Articles

THE ATLANTIC.COM

Why American Students Haven’t Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years, April 13, 2018
Every two years, education-policy wonks gear up for what has become a time-honored ritual: the release of the Nation’s Report Card. Officially known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, the data reflect the results of reading and math tests administered to a sample of students across the country. Experts generally consider the tests rigorous and highly reliable—and the scores basically stagnant. …

FORBES.COM (RECENT POSTS)

Three Things Schools Need To Do If Democracy Is Going To Work, July 1, 2018

As the nation approaches its 242nd birthday, there are signs our schools are failing to equip citizens to play the vital role the founders anticipated. For democracy to continue working, teachers need to ensure students understand and can write analytically about key factual information, starting in elementary school. …

One Radical Way To Deal With Traumatized Kids, June 19, 2018

The idea of “toxic stress” has been in the news lately because of heartbreaking separations at the border, but millions of kids experience that kind of stress every day because of their home environments. One solution is to provide them with an alternative home. …

Why Common Core Standards Alone Won’t Boost Test Scores, May 24, 2018

Higher academic standards like those in the Common Core were supposed to improve student performance, but new data shows that hasn’t happened. Teachers need more specific guidance than standards provide, and they need to build knowledge beginning in the early grades that standards don’t reach. …

Why Johnny Still Can’t Read–And What To Do About It, May 19, 2018

For decades, there’s been an overwhelming scientific consensus on the best way to teach kids to read. But millions of kids still don’t get the kind of instruction that works…

Click here to see a list of all of Natalie’s pieces on Forbes.com.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

How Common Core Can Help in the Battle of Skills vs. Knowledge, August 28, 2015
Standardized tests are commonly blamed for narrowing the school curriculum to reading and math. That’s one reason Congress is considering changes in the law that could lead states to put less emphasis on test scores. But even if we abolished standardized tests tomorrow, a majority of elementary schools would continue to pay scant attention to subjects like history and science. …

THE WASHINGTON POST

The inappropriate focus on reading and math hurts students, February 26, 2018
The resignation of D.C. Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson in the wake of two embarrassing scandals at the high school level could provide D.C. schools with an opportunity to change course and regain its reputation as a national model of education reform. But that can only happen if officials recognize the true source of both scandals: elementary school, long considered the bright spot in the system. …

Why Americans can’t write, September 24, 2015
It’s no secret that many Americans are lousy writers. Just ask any college professor or employer, including those at prestigious institutions. With the advent of e-mail, writing ability has become more important than ever, and writing deficiencies have become increasingly apparent. …

AMERICAN EDUCATOR (WITH JUDITH C. HOCHMAN)

One Sentence at a Time: The Need for Explicit Instruction in Teaching Students to Write Well, Summer 2017
When Monica entered high school, her writing skills were minimal. After repeating first grade and getting more than 100 hours of tutoring in elementary school, she’d managed to learn to read well enough to get by, and she was comfortable with math. But writing seemed beyond her reach. …

GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON

Many posts, extending from 2013-17.