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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 9, 2024

The Upside of the College Enrollment Downswing

Enrollment in education after high school peaked in 2010, with 21 million students enrolling in two-or four-year degree programs that fall. Since then, enrollment has steadily declined, and even projections that predict a modest increase in the coming years top out at 20 million enrollees in 2031. The steepest declines in enrollment were seen at two-year colleges,…

February 7, 2024

Elite Colleges Need to Offer Less Affirmation. And Insist on More Work.

Recently, I offered a not-so-sophisticated explanation for the histrionics we’ve seen at elite colleges: too many students are simply aimless, lonely, and bored. Well-meaning concern about the mental and emotional state of college students today has fueled a lot of affirmation and hand-holding. But much of this may ultimately be counterproductive, exacerbating fragility rather than supporting well-being….

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…

December 8, 2023

Biden’s Even Worse Version of “Free College”

The Biden administration has abolished the federal student-loan program, at least if a “student-loan program” is one in which students borrow money and then eventually repay it. What’s being erected in its stead is a scheme that’s rife with moral hazard, seemingly designed to inflate college costs, and best described as a “student-fraud program”—in which…

November 17, 2023

Male Malaise Is Not Just About ‘the Culture’

You are familiar with the litany of ills blighting our society: declining rates of work and marriage; rising rates of obesity and loneliness; soaring deaths of despair. All of these trends reflect the falling fortunesof the American male, a malaise magnified when we look at boys and men in poor and working-class communities. When the male malaise…

November 8, 2023

Perspective: The 4-Year Dividing Line

New survey shows the compounding benefits of college degrees. Here’s how to help those without degrees to catch up When it comes to jobs and work, the past three years have been among the most tumultuous in decades. From mass layoffs in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic to surging reemployment and wages as the country…

October 12, 2023

I Spoke to Arne Duncan About School Reform. Here Are 5 Takeaways

Last week, at the American Enterprise Institute, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and I sat down to talk about the future of school reform with The New York Times’ Erica Green (you can see the video here). Across town, at exactly the same time, Rep. Matt Gaetz and his gang of very online arsonists were…

October 6, 2023

After a Banner Year for School Choice, the Challenge Is to Ensure New Programs Work

The last few years have been historic ones for the school choice movement. Dozens of new programs have been adopted, existing programs have been expanded, education savings accounts (ESAs) have morphed from an oddity into a legislative reality, and new school models have flourished. But we’ve seen time and again that this kind of success…

September 22, 2023

Repairing the Damage Columbia’s Teachers College Did to American Kids Will Take Years

I’ve come to bury Lucy Calkins, not to praise her. Columbia University’s Teachers College announced this month what once seemed unthinkable: It’s “dissolving” its relationship with Calkins, sending the controversial literacy guru and her cash-cow publishing and consulting empire packing. The divorce came a few months after the New York City Department of Education made the…