Category Archives: education policy

book review: James Tooley’s “The Beautiful Tree”

I just finished James Tooley‘s “The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves,” which I had been meaning to read ever since it received some publicity from The Cato Institute upon their publishing it last year. Tooley is a lovely writer and an obviously thoughtful man, whose research in India, […]

on the non-normativity of value-added analysis

As you are likely to have heard by now, the Los Angeles Times recently conducted and published a value-added analysis of some of the city’s elementary school teachers, using data that had been collected by the school district but never previously analyzed in this way. There was a nice summary of the value-added analysis and […]

education, the state, and protecting children from ignorance

The other day, I started Education and the State by E.G. West. It is sometimes argued that state funded, state regulated, and state provided education is justified by the necessity of  protecting children from ignorance. So, West begins with two chapters exploring this argument philosophically and assessing how well this “protection” works in practice. These chapters […]

book review: Diane Ravitch’s “The Death and Life of the Great American School System”

I recently finished Diane Ravitch‘s book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.” This book has been getting quite a bit of attention even outside of educational circles so I figured I should read it. Ravitch is an historian of education and, viewed as a […]

what’s in a name? – labels and tracking

Yesterday, I discussed the issue of whether work-related language is appropriate for describing learning. Here’s another language in education controversy that has made it into the news lately: ‘At hope’ kids better than ‘at risk’?: Washington state lawmaker wants to banish negative labels The bill is motivated by the good-hearted desire for disadvantaged children to […]