The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

22 years ago, I published a RAND report, Reinventing Public Education, urging that all public schools operate under contracts with public officials. (This later grew into a book with the same title written with Larry Pierce and Jim Guthrie.) The core argument came from my earlier studies on school effectiveness—that every public school needed a specific contract about its mission, freedoms, and performance expectations.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I live in Seattle, a deeply "blue," progressive city. There are a lot of great things about being surrounded by people passionate about public policy and willing to exert their political muscles to fight for the things they care about, whether that may be protesting the Trump administration's immigration policy or fighting for a higher minimum wage.

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.

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