My Five Most Popular Posts of 2014 (And a Couple of Other Favorites)

My writing slowed down quite a bit this year, but I still had (just) enough posts on this site to justify producing a ‘top 5’ list:

1. There is Probably No Crisis in American Education. This post was particularly popular among “reform critics”, but my view is that it really cuts both ways in the education reform debates.

2. Why Education Reform is Probably Not the Best Way to Fight Poverty. My personal favorite from my writing this year, and one that resonated with people who had strong reactions to it. I think it’s held up very well to criticisms, I stand by it, and it remains highly relevant to education reform debates and politics.

3. More Evidence of the Trouble with ‘Student-Centered’ Teaching. This is also one of my favorites from 2014 as it centered on one study that allowed me to tie together a few of my favorite education hobby-horses.

4. Reform Math Went Poorly in Quebec. This post was about a fascinating and important study that reflected very poorly on reform math and progressive education more generally. We should still be talking about this study, both because its findings are important and because it’s the sort of large-scale real-world implementation study that education needs more of.

5. For Reformers: An Important Paper on Worker Compensation and Incentives. This post nicely illustrates why, as sympathetic as I am to a lot of reformy positions in education, I don’t identify with the reform movement in general. The problem is myopia. When reformers talk about American education, they generally think only about 1) America and 2) education. This is unfortunate because other countries and other sectors deal with many very similar problems and neglecting them leads to some very confused – or at least highly simplistic – thinking about American education.

And here, as a little bonus, are my favorite of my pieces written in other venues this year:

What Do We Really Know About Eva Moskowitz’s Success? Written for the Fordham Institute. I don’t do anything especially complicated here, but I think I do lay out reasonably clearly the questions about Success Academy charter schools that we don’t have answers to and often don’t even seem interested in asking.

My Goodbye & Retrospective at This Week in Education. If you look at all my writing, it turns out that at some level I’m just saying a few things over and over again. But I really like those things!

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