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What is the Relationship Between Schools and Neighborhoods?

Jul 6, 2016 by Jennifer Berkshire

As we move towards a market-based system in public education, the argument has been that the goal is either to get the students out of their bad neighborhoods, or that the neighborhood doesn't matter if you can just get the student into a quality school.

As any sociologist will tell you, these things don't happen in isolation. Students live in neighborhoods, and the school is one of the most important institutions, along with the family and the other institutions that bind the community together. 

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Topics: What is school for?, neighborhoods, Charter Schools

How Should School Quality Be Measured?

Jun 28, 2016 by Jennifer Berkshire

Almost everyone agrees now that just focusing on math and English is way too narrow and has taken us into a sort of tragi-comic cul-de-sac in a lot of ways. There are some really interesting experiments underway about how you create broader measures of school quality that align more with what parents want, what students want, what teachers want, but also produce the achievement gains that everyone is so focused on. 

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Topics: standardized testing, What is school for?, state-level standards

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