June 2014

What makes for happier teachers, according to international survey

  Teachers who say they get included in school decision-making and collaborate often with other teachers are more likely to say that teaching is a valued profession in their society.  In turn, these same teachers report higher levels of job satisfaction and confidence in their ability to teach and to motivate students, according to a 2013 […]


Study finds taking intro statistics class online does no harm

  Online education has grown so fast that more than a third of all college students — more than 7 million — took at least one course online in 2012. That’s according to the most recent 2014 annual survey by the Babson Research Group, which has been tracking online education growth since 2002. Yet nagging […]


Measuring the cost of federal student loans to taxpayers

Soaring student loan debt seems to be the next crisis waiting to explode. Universities keep jacking up their tuition and the U.S. government keeps financing it through a seemingly unlimited supply of student loans. As I’ve written before, student loans exceed $1 trillion and more than 11 percent of student loan balances are 90+ days delinquent […]


Controversial data-driven research behind the California court’s decision to reject teacher tenure

Underlying the California court’s decision on June 10, 2014 to reject teacher tenure as unconstitutional is a controversial body of academic research on teacher effectiveness.  The argument that won out was that tenure rules often force school districts to retain their worst teachers. Those ineffective teachers tend to end up at the least desirable schools […]


National student database controversy heats up again

This Inside Higher Ed piece by Libby Nelson explains the new push in Washington to create a national student database that would track students through college and into the work force. The idea, sometimes referred to as a “unit record data,” was originally proposed by the Bush Administration in 2005, but critics, citing student privacy concerns, were […]


Poverty among school-age children increases by 40 percent since 2000

  One in five school-age children lived in poverty in 2012, compared to about one in seven children back in 2000. That’s a 40 percent jump in child poverty in the last dozen years. A household of four people with less than $23,283 in income in 2012 was defined by the Census Department as poor.  This […]