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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…

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

College or Trade School? How About Both?

For too long, our debates on post-secondary education have taken a binary form: either “college for everyone” or “learn a trade.” But in an era when career trajectories are no longer linear, and when technology is rapidly and unpredictably evolving, the ability to adapt and acquire new skills is essential. What we need instead is a…

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 That program has been replaced by a perverse entitlement in which students borrow taxpayer funds,…

March 5, 2024

A Conservative Vision for Education Reform

For two guys who just published a book about the need for a conservative vision for education policy, San Francisco has been a gift that keeps on giving. When we were writing the book, the school board, which adamantly refused to reopen schools for nearly a year, instead (unsuccessfully) devoted its energies to renaming dozens of schools — including those named for…

February 29, 2024

Parents’ Rights, Yes. But Parent Responsibilities, Too

Americans disagree with one another about all manner of important topics when it comes to schools and schooling. That’s inevitable in a nation of more than 300 million people. And even good-faith disagreements will inevitably lead to a certain degree of conflict and strife. That’s part of what it means to live in a free…

February 23, 2024

Study What You Love or Study What Will Make You Money?

There’s a better way to think about—and talk to young people about—college. When it comes to education, adolescents and young adults face a dilemma: to follow their intrinsic interests or to choose a course of study they think (or have been told) will secure their economic futures. For most, to ask this question is to…

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 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…