Roosevelt Institute | Cornell University

Center for Education Policy

Improving Education Through Debate Instruction

By Marie Ceske Published November 17, 2018

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With the rise of partisanship and an America that has become increasingly divided on many political issues, debate education in schools may be part of the solution.


It's Time to Abandon the Meritocracy

By Ashni Verma Published November 17, 2018

Pictured above: protesters marching a sign that reads "Defend Affirmative Action" https://mappingignorance.org/fx/media/2013/07/Affirmative-Action-demonstration.jpg

As the battle over affirmative action rages on, it is important to question the validity of a merit-based system in determining who can and cannot climb up the socioeconomic ladder. While affirmative action is extremely controversial, it is one of the few policies in existence that can actually address this issue.


A Conversation on Hate Speech and University Codes

By Jenna Zitomer Published January 1, 2017

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Hate Speech in the Trump Era


With More Diversity Comes Greater Segregation: An American Paradox

By Shraddha Harshvardhan Published January 1, 2017

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The need for diversity in our children's classrooms and why we have not yet achieved it


Devaluing the Humanities? How Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences' New Curriculum Proposal Discourages True Liberal Arts Education

By Marie Ceske Published January 1, 2017

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Aimed to give Arts and Sciences students more direction, Cornell's new curriculum proposal sacrifices the humanities and academic exploration.


Why Genetics Oriented Education Is Important

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

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With genetic testing becoming more consumer friendly, a gaping hole is being revealed current education : it does not have the capability to equip people with an understanding of what is an inseparable part of themselves - their DNA.


Furthering Nationalist Values Rather than Liberating Minds

By Lydia Holley Published January 1, 2017

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Although education is frequently portrayed as the gateway to opportunity and equality, most education systems fall far from this ideal. The US' current treatment of history as well as Poland's impending changes to the history curriculum both demonstrate that nationalistic tendencies of governments infuse public education with fallacious interpretations of history and vocationally-oriented coursework, creating students that think less freely due to biased information and courses meant to prepare them for the job market.


Gifted and Talented: A Step Forward, or a Step Back?

By Ackel Braide Published January 1, 2017

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Gifted and talented programs have proliferated across the United States as a solution for educating our brightest students. But does the program do them a favor, or work against them?


The One and Done Rule in NCAA Basketball Recruitment Scandal

By Geneva Saupe Published January 1, 2017

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The recent FBI probe intro bribery and fraud in the college basketball recruitment process has resulted coaches from top programs being arrested and fired. In light of this, perhaps it's time to reexamine the NBA's one and done rule, which mandates that players be a year removed from high school before they can enter the draft.


A Step Back: Betsy DeVos and Her Removal of Strict Title IX Policies on University Campuses

By Jenna Zitomer Published January 1, 2017

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Secretary Devos' revocation of Obama era Title IX does a disservice to survivors of campus sexual assault


Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Affirmative Action

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

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At a time when affirmative action is being cited as overly aggressive, a New York Times analysis calls into question the effectiveness of the decades old policy.


Increasing Demand to Reduce Teacher Shortages

By Lexi McCool Published January 1, 2017

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The United States faces a severe teacher shortage, with enrollment in teacher preparation programs decreasing by 35% in the past 5 years. To confront the stress and disillusionment driving individuals from the teaching profession, policymakers must cohesively prioritize education and emphasize programs that reduce classroom size.


How the American Health Care Act (2017) Makes America's Schools Sick

By Arwa Ali Published January 1, 2017

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The AHCA will result in Medicaid cuts that will reduce funding to schools used to provide health services to low-income and special education students, causing many children to fall further behind and widening already present education disparities.


How Trump's Budget Harms Public Education

By Samuel Kim Published January 1, 2017

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The blueprints for Trump's budget plan feature proposals for a massive 14% decrease in allocations for the Department of Education. This would mean that the Department of Education will lose $9.2 billion in funding, the third largest loss in budget behind only the Departments of State and Health and Human Services.


We've Forgotten About the Teachers - Shifting Our Focus From Common Core Back to Educators

By Stephannie Chen Published January 1, 2017

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Shifting Our Focus From Common Core Back to Educators


Providing Schools to a Community

By Samara Jacobson Published January 1, 2017

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Mayor DeBlasio's approach to education reform in NYC is holistic and innovative, but is his approach too ambitious?


AltSchool: Silicon Valley's Answer to Education Reform

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

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Former Google employee Max Ventilla has founded a school which he believes can revolutionize the public sphere by offering tailored education - many aren't happy with his thinking.


Governor Cuomo's Free Tuition Expansion

By Emily Bramhall Published January 1, 2017

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New York Governor Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship expands tuition-free college to the middle-class New Yorkers. However, the scholarship comes with stringent requirements that emphasizes on-time graduation, and these requirements may actually be a barrier to college completion for some.


