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May 4, 2024

Make Parents Pay for Kids Who Miss School To Curb Chronic School Absenteeism

The COVID pandemic has ebbed, but one of its most damaging long-term effects has not. Chronic school absenteeism — collateral damage from students accustomed to staying home for alleged online learning — persists across the country. In New York City, a stunning four in 10 students — some 353,000 — were chronically absent, for the last full school year…

May 2, 2024

A New Lost Generation: Disengaged, Aimless, and Adrift

More than a quarter of America’s school-aged children were absent from school 10 percent or more of the time last year. There’s no shortage of explanations on offer for this surge in “chronic absenteeism,” mostly blaming the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath: lockdowns; lowered expectation; health and hardship; bullying and school safety issues. Remote learning…

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 “Case for Curriculum” Is about Reducing Teachers’ Workload

Last weekend, I gave a talk at the U.S. ResearchEd conference in Greenwich, Connecticut, on “The Case for Curriculum,” based on a paper I wrote for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, which was published this week at The 74. But truth in advertising forced me to come clean with my audience: The case for curriculum is in equal measure the case for making the…

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 14, 2024

The “No Excuses” Model Is Due for a Renaissance

In a dispatch over the weekend, the New York Times took note of the rise of “super strict schools in England,” marked by “strict routines and detentions,” silent corridors, and “zero-tolerance” policies for even minor student misbehavior. The focus of the piece is London’s legendary Michaela Community School, which has posted the highest rate of academic progress in the…

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…