April 2014

The divide on how to educate fidgety boys: challenge them, let them run around or hire more male teachers?

David Leonhardt wrote about how U.S. boys are falling behind at school and later in the workplace in “A Link Between Fidgety Boys And a Sputtering Economy,” (NYT April 20, 2014).  He nicely summarizes the divide on what to do about it. Some scholars argue that it’s ridiculous to ask young boys to sit still […]


Can we use the same problem-solving tricks for classrooms that we use on the assembly line?

Back in the late 1950s the Japanese auto maker Toyota developed a novel approach for fixing problems on its production line:  root cause analysis. Rather than making a bandaid repair on a visible symptom, the idea was to ask a series of five “why” questions to get at the underlying root problem and fix that […]


One study says to get your associate’s degree before moving to a four-year college.

Here’s a perplexing study: students who start at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college are almost 50% more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree within four years if they get associate’s degree first. That’s according Peter M. Crosta & Elizabeth Kopko of  Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. We know from previous research […]


US DOE evaluation of Gates-funded Early College High Schools shows that low-income males more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college afterward

Back in 2013 a study, “Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study,” showed that low-income, minority students were showing remarkable results in a new kind of high school where students are marched through the first two years of college during their high school years. In the 10 schools studied, 86% of the […]


You can’t take it with you; more than 40 percent of community college transfer students unable to transfer their credits to a four-year school

Community colleges enroll about 40 percent of American undergraduates. But many question how rigorous the education is and doubt whether these two-year schools are properly preparing students for four-year degrees or good careers. Researcher after researcher has confirmed that students would be more likely to get a BA degree if they had started at a […]


Three things that will make a school bad: child abuse, homelessness and mothers who dropped out of high school

Conventional wisdom has it that schools with high concentrations of poverty are bad. But when a team of researchers led by Dr. John Fantuzzo from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) studied every third grader in the Philadelphia public schools, they found strong student achievement in some schools with high concentrations of […]


Ranking colleges by salaries of graduates

In March 2014 Payscale came out with its annual rankings of colleges based on how much graduates earn after 20 years. As before, there was a lot of grousing about the data. How can we trust the self-reported salaries of people who happen to choose to participate in the Payscale surveys? The #1 college — […]


US students rank better internationally on new problem solving test than they do on conventional math and reading exams

Here’s a modest test result to bolster the argument of those who say the American educational system isn’t so terrible. On a new creative problem-solving test taken by students in 44 countries and regions, U.S. 15-year-olds scored above the international average and rank at number 18 in the world. That’s much better than the below-average […]