School Lunch on the Chopping Block

By Niki Sochaczevski Published January 1, 2017

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The Trump administration plans to cut funding for free and reduced-price lunches in public school across the United States.


The Future of Correctional Education Under the Trump Administration

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

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Obama's administration had pushed for various reforms in the prison system to ensure greater education access to all inmates to help reduce recidivism. That may be set to change under President Donald Trump.


Education Based in Rigor

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

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Basis Charter Schools provide an example of how charter schools can help students learn and provide value to communities


Trump and School Choice

By Emily Bramhall Published January 1, 2017

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In a time when many believe the United States public schools are failing its students, Donald Trump's proposed solution is to commit federal dollars to promote school-choice among the states. School-choice vouchers have the potential to take resources away from struggling public schools. Are the benefits worth the cost?


Online Education, Distinction Without a Degree

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

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Online education, whether it is pursued be for a degree, certificate, or leisure has proved to be a dynamic way for people around the world to freely learn. This is why the government should provide economic benefits to Edx to further encourage universities to collaborate and provide MOOCs.


The Demise of ITT Tech; Dealing with the Closure of a For-Profit College

By Emil Kunkin  Published January 1, 2017

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The closure of one of the biggest chains of for-profit schools following a ruling from the Department of Education has left former students reeling.


Protecting a Language or Limiting a Population?

By Niki Sochaczevski Published January 1, 2017

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Quebec's Charter of the French Language, better known as Bill 101, forces education in French and impedes employment opportunities for students.


How Property Taxes Fund Inequality

By Kayleigh Rubin Published January 1, 2017

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Public school districts in much of the United States are funded, to varying degrees, by local property taxes. This article discusses how this method of finance diminishes the equality of students' educational opportunities.


The Importance of Comprehensive Sex and HIV/AIDS Education

By Jenna Zitomer Published January 1, 2017

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The lack of sex and HIV/AIDS education has always been an issue in our country, and is often times a topic of controversy with regards to its place in the classroom. This paper outlines the importance of comprehensive sex and HIV/AIDS education for young adults, touching on the positive and negative effects that are correlated with existence of comprehensive sex education, and the lack of it, respectively.


The Language of Colonization

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

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English as a language in India still serves as a reminder of colonial oppression - even after 70 years of independence.It is causing a neo-castist divide which can only be sought to removed if all languages were to be allowed to develop equally.


The Negative Effects of Clinton's "New College Compact" on Private Colleges

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published January 1, 2017

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Hillary Clinton's plan to improve college affordability was definitely influenced by Sanders' plan and campaign message, but the political feasibility and reality of her ideas is lacking because of the adverse effects it could have on private colleges.


Why Sports Performance Majors Won't Fix the Gap between Collegiate Academics and Athletics

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published January 1, 2017

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The argument over proper compensation for high-performing student-athletes has resurfaced, but less attention has been given to the idea of narrowing the gap between sports and academics for these students through a sports performance major. This article discusses why such a program in its current conceptualized form is not necessary and easy to take advantage of.


Death, Taxes, and Tuition

By Emil Kunkin  Published January 1, 2017

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Paying for higher education is a topic on the minds of many American families today, as college costs have skyrocketed. While radical changes are politically or economically unfeasible, there are other ways to help families pay for college.


Why AP Courses Are Overrated

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

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More people are taking APs, but are they the right people, are the costs fair, and most importantly are the curriculums advantageous?


Title IX and the Bathroom Bill

By Emily Silfkin Published January 1, 2017

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Title IX is one of the most important parts of our country's educational code. As a woman who takes pride in her education, I believe that I should have every opportunity that a male student has, and to the same quality.


Is Our Higher Education System Failing Our Veterans?

By Emily Silfkin Published January 1, 2017

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For-profit colleges have become increasingly popular in the United States for people who cannot pursue a traditional degree. However, the benefits of these institutions are not always what the advertisements claim. The debt accumulated at for-profit schools and the lack of opportunities with a degree hurt a very important group of students, our nation's veterans.


A Crisis of Language

By Nicholas Kaye Published January 1, 2017

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The study of languages in American schools has steadily been declining, leaving students disadvantaged for the increasingly connected global market. Steps must be taken to promote the existing language education programs and investigating alternative language teaching methods, such as dual-language programs.


A Texas-Sized Fight Over Textbooks

By Emil Kunkin  Published January 1, 2017

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Sensational claims and seemingly outdated policies bring media attention to the content of Texas' textbooks, but its outsize presence in the national market for textbooks means that Texas statewide standards, which have been criticized as being overly political, can affect the content of textbooks nationwide.


Reform Teacher Tenure

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

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Many speak out against tenure because it gives incompetent teachers virtual immunity from firing. In Michigan for example, it takes almost a year to expel a teacher in a belabored principal, board, and union battle, which is even before the legal process! To make matters more ridiculous, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to fire and(or) reassign bad tenured teachers.


