On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy. Nat and Dan discuss the benefits and limitations of the science of learning, why we don’t spend enough time teaching students how to learn, learning styles and education myths, the potential education benefits of chewing gum, why ed schools need to teach more than just Piaget, education R&D, why students develop bad study habits, how students are different and how they are the same, entrance exams, group assignments, the value of memorization and content knowledge, why students should learn subjects that they will later forget, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat reviews the past year in education with Laura Meckler of the Washington Post, Linda Jacobson of The 74, and Goldie Blumenstyk of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Nat, Laura, Linda, and Goldie discuss affirmative action, school masking, ChatGPT, the top pieces of education journalism from the past year, higher education labor strikes, enrollment shortages, book bans, how education journalists use Twitter, COVID recovery, learning loss, sports gambling on college campuses, what education stories audiences want, income driven repayment, technology in schools, student mental health, what we can expect from the coming year, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat reviews the past year in education with Laura Meckler of the Washington Post, Linda Jacobson of The 74, and Goldie Blumenstyk of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Nat, Laura, Linda, and Goldie discuss affirmative action, school masking, ChatGPT, the top pieces of education journalism from the past year, higher education labor strikes, enrollment shortages, book bans, how education journalists use Twitter, COVID recovery, learning loss, sports gambling on college campuses, what education stories audiences want, income driven repayment, technology in schools, student mental health, what we can expect from the coming year, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Jennifer Frey, associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina and the host of Sacred and Profane Love. Nat and Jennifer discuss human happiness and education, what psychology doesn’t understand about happiness, why we should care about teaching virtue, the Hillbilly Elegy, the proper ends of education, why it’s not such a great idea to let children choose what they read, Catholic education, whether it is old fashioned to teach virtue, Social and Emotional Learning, the liberal arts, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Melissa Arnold Lyon and Matthew Kraft about perceptions of the teaching profession. Nat, Mimi, and Matt discuss why the status and prestige of the teaching profession are at their lowest points in fifty years, why this matters for student learning, how perceptions of the teaching profession have changed over time, the extent to which current declines preceded the pandemic, Mimi and Matt’s own job satisfaction when they were teachers, how the prestige of K-12 teaching compares with the prestige of college teaching, the effectiveness of teacher strikes, teachers unions, teacher pay, what can be done to improve the status of the teaching profession, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC), the Republican Leader of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Nat and Dr. Foxx discuss student loan forgiveness, the REAL Reforms Act, community colleges, credentialism, serving on a school board, spelling bees, the role of federal education policy, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Tom Kane, the Walter H. Gale Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the faculty director of CEPR, and one of the project leaders of the Education Recovery Scorecard. Nat and Tom discuss NAEP results, the Education Recovery Scorecard, COVID learning loss, pandemic recovery, and more.

A collaboration of the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University, the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard, and Stanford CEPA, the Education Recovery Scorecard links NAEP scores with state assessment results, giving us the first chance to really compare learning loss at the district level across the country.

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Po-Shen Loh, professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University and coach of the United States’ International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team. Nat and Po discuss the difference between teaching problem solving and teaching computation, the limitations of mastery learning, the potential of online learning, math outreach, IMO, Hagoromo chalk, how to make math instruction simultaneously more engaging and more challenging, whether educators should discuss the usefulness of math, a scalable program to teach problem solving to advanced students live online, calculators, and more.

Show Notes:

On this episode of The Report Card, Nat speaks with Richard Reeves, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It. Nat and Richard discuss redshirting, changing gender disparities, why many education interventions don’t help men, Jordan Peterson, conscientiousness, why boys’ standardized test scores are better than their grades, Bernard Williams, meritocracy, the modern male’s need for a better life script, the prefrontal cortex, monarchy, the feminization of schooling, and more.

Show Notes:

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.