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The Historic Fairness of Standardized Admissions Tests

The SATs and ACT’s are particularly high-profile right now, in largest part because of ridiculously rich parents spending ridiculous amounts of money to feloniously insinuate their children into elite and not-so-elite universities and colleges.  Beyond accelerating perpetual arguments about the fundamental fairness of higher education admissions, the scandal also has provoked crisper conversation about the fairness of the tests themselves.  Further mixing things up have been news accounts about how various colleges and universities around the country have decided not to use either of the two tests at all. The aim of SATs and ACTs is gauging academic preparation and readiness...

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New Orleans’s education success story: A model worth following

The school reform efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 have been the largest and most complete experiment in charter school success. With a history of failing schools, low academic performance, misuse of finances, and leadership problems that predated the natural disaster, the New Orleans Parish school district had nowhere to go but up, and an all-charter school system led the way. As we celebrate National Charter Schools Week, we should reflect on New Orleans’s groundbreaking reforms and how they shook the foundation of American education and represent a model worth following. Photo Source: Getty Images...

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Divided legislature takes different approaches to education spending

Minnesota's divided legislature has to find common ground on education spending proposals and decide what level of state school funding school districts across Minnesota will receive before a May 20 deadline, according to the Star Tribune. The Star Tribune interviewed me for this article, but my comments did not make it into print. Here is commentary I shared during my interview....

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Comparatively Speaking, How Much K-12 Spending Goes to Teacher Salaries?

My friend Mike Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute in Washington, posed three intriguing questions the other day. “Even when calculated in constant dollars, and even after the Great Recession, the U.S. is spending dramatically more money per pupil than in decades past, yet teacher salaries have barely kept pace with inflation: Where is the money going, if not into salaries?” “How much could we pay teachers if we prioritized higher salaries instead?” And which states “have chosen to put the additional dollars into higher salaries instead of other options, such as smaller classes, employee healthcare and retiree benefits, or...

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