Articles

THE ATLANTIC

Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong, August 2019

In the early grades, U.S. schools value reading-comprehension skills over knowledge. The results are devastating, especially for poor kids. …

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)

What Kamala Harris and Joe Biden Should Be Talking About Instead of Busing, June 30, 2019

Joe Biden is getting flak for his stance on busing. But segregated schools aren’t the root cause of educational inequity, and integration alone isn’t enough to address it. …

The Education Issue Democratic Candidates Should Be Talking About, June 24, 2019

Education is a hot issue in the contest among Democratic presidential hopefuls. But none of what’s been said so far gets to the root of the problem. …

How a Geography Card Game Entices Kids Into Acquiring Valuable Knowledge, June 8, 2019

The conventional wisdom in education circles is that memorization is a waste of time—and boring. In fact, it’s crucial to higher-order thinking. And a geography game is proving it can be fun. …

Why Outrage Over the New SAT ‘Adversity Score’ Is Misplaced, May 26, 2019

Recent reports that the SAT will provide an “adversity score” for applicants have spurred a wave of criticism. But the real risk is that the move will send the false message that we’ve done all we can to improve K-12 education for disadvantaged students. …

The Biggest Education News Story You’ve Never Heard Of, May 12, 2019

There’s no shortage of journalism focusing on education. But little of it has examined a fundamental question: What gets taught in our schools and how? …

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

 

RESEARCH ED Magazine

Writing and Cognitive Load Theory, June 24, 2019

Cognitive load theory has been described as one of the most important discussions in modern psychology that educators need to be familiar with. Natalie Wexler looks at what the implications of this theory are for the way we teach writing, and what it means in the classroom. …

 

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. …