• May 03, 2012

    Five years after a team of researchers at Stanford University issued a massive study of California's public schools, concluding that the system needed much more money but also major reforms, a followup report from the University of California says there's been a lot of talk but not much progress.

    In fact, the new study says, school spending has dropped sharply, largely due to recession and state budget deficits, while politicians and educators discuss structural reforms but haven't been very successful in making them.

  • May 02, 2012

    As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, MIT Press has selected 50 influential articles published by them since 1969. "Teacher layoffs: An empirical illustration of seniority v. measures of effectiveness" by Donald Boyd, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff is one of these selected few.

  • May 01, 2012

    If we fail to reform K-12 schools, we will have slow growth and more income inequality.
    Over the past half century, countries with higher math and science skills have grown faster than those with lower-skilled populations. In the chart nearby, we compare GDP-per-capita growth rates between 1960 and 2000 with achievement results on international math assessment tests. The countries include almost all of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries plus a number of developing countries. What stands out is that all the countries follow a nearly straight line that slopes upward—as scores rise, so does economic growth. Peru, South Africa and the Philippines are at the bottom; Singapore and Taiwan, the top.

  • April 25, 2012

    Last week's Capitol Hill briefing by three national experts -- Sean Reardon from Stanford University, Peter Edelman of the Georgetown Law Center, and David Sciarra from the Education Law Center in Newark -- brought the realities of poverty's impact on education into stark relief. Mr. Reardon cited findings from his chapter in the recent Russell Sage compendium Whither Opportunity to demonstrate that our record and growing income gaps, combined with a tattered social safety net, fundamentally threaten the American Dream. Current U.S. education policies compound, rather than alleviate, these massive income disparities, putting equality of opportunity even further out of reach for large numbers of low-income American students.

  • April 23, 2012

    From Bill Gates to Arnie Duncan to Michelle Rhee, there's a lot of talk these days about what to do with our nation's teachers: Evaluate effectiveness. Raise salaries. Get rid of tenure. What we hear less about is keeping teachers in the classroom long enough to make a difference for their students. Teaching is at serious risk of becoming nothing more than a short-term, public service opportunity.

  • April 19, 2012

    In much the same way career coaches help executives reflect on their job performance and goals, student coaches talk with freshmen about studying, financial challenges, family issues, and long-term planning. Eric Bettinger, an associate professor at Stanford University’s School of Education, compared the academic records of more than 13,500 students; half had received coaching and half hadn’t. He found that freshmen in the coached group were 15 percent more likely to still be in school 18 to 24 months later. Coaches “actually call the student and aggressively go after them, rather than expecting the students to come to a service,” Bettinger says. “The information the coach brings into that conversation is pretty dramatic.”

  • March 27, 2012

    For the last 50 years, test scores between high-income and low-income children has grown by about 40 percent, according to a study published last year by Sean Reardon, associate professor of education at Stanford University. That gap is nearly twice the size of the achievement gap by student ethnicity, Reardon found.

  • March 26, 2012

    Partnering with 20 school agencies — representing school districts and organizations which oversee clusters of charter schools — Google is in the process of running a pilot program called the Google Talent Academy. Noting issues with keeping quality employees, the program aims to help senior school staff rethink the way they manage their staff. Led by Google’s people operations department, what they call human resources, teams of school officials are taught tactics for finding, training and keeping the right employees. Each organization is also given a $20,000 grant to implement one of the lessons. Among the pilot program’s participants is the Summit Public Schools, which currently oversees four charter high schools located in Redwood City and San Jose.

  • March 26, 2012

    In theory, teacher turnover could have either a positive or negative impact on students. On one hand, teacher turnover might produce better matches between schools and teachers and result in fresh perspectives. On the other hand, high teacher turnover could decrease student-teacher trust and interrupt institutional knowledge creation.

  • March 21, 2012

    When teachers leave schools, overall morale appears to suffer enough that student achievement declines—both for those taught by the departed teachers and by students whose teachers stayed put, concludes a study recently presented at a conference held by the Center for Longitudinal Data in Education Research. The impact of teacher turnover is one of the teacher-quality topics that's been hard for researchers to get their arms around. The phenomenon of high rates of teacher turnover has certainly been proven to occur in high-poverty schools more than low-poverty ones. The eminently logical assumption has been that such turnover harms student achievement.

  • March 16, 2012

    President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

    • Mark L. Asquino – Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Department of State
    • Derek H. Chollet – Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Department of Defense
    • Kathleen H. Hicks – Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Department of Defense
    • Susanna Loeb - Member, Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences
  • February 10, 2012

    Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.

  • February 08, 2012

    “In education, it is the worst of times and the best of times,” said Claude Steele, dean of the Stanford School of Education, at a lunchtime presentation Tuesday that discussed a partnership between Stanford and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Steele opened the event by stating that this “partnership is a model for how schools of education can relate to real school districts.”
    The panelists said that though school districts are facing budget cuts, changes in technology and educational research can make it possible to get rid of old deadwood methodologies that no longer work.

  • February 08, 2012

    The Stanford Challenge fundraising campaign raises $6.2 billion for a new model of research and teaching on the environment, human health, international affairs and other issues.
    Stanford University today announced the successful conclusion of The Stanford Challenge, having raised $6.2 billion to seek solutions to global problems and educate leaders for a more complex world.

  • December 01, 2011

    Education has long been the primary pathway to social mobility in the United States. The American Dream—the idea that one’s family origin is no barrier to economic success—is plausible to the extent that we believe that our schools provide all students with equal opportunity to develop skills that will enable them to succeed in our complex society. Without such opportunity, hope for social mobility dims.

    So when we ask whether America is becoming more or less equal, we should ask not only whether income and political power are becoming more unequally distributed (they are), but also whether the opportunity for social mobility is declining. We should ask whether children from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to

  • November 30, 2011

    CEPA unites an array of nationally prominent Stanford scholars with diverse perspectives and methodologies to forge fresh education policy approaches that are both pragmatic and proven. This fall, the center brought together four leading education policy experts from across campus—Susanna Loeb (education), Bill Koski (law), Michael Kirst (education), and Terry Moe (political science and the Hoover Institution)—to engage in a lively discussion on teacher unions at the inaugural CEPA Supper.