Parents and community leaders have a substantial stake in the quality of public schools – but too often, high quality is difficult to identify.  Do the beautiful grounds suggest that this school has the resources to meet every need?  Do the charming student performances indicate that students here are accomplished and happy?  Is there a…

What does it mean to be a great teacher – and how to teachers learn to be great?  True to form, Singapore addresses this complex issue with a well-defined system, according to Ee-Ling Low of Singapore’s National Institute of Education (NIE).  Low spoke on February 19 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as part…

Finland’s education success story is one of the world’s best-known: over the past 40 years, Finnish schools have transformed from a diffuse collection of schools varying in quality to a unified network of independent yet high-performing schools that serve all children well.  These reformed have not only made Finland a star in international education, but also propelled…

The seventh graders at Olle Middle School in Alief ISD aren’t just readers  – they’re literary rebels.  And they’re proud of it, proud enough to show up on the last day of school wearing black t-shirts bearing the slogan “Literary Rebel – I read past my bedtime.” If this bold show of academic enthusiasm seems…

In 1999, Sugata Mitra embedded computers in the walls of Delhi slums to examine how children interact with technology, and shocked the world with his discovery that children could teach themselves just about everything from web surfing to genetic mutation with almost no adult guidance. Today, more than a decade of research supports this revolutionary idea,…

News coverage of the 2012 PISA exam focused on the U.S.’s slipping performance in comparison to East Asian nations (and perpetual overachiever Finland). But as Andreas Schleicher detailed in his March 26 presentation, the exhaustive study of education systems that accompanied the exam reveals much more about the world’s most effective schools. Five Lessons from…

Dr. Scott Van Beck, Executive Director of Houston A+ Challenge, offered the following testimony to the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Education in Spring, 2014. Chairman Aycock and members of the House Committee – My name is Scott Van Beck and I am the Executive Director of the Houston A+ Challenge.  We are an…

U.S. students trail the developed world in math, according to data released last week by the OECD. Results from the 2012 PISA test indicate that U.S. students’ math scores were below average for the 34 OECD countries tested, a ranking consistent with U.S. performance on the test over the past decade, and comparable to this…

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