Latest Edu-Reads

“…ignoring the stop arm of a school bus is incredibly dangerous because children often cross the street as they are entering or exiting the bus.” That’s Alex Spurrier on school bus safety.

Lisette Partelow on what to make of the decline in teacher preparation enrollment.

Doug Webber has a cool tool to compare lifetime earnings by college major.

This Kalyn Belsha article for Chalkbeat is a sobering reminder of the fecklessness in our education sector. The Trump Administration killed off a $12 million competitive grant program to support school integration efforts out of spite and instead spread that money to undefined state school improvement efforts. That does not sound like a good use of money.

But the districts also didn’t follow through! Belsha leads with the example of the Austin, TX school district, which outlined a detailed case for why they needed to integrate their school district and how they planned to do it. But when the program was canceled they let those plans dropt. They were in line to win $1.5 million, which is peanuts to a school district the size of Austin. The Austin schools budget was about $1.4 billion that same year, so we’re talking about 0.1 percent of their budget. Austin was by no means the only district to drop their integration efforts, but there’s a lesson here when even tiny sums of money would have changed district behavior, and it says something about the importance of competitive grants to spur action…

The latest PISA results are out and they are not good… for Finland! The OECD described their trajectory as “steadily negative” and found declines in reading, math, and science. Worse, they concluded that Finland’s decline in reading and science “was particularly noticeable amongst the lowest-achieving students.”

The trends here in the United States are nothing to brag about either–they’re mainly flat over time–but we’re holding steady in a middle pack alongside Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

This is a lovely personal essay on overconfidence by Jason Zweig. Coming from a rural background in 1977, Advanced Placement tests played a role in teaching Zweig a helpful lesson in humility.

–Guest post by Chad Aldeman

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