Student Accountability and Assessment Edition

Where We Stand and Where We’re Headed With U.S. Graduation Rates

Where We Stand and Where We’re Headed With U.S. Graduation Rates

By David Casalaspi   The United States graduation rate is at an all-time high, with 82.3% of high school seniors graduating last year. At this point, it is not inconceivable that we could achieve a long-standing national goal of having a 90% graduation rate by 2020. But despite the good news, a 2016 report by… Read More »

New Research on the Plight of Homeless Students

New Research on the Plight of Homeless Students

By David Casalaspi   We often talk about achievement gaps on this blog (see here) and elsewhere in the world of education (see here). Indeed, the alarming differences in performance between students of different racial, socioeconomic, language, and disability backgrounds has set off a spate of education reforms over the past two decades. But in… Read More »

SAT For All, But High Performance Too?

By David Casalaspi   Each year, more and more states are requiring all high school students to take one of the two major college-entrance exams: the SAT or the ACT. While most of these states simply require their students to take the test as a way to boost college readiness, some states even use the… Read More »

Distortion in A-F Accountability Scales

Distortion in A-F Accountability Scales

By David Casalaspi   Today, every state in the U.S. is required by federal law to produce annual report cards showing how each school is doing in terms of student achievement. However, states are free to design their accountability report cards as they please. As a result, there are a variety of different accountability report… Read More »

Carnage and Hyperbole in American Education

Carnage and Hyperbole in American Education

By David Casalaspi   It is time to stop overdramatizing the present condition of American education. To hear some people tell it, going to school in this country is like taking a subway ride in Calcutta during a smallpox outbreak. In his inauguration speech on Friday, Donald Trump used schools as evidence of national decay:… Read More »

Testing and Accountability for Public Power

Testing and Accountability for Public Power

By David Casalaspi   Testing and accountability policy has consistently been held up as a way to empower parents, especially in poor neighborhoods. Give parents clear, objective information about how schools are doing, and schools, facing complaints from parents and shrinking enrollments as parents opt to send their children elsewhere, will be pressured to reform… Read More »

How Parents Grade Schools Locally and Nationally

How Parents Grade Schools Locally and Nationally

By David Casalaspi   In September, Phi Delta Kappan International released its 48th annual “Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.” Just as in previous years, the poll found a sharp divergence between how members of the public view the schools in their own community and how they view the American school system… Read More »

A is for Average (or even Awful)

A is for Average (or even Awful)

By David Casalaspi   It’s the time of year when holiday cards start appearing in mailboxes and distant friends and relatives take the opportunity to fill us in on the exciting new details of their lives. New jobs, new cities, new houses, new partners, and of course, new children. In fact, after the requisite work-a-day updates,… Read More »

The Day Education Failed

The Day Education Failed

By David Casalaspi   For decades now, public discussion about education has been erroneously fixated on economics. Schools, the argument goes, are critical for the development of human capital. Their most important function is to create a highly skilled workforce which can in turn produce economic growth, international competitiveness, and individual prosperity.  This is the… Read More »