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.

Why a New Jersey school district decided giving laptops to students is a terrible idea

Inside Hoboken’s combined junior-senior high school is a storage closet. Behind the locked door, mothballed laptop computers are strewn among brown cardboard boxes. Others are stacked one atop another amid other computer detritus. Dozens more are stored on mobile computer carts, many of them on their last legs. That’s all that remains from a failed […]

US educators lead the world in overestimating student poverty, which may affect educational mobility

Do educators’ perceptions of how disadvantaged their students are matter? Put another way, when teachers think their students are underprivileged, do they have lower expectations for them, and do their students achieve less at school? In a July 22, 2014, article “Poverty and the perception of poverty – how both matter for schooling outcomes,” Andreas […]

Right and wrong methods for teaching first graders who struggle with math

To help young kids who struggle with math, well-intentioned teachers often turn to non-traditional teaching methods. They use music and movement to involve the whole body. They use hands-on materials such as popsicle sticks to help the students understand tens and hundreds. Or they encourage students to come up with different strategies for solving 7 […]

Federal education data show male-female wage gap among young college graduates remains high

Conventional wisdom has it that young men and women tend to earn similar wages as young adults, but that the male-female gap widens a lot with age, especially as women “lean out” during their child-bearing years. The Pew Research Center, for example, calculated that young adult women (ages 25-34) earned 93 cents for each dollar […]

What makes for happier teachers, according to international survey

Teachers who say they get included in school decision-making and collaborate often with other teachers are more likely to say that teaching is a valued profession in their society. In turn, these same teachers report higher levels of job satisfaction and confidence in their ability to teach and to motivate students, according to a 2013 […]

Study finds taking intro statistics class online does no harm

Online education has grown so fast that more than a third of all college students — more than 7 million — took at least one course online in 2012. That’s according to the most recent 2014 annual survey by the Babson Research Group, which has been tracking online education growth since 2002. Yet nagging worries […]

Measuring the cost of federal student loans to taxpayers

Soaring student loan debt seems to be the next crisis waiting to explode. Universities keep jacking up their tuition and the U.S. government keeps financing it through a seemingly unlimited supply of student loans. As I’ve written before, student loans exceed $1 trillion and more than 11 percent of student loan balances are 90+ days […]

Controversial data-driven research behind the California court’s decision to reject teacher tenure

Underlying the California court’s decision on June 10, 2014 to reject teacher tenure as unconstitutional is a controversial body of academic research on teacher effectiveness. The argument that won out was that tenure rules often force school districts to retain their worst teachers. Those ineffective teachers tend to end up at the least desirable schools […]

Study shows that high-tech schools run into budget troubles and cut tech spending

Preliminary findings from a two-year study of new charter schools that were given extra funds to combine computer-based learning with teacher instruction show that schools quickly ran into budget shortfalls and pulled back on their technology plans. The study was written by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington and published […]

Are schools more segregated than in the 50s? What does the data say?

Conventional wisdom in education circles is that school segregation is worse today than before the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that separate schools for whites and blacks were unconstitutional. Many in media are citing statistics from a May 2014 report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Slate’s Jamelle Bouie wrote that it shows, “minority […]

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