Op-ed

Trump’s Education Pick: A Win for Public-School Parents. . December 12, 2016.

When Donald Trump selected an advocate for school choice, Betsy DeVos, to be secretary of education, he was acknowledging what many parents have noticed for some time: District-run public schools aren’t educating students well.

Why Does the NAACP Oppose Charter Schools?. Paul E. Peterson. U.S. News & World Report. 2016. August 25, 2016.

The NAACP, at its national convention in Cincinnati, voted this July to support "a moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charter schools." In Massachusetts, a local NAACP leader is campaigning against the charter-expansion referendum bill on the state ballot in November. Comparing charters to segregated schools, he shouted: "As Brown vs. the Board of Education taught us, a dual school system is inherently unequal."

Clinton Abandons the Middle on Education. Paul E. Peterson, Martin R. West. The Wall Street Journal. 2016. August 14, 2016.

Throughout this campaign season, Democrats have feigned confusion about why disaffected Republicans have not embraced Hillary Clinton, given Donald Trump’s character defects. But the K-12 education plank in the Democratic Party platform does a lot to explain the hesitance. The party’s promises seem designed to satisfy teachers unions rather than to appeal to ordinary Democrats, much less opposition moderates.

Does the Partisan Divide Include the K-12 Curriculum?. Paul E. Peterson. Education Week. 2015. September 04, 2015.

Americans have generally wanted much the same things taught in their public schools. Elementary students should learn three “R’s”—reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. In high school, it’s time to prepare for college or a career by studying core subjects, such as English, history, algebra, biology, and a foreign language. That basic understanding has not prevented political spats over school spending and school attendance boundaries. But the core operations of schools have usually been left undisturbed.

Teachers and the Public Oppose Agency Fees Charged By Teachers Unions. Paul E. Peterson, Martin R. West. July 16, 2015.

‘Th’ Supreme Coort follows th’ election returns.” So said Mr. Dooley, the bartender created by cartoonist Finley Peter Dunne at the start of the 20th century. Those who follow the court today often say that nothing much has changed. Yet if the justices consider public opinion next term, it will be a straightforward decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case challenging the California “union shop” law that levies an agency fee on all teachers who refuse to join a union.

No Child Left Behind and testing help hold schools accountable. Paul E. Peterson. February 23, 2015.

The controversial education law known as No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization, and amid the nuances under debate one question stands out: Will pressures from the left and right force the federal government to abandon its annual, statewide testing requirements?

When enacted into law in 2002, NCLB had widespread, bipartisan backing including support from President George W. Bush and Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy . Nonetheless, it had numerous creaky provisions, not least of which were the testing provisions that held schools accountable for student achievement.

A rescue plan for the black family. Paul E. Peterson. January 19, 2015.

As we celebrate the anniversary of Martin Luther King's birth, we should ask why so many of the problems against which he struggled — segregation, poverty, persistent racial gaps in education and income — remain so much a part of American life.

Few remember that Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned of this possibility. His report “The Negro Family: A Case for National Action,” released 50 years ago, lamented the rising tide of single parenthood in the black community.

How the Education Spendthrifts Get Away With It. Paul E. Peterson. The Wall Street Journal. September 22, 2014.

Money for schools has again become a campaign issue. In the Florida governor's race, Charlie Crist says that the "first thing [Gov. Rick Scott ] does when he comes in . . . is cut education by $1.3 billion." To which Gov. Scott replies, "The $18 billion in funding for K-12 education funding is the highest in Florida history and includes a record $10.6 billion in state funds." Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Tom Wolf accuses Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of cutting the state's school budget by $1 billion, to which Gov. Corbett replies that spending has actually risen.

U.S. Institute of Education Sciences Weighs In on Voucher Impacts on College Enrollment. Matthew M. Chingos, Paul E. Peterson. 2013. May 14, 2013.

Last summer, we released the first experimental study of the effect of school vouchers on college enrollment. Our study, which is published in the current edition of Education Next, generated significant controversy.

Are Americans Obsessed with Founding Documents?. Paul Peterson. Washington Times. January 10, 2013.

Will 2013 come to be known as the year of presidential decree? The year the president ignored Congress, changed the rules of government, and put into place whatever policies he saw fit? The year the United States ended what has been called its “obsession” with its Constitution?

A Generation of School-Voucher Success: African American kids in New York were 24% more likely to attend college if they won a scholarship to attend private school. Matthew Chingos, Paul E. Peterson. The Wall Street Journal. August 23, 2012.

President Barack Obama last month signed an executive order promising to "improve outcomes and advance educational opportunities for African Americans." The order instructs federal agencies to "promote, encourage, and undertake efforts" to increase "college access, college persistence and college attainment for African American students." Unfortunately, his administration remains opposed to the Opportunity Scholarship program in Washington, D.C., which lets students—mostly low-income and African-American—use a voucher to attend a private school.

Peterson, Howell and West: Teachers Unions Have a Popularity Problem. Paul Peterson, William Howell, Martin R. West. The Wall Street Journal. June 04, 2012.

However Wisconsin's recall election turns out on Tuesday, teachers unions already appear to be losing a larger political fight—in public opinion. In our latest annual national survey, we found that the share of the public with a positive view of union impact on local schools has dropped by seven percentage points in the past year. Among teachers, the decline was an even more remarkable 16 points.

Obama’s Education Grade Left Behind by Bush’s: President Funneled Money to Teacher’s Salaries Rather Than Teaching Success. Paul Peterson. The Washington Times. April 05, 2012.

Just as gross domestic product (GDP) growth is said to be a good measure of a president’s economic management skills, so the nation’s official report card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), provides an objective indicator of the success a president has had at strengthening the American school.

A Blue State Bailout in Disguise: Our new study shows that under the Obama jobs bill, debt-ridden states will get another big handout. Paul Peterson, Daniel Nadler. The Wall Street Journal. September 16, 2011.

Last Thursday, the president urged Congress to pony up roughly $200 billion in taxpayer money to "provide more jobs for teachers [and] more jobs for construction workers" and more money to carry out other state and local activities. He urges Congress to spend this money even after handing out hundreds of billions of dollars for similar purposes as part of the 2009 stimulus package, as well as a score and more billion dollars again in 2010.

African-Americans for Charter Schools: New survey data show black support on the rise. So why is the NAACP opposed?. Paul Peterson, Martin West . The Wall Street Journal. August 03, 2010.

This past week the NAACP, the National Urban League and other civil-rights groups collectively condemned charter schools. Claiming to speak for minority Americans, the organizations expressed "reservations" about the Obama administration's "extensive reliance on charter schools." They specifically voiced concern about "the overrepresentation of charter schools in low-income and predominantly minority communities."