Readings on Education Policy

NYC HOLD: Honest Open Logical Decisions on Mathematics Education Reform

This page contains links to articles and news and opinion pieces that will be of interest to readers of the NYC HOLD web pages. The collection is edited and annotated by Bas Braams and NYC HOLD.


They Have Overcome: High-Poverty, High-Performing Schools in California, by Lance Izumi with K. Gwynne Coburn and Matt Cox (PRI, Sep 2002). In the footsteps of the Heritage Foundation's "No Excuses" reports the Pacific Research Institute looks at eight high-performing high-poverty public elementary schools in California (four of them in Inglewood) and asks why they succeed. Components include scripted, phonics-based reading instruction; strong academic content standards; teacher-centered instruction; frequent assessment; and discipline... [more] (PDF format)

A Ten-Point Agenda for Improving Education in California, by Lance T. Izumi (PRI, June 2002). Reform the State's accountability system; implement the school choice accountability option; adopt value-added testing; introduce merit pay; establish teacher testing; ensure that proven teaching methods and curriculum are used in schools; hold schools of education accountable; reform categorical programs; implement differential pay for teachers; reform collective bargaining... [more]

Time to Make Special Education "Special" Again, by Wade F. Horn and Douglas Tynan (May 2001). "[Unintended negative consequences of IDEA] include the creation of incentives to define an ever-increasing percentage of school-aged children as having disabilities, an enormous re-direction of financial resources from regular education to special education, and, perhaps most importantly, the application of an accommodation philosophy to populations better served with prevention or intervention strategies"... [more]. Part of a Fordham/PPI report.

Two Speeches, by Chris Woodhead (ELC, 010929; CPS, 011015). The former UK Chief Inspector of Schools touches on the National Curriculum, the Office for Standards in Education, trends in the A- and O-level examinations; schools choice, accountability, and competition; and the monopoly of anti-education ideas in the education establishment... [more] and... [more] (second article is in PDF format)

Higher Education: An International Perspective, by Richard P. Phelps, Greta L. Dietrich, Gabriele Phillips, and Kevin A. McCormack (2000). A comparative review of higher education systems. The review focusses on Best Practices in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States... [more]

Whole Language Lives On, by Louisa Cook Moats (2000). "What's going on in many places in the name of `balance' or `consensus' is that the worst practices of whole language are persisting, continuing to inflict boundless harm on young children who need to learn to read. How and why that is happening-and how and why such practices are misguided and harmful-are what this report is about"... [more]

No Excuses: Lessons from 21 High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools, by Samual Casey Carter (The Heritage Foundation, 2000). The report's condensed list of "best practices" deals with parental accountability; the hiring of teachers; regular standardized testing; focus on reading and mathematics; and good spending practices... [more] (PDF format)

No Excuses: Seven Principals of Low-Income Schools Who Set the Standard for High Achievement, by Samual Casey Carter (The Heritage Foundation, 1999). The Heritage's 1999 award of the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship went to principals Irwin Kurz (NY), Gregory Hodge (NY), Michael Feinberg (TX), David Levin (NY), Nancy Ichinaga (CA), Helen DeBerry (IL), Ernestine Sanders (MI)... [more] (PDF format)

Why Charter Schools? The Princeton Story, by Chiara R. Nappi (1999). "When parents in Princeton, New Jersey, became frustrated by the absence of clear standards of learning in their public schools, they first approached teachers and principals". That didn't go anywhere... [more]. The Princeton Charter School home page.

A Nation Still At Risk - An Education Manifesto, by Jeanne Allen of the CER, among others (April 30, 1998). Addresses the continuing mediocrity in American education 15 years after the "A Nation at Risk" report. The manifesto calls for a renewal strategy based on standards, assessment, and accountability; and on pluralism, competition, and choice... [more]

News and Views

The Shame of the AFT, by Chester E. Finn Jr. (The Gadfly, 020718). Review of the AFT report Do Charter Schools Measure Up? The Charter School Experiment After 10 Years. According to Finn the report "reeks of error, distortion and untruth about charter schools, how they're working, what effects they're having, what we know about them. It also reeks of politics and self-interest"... [more]

Debate Over the SAT Masks Perilous Trends in College Admissions, by Lee Bollinger (CHE, 020712). The President of Columbia University weighs in. While careful not to be controversial, he does distance himself from UC Chancellor Atkinson's position... [more]

How the [NYC] Mayor Should Fix the Schools, by Anthony P. Coles (City J., Summer 2002). Focus on a core curriculum; change the terms from teacher quantity to teacher quality; expand Charter options and encourage schools' choice; eliminate social promotion; dismantle the dual-language educational system; cut back on special education; create an accoutability system modeled on the NYPD's Compstat; create additional competitive schools at all levels. The author was Deputy Mayor in the Giuliani administration... [more]... [comment]

The War on Charter Schools, by Chester E. Finn Jr. (The Gadfly, 020418). The author supports the Charter movement, of course, but notes problems. "(a) too many feckless, inept authorizers [...]; (b) a small but visible group of greedy charter operators more interested in making a few bucks at state expense than running good schools for needy kids; and (c) ill-conceived state laws that starve charters of needed resources while not freeing them from enough of the red tape that binds conventional schools"... [more]

Why is Education So Hard to Reform?, by Chester E. Finn Jr. (The Gadfly, 020103). Nine reasons and associated recommendations: Need more local information about school quality; must hold schools accountable for academic outcomes; must hold individuals responsible for performance; need consumer choice; need competition among schools; need market principles in the personnel system; must get rid of fads; responsibility must be local; must expand school time for kids with social problems... [more]

Related Collections

Maintained by NYC HOLD

Math and Science Curriculum
Philosophy of Education
Standards and Assessment
Education Research
Education Policy

Maintained by Others

Illinois Loop, by Kevin Killion. Articles are organized thematically under these headings: Reading; Literature; Math; Science; Computers; Social Studies; Art and Music; Projects vs. Learning; Tests and Assessment; Textbooks; Homework; and several others.

Bastiaan J. Braams
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University