Justin Snider
Justin Snider is a contributing editor at The Hechinger Report. He is an advising dean at Columbia University, where he also teaches undergraduate writing. Snider’s research interests include school reform, press coverage of education, urban politics, mayoral control and transatlantic relations. Previously, he taught high school English and advised student publications in the United States, Austria and Hong Kong. A California native, Snider is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago, the University of Vienna, Harvard University and Columbia University.

Q&A with Paul Tough: The Obama administration’s big missed opportunity

What if much of what we think we know about success is wrong? What if the metrics we use in college admissions, for example, aren’t capturing the qualities of character and mind that we should actually care most about? And what if the content of one’s character truly does matter more than anything else? Paul […]

Thinking we know what we test

An op-ed in The New York Times on August 20th, “Testing What We Think We Know,” argued that many medical procedures are carried out in the United States despite a very thin evidence-base for their efficacy. It’s high time to invest more in research, the author wrote, to figure out first what actually works. The […]

How to measure teacher effectiveness fairly?

In the age of accountability, measuring teacher effectiveness has become king. But it’s not enough merely to measure effectiveness, according to many leading thinkers and policymakers; personnel decisions—from pay and promotions to layoffs and outright firings—should be based on teacher-effectiveness data, they say. The Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition brought renewed attention to […]

In global education race, U.S. is falling behind

America’s universities have long had a reputation for being the best in the world—a truth so apparently self-evident that it’s rarely been doubted or questioned. But what if the nation’s 5,000 institutions of higher education, as a whole, have fallen behind their international peers? Indeed, there’s lots of evidence that American higher education could be […]

Getting a college degree doesn’t have to break the bank

Not even bad eyesight could keep Brandon Hong from realizing his boyhood dream of flying airplanes. The 22-year-old native of San Jose, Calif., graduated from Boston University in May, and now he’s stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas for pilot training. Hong won an ROTC scholarship out of high school that, together with […]

Tips for succeeding in your first year of college

The American college experience has often been likened to drinking from a fire hydrant: There’s so much going on and so many new people to meet that it’s more than a little overwhelming. Ambitious freshmen tend to sign up for a full slate of extracurricular activities and the toughest classes on campus. Sleep becomes a […]

Preparing teachers for a lifetime in the classroom

CHICAGO—“It takes a lot to be a teacher,” Luke Carman says. “Every decision that is being made, you’re simultaneously doing 17,000 other things. It requires a lot of intellectual forethought, persistence and energy.” Carman, 23, has spent the past two years preparing for a career in the classroom through the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher […]

How the U.S. educational system looks to a leading expert abroad

The Hechinger Report recently had a chance to ask the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher, an expert on educational systems around the world, what he makes of the current push for reform in American public education. Q: The PISA results make clear that U.S. students aren’t performing particularly well compared to their peers in many other countries.  […]

For this graduating senior, deep thinking—and teaching—really matters

In a few weeks, Mopati Morake will graduate from Williams College in Massachusetts. A native of Botswana, Morake has been educated on three continents. He finished high school in 2007 at Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. Morake spoke with Hechinger Report contributing editor Justin Snider—his former English teacher in Hong Kong—about […]

Trying new approaches to teacher training

CHICAGO—Joyce Randall, who’s in her third year of teaching history to 10th-graders in her hometown of Chicago, is blunt about the effort needed to succeed at her work. “This is a difficult job for anyone to do for a long period of time, especially for the money we’re paid,” she says. The 26-year-old spent 12 […]

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