Columnists

If girls are bad at math, should we blame their mothers? – Education Article

Girls in biased homes performed worse on math tests, study finds. Jackie Mader/The Hechinger Report There are loads of theories for why girls tend to do worse in math than boys, from differences in innate ability to discrimination by teachers. Many argue that our culture discourages girls from excelling at math. Now a team of economists has produced a study that calculates how a family’s attitudes about women can impede girls’ math achievement at school. Specifically, in the state of…

Read More

When OK attire depends on your skin color – Education Article

Every day educators teach students the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Many are familiar with the biblical verse, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed that one day we’d live in a nation where children (and their parents) “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” All of these sayings are saying the same thing — yet what does it say about us…

Read More

Weakest students more likely to take online college classes but do worse in them – Education Article

  Online college classes and degrees give working adults a lot of flexibility in furthering their educations but there’s a big policy debate over whether students are learning much. According to the most recent federal statistics from 2016, roughly one out of every three or 6.3 million college students learned online. That number is growing even as fewer people are going to college. About half of them were enrolled in online degree programs and take all of their classes on…

Read More

Immigrants learned English in half the time when they were held back in third grade – Education Article

In a large scale study of 40,000 English language learners in Florida, those who were held back in third grade learned English substantially faster and took more demanding classes in subsequent years. Jackie Mader/The Hechinger Report Making struggling students repeat third grade is an increasingly popular idea. Back in 1998, California was the first state in the nation to require students to repeat third grade if they couldn’t read at a basic level, as measured by the state’s annual tests. Another 15…

Read More

To un-muzzle upstart Negros, we need black-owned news media – Education Article

When I was a newly minted college professor in New Orleans in the winter of 2004, I began writing regular editorials for the Louisiana Weekly, a newspaper devoted to the city’s black community. Whereas the Times-Picayune society pages bore little resemblance to my adopted majority-black city, the writers and editors of the LA Weekly ensured the faces and voices of local heroes like the late activist Dyan French Cole, better known as Mama D, were well-represented. Whereas mainstream publications in…

Read More

Recessionary cuts in public education restored by 2015-16 – Education Article

  National Center for Education Statistics blog, December 2018 In a December 2018 report, the U.S. Department of Education quietly noted an important milestone for the nation’s 50 million children who attend public schools: spending by state and local governments, on average, was strong enough during the 2015-16 school year to return annual per-student spending to what it had been before 2008-9 recession and even grew above the pre-recession peak. According to the government’s report, education spending rose for the…

Read More

Students are supposed to read The Scarlet Letter, not wear it – Education Article

At the start of the 2018-19 school year, every student at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Ariz. was issued a color-coded ID badge.* In the past, red badges denoted a student’s rank as an underclassman. Juniors and seniors wore gray badges. Beyond distinguishing between older and younger students, color coding provided a sense of progression, rank and seniority. However, last year the school decided to take a different direction in categorizing students. Mingus Union forced academically underperforming students to…

Read More

Five years after Common Core, a mysterious spike in failure rate among NY high school students – Education Article

Five years after teaching to Common Core standards in New York State, 60 percent of English Language Learners failed the algebra Regents exam. They were part of a mysterious 13,000-student spike in the number of students failing the exam in 2017-18. Jackie Mader/The Hechinger Report Back in 2013, when New York was one of the first states in the nation to adopt Common Core standards and administer tougher tests, children’s test scores initially plummeted. Then, as teachers had time to…

Read More

The problem with high-stakes testing and women in STEM – Education Article

In New York City, there’s a big debate over who should gain admittance to eight elite public high schools, including the well-known Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science. Currently, Asian-American students score high enough on an entry exam to win a considerable majority of the seats. Mayor Bill de Blasio and a new school chancellor want to bring in more black and Latino students, who make up most of the city’s school population. This tension between demographics…

Read More

Bold, progressive ideas, like quality Pre-K, aren’t unrealistic – Education Article

Universal pre-K, which was once considered a pipedream for liberal Democrats, is coming closer to reality — because predominantly white conservatives in the deep red state of Alabama have decided to dream along with liberals. After decades of lobbying by early childhood advocates, local businessmen agreed to fund individual programs and initiatives, and used their influence with the staunchly Republican legislature to increase state spending on pre-K in 2012 by $9 million, up 47 percent from the year before. In…

Read More