NAEP results are Rorschach Tests for policy wonks—a golden chance for free-association policy speculation. Small fluctuations in average scores on NAEP give rise to big explanations. Forget the quibbling over tiny differences in test scores; it’s time to rebuild schools on evidence-based, comprehensive policies that have been shown to work in the real world for all students. In this blog post, Peter Cookson says to fix inequities we need to get over our policy taste for quick fixes and silver bullets.
25 Feb 2016
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) puts each state in the driver’s seat for making its own K-12 policy. In this blog post, Peter Cookson discusses what this means for educational equity.
21 Jan 2016
In his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “We live in a time of extraordinary change… and whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate.” In this blog post, AIR’s Peter Cookson says the key to dealing with this change is education and offers six policy recommendations to improve education in the face of these dramatic changes.
23 Dec 2015
Zero tolerance policies were born out of fear and even desperation. After the 1999 school shootings in Colorado, some educators and public figures adopted a tough law-and-order stance; but, instead of deterrence, we got a discipline regime of mass suspensions. In this blog post, AIR's Peter Cookson argues that zero tolerance discipline and other failed, counter-productive policies should disappear into the void.
1 Jul 2015
In this blog post, Peter Cookson says it's time to address the idea of educational rights, asserting that the arc of justice needs to bend in the direction of a universal, free public school system where excellence is distributed not by zip code, skin color, or socio-economic status but as a right for all children.
14 May 2015
If place heavily impacts social mobility, could strengthening schools be the key to overcoming the effects of growing up in a poor neighborhood? Peter Cookson, AIR principal researcher, explores this question in a blog post for the Education Policy Center.
6 Oct 2014
In this blog post, Jane Coggshall explains that inequitable access is not just the result of neglect or funding disparities, but the result of a series of systemic failures, from how we prepare teachers to work in high-need schools to how we design teachers’ jobs.
4 Oct 2014
Some colleges are trying to walk the walk of an economically diverse student body, but some are not. In this blog post, Peter Cookson argues that colleges and universities require leadership that keeps its eye on the prize, investing in human capital with “no distinction save industry, good conduct and intellect.”