The Washington Post

Hoover ranks 2011’s best and worst moments in education: short on education policy, heavy on politics

What were the best and worst moments in education this year? The Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education has ranked them for you.

At the top of the best list is “reinvigorating school choice via opportunity scholarships and vouchers.” And the year’s worst moment is the “misreporting of the Atlanta Public Schools' cheating scandal” and, somehow, not the actual scandal itself.

“This list indicates that several positive developments led to greater parental choice, system transparency and teacher accountability; however, “the worst” events indicate that there remains considerable room for improvement,” according to the task force.

However, nearly every item had more to do with politics than education policy. Number two on the worst list: “Bungling of reauthorization of No Child Left Behind by a slowpoke Congress and a Constitution-oblivious president.” And unions were a factor in four of the ten items--they were on the best list when they were defeated and on the worst list when they weren’t.

This is the second year the team has put together the five best and five worst events for the year “to inform the public and shape education reform in the upcoming year.” The task force is an eleven member group that mostly contains Hoover Institution, but also two Brookings scholars.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained