On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Freeman Hrabowski. Nat and Freeman discuss Black students in STEM, the state of free speech on college campuses, university spending and how to keep costs down, whether high schools are doing a good enough job of preparing students for college, the NCAA tournament, campus culture, the value of collaborative teamwork, how to improve graduation rates, multibillion-dollar university endowments, and more.

Freeman Hrabowski served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) from 1992 until earlier this year. Under his leadership, UMBC became the nation’s number one college in terms of the number of Black students it graduates who later earn a Ph.D. in the natural sciences and engineering—an especially impressive feat when you consider that UMBC’s undergraduate enrollment is only about 11,000 and that Black students make up slightly less than 20% of that number. During Hrabowski’s tenure, UMBC also more than doubled graduation rates, earned the #1 ranking in US News’s list of up and coming universities for six consecutive years, and won the biggest upset in the history of March Madness.

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Doug Lemov. Nat and Doug discuss cellphones and social media, how they harm the academic and social development of students, how they make schools less inclusive, and what we can do about all of this. Nat and Doug also discuss online learning, school choice, the difficulty of creating schools with a coherent operating philosophy, the state of public schooling, The Scarlet Letter, the pandemic’s effects on students, teacher professional development, the relationship between parenting and schooling, the idea that schooling sometimes has to be hard for students, and the crucial role that schools play in shaping students’ habits of attention.

Doug Lemov is the author of Teach Like a Champion and the founder of the Teach Like a Champion organization. He was previously the managing director and one of the founders of Uncommon Schools. His new book, Reconnect: Building School Culture for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging, hits shelves next month.

We are now entering the fourth school year that will be affected by COVID-19. What can we expect? What have we learned so far? And does anyone still care?

What should we be keeping our eyes on as another year rolls around? Evolving safety protocols? School spending? Student behavior? Potential teacher shortages? New vaccines?

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Christina Brown and Heather Schofield, two of the authors of Cognitive Endurance as Human Capital. Nat, Christina, and Heather discuss what cognitive endurance is and why it’s important, PISA, an elaborate field experiment in India, disparities in American schools, shortening standardized tests, students in Pakistan, mazes and tangrams, what schools can do differently to build cognitive endurance in students, AP exams, long medical shifts, whether an extra year of schooling makes a difference for cognitive endurance, the ideal age to build cognitive endurance, and more.

Christina Brown is a development economist who will be joining the University of Chicago’s Economics Department as an Assistant Professor in 2023, and Heather Schofield is an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is currently an Assistant Professor in the Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School. Their coauthors on Cognitive Endurance as Human Capital are Supreet Kaur and Geeta Kingdon.

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Nate Hilger, author of The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis. Prior to writing The Parent Trap, Nate was a professor of economics at Brown University, a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a lead policy consultant on early childhood and non-K12 child development issues for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

Nat and Nate discuss why disparities in life outcomes are not mainly attributable to disparities in schools, why relying too heavily on parents to develop skills in children will perpetuate inequalities, big data in education, the lessons of Perry Preschool and Abecedarian, skill transmission in Asian American communities, why we need to spend more on education R&D, Cora Hillis, what a study about the management practices of businesses in India can teach us about parenting, the IRS databank, Childcare with a capital ‘C’, the decision to have five or more kids, universal pre-k, and more.

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Kymyona Burk, Senior Policy Fellow at ExcelinEd, and Emily Hanford, Senior Producer and Correspondent at American Public Media. Nat, Kymyona, and Emily discuss the reading wars, what’s wrong with balanced literacy, Mississippi’s rising reading scores, why reading isn’t natural, Lucy Calkins, phonics, HBCUs, the science of reading, spelling bees, three cueing, the importance of proper teacher education, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Ian Rowe, senior fellow at AEI, cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, and the author of Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for ALL Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power. Nat and Ian discuss what the “blame the victim” and the “blame the system” narratives get wrong, Teach for America, the importance of mediating institutions in developing agency within the individual, the state of music videos, why young people want to be taught the success sequence, charter schools, Ian’s parents’ education in Jamaica, what students can learn from investing in the stock market, MLK, why morality must be a part of agency, F.R.E.E., why family and entrepreneurship broadly understood are important for building agency, why it is harmful when teachers overemphasize systemic racism, and much more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Beth Akers, senior fellow at AEI and the coauthor of Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt. Nat and Beth discuss student loans, student loan forgiveness, why student loan forgiveness might make college more expensive, whether student loan forgiveness would be a good way to address the racial wealth gap, whether it makes sense to forgive student loans in order to encourage entrepreneurship, the dangers of working during college, how to fix income-driven repayment, the benefits of income share agreements, whether for-profit colleges can be good, and what President Biden should do on student loans.

