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April 11, 2024

The Right Has an Opportunity to Rethink Education in America

The casual observer can be forgiven if it looks like both the left and the right are doing their best to lose the debate over the future of American education. On the left, public officials and self-righteous advocates practically fall over themselves working to subsidize and supersize bloated bureaucracies, hollowed-out urban school systems, and campus…

April 3, 2024

School Absenteeism Has Become A Big Problem. But We Can Do Something About It.

Chronic absenteeism has become a pressing challenge for the nation’s schools. The stories are ubiquitous, featuring headlines like last week’s New York Times’s front-pager “Why School Absences Have ‘Exploded’ Almost Everywhere.” In Alaska, 43% of students were chronically absent in 2022-23 (meaning they missed at least 10% of the school year). In Oregon, the figure was 38%; in Nevada, 35%….

March 28, 2024

Finally, a Chance to Start Getting Higher Ed Right

“Finally.” It’s a word those who’ve spent years sounding the alarm about the plight of higher education have been saying a lot lately. Finally, the thought-policing and groupthink have become undeniable. Finally, the cost of toxic dogmas is coming clear. Finally, the bloat and cartel-like behavior is being seen for what it is. The train-wreck…

March 26, 2024

Reading Scores Have Plunged Since the Pandemic. What This Senator Wants to Do About That

The ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Bill Cassidy has represented Louisiana in the upper chamber since 2015. Cassidy recently released a much-discussed report, “Preventing a Lost Generation: Facing a Critical Moment for Students’ Literacy.” As schools struggle to address learning loss, and at a time when “the nation’s report…

March 19, 2024

Getting K–12 Right

Event Summary On March 19, Louisiana State Superintendent Cade Brumley, Nicole Neily of Parents Defending Education, and Derrell Bradford of 50CAN joined AEI’s Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane to discuss how conservatives can lead in K–12 education and make meaningful progress on addressing contemporary challenges. The conversation drew heavily from Dr. Hess and…

March 11, 2024

Taking On the College Cartel

The venerable economist Milton Friedman once said, “Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change.” That’s the impulse behind Winston Churchill’s admonition (later famously echoed by Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel): “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Well, welcome to the world of American higher education. Crippling tuition, bloated bureaucracies, huge rates of…

March 11, 2024

Louisiana’s FAFSA U-Turn Signals That “College-for-All” Has Peaked

Fifteen years ago, AEI’s ever-prescient Charles Murray argued in Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality that too many students were going to college—that “college-for-all” loomed too large in K-12 schooling, distorted our priorities, and had fueled the neglect of career and technical education. That take was noxious to education advocates, philanthropists,…

March 11, 2024

Why Educators Often Have It Wrong About Right-Leaning Parents

Three decades ago, John Gray’s mega-hit book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, sold 15 million copies. The premise was simple: When we see the world in different ways, it’s easy to misunderstand or talk past one another. That insight applies emphatically in today’s very online world. In polarized times, it’s all too easy to…

March 6, 2024

It’s Time to Scrap the Federal Student Loan Program

It may come as a surprise, but the Biden administration has effectively abolished the federal student loan program. Well, at least if a “student loan program” is understood as one in which students borrow money and then eventually repay it. That program has been replaced by a perverse entitlement in which students borrow taxpayer funds,…