Lessons from the Charter School Disaster in Indianapolis

A teacher in Indiana's thoughts on returning to teaching in the public schools. Indiana has been taken over by the forces of corporate school reform, under a succession of Republican governors devoted to school choice: Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, now Eric Holcomb. The public schools got a brief respite when educator Glenda Ritz was elected State Commissioner in 2012, but Pence spent four years attacking [...]

The complex contexts behind the rising graduation rate in Los Angeles

In 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) reported a high school graduation rate just over 60 percent, almost 15 percentage points below the national average. The second-largest school district in the United States clearly struggled to serve its students, more than three quarters of whom receive free or reduced-price lunch and over a quarter of whom are English learners. After five years of [...]

What is Competency-Based Education?

In conversations about how to close skills gaps among their employees, learning and development leaders at large corporations may increasingly hear about the possibilities of competency-based education (or CBE). CBE is, as its name suggests, learning based on developing and demonstrating competence. While the details of individual CBE programs differ, all have one thing in common: prioritizing what a student can do over how much time they [...]

Studies Show School Choice Widens Inequality

School choice programs which allow parents to select the schools their children attend deepen educational inequality and fail to yield consistent learning gains, according to nine studies of choice initiatives coordinated by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Milwaukee this weekend. The two-year long research project [...]

Confessions of a Community College Dean

The state withdrawal from supporting higher education. If you haven’t yet seen David Leonhardt’s infographic on higher ed spending across the states since 2008, check it out.  Except for a few small states that rode the fracking boom, nearly every state still funds public higher ed at a lower level than it did in 2007. That holds true across regions, and across every variation of party control. [...]

Employers Say Work Ethic the Biggest Skills Gap

In College for America’s downloadable eBook,The Liberal Arts at the Office: Addressing the New Skills Gap, Matthew Hora, Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education at UW-Madison, discussed a recent survey on the alignment between workforce and postsecondary curriculum.   Hora and his team study what skills employers are looking for and how educational institutions are developing them. They particularly focus on how the skills [...]

4 Priorities for Attracting and Retaining Millennials

By 2020, millennials will make up more than one-third of the global workforce. That means you’ll have to hire millennials. But, multiple surveys have found that millennials are looking for several key qualities in the workplace and are willing to change jobs until they find them. Competitive pay, opportunities for learning, timely feedback, and flexible schedules are the priorities, and businesses need to provide them if [...]

The Coming Paradigm Shift in Competency-Based Education

Competency-based hiring is an approach to talent management that starts with identifying the particular skills required in a role and then prioritizing assessments or credentials that look for those skills. It promises to empower employers to align recruitment around business results, rather than around résumés. On the other hand, competency-based hiring also empowers students, workers, and schools to establish and follow clearer classroom-to-career pathways. As [...]