Challenging charter critics, new study finds that as sector enrollment grows, so do test scores for black and Hispanic students
What happens to traditional school districts when charter schools come to town? Do they offer families new, high-quality educational options and help spread better teaching techniques? Or do they represent unwanted competition, swiping students and funding from districts until academic performance begins to suffer? It’s a debate that divides much of the education community and...
By Kevin Mahnken | September 30, 2019
Elite schools, prized by parents and politicians alike, may actually hurt disadvantaged students more than they help, new research shows
Applying to one of Chicago’s 11 selective enrollment high schools is a little like banking on the Bears to triumph at the Super Bowl: probably futile and, at times, downright depressing. The elite public schools, which admit students on the basis of high grades and exam scores, attract thousands of high-achieving applicants each year. In...
By Kevin Mahnken | September 9, 2019
Biden-Harris exchange makes busing a surprise focus of 2020 campaign. How will it affect the debate over integration?
So are the Democrats going to bus kids across town to integrate schools, or what? That’s the question that has captivated the political media the last two weeks. While the Trump administration has careened from one news cycle to the next, absorbing damaging headlines on everything from its treatment of detained migrants to the president’s...
By Kevin Mahnken | July 10, 2019
Lawmakers are trying to end a weird quirk of California’s charter school sector. Here’s why the state is so unusual
California legislators are considering a change to education law that would address a peculiar and controversial feature of the state’s charter school sector. The proposed fix is dredging up long-standing issues around how the state permits and oversees schools of choice. At present, California school districts have the option to authorize charter schools that don’t...
By Kevin Mahnken | July 8, 2019
Research shows that charter schools do best for California’s low-income and minority students. Now state officials are considering slowing their expansion
Updated California’s years-long debate over school choice has taken a decisive turn over the first few months of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s tenure — and the shift has come at the expense of charter schools. In February, Newsom convened a panel of experts to investigate whether charters siphon funding from school districts. The next month, he...
By Kevin Mahnken | June 9, 2019
Do charter schools have a leg up on teacher diversity? What a prominent new study out of North Carolina reveals about charters employing a more diverse mix of educators
This article is from The 74’s ongoing ‘Big Picture’ series, bringing American education into sharper focus through new research and data. Go Deeper: See the full series. Over the past few years, education researchers have coalesced around a striking, if somewhat unpalatable, observation: Kids learn more from teachers of their own race. A decade of studies from...
By Kevin Mahnken | June 4, 2019
Brown v. Board at 65: Will schools ever be integrated?
Brown v. Board of Education has been called the Supreme Court’s finest hour, and it is perhaps the most critical single event in the history of American education. In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court swept aside more than a half-century of legal segregation, paved the way for the groundbreaking civil rights legislation of the 1960s...
By Kevin Mahnken | May 22, 2019
KIPP weighs in on Higher Education Act rewrite, calls on Congress to make college more accessible to low-income kids
In a report released today, the KIPP Foundation called on Congress to make college more affordable and help students begin a path to finding good careers. By using federal money to pay for more high school guidance counselors and expand already-successful college completion programs, the organization said, lawmakers could open the door to millions more...
By Kevin Mahnken | May 8, 2019
11 charts that changed the way we think about schools in 2018
Education can look static when viewed from 30,000 feet. Every year, tens of millions of kids enroll in public schools, most moving on to the next level in June. Change comes slowly, if at all. And certain verities — whether held by lawmakers, parents, or teachers — have always held true. But every year, a...
By Kevin Mahnken | January 1, 2019
New poll finds teachers are unlikely to recommend their profession and are disillusioned with parents and school boards
American teachers are less enthused about their jobs than are local politicians or active-duty military personnel, according to the 2018 EdChoice Schooling in America Survey. After a year that saw educators revolt over low pay, and teachers unions seriously weakened by a landmark Supreme Court decision, the survey also found the profession disillusioned with parents...
By Kevin Mahnken | December 4, 2018