Category Archives: education

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 […]

book review: Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society”

Ivan Illich‘s “Deschooling Society” is a classic in the alternative education scene, so I had been meaning to read it for ages and finally did. The book has seven shortish chapters, and is a pretty quick read. The first chapter, “Why We Must Disestablish School,” is very clearly the strongest one. Illich argues that institutionalized […]

abolishing schools of education, or MacIntyre on the non-practice of education

Recently, someone brought to my attention this article on abolishing schools of education. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity argues that we should doubt the value of schools of education: holders of degrees in education do not seem to be any more effective at teaching than non-education majors, because the schools sometimes try 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 […]

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 […]

plagiarism, etiquette, and morality

Plagiarism by college students has gotten some attention in the New York Times lately, and it occurs to me that I have dropped the ball on a series of posts about plagiarism that I started earlier this summer. Although I had planned to write other stuff next, I’m instead going to allow myself to be […]

Teachers College & social justice

Recently, Adam Kissel of FIRE (who I recently started following on Twitter) asked me: “What do you think about Teachers College’s idea that one isn’t qualified to be a teacher without believing in social justice?” I had previously seen FIRE’s roundup on free speech issues with TC, I think before I had even accepted my […]