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Jack Schneider

Affiliations
Assistant Professor of Leadership in Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Areas of Expertise:
  • K-12 Education
  • School Reform

Connect with Jack

About Jack

Schneider’s research broadly examines the influence of rhetoric, politics, history, and culture on educational policy. Recently, he has focused particularly on the measurement of school quality. How does the public get information about schools? What measurement tools do policymakers rely on? How does the information included in educational data systems align with what people actually value? What are the intended and unintended consequences of standardized testing? Working with the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston, Schneider co-founded the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, which seeks to move beyond test scores in measuring school quality -- providing rich, comprehensive, fair, and useful information to stakeholders.

Briefs

Publications

Beyond Test Scores: A Better Way to Measure School Quality (Harvard University Press, 2017).

Reframes current debates over school quality by offering new approaches to educational data that push past the unproductive fixation on test scores. Develops a new framework to more fairly and comprehensively assess educational effectiveness.

"Closing the Gap... Between the University and Schoolhouse" Phi Delta Kappan 96, no. 1 (September 2014): 30-35.

Argues that research is often applied when scholars know how to make their work visible to teachers, friendly to their worldview, practical for use by K-12 schools, and easy to share, but this doesn't ensure the quality or effectiveness of the research. 

"A Thin Line Between Love and Hate: Educational Measurement in the United States" (with Ethan L. Hutt), in Pupil Assessment Cultures in Historical Perspective, edited by Cristina Alarcón and Martin Lawn.

Answers the question: how is it that Americans both embrace and revile educational assessment? Examines the pressures of consumerism and entrepreneurialism, merit and social mobility, open-access egalitarianism, and local control on assessment culture.

"The Best of Both Worlds" (with Joe Feldman and Dan French). Phi Delta Kappan 98, no. 3 (November 2016): 60-67.

Argues that replacing machine-scored standardized tests with teacher-rated classroom assignments and accurate grading may represent our best hope for promoting both accountability and instruction. 

"The (Mis)measure of Schools: How Data Affect Stakeholder Knowledge and Perceptions of Quality" (with Rebecca Jacobsen, Rachel White, and Hunter Gehlbach). Teachers College Record (forthcoming).

This article examines the influence of test scores and more holistic measures of school quality in shaping public understandings of familiar and unfamiliar schools.

Excellence for All: How a New Breed of Reformers is Transforming America’s Public Schools (Vanderbilt University Press, 2011).
Reveals the philosophical and ideological underpinnings of the contemporary school reform movement, using three high-profile reforms as case studies.
From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse: How Scholarship Becomes Common Knowledge in Education (Harvard Education Press, 2014).
Explores the relationship between research and practice in education, outlining challenges and opportunities for moving scholarship into K-12 classrooms.

In the News

"Why Americans Think So Poorly of the Country's Schools," Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, July 17, 2017.
"The Urban-School Stigma," Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, August 25, 2017.
"What School-Funding Debates Ignore," Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, January 22, 2018.
Co-Host Jack Schneider (with Jennifer Berkshire) to Have You Heard Podcast.
Anne Day Leong quoted in Sean Mulkerrin, "Analysis: No Quick Fix for Growing Student Poverty" The Altamont Enterprise, November 30, 2017.
Jack Schneider quoted in Connor Cumminksey, "School Tests Limited in What They Can Measure, Experts Say" The Journal, November 5, 2017.
"Betsy DeVos Doesn't Understand How Markets Really Work," Jack Schneider, Washington Monthly, October 27, 2017.
"What Makes a Level 1 School?," Jack Schneider, CommonWealth Magazine, September 27, 2016.
"Charter Cap Debate Clouds Original Intent," Jack Schneider, CommonWealth Magazine, October 10, 2016.
"America's Not-So-Broken Education System," Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, June 23, 2016.
Jack Schneider quoted on American school system in Amy Scott, "High School is Too Old School" Marketplace, September 18, 2015.
Regular contributionsJack Schneider to Education Week's K-12 Schools: Beyond the Rhetoric Blog.
"U.S. Public Schools are Better than They've Ever Been," Jack Schneider, Interview with Libby Nelson, Vox, October 13, 2014.
"Making It Easier to Fire Teachers Won't Get You Better Ones," Jack Schneider, Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2014.
"Advanced Placement, Academic Segregation," Jack Schneider, Oakland Tribune, June 2, 2007.
"Schools' Unrest over the AP Test," Jack Schneider, Christian Science Monitor, May 28, 2008.
"Segregation Forever: Why Integration Never Came to the LAUSD," Jack Schneider, Los Angeles Daily News, June 21, 2008.
"How to Shape New U.S. Citizens," Jack Schneider, Christian Science Monitor, August 4, 2008.
"Let's Tackle Education Funding Once and for All," Jack Schneider, USA Today, April 9, 2009.
"History Bends in the Hands of Ideologues," Jack Schneider, Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 9, 2011.
"'Gut Instincts': Are We Really Better off Not Thinking?," Jack Schneider, Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2011.
"No Magic Solution for Schools," Jack Schneider, Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 1, 2012.
"Chicago Teachers Will Lose unless They Revise Strategy," Jack Schneider, USA Today, September 12, 2012.
"Long History of U.S. Shootings Means Obama is Right, NRA is Wrong," Jack Schneider, Christian Science Monitor, January 16, 2013.
"Better Ways to Grade Public Schools," Jack Schneider, Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2013.