• November 26, 2012

    Recent school reform talk has focused importantly on teacher evaluations and on using evaluations for personnel decisions – both positive and negative. But this discussion is almost always too narrow. We should never focus exclusively on teacher evaluations without also including administrator evaluations.

    Parallel attention to administrator evaluations is essential for two reasons. First, it appears that principals have a very significant impact on student outcomes that cannot be ignored as we attempt to improve our schools. Second, it is important that administrators and teachers are working for the same outcomes, particularly when performance incentives are involved.

  • November 18, 2012

    A benefit of the attention to class-based admissions policies is the spotlight it puts on how much education from kindergarten through college favors students with economic and social advantages. Those from the top fifth of households in income are at least seven times as likely to go to selective colleges as those in the bottom fifth. The achievement gap between high- and low-income groups is almost twice as wide as between whites and blacks.

  • November 15, 2012
  • November 15, 2012

    Amid all the hyperbolic proclamations that massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are poised to take over the educational universe, dispassionate and well-trained minds are needed to assess just exactly what is going on with digital and online learning and what we can reasonably expect.

    Funny how the Stanford School of Education reached that same conclusion. Throughout this academic year, a 1-unit course called Education's Digital Future (EDF) is bringing together students, faculty and professionals from Stanford and its community to study how digital education works and which models work better.

  • November 12, 2012

    The teaching diversity gap—there are proportionately fewer minority teachers than minority students nationwide—has been the target of programs aimed at bringing more minorities into teaching. But there's been less attention to the way race affects potential school leaders' pathways to principalship. Given that most principals have taught at some point, you might expect that the principal force would be just as disproportionately white as the teaching force. But it turns out that's not the case.

  • October 31, 2012
  • October 29, 2012

    What would a Romney or Obama presidency mean for schools and universities? At Stanford's Education and Society Theme dorm recently, Hoover Fellow Eric Hanushek and School of Education Professor Emeritus Michael Kirst waded through the candidates' proposals.

    Education briefly took center stage at the second presidential debate, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama trading jabs over school budgets and teaching jobs. And with debates about college tuition, K-12 funding, teachers unions and a swarm of other issues still raging, there's no question that education issues will fill the plate of whichever candidate wins the Oval Office.

  • October 25, 2012
  • October 24, 2012

    In this seminar Sean Reardon from Stanford University will addresses this question. First, he will describe trends in the “income-achievement gap” (the test score gap between children from low and high income families). The evidence shows that the association between income and achievement has grown by 40 percent in recent decades, while the association between race and achievement has held steady or even declined. Second, he will describe trends in the relationship between family income and the quality of colleges in which students enroll.

  • October 17, 2012

    Online Ph.D. made the Top 100 Sites by and for Master’s and PhD Candidates to showcase the academic challenges and successes of Master's and PhD candidates who have decided to share their stories online, in the hopes that future students in these fields will take inspiration from the work of those that came before them.

    College Puzzle Blog by Michael Kirst is dedicated to help students succeed through higher education. Blog topics cover areas such as: how to prepare students for higher education, how online education can be beneficial for certain students, and more. It’s chosen as one of the Top 100 Sites by and for Master’s and PhD Candidates

  • October 13, 2012

    THE HAMPTONS, A string of small towns on the south shore of Long Island, have long been a playground for America’s affluent. Nowadays the merely rich are being crimped by the ultra-wealthy. In August it can cost $400,000 to rent a fancy house there. The din of helicopters and private jets is omnipresent. The “Quiet Skies Coalition”, formed by a group of angry residents, protests against the noise, particularly of one billionaire’s military-size Chinook. “You can’t even play tennis,” moans an old-timer who stays near the East Hampton airport. “It’s like the third world war with GIV and GV jets.”

  • September 20, 2012

    Congratulations to Ken Shores for receiving the PACS PhD Fellowship. Ken is a doctoral candidate in the Administration and Policy Analysis program at Stanford University. He received his B.S. in Economics from the University of Rhode Island in 2003. Prior to coming to Stanford, he was a teacher for five years in Pueblo Pintado, a small Navajo community in the northwest region of New Mexico. He also taught for two years in Quito, Ecuador. Ken studies patterns and trends of educational inequality and the political tools at our disposal for addressing these inequalities. His current work investigates the effects of court-ordered school finance reform.

  • September 20, 2012

    Congratulations to Agustina Paglayan for receiving the Graduate Public Service Fellowship. Agustina is a doctoral student at Stanford University, where she is pursuing a self-designed program in the Political Economy of Education, a master’s degree in Political Science, and the Stanford Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Education Policy Analysis. Agustina studies how governance and political economy issues affect which education policies are adopted and whether they succeed in improving the quality of education systems.

  • August 28, 2012

    It’s a well-established fact that the rich are growing richer and the poor are growing poorer, and that there are fewer and fewer people in between. What’s not so well known is how that income gap may be translating into disparities in educational success––and what that might mean for the long-term future of individuals, economically challenged groups, and our entire nation.

    A recently published study by Professor Sean Reardon is sounding alarm bells. Reardon has found that the gap in test scores between the highest and lowest-income students has grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s and is now nearly twice as large as the black-white achievement gap.

  • August 21, 2012

    When a Stanford University scholar displayed the first slide in his presentation on college football and university status systems, an audience member who was a loyal Cardinal fan challenged him. Why, she asked, would a Stanford professor lead off with a slide showing the football stadium of the University of California at Berkeley?

    The comment was a joke. But it was a perfect illustration of one part of the paper presented here at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association -- namely, that in the United States, a major part of the identity of American colleges and universities is linked to athletics and, specifically, to football. But the paper argues that traditional explanations for why American universities are so football-obsessed are wrong. Further, the paper offers evidence that universities that join top athletic conferences not only improve their sports programs, but may see academic improvements as a result.

  • August 08, 2012