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May 2, 2024

Q&A: A Conservative Vision for Education

We just published a new book, Getting Education Right: A Conservative Vision for Improving Early Childhood, K–12, and College. As the title makes clear, we unabashedly make the case for a conservative approach to education. But we think it’s important to clarify the kind of “conservatism” we have in mind. We’re not talking about politics. We’re not politicos…

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 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,…

February 22, 2024

Chronic Absenteeism Could Be the Biggest Problem Facing Schools Right Now

Chronic absenteeism has become a grim reality across the nation. Nationwide, chronic absenteeism nearly doubled from 15 percent in 2018 to 26 percent in 2023. How bad are these numbers, really, and how can schools respond? My friend and colleague Nat Malkus has the most recent available numbers in his Return to Learn Tracker. In addition,…

February 22, 2024

Education and the Right

Event Summary On February 22, Virginia Education Secretary Aimee Rogstad Guidera interviewed AEI’s Richard Hess and Michael Q. McShane about their new book, Getting Education Right: A Conservative Vision for Improving Early Childhood, K–12, and College. Dr. Hess and Dr. McShane discussed the opportunity for the right to step forward on education issues in the aftermath…

February 15, 2024

Conservatives Must Seize the Opportunity to Lead on Education. Here’s How…

Chaotic campuses rife with double standards about the kinds of speech that merit protection. A Biden administration determined to let student borrowers shrug off hundreds of billions in loans and stick taxpayers with the tab. Progressive states working to eliminate advanced math based on misguided notions of “equity.” Survey findings showing that, when asked about the purpose of civics education, more K–12 teachers mention…

February 14, 2024

Four States That Are Leading the Charge for Conservative Education

It’s looking like this year’s election will feature a Trump-Biden rematch — a pairing that’s especially frustrating for education, where the nation is wrestling with a raft of real problems: dismal student achievement, chronic absenteeism, chaotic classrooms, plunging confidence in higher education, and more.  The Biden administration makes clear that a party beholden to the teacher unions can’t do much…

February 7, 2024

The Past and Future of Education Reform

When the French statesman Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand was asked for his thoughts on the Bourbon royal family in exile, he replied, “Ils n’ont rien appris, ni rien oublié.” They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. The Bourbons hadn’t learned the lessons of the French Revolution or grasped what it revealed about their nation. Worse, they carried…