Latest Edu-Reads

David Leonhardt reports that, “For the first time on record, the 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate–spanning federal, state and local taxes–than any other income group…” A more progressive tax code could pay for universal pre-k and a bunch of other growth-enhancing investments.

A new experiment out of England finds that low-stakes teacher observations have the potential to significantly boost student learning. We’ve seen similar gains here in American school districts trying similarly low-stakes observations.

“Everyone knows” teachers are more risk-averse than other professionals. The research base to support that theory has been relatively thin, but a new study out of Germany finds some compelling evidence to support it. Another new study out of San Francisco finds “…economically anxious teachers tend to have more negative attitudes about their jobs, have worse attendance, and are 50% more likely to depart the district within 2 years after the survey.”

There’s a big change sweeping community college campuses as they realize that traditional remedial courses are little more than barriers to student completion rates. This PPIC report looks at what’s happening in California. The report is too comprehensive to neatly summarize here, but enrollment in college-level coursework is up 30 percentage points in three years, and those increases in access are translating to much higher completion rates as well. Check out the full report here.

–Guest post by Chad Aldeman