Featured Work
  • Weapons Use By Border Agents Declines
  • Use of firearms and other weapons by US Customs and Border Protection agents fell 30 percent since newly instituted use-of-force reforms.

From 's Blog
  • New(ish) Work
  • As of early 2016, I’m pushing on several long term projects. In the meantime, here is my latest journalism: Down With Algebra II? – Slate It drives dropout rates and is mostly useless in real life. Andrew Hacker has a plan for getting rid of it. Good Intentions – The New Republic Bill Gates is out […]
  • Questions to Ask About Suspending Five Year-Olds
  • Is it ever okay to suspend a kindergartener — repeatedly? John Merrow’s recent PBS report showed that the Success Academy charter schools do this. But as this response from Success CEO Eva Moskowitz demonstrates, even little kids are capable of violent behavior that impacts other children’s ability to learn. Teachers reported that the boy in […]
  • On “Show Me a Hero” and Suburban New York Poverty
  • Via HBO, white people arguing about where non-white people should live. At times it is unsubtle, but I generally like “Show Me a Hero,” the HBO miniseries from David Simon and Paul Haggis about the 1980s battle to integrate housing in the Westchester city of Yonkers. Like Brentin Mock, I wish the NAACP, which sued Yonkers to locate […]
  • “The Teacher Wars” in Paperback!
  • Dear readers, friends, and colleagues, Today my book, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession, is available in paperback. I’m so grateful for how the book has been received. The hardcover debuted last September at #8 on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. I was asked to speak about the book on the radio with Terry […]
  • On Giving Away the Ending
  • Half way through “Among the Ten Thousand Things,” a superbly written novel of middle-aged infidelity, author Julia Pierpont fast-forwards several decades and reveals what has happened to each of the central characters. This takes place in a 12-page interlude, after which the narrative picks up where it had left off. Justifying this breach of structural convention, Pierpont […]