Obama's New Socioeconomic Integration Program to Prioritize Diversity

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published January 1, 2017

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"Stronger Together," a competitive federal grant program which attempts to integrate schools by income through a competition among states, is a national response to what has become a trend among both red and blue states. Unlike past grant programs that encouraged charter schools and performance-based evaluations for teachers, this initiative gives low income students the opportunity to attend better schools.


What Does A New SAT Mean for Higher Education?

By Kiara Butler Published January 1, 2017

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The recent changes made to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), play a significant role in altering admissions to universities and colleges. The changes drastically altered the exam format, and fail to implement common systems to evaluate the results. In order to protect an exam which plays a primary role in college admissions, it is necessary to implement a score conversion system and regulations to closely review the exam on a frequent basis.


Education: A Hot Topic? Not for the GOP

By Emily Silfkin Published January 1, 2017

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Education should be on every candidate's mind as they are moving through this election cycle. With a system in desperate need of reform, it is vital that our presidential candidates relay to the public their plans for improving education in this country. However, the GOP has been shy in telling debate viewers their plans for education reform, while reform is a major tenet of Democratic campaigns.


Asessing Teachers' Pay and Performance

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

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Various definitions of teacher performance are offered to add context to the debate about whether teachers should be paid and receive promotions on the basis of performance.


Mental Health on Campus: The Need for Comprehensive Reform and Supportive Policy

By Elizabeth Clarke Published January 1, 2017

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This post discusses the need for more comprehensive mental health programming in higher education, especially in light of recent, highly publicized tragedies. Institutional and government level policy-makers play an integral role in developing the financial and information-based platforms necessary to spark improvement.


Are All For-Profits Villains?

By Phoebe Keller Published January 1, 2017

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For-profit schools have recently received a storm of criticism for misleading prospective students and failing to adequately prepare them to acquire "gainful employment. However, flaws inherent in the methods of regulating these schools may soon deny government funding to even those for-profits outperforming their private sector counterparts. While the for-profit sector does appear dismal if all its schools' statistics are conflated, certain for-profits offer students a pragmatic vocational alternative to a liberal arts education and boast consistently successful graduates.


Flip the Classrom

By Tess Davey Published January 1, 2017

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Flipping the classroom involves students watching a video of the lecture outside of class at their convenience and then doing activities and HW in class with the teacher's help


Discrimination on College Campuses

By Niki Sochaczevski and Samara Jacobson Published January 1, 2017

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How the election of President Trump has contributed to the rise of hatred and discrimination on college campuses across the United States.


Specialized High Schools, Segregated Student Body

By Aaron Gottesfeld, Emily Bramhall, and Stephannie Chen Published January 1, 2017

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New York City’s test based specialized system creates a sharp ethnic divide in schools. The city must take action to increase diversity and expand the availability of test prep, or else change the Specialized High School admission system.


Who is Betsy Devos?

By Aaron Gottesfeld and Niki Sochaczevski Published January 1, 2017

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Get to know the newly appointed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. Does she hold the proper qualifications? What are her intended goals as secretary of education? How will her position impact the American education system?


Dual-Language Programs Find a Growing Appeal among Native and Nonnative English Speakers

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published November 9, 2015

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This post discusses the growing demand for dual language programs throughout the United States and the statistical advantages to this form of language learning as opposed to more established methods.


Too Many Test, Not Enough Learning

By Alison Molchadsky Published November 9, 2015

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The current public school system in the United States is based on test taking as a form of assessment. However, the rampant test taking is severely detrimental to the education system and is in definite need of reform. Obama's recent announcement to pull the reign on the excessive testing is a step in the right direction, however there needs to be tangible legislation and change"”not just rhetoric.


Presidential Candidates Education Policies

By Emily Silfkin Published November 9, 2015

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Do we need common core, free higher education, or Federal control of education?


De Blasio's High-Reaching Education Initiatives Promise Bold Changes for NYC Public Schools

By Toni-Ann Richards Published October 18, 2015

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Will NYC public schools have enough funding and expertise for computer science programs?


Ranking Education: Does Obama's Scorecard Stack Up?

By Elizabeth Clarke Published October 18, 2015

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This post analyzes the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to provide a centralized government resource for students to compare their higher education options. It takes a closer look at the new College Scorecard system, which evolved form the President's original controversial plan to rank all colleges and universities.


Obama's Scorecard Isn't An A, But It's a Solid B+

By Phoebe Keller Published October 18, 2015

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The newly unveiled "College Scorecard" evaluates colleges and universities based on their measured "access, affordability and outcomes." Although many have found fault with the methodology of data collection or expansion of federal regulation accompanying the introduction of the new tool, its release is a step towards enabling students to invest more prudently in strong schools.