Category Archives: education policy

social welfare, the handicapped, and special education

Common sense may suggest that increases in social welfare are more easily obtained by focusing resources on the mentally and/or physically handicapped, rather than using those resources instead to marginally improve non-handicapped individuals’ lives. The capabilities approach, as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, would also imply that resources are well-spent when devoted to […]

educational technology: the great teacher heterogenizer?

I finished this book, “Liberating Learning,” in the fall, and somehow forgot to post a review. Chubb & Moe are important players in education policy, having previously published influential work regarding school choice & competitive forces in education markets. This newer book is about technology and ways in which it can disrupt the structures and […]

I don’t care about the original intent of value-added models

I’m taking a break from end-of-semester madness to offer this mini-rant, inspired by a passage in this WP article, “Leading mathematician debunks value-added“: When value-added models were first conceived, even their most ardent supporters cautioned about their use [Sanders 1995, abstract]. They were a new tool that allowed us to make sense of mountains of […]

have your college and eat it too: consuming education

Today, I want to make what, to my economics-ish friends, are probably some painfully obvious points. However, I had never explicitly considered this angle on college/education before taking economics of education last semester, and I suspect that it’s something many others of even my rather intelligent friends and colleagues have also failed to consider in […]

garbage can model of ed policy: random, unpredictable, or both?

Ok, so yesterday I tweeted this: Annoying: when people conflate the difference between random and merely unpredictable processes. It received a fair bit of attention. This is my attempt to explain the context. Please bear in mind that I am neither a statistician nor a scientist of any kind. These are just my reflections on […]

a state guaranteed education?

The first comments that struck me while reading Harry Brighouse‘s interesting article, “What’s Wrong With Privatising Education?,” were the following, made in response to some arguments made by James Tooley in favor of privatizing schools: “Tooley himself sometimes endorses a principle that we might call the ‘Adequacy Principle’, that everyone has a right to a sufficiently […]

what is the significance of the Independent Project?

This New York Times article has been getting quite a bit of attention this week: “Let Kids Rule the School.” It’s about The Independent Project, a undertaking of 8 high schoolers in Massachusetts, who spent a semester successfully planning and working through their own individual and group curricula. You can read a fuller summary of […]

tax credits for homeschooling: initial thoughts

As I wrote recently, I’m currently in an ed policy class and doing my first real series of policy docs. After much deliberation, I have decided to analyze the prospect of NYC providing tax credits (or some other form of compensation) to families who homeschool their children. Although, to my knowledge, there is no serious […]

ed policy amateur hour

The biggest thing going on for me academically these days is that I’m taking my first education policy course. It’s this: HUDF 5645 Policy seminar I Conceptualization and identification of social and educational problems that can be subjected to policy interventions. Design and evaluation of alternative policy choices. Effective strategies for presenting policy analysis to […]

“Waiting for Superman”: in moderate defense of charters

You’ve probably heard about the much hyped documentary, “Waiting for Superman.”  If you haven’t, go read the synopsis. It’s basically about how terrible U.S. public schools are, how the teachers’ unions block meaningful reforms, and how charter schools are the answer. I had the chance to view WFS last week before its release, courtesy of […]