Show Notes:

On the latest episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Emily Morton and Dan Goldhaber about their new paper The Consequences of Remote and Hybrid Instruction During the Pandemic, which uses testing data from 2.1 million students in 10,000 schools in 49 states to investigate the role of remote and hybrid instruction in widening achievement gaps.

Show Notes:

On the latest episode of The Report Card, Nat interviews Ilana Horwitz, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Sociology at Tulane, about her new book, God, Grades, and Graduation. Nat and Ilana discuss the impact of religion on student outcomes, why religion helps working class kids get better grades and graduate from college at higher rates, the educational benefits of summer camp, Palo Alto, whether the boys are alright, the academy’s understanding of American religious life, why religion helps boys academically more than it helps girls, education in the Soviet Union, why atheists also do better in school, how religion combats despair in working class America, why religious kids might not learn more even though they get better grades, religious girls and undermatching, the trajectory of evangelical Christianity in America, the importance of social capital, the logic of religious restraint, and why Jewish girls do well academically.

Also in this episode? The debut of Grade It.

It’s a challenge for school systems to recruit and retain quality teachers, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This challenge has spurred a number of creative solutions. One, announced earlier this year, is Tennessee’s Teacher Occupation Apprenticeship program, also known as Grow Your Own. Tennessee’s Grow Your Own program is based on 65 already existing Grow Your Own programs within the state.

Here to discuss Grow Your Own with Nat are Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Education Commissioner, and Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Two upcoming court cases, one a Supreme Court case on affirmative action at Harvard and the other a federal court case on financial aid price-fixing schemes at many of the nation’s top colleges, promise to rock American higher education.

Josh Dunn, professor of political science at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and Eric Hoover, senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, join Nat Malkus to discuss these cases and their potential implications.

Over the course of the pandemic, masking requirements—particularly school masking requirements—have been a flashpoint issue.

So: what is going on in schools? Which school districts require masking and which don’t? And what demographic factors might help explain masking policies?

We’ve talked a lot on the show about school choice. But it’s not often we discuss intra-district choice – choice between schools in the same district.

Starting in 2012, Los Angeles’ Zones of Choice program creates small local markets with High Schools in neighborhoods throuhgout LA, but leaves traditional attendance-zone boundaries in place. In application, this means that about 30-40% of LAUSD is a Zone of Choice.

American schooling has been on a bumpy road the past few years. COVID-19 is the obvious issues here, but it’s not only that. Students have increasingly faced mental health issues and that preceded the pandemic. All the while, we’ve seen one polarizing issue after another shaking classrooms across the country.

This bumpy road has been eloquently summarized in a new piece by Robert Pondiscio in the lead essay for the March issue of Commentary Magazine, titled: The unbearable bleakness in American schooling.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to traditional schooling. In response to the, then, relatively unknown threat of COVID-19, Congress sent emergency relief funding to schools. They did so again, sending much more money. Then, they did so again, sending much much more money.

These funds, known as the Elementary and Secondary Schooling Emergency Relief funds, or ESSER for short, totaled nearly $200 billion, making it the largest federal expenditure for public education in American history.

As most schools pass the halfway point of this tumultuous semester, one question continues to loom large: Should schools be reopening for in-person learning?

That contentious question was the topic of a recent AEI web event featuring Report Card host Nat MalkusEmily Oster of Brown University; Sarah Cohodes of Columbia University; Susan Enfield of Highline Public Schools; and Marla Ucelli-Kashyap of the American Federation of Teachers. You can catch the lively panel discussion on this episode of The Report Card or watch the web event in its entirety at AEI.org.

As schools confront massive budget shortfalls in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical that they examine how they might use existing funding more efficiently. On this episode of The Report Card, Nat Malkus talks with Byran Hassel about how districts might rethink their staffing models in a way that will increase students’ access to excellent teachers and create opportunities for advancement within the teaching profession, all without spending more money. Byran is the co-president of Public Impact and a contributor to the newly released volume, Getting the Most Bang for the Education Buck.

The post Rethinking School Staffing appeared first on American Enterprise Institute – AEI.

Now, more than ever, it’s critical that school districts examine how to make the most of each and every dollar they receive. On this episode of The Report Card, Nat Malkus talks with Chad Aldeman about ways states and districts might rethink two of their most significant costs—pensions and healthcare.

Chad is a senior associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners, the editor of TeacherPensions.org, and a contributor to the newly released volume, Getting the Most Bang for the Education Buck.

As K-12 classrooms remained shuttered in many parts of the country, childcare and early learning centers are reopening—or, in some cases, never closed in the first place. What lessons might they offer to school administrators and policymakers working to bring kids back to school?

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat Malkus talks COVID and childcare with Celia Sims, who is the vice president of government relations at Kindercare, one of the largest early childhood education providers in the world.