers and administrators thought they had resolved, at least to their satisfaction, the long national debate over how best to assess students' work. From the school's outset in 1993, Beacon's educators decided...
Putting Parents in Charge: Let's Promote Competition, High Standards, and Autonomy in K-12 Education. after All, It Worked for America's Colleges and Universities
In 1990, as the new president of the University of Tennessee, I was trying to understand what had made American colleges and universities the best in the world. I asked David Gardner, then the president of the University of California, why his university...
Steering a True Course: School Boards Are Coming under Increasing Attack, Yet They Are Needed Now More Than Ever. Who Else Will Set the Agenda for Reform?
HAVE SCHOOL BOARDS OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS? ARE THEY AN ANACHRONISM? To answer these questions, we must consider why most school districts consistently perform at mediocre levels--and why some districts fail children in vast numbers. The National...
The British Experience
IT HAS BEEN 16 years since Britain's Conservative government under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher introduced the Education Reform Act. The law created a national curriculum for all state-supported schools as well as a national system of student testing...
The Waiting Game: Graduates of New Leaders for New Schools Sport Enviable Resumes and a Zeal for Education Reform. but Will School Districts Give Them the Key to the Principal's Office?
ON THE FIRST Monday of the 2003-04 school year, Pablo Sierra was not where he hoped to be. Instead of greeting students as the new principal of a Chicago public school, Sierra was driving downtown for another round of meetings with district officials,...
What Mandates? School Districts Have Little to Gripe About
It's been said, more than once, that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a mandate that the federal government has failed to fund. Not true, in either respect. The law is neither unfunded nor, with one exception, much of a mandate. The funding...
With Strings Attached: The Notion of "Local Control" Has an Enduring Resonance in American Education, Yet the Law Gives State Officials the Upper Hand
In a December 2003 decision, a Colorado trial court judge invalidated the state's new school voucher program. The decision was unusual in that the court relied not on traditional separation-of-church-and-state concerns, but instead on a provision of...
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