Jill Barshay
Jill Barshay, a contributing editor, is the founding editor and writer of Education By The Numbers, The Hechinger Report's blog about education data. Previously she was the New York bureau chief for Marketplace, a national business show on public radio stations. Barshay has worked at Congressional Quarterly, The Asian Wall Street Journal and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She has also written for The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Economist and The Washington Post, appeared on CNN, ABC News and C-SPAN and was a podcaster for Slate. A graduate of Brown University, the London School of Economics and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Barshay spent the 2010-11 academic year as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in economics and business journalism at Columbia.

Three things that will make a school bad: child abuse, homelessness and mothers who dropped out of high school

Conventional wisdom has it that schools with high concentrations of poverty are bad. But when a team of researchers from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) studied every third grader in the Philadelphia public schools, they found strong student achievement in some schools with high concentrations of poverty. The low-achieving schools were […]

US students rank better internationally on new problem solving test

Here’s a modest test result to bolster the argument of those who say the American educational system isn’t so terrible. On a new creative problem-solving test taken by students in 44 countries and regions, U.S. 15-year-olds scored above the international average and rank at number 18 in the world. That’s much better than the below-average […]

Newly minted teachers in 2012 on average owe $429 a month

Should future teachers be taking out massive loans to get their master’s of education degrees? A March 26, 2014 report by the New America Foundation points out that as much as 40 percent of the $1 trillion in student debt outstanding was borrowed not for college, but to pay for grad school. And some 80% […]

Whites and Asians have a disproportionate share of pre-k seats in NYC

These pie charts show that whites make up fewer than 15 percent of the student population in New York City’s public schools, but they took nearly 18 percent of the city’s limited and coveted pre-kindergarten slots in the 2011-12 school year, the most recent year that data was available. That’s according to an interactive civil […]

New Common Core exams will test whether a robo-grader is as accurate as a human

Millions of elementary, middle and high school students in 14 states and Washington, D.C. may have their essays graded by computers next year if initial tests of robo-grading prove to be accurate. A multi-state consortium known as PARCC that is developing the tests said it hoped to use essay-grading software as soon as Spring 2015, […]

Schools struggle to count algebra classes

Politico posted a nice roundup of new data from the U.S. Department of Education on March 21, 2014 that highlights racial inequities in education. They led with the provocative statistic that more than 8,000 three- and four-year olds were suspended from preschool in 2011, but most of the story covers how minorities have less access […]

Student loans still growing faster than any other debt and now most likely to be 90-days-plus delinquent

Back in 2010, student loan debt outstanding in the United States surpassed outstanding credit card debt. Student loan debt hit the $1 trillion mark in 2013. It’s still the fastest growing consumer debt and a lot of it isn’t getting paid back. That’s according to the most recent consumer debt report by the Federal Reserve […]

Universities with 10 largest endowments raise tuition for low income students more than for high income students

This week of March 10, 2014, I was playing around with a new data tool, Tuition Tracker, produced by Holly Hacker of the Dallas Morning News and my Hechinger Report colleague Jon Marcus. The tool allows anyone to see the actual tuition charged to students of different income groups at every college and university in […]

U.S. teachers 6th highest paid in the world

I tend to think of US teachers being relatively poorly compensated in our society, especially when compared to say, private equity fund managers. And I always thought that many developed nations paid their teachers far more than we do in the United States. So I was surprised to see that U.S. public school teachers are […]

Almost a third of college drop outs would have been more likely to graduate had they started at a two-year college

One of the knocks on community colleges is that many students who might have succeeded in completing a four-year college degree are unable to weather the college transfer process. They get their associate’s degree, but not their bachelor’s. Indeed, back in 2009, Bridget Terry Long and Michal Kurlaender found hard evidence that starting at a […]

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