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The Education Gadfly Show

Author: Thomas B. Fordham Institute

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For more than 15 years, the Fordham Institute has been hosting a weekly podcast, The Education Gadfly Show. Each week, you’ll get lively, entertaining discussions of recent education news, usually featuring Fordham’s Mike Petrilli and David Griffith. Then the wise Amber Northern will recap a recent research study. For questions or comments on the podcast, contact its producer, Pedro Enamorado, at penamorad@fordhaminstitute.org.
450 Episodes
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On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Francis Pearman, an assistant professor of education at Stanford University, joins Mike and David to debate the impact that budgets, enrollment, and race play in closing schools. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating the efficacy of learning-loss-recovery interventions across eight districts.Recommended content: "Enrollment down. Achievement lackluster. Should this school close?” —Francis Pearman, Education We...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Kristen Huff, the vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates, joins Mike and David to discuss the academic performance our youngest students in the wake of the pandemic. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating the demographic effects of test-optional policies at selective universities.Recommended content: “The Youngest Pandemic Children Are Now in School, and Struggling” —New York TimesEt...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Marguerite Roza, the director of the Edunomics Lab and a research professor at Georgetown University, joins Mike and David to discuss how schools and school systems can downsize in response to declining enrollment. Then, on the Research Minute, Adam examines a new study investigating the academic impacts of ESSER funding, the largest one-time federal investment in public schools in history.Recommended content: “The math of school closures: Ho...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Alina Adams, a New York Times best-selling author, joins Mike and David to discuss the parenting lessons she learned from watching “Young Sheldon.” Then, on the Research Minute, Adam examines a new study investigating the rigor (or lack thereof) of online credit recovery courses.Recommended content: “I watched the parenting on ‘Young Sheldon’… and did the exact opposite” —Alina Adams, Education Next“Fun fact: ‘Young Sheldon’ provides insight ...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at Fordham and the American Enterprise Institute, joins Mike and David to discuss the lack of curriculum oversight in American schools. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study of whether aspiring teachers’ professional references predict their later performance.Recommended content: “How public schools became ideological boot camps” —Robert Pondiscio, The Free Press“Taking curriculum implement...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, David Houston, an assistant professor at George Mason University, joins Mike and David to discuss how presidents polarize voters when they weigh in on education debates. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating whether performance incentives improve teacher skills and so the academic growth of their students.Recommended content: “Polling data: Presidents split the public on schools” —Kevin Mahnken, The 74“Let’s t...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Alex Spurrier, an associate partner at Bellwether, joins Mike and David to discuss whether schools in low-income neighborhoods receive less funding than their affluent counterparts. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating state finance reforms that secure lasting budget increases for districts.Recommended content: Alex Spurrier, Bonnie O’Keefe, and Biko McMillan, “Leveling the landscape: An analysis of K–12 fund...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Dr. Katie Jenner, the Indiana secretary of education, joins Mike and David to discuss a proposed, alternative high school diploma in the Hoosier state. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating early indicators for college readiness.Recommended content: “Indiana’s new diplomas emphasize flexibility for older students, but some requirements are controversial” —Chalkbeat“We all agree that college isn’t for everyone....
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Daniel Buck, Fordham’s policy and editorial associate, joins Mike and David to discuss whether and how elementary schools should teach reading comprehension. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating the short- and long-term impacts of school closures in the 1990s.Recommended content: Daniel Buck, “Think again: Should elementary schools teach reading comprehension?” Fordham Institute (May 2024). "At long last...
In a special National Charter Schools Week Education Gadfly Show podcast, Brian Kisida, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, joins Mike and David to discuss whether charters have impeded racial integration in American schools. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating if intensive English learner programs benefit students.Recommended content: “70 years after Brown v. Board of Education, new research shows rise in school segregation” —Carrie S...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Marian Tupy, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the founder and editor of HumanProgress.org, joins Mike and David to discuss the incredible progress that humanity has made over millennia, and what schools might do to better teach kids that our past, present, and future is not all doom and gloom. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study investigating if education savings accounts increase tuition costs at private schools.Reco...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Adam Tyner, Fordham’s national research director, joins Mike and David to discuss his latest study on advanced education policies across the country. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines new research on how the decentralization of teacher accountability under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act affected student achievement.Recommended content: The broken pipeline: Advanced education policies at the local level —Adam Tyner, Fordham ...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Joshua Dunn, Executive Director of the Institute of American Civics at the University of Tennessee, joins Mike and David to discuss how public schools will be affected by the end of the Chevron deference—the judicial doctrine in which courts defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new paper criticizing the famous STAR class size study.Recommended content: “Fis...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at Fordham and the American Enterprise Institute, joins Mike and David to discuss the state of curricular reform. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines new data from the Institute of Education Sciences’ Condition of Education Report.Recommended content: “40 years after ‘A nation at risk,’ could curriculum reform finally move the needle on academic improvement?” —Robert Pondiscio, The 74“The ‘case for c...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Derrell Bradford, the president of 50CAN, joins Mike and David to discuss a new coalition called No More Lines that seeks to end residency requirements for public schools. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber reports on a new study examining whether ESSER funding influenced spending on school personnel.Recommended content: “Coalition Challenges Residency Requirements for Public Schools” —Jo Napolitano, The 74“America’s private public schools” ...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Rick Hess, the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, joins Mike and David to discuss his new book, Getting Education Right. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber reports on a new study examining how civics educators taught about and framed the 2020 election.Recommended content: "Getting education right: A conservative vision for improving early childhood, K–12, and college” —Frederick Hess and Michael McShan...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Lorén Cox, the policy director for the Education and Society program at the Aspen Institute, and Karen Nussle, the founder and CEO of Ripple Communications, join Mike and David to discuss how cross-partisanship—both sides agreeing on the same conclusion for disparate reasons—benefits education. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber reports on a new study examining how college achievement and retention is affected by “corequisite” remedial classes—me...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Adam Kho, an assistant professor at the Rossier School of Education, and Alex Quigley, the executive director of the Durham Charter School, join Mike and David to discuss whether charter authorizers can determine the quality of prospective charter schools. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber reports on a new study examining the effects of including parental preferences in algorithms that assign students to schools in New York City.Recommended cont...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Rebecca Sibilia, the executive director of EdFund, joins Mike and David to debate whether we’ve fixed school funding in America. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber reports on a new study examining the effects of school shootings on survivors’ test scores, attendance, and long-term health.Recommended content: "School finance data 'sucks.' Rebecca Sibilia's new org is offering $ to fix it" —Greg Toppo, The 74“Think Again: Is education funding ...
On this week’s Education Gadfly Show podcast, Mike Miles, the superintendent of Houston ISD, joins Mike and David to discuss the reforms he’s implementing in the Lone Star State’s largest district. Then, on the Research Minute, Amber examines a new study of how increased learning time affects reading and math achievement.Recommended content: “Back to the future: Houston takes a page from ed reform’s recent past” —Dale Chu, Fordham Institute“Texas’s controversial takeover of Houston’s sch...
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