Achievement

Neither Broad Nor Bold: A narrow-minded approach to school reform. Paul Peterson. Education Next, 12(3), 38-43. Summer 2012.

Children raised in families with higher incomes score higher on math and reading tests. That is no less true in the Age of Obama than it was in the Age of Pericles or, for that matter, in the Age of Mao. But is parental income the cause of a child’s success? Or is the connection between income and achievement largely a symptom of something else: genetic heritage, parental skill, or a supportive educational setting?

The International Experience: What U.S. school can and cannot learn from other countries. Paul Peterson. Education Next, 12(1), 52-59. 2012.

Undoubtedly, the United States has much to learn from education systems in other countries. Once the world’s education leader, the U.S. has seen the percentage of its high-school students who are proficient trail that of 31 other countries in math and 16 countries in reading, according to a recent study by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) (see “Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?” features, Fall 2011). Whereas only 32 percent of U.S.

Are U.S. students ready to compete? The latest on each state’s international standing. Paul Peterson, Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón, Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann. Education Next, 11(4), 51-59. Fall 2011.

At a time of persistent unemployment, especially among the less skilled, many wonder whether our schools are adequately preparing students for the 21st-century global economy. Despite high unemployment rates, firms are experiencing shortages of educated workers, outsourcing professional-level work to workers abroad, and competing for the limited number of employment visas set aside for highly skilled immigrants. As President Barack Obama said in his 2011 State of the Union address, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.

It’s Easier to Pick a Good Teacher Than To Train One: Familiar and new results on the correlates of teacher effectiveness. Matthew M. Chingos, Paul E. Peterson. Economics of Education Review, 30(1), 449-465. 2011.

Neither holding a college major in education nor acquiring a master's degree is correlated with elementary and middle school teaching effectiveness, regardless of the university at which the degree was earned. Teachers generally do become more effective with a few years of teaching experience, but we also find evidence that teachers may become less effective with experience, particularly later in their careers.

Globally Challenged: Are U. S. Students Ready to Compete?. Paul Peterson, Ludger Woessmann, Eric A. Hanushek, Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón. PEPG 11-03. 2011.

At a time of persistent unemployment, especially among the less skilled, many wonder whether our schools are adequately preparing students for the 21st-century global economy. Despite high unemployment rates, firms are experiencing shortages of educated workers, outsourcing professional-level work to workers abroad, and competing for the limited number of employment visas set aside for highly skilled immigrants. As President Barack Obama said in his 2011 State of the Union address, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.

Teaching Math to the Talented: Which countries - and states - are producing high-achieving students?. Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Ludger Woessmann. Education Next, 11(1), 10-18. Winter 2011.

In Vancouver last winter, the United States proved its competitive spirit by winning more medals—gold, silver, and bronze—at the Winter Olympic Games than any other country, although the German member of our research team insists on pointing out that Canada and Germany both won more gold medals than the United States. But if there is some dispute about which Olympic medals to count, there is no question about American math performance: the United States does not deserve even a paper medal.

U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective: How well does each state do at producing high-achieving students?. Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Ludger Woessmann. PEPG 10-19. 2010.

Maintaining our innovative edge in the world depends importantly on developing a highly qualified cadre of scientists and engineers. To realize that objective requires a system of schooling that produces students with advanced math and science skills. To see how well the U.S. as a whole, each state, and certain urban districts do at producing high-achieving math students, the percentage of U.S.

State Standards Rise in Reading, Fall in Math. Paul Peterson, Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón. Education Next, 10(4), 12-16. Fall 2010.

Much ado has been made about setting high standards over the past year. In his first major address on education policy, given just two months after he took the oath of office, President Barack Obama put the issue on the national agenda.

Few States Set World-Class Standards: In fact, most render the notion of proficiency meaningless. Frederick Hess, Paul E. Peterson. Education Next, 8(3), 70-73. 2008.
Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem. Ludger Woessmann, Paul Peterson. The MIT Press, 344 pages. 2007.

Much educational research today is focused on assessing reforms that are intended to create equal opportunity for all students. Many current policies aim at concentrating extra resources on the disadvantaged. The state-of-the-art research in Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem suggests, however, that even sizeable differential spending on the disadvantaged will not yield an equality of results.

Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap. Paul Peterson. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 224 pages. 2005.

In the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case, Sandra Day O'Connor declared on behalf of the majority of justices that, 'We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.'

Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter. Susan Mayer, Paul Peterson. Brookings Institution Press, 365 pages. 1999.

The essays in this book report estimates of the effects of learning on earnings and other life outcomes. They also examine whether particular aspects of schooling - such as the age at which children begin school, classroom size and curriculum - or structural reform - such as national or state-wide examinations or school choice - affect learning. Taken together, their findings suggest that liberals are correct in saying that more investment is needed in early education, that class sizes should be further reduced, and that challenging national or state standards should also be established.

What Do the Test Scores Tell Us. Paul Peterson. Policy Review, 10-15. January-February 1999.
School Reforms: How Much Do They Matter?. Paul PetersonIn Paul E. Peterson and Susan Mayer, Eds.. Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter. Brookings Institution Press. 1999.