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Right to Education

Is there a right to education? Who is and who should be responsible for public education? Should it be the government? the family? the marketplace? Click here to listen to or read the transcript of a debate between Jim Anderson, Head of the Educational Policy Studies Department of the University of Illinois and Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. ...listen now and/or read more

Funding for Education

How do we currently fund our public schools? Do we have any viable alternatives to the current system? Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Budget Accountability describes the current system and its problems. Henry Levin, Director of the Center of the Study of Privatization in Education at Columbia University evaluates methods of privatizing education. Walter McMahon, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Education comments on the Matire and Levin presentations. ...listen now and/or read more


Who determines the curriculum and should they be in charge of determining it? Will adopting a single set of standards lead to the implementation of a national curriculum? Should it do so? -- Guest Speakers: Superintendent Judy Wiegand, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin John Rudolph, Executive Director of the Albert Shanker Institute Eugenia Kemble and Professor of Educational Reform at the University of Arkansas Sandra Stotsky. ...listen now and/or read more


How responsible are teachers for student achievement and can their effectiveness be measured? The Gates Foundation is funding a billion dollar project, Methods of Effective Teaching, to answer these questions. Drew Gitomer of the Educational Testing Service and a member of the project team and Thomas Kane, Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and director of the project describe their findings. Jesse Rothstein, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of California at Berkeley details his criticisms of the project. ...listen now and/or read more

Charter Schools

Are charter schools the key to innovative education reform or a way for profit making companies to enrich themselves with public funds? Chris Lubienski provides historical background; Andrew Broy presents the case for charter schools and Gary Miron, raises questions about what the movement is becoming. ...listen now and/or read more

Teacher Tenure

Should teacher tenure be abolished or reformed? Kate Rousmaniere traces the beginning of tenure to state legislatures, not unions; Frederick Hess sets out some of tenure’s problems and Randi Weingarten describes a plan put forth by the American Federation of Teachers for reforming tenure. ...listen now and/or read more


Are vouchers a viable answer to school reform or are they a threat to democracy and the separation of church and state? Is the voucher movement dead or being reborn? Our three experts in the field, Cecilia Rouse, Paul Peterson, and Martin Conroy will give us the history of vouchers, the arguments for and the arguments against. ...listen now and/or read more


What should be the role of standardized testing in our schools? Is its current direction problematic? Andy Porter outlines a history of educational testing; Laura Slover describes the new tests her organization, Achieve, is using federal funds to develop for a coalition of states. Monty Neill lays out the arguments against testing raised by the Center for Fair and Open Testing. ...listen now and/or read more

Technology I

Digitized text books? Students using smartphones for learning in the classroom? Wireless broadband access for all schools? Technology, what is its place? What challenges can it address? And what new dimensions can it introduce? Our three guests include an assistant college dean of learning, Evangeline Pianfetti; Elliot Soloway, education and engineering professor, University of Michigan; S. Craig Watkins, professor of media studies, University of Texas-Austin ...listen now and/or read more

Technology II

As technology changes, how are schools keeping up? What are the nitty-gritty issues school administrators have to deal with? Our guests include a school superintendent, Mark Edwards, a school district director of information technology, Roger Grinnip, and a principal of a high tech elementary school, Asia Fuller-Hamilton. ...listen now and/or read more

Reading Instruction

Have the reading wars ended? Are the current methods to teach reading based on sound research? David Pearson traces the history of the reading wars and posits root causes. Barbara Foorman approves the present direction of reading instruction while underlining the need for more staff development. Richard Allington is harshly critical of current practices and raises questions about financial profit and corruption. ...listen now and/or read more

Teacher Education

Are teacher education programs any good? Is there any effective way to prepare teachers? David Labaree gives the historical reasons for the poor reputation of teacher education. Deborah Ball describes the University of Michigan’s model program. Arthur Levine highlights the major flaws of most programs. ...listen now and/or read more