Renowned Scholars Examine Effective, Equitable School Reforms in New National Education Policy Center book


More NEPC Resources on Market-Based School Reforms

BOULDER, CO (July 28, 2016) – With chapters written by a who’s who of the educational research world—a collection of authors that Larry Cuban describes as “a cast of all-star scholars” and Gloria Ladson-Billings calls “some of the nation’s best minds”—the National Education Policy Center released its latest book: “Learning from the Federal Market-Based Reforms: Lessons for ESSA.” Editors William Mathis and Tina Trujillo brought these researchers together to create a critique of recent reforms followed by a series of proven, research-based reform strategies.

With states now finalizing their improvement plans for the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA), the book provides a timely guide for policymakers and practitioners.

Front coverPointing to the need to move beyond the discredited test-based, discipline-and-punish mentality, David Kirp says the volume makes a clear and convincing case for a genuine reform agenda. “It’s a must-read for anyone concerned about the quality of American education.”

Pedro Noguera adds, “This book points to what we must do differently if we are to succeed in providing all children an education that will prepare them for life in the 21st Century.”

Throughout the book, scholars such as David Berliner, Gary Orfield, Mike Rose, Janelle Scott, Richard Rothstein, and Angela Valenzuela remind us that reform requires us to address the root causes of inequities within schools and beyond the school walls, closing opportunity gaps wherever they arise. We must address deprivation, poverty, racism and the inadequate and unequal distribution of resources.

Among the federally promoted reforms examined in the book are school choice, testing, teacher evaluation and school reconstitution. Other chapters look at the research around class size, early education, adequate and equitable funding, community involvement, and detracking.

In its foreword, Jeannie Oakes praises the book as a tool for closing the gap between research knowledge and education policy decisions: “We must marry the best empirical evidence with efforts to shift cultural norms and increase the political power of those who are seen as the beneficiaries of research-based reforms. We must convince our communities, large and small, of the relationship between having better facts and being better people. . . . [W]e have this book to help.”

The book is available from Information Age Publishing here and from major booksellers.

EARLY ORDER SAVINGS – You can purchase the book on the IAP website at a substantially reduced price of $30 per paperback or $70 per hardcover plus s/h. The code to use at checkout is LFMBR30350.

The book will also be available as an eBook within the next 90 days from Google, Apple, and over 25 other online outlets.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at:

Press Release:

William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058,
Tina Trujillo: (510) 642-6272,

Source: Renowned Scholars Examine Effective, Equitable School Reforms in New NEPC Book | National Education Policy Center

Success in High School Doesn’t Mean Good Grades in College – The Atlantic

When the Value of High School Is Exaggerated

By EMILY DERUY, JUL 26, 2016

It turns out that students who take AP classes don’t actually get better college grades.

As more students pursue college, high schools are becoming increasingly bullish about enrolling students in advanced classes. These courses, the standard refrain goes, will prepare young people for the rigor of higher education and set them up for success as they embark on their college careers.

Not so fast, say a pair of researchers in a new Brookings Institution blog post. “We found confirmatory evidence that advanced high-school courses apparently do little to prepare students for success in college coursework,” write Gregory Ferenstein, a former TechCrunch reporter (who has also written for The Atlantic), and Brad Hershbein, a nonresident Brookings fellow and economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

It turns out that students who take AP classes don’t actually get better college grades.

The pair looked at thousands of high-school and college transcripts using the National Educational Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative survey of about 25,000 students that began in 1988. They found that, when they controlled for things like race, gender, socioeconomic background, and standardized-test scores, the courses that students took in high school had very little impact on college grades. In other words, if Tom took an economics class in high school, even an advanced one, and Joe did not, and then both young men enrolled in an economics course in college, they were likely to earn the same grade. Still, states are continuing to push more kids into advanced courses. “For some reason, the belief persists,” Hershbein said.


AP is okay for a few kids, but AP was never about helping kids, it was about creating a stream of new college customers & more jobs for college instructors. Send off all these 18’s to their two years national service and hand them a 2-year CC scholarship when they’re done. Sooner or later these bloated 4-year institutions will have to consolidate, downsize, or just close their doors anyway. – JLS

Read the full story here: College – The Atlantic

Schuette: Workers hid amount of lead in blood, water

Chain of command?
The question is, who ordered this cover up?
“You have two agencies manipulating reports on the same day,” said Special Prosecutor Todd Flood at the news conference.
Read more:

In the Hillary Clinton Era, Democrats Welcome Lobbying Money Back Into the Convention

The Democratic convention is over. But guess who helped pay for all those balloons? Those who have a financial stake in what Hillary Clinton eventually decides to do if she beats Donald Trump and becomes president. That’s who. In the Clinton era, unlimited contributions to the convention host committee are once again welcome from lobbyists and political action committees — reversing an anti-corruption measure put in place in 2008 by President Obama. Outside the convention hall, Wall Street celebrated. And inside, Bernie Sanders delegates kept pushing the party to adopt policies that serve the interests of ordinary Americans, such as opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Hillary Clinton broke the second-to-last glass ceiling of her life this week, and many women at the Democratic convention celebrated. But not all. “Representation actually matters,” one delegate told reporter Alice Speri. But another said, “We’d rather have a man who’s really representing us.” Regardless, both sides are preparing for Clinton’s nomination to provoke even more misogyny from Trump and his supporters.

Dan Froomkin
Washington Editor
The Intercept