Five Weekend Reads Not about Syria

Five weekend reads from Brookings scholars that are not about Syria:

The Algebra Imperative: Assessing Algebra in a National and International Context

by Tom Loveless

Over the past two decades, algebra has acquired elevated status within the U.S. school curriculum. Researchers have documented that readiness for both college-level mathematics and technically-oriented employment hinges on students gaining, at least by the end of high school, a basic knowledge of algebra.  Robert Moses, a 1982 MacArthur fellow, declared algebra a civil rights issue. These developments present a challenge for policymakers: the need to measure–in a sound, trustworthy manner–national progress in learning algebra. The essay below explores how that goal can be accomplished.

Big Data: Data Analytics and the Assessment of Student Writing

by Darrell West and Joshua Bleiberg

Experts have long discussed the power of big data to revolutionize educational assessment. In this paper, the authors address the lack of confidence surrounding the utility of analytics due to difficulty in gaining access to actual data. They provide examples, particularly about the practical demonstration of data analytics in regard to student writing, in an effort to fill that void.

Contemporary Immigrant Gateways in Historical Perspective

by Audrey Singer

Singer focuses on settlement trends of immigrants during the periods that bookend the twentieth century, both eras of mass migration. She compares settlement patterns in both periods, describing old and new gateways, the growth of the immigrant population, and geographic concentration and dispersion.

A Coup too Far: The Case for Reordering U.S. Priorities in Egypt

by Shadi Hamid and Peter Mandaville

In this Brookings Doha Center paper, Hamid and Mandaville call for a comprehensive re-think of U.S. policy toward Egypt. They argue that the coup and subsequent crackdown present a critical opportunity to review the rational of the bilateral relationship. Moving beyond the mythology of Camp David is a necessary first step in reimagining the U.S.-Egypt relationship and anchoring it on more solid ground for the longer term.

Moving Forward On Medicaid Reform: Shared Savings In Medicaid, And How To Do It

by Mark McClellan, Keith Fontenot, Sara Bencic, Christine Dang-Vu, and Erica Socker

Applying a shared savings framework to Medicaid could empower states to reform their health systems to put patients first without resorting to spending caps or block grants. The authors highlight a few key practical issues related to the implementation of a Medicaid Shared Savings framework and describe ways in which further progress is possible in the short term.