Tag Archives: Hoover Institution

Let's Make Vocational Programs a Bigger Slice of School Choice Menu

You probably assume a prolific blogging prodigy like myself eventually will head to a prestigious 4-year university — maybe even with Doogie Howser-like potential. But what if when I turn 16 some day my heart is set on a career as a plumber or a chef? You wouldn’t deny me that, would you? Writing for the America’s Future Foundation, Liam Julian of the Hoover Institution says we could take a big bite out of our high school dropout problem by engaging more students in vocational education programs — particularly those that integrate academics directly with students’ career aspirations, providing greater relevance to many teens (H/T Heritage Insider): Imagine a 17-year-old who does not want to attend college (or at least not right away); who finds parsing Macbeth maddeningly immaterial; who yearns to learn a practical skill and put it to use; who feels his personal strengths are being ignored and wasted; who is annoyed by his school’s lackluster teachers, classroom chaos, and general atmosphere of indifference. Too often, such a pupil has no other options. He has no educational choice.

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Terry Moe Touts Power of Technology to Transform Politics of Education

Whether you’re an education policy junkie or a concerned parent or citizen who is new to the reform debate or anyone in between, you will find some insightful and provocative arguments in the new book co-authored by Drs. Terry Moe and John Chubb titled Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education. What’s most interesting about the book is that Moe and Chubb go beyond highlighting how technology can transform the delivery of instruction in schools. They argue that technology also holds the potential to transform the politics of education by weakening the ability most especially of teachers unions to block promising, student-friendly reforms. My Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow got the opportunity this week to interview Dr. Moe about his new book for an iVoices podcast (click on the play button to listen): The interview is almost 20 minutes long, but I think it will give you a good taste for what the book is about. Enjoy! In case you wondered, I have written before about the work of Terry Moe here and here (eerily, written exactly one year ago today).

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Terry Moe: Democrats and Effective Education Reform in the Balance

The best education read of the Thanksgiving week goes to the Hoover Institution’s Terry Moe, writing in the Wall Street Journal: Democrats are fervent supporters of public education, and the party genuinely wants to help disadvantaged kids stuck in bad schools. But it resists bold action. It is immobilized. Impotent. The explanation lies in its longstanding alliance with the teachers’ unions — which, with more than three million members, tons of money and legions of activists, are among the most powerful groups in American politics. The Democrats benefit enormously from all this firepower, and they know what they need to do to keep it. They need to stay inside the box. And they have done just that. Democrats favor educational “change” — as long as it doesn’t affect anyone’s job, reallocate resources, or otherwise threaten the occupational interests of the adults running the system. Most changes of real consequence are therefore off the table. The party specializes instead in proposals that involve spending more money and hiring more teachers — such as reductions in class size, across-the-board raises and huge new programs like universal preschool. These efforts probably have some benefits for kids. But they come at an exorbitant price, […]

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NewTalk's Star-Studded Discussion on the Future of No Child Left Behind

The times are changing in Washington, D.C. And that means federal education policy is on the table. What about No Child Left Behind? Should it be eliminated, or just modified? What is worth keeping, and what’s not? Starting today and going until Thursday, over at the NewTalk website, a group of education experts discuss the question: “Should we scrap No Child Left Behind?” The discussion is moderated by our good friend and prolific scholar Jay Greene. NewTalk is a project of the national legal reform group Common Good. Panelists include Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform, Neal McCluskey from Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom, the Hoover Institution’s Eric Hanushek, and Elaine Gantz Berman from the Colorado State Board of Education. Take some time in the next couple days to head over and check out the discussion, which is sure to be thoughtful and lively.

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