The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy
Thursday, August 24, 2017

I'm a researcher at university-based center that prides itself on following the evidence. That means I spend most of my time thinking about "what works." I'm not alone. Federal and state policymakers, advocacy groups, and philanthropists have spilt a lot of ink on the value of evidence.

Because I live and breathe evidence every day, I was recently struck by this excerpt from A. A. Milne's House at Pooh Corner:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

CRPE recently analyzed Denver’s portfolio of public schools—the curricular themes, instructional approaches, and extra programmatic offerings—as part of a new report (it also looked at New Orleans and Washington, D.C.). In this blog, Brian Eschbacher, Executive Director of Planning and Enrollment Services at Denver Public Schools, shares the district’s goals and progress using enrollment data to increase the diversity of options available to Denver families.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

As my family heads down to eastern Oregon today to watch the solar eclipse, I can't help but think about how different things might be if education policy was akin to astronomy. You see, while eclipses are rare events, they are entirely predictable ones—shaped by well understood physical phenomenon like the orbit of the earth around the sun and the moon around the earth.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Many respected national groups have recently set their sights on school choice as the new battlefront for disability rights. They are anywhere from open to highly skeptical to adamantly opposed to charter schools and private school choice, often aligning with teachers unions to try to block new proposals or to re-regulate existing policies.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In their efforts to expand school choice, city leaders have good intentions and lofty ambitions. They want to allow for diverse approaches to education, offering schools and programs that meet the demands and interests of a wide variety of students and families. They want to give both students and educators the opportunity to find their best fit. They want all children to have the chance to attend any school in the city, even if it isn’t in their neighborhood.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

District budgets are badly strained when many of their schools are under-enrolled. This is one of the biggest reasons that districts with growing charter enrollment hit financial hurdles. Meanwhile, charter schools can’t expand without access to facilities, and in a growing number of cities, suitable facilities are in very short supply. Understandably, charter leaders bristle when they are blamed for budget woes that may be easily solved by consolidating under-enrolled schools.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The portents of market failure—things like inadequate information and a lack of competition—are everywhere in public education. So, when it comes to school choice, government has an important role to play: reducing information asymmetries, bolstering accountability, and ensuring fairness. But the market for schooling also needs bottom-up, community action if it’s going to work for families in the real world. That point was evident at the recent Portfolio Network meeting hosted by CRPE in Camden, New Jersey.

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