I’ve got a short column on The Underdog Imperative at City Journal.

. . . when students compete outside their own schools, or above their skill levels, they learn how they measure up in the world. They learn the value of mistakes and how to bounce back from failure.

Also in City Journal, Sol Stern writes that mayor control of New York City schools is more spin than substance and teacher Marc Epstein details how the state’s U.S. history exam is nearly impossible to fail.

About Joanne


  1. I think there’s a substantial difference between four kids building a robot and a special ed kid who “won” a spelling bee in which he was the only competitor.

  2. SuperSub says:

    Regarding Epstein’s criticism of the NY American History Regents, I have to say the same holds true for the Living Environment (BIology) Regents. It is a poorly constructed test where the true difficulty lies not in knowing or applying the principles of Biology, but in understanding the questions. To compensate for poor question design the state curves all the grades… a raw score of 48% ended up being a 65% final grade this year.