The world of publicly funded education is comprised of numerous institutions, agencies, organizations, and regulatory bodies.  They range from schools and colleges to teacher organizations, to vendors of books and desks, to academic interest groups. All share in the growth and prosperity of the multibillion-dollar industry of which they are a part.  All are stakeholders in the industry’s successes and failures. By contrast, the Education Consumers Foundation (ECF) is a non-profit organization that is financially and otherwise independent … Read More

National Board Certification: Is it worth the time and expense?

Studies pertaining to the effectiveness of NBPTS-certified teachers are ongoing. Here is a partial list. Advanced Teacher Certification http://www.education-consumers.com/Cunningham-Stone.pdf Evidence that there is any educationally meaningful advantage to certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is still lacking.  [Cunningham, G. K. & Stone, J. E. (2005). Value-added assessment of teacher quality as an alternative to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: What recent studies say.  In Robert Lissitz (Ed.). Value added models in education: Theory and applications. Maple … Read More

Why Tennessee Won: Tennessee’s Watershed RTTT Reforms and the Race for the Rest

By J.E. Stone, Ed.D. President Education Consumers Foundation April 7, 2010 On March 29, the U.S. Department of Education announced that Tennessee was one of just two states to receive a Race to the Top (RTTT) grant in the first phase of the competition. Within minutes – before reviewers’ scoring notes had even been released – pundits proclaimed that stakeholder buy-in, particularly union buy-in, was the determining factor. Their take and their skepticism were not unwarranted. In our … Read More

Other Recommended Reading

Selections that we’ve highlighted over the years. Is Teaching to the Test a Problem? It Depends… Richard Phelps, author of the classic Kill the Messenger:  The War on Standardized Testing, has written an article featured in the Autumn 2011 issue of the Wilson Quarterly. Among other things, he notes that “most of the problems with testing have one surprising source: cheating by school administrators and teachers.” Click here for more.   Test, Testing, and Genuine School Reform In this 2011 book, … Read More

Aligning Teacher Training with Public Policy

posted in: Briefings & Reports

by J. E. Stone Stone, J. E. (2000). Aligning teacher training with public policy. The State Education Standard, 1(1), 35-38.   The American Council on Education (ACE) recently issued a report calling for colleges and universities to either embrace independent assessment of the quality of their teacher education programs or to close them.[1] The Council, which represents American colleges and universities, fears that the weak academic standards maintained by teacher education programs will damage the reputations of their … Read More

Schoolbook Simplification

Schoolbook Simplification and Its Relation to the Decline in SAT-Verbal Scores (click here for full article) (Click here to download the PDF of this article) By Donald P. Hayes, Loreen T. Wolfer, and Michael F. Wolfe American Educational Research Journal, 33(2), 1996, pp. 489-508.   Briefing Eighth grade reading materials of today are no more difficult than the 5th grade texts of 1945. That is exactly what is reported in one of education’s most widely respected journals. Writing … Read More

Do Students Have Too Much Homework?

posted in: Briefings & Reports

(click here for full article) (click here to download the PDF of this article) Part II, Brown Center Report on American Education By The Brown Center on Education Policy The Brookings Institution   Briefing The Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution annually reports on the state of student achievement. Drawing on test scores and surveys, Part II of its 2003 report debunks the popular notion that students are being overwhelmed with homework. To the contrary, … Read More

Preparing Teachers

Preparing Teachers: Are American Schools of Education Up to the Task? (click here for information on event at which paper was presented) (Click here to download the PDF of this article) By David Steiner Boston University School of Education American Enterprise Institute   Briefing E. D. Hirsch, Chester Finn, the late Al Shanker and other critics have argued that faulty teacher training is a key contributor to school ineffectiveness. They say that the schools of education embrace “constructivism”—an … Read More

Sample Opinion 3

Teacher Training and Texas Education Reform: A Study in Contradiction Public Education Reform in Texas, December 7, 2000, The Driskill Hotel, Austin, TX. Abstract Parents, policymakers, and taxpayers want schooling that equips students with the knowledge and skills that are vital to subsequent learning and adult success. Most professors who train teachers do not agree. They believe teachers should employ an ideal form of teaching called learner-centered instruction (LC) -an approach that works best with ideal students. The … Read More

Three-year-old’s Traits Predict Personality at Age 26

Children’s Behavioral Styles at Age 3 are Linked to Their Adult Personality Traits at Age 26 (click here for full article) (Click here to download the PDF of this article) By Avshalom Caspi, et al, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London & University of Wisconsin-Madison Journal of Personality, 71(4), 2003, p. 496-513.   Briefing Teachers and parents of a shy, clingy preschooler may hope that their child’s behavior is just a phase. But what they’re more likely to … Read More

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