Feuer Consideration

Polling Alone

Recent findings from the well-regarded Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup poll elicited snappy interpretations and familiar laments about the public’s lack of confidence in public schools and dissatisfaction with teachers. But before we rush to yet more negative judgments about the condition of American education, we need to remember that while the results of opinion surveys in general are often tantalizing, it’s not always clear what to make of them.

Evaluating Teaching: The Promise and the Pitfalls

The past few weeks have brought several more reminders of why it’s critical to develop fair and defensible ways to evaluate teachers—and the programs that prepare them. The first was a ruling by a California superior court judge in the Vergara case that the state’s teacher tenure system discriminates against minority and low-income students.

Some Thoughts After Commencement

Friends and family have asked me how our commencement went. My short answer (OK, maybe not so short…) is that it was a glorious day on the National Mall—sunny, temperate, filled with moments reaffirming the cultural, linguistic, racial, and religious mosaic of our education system generally and GW specifically. Asked for details, I offer these vignettes:

PISA: The Morning After

Yesterday was PISA Day, an opportunity for concerned educators and citizens to think about the latest round of results from this important international comparative assessment.

Remembering JFK

On the bulletin board above my desk at home I have a faded photograph taken in 1960. It’s me on my dad’s shoulders, welcoming John F. Kennedy to a campaign stop in Queens, holding a sign that says “Kennedy is the remedy.” My dad’s lovely wit, an abridged version of the rush of emotion so many people were feeling about the young Kennedy. Sure, he made mistakes, and in retrospect did things that today would likely have gotten him in big trouble.

Congratulations to NCEHD Member Dr. Ericka Miller on her Nomination to the White House Administration

President Obama has nominated our colleague and friend, Ericka Miller, to be the next Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Ericka has been a member of our National Council of Education and Human Development (NCEHD), and has given us invaluable advice as we have worked on our vision and strategy for the future. I applaud the President for this superb choice.

Reflecting on a New Challenge

I was honored by my colleagues to be inducted as the President of the National Academy of Education at a ceremony last Friday. My wonderful family was at my side as I accepted this honor – and though I don’t get to tell them often enough, they deserve great thanks for their abiding support.