Roosevelt Institute | Cornell University

Center for Education Policy

Currently Merged with Domestic Policy Center

Women and Children Last? Initial Vaccine Distribution

By Genevieve Richards Published December 22, 2020

With COVID-19 vaccines on the near horizon, the United States has to decide which groups it will prioritize, and why.

Colleges Should Give a Partial Tuition Refund to Students for the Spring 2020 Semester

By Hannah Ritter Published June 2, 2020

Cornell Roosevelt Institute Logo

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, students at high-cost universities were sent home halfway through the semester to continue the semester online. This unexpected switch to online instruction exposed the quality differential between in-person and online schooling, as students are lacking the services that their tuitions are supposed to provide. Universities should give students partial tuition refunds prorated for the amount of time spent in online instruction because students are not receiving the quality of education promised by their high-cost tuitions.

Introducing Guns into Schools Will Not Make Students Any Safer

By Hannah Ritter Published December 5, 2019

As mass shootings reach a historical high, federal and state legislatures are debating how to protect students in school from mass gun violence. While policymakers make proposals to introduce guns into schools to protect students against an active shooter, arming teachers would escalate violence and would not add much protection in the case of an active shooter, but rather it can further endanger students.

Specialized High Schools: A Cover For NYC’s Failing Education System?

By Templechukwu Anyasi Published May 16, 2019

NYC’s specialized high schools act as a microcosm for the debate surrounding diversity and access to education. An analysis of the process to enter these elite public schools can help us reflect on our values and how to change our education system for the better.

Evaluating Educators Using Standardized State Exams Will Not Make America Catch Up

By Hannah Ritter Published May 5, 2019

Picture of a typical bubble answer sheet for a multiple choice examination

As America continues to lag behind other countries in the academic arms race, politicians scapegoat teachers for low student performance. However, evaluating teachers based on students’ standardized test scores is ineffective, unfair, and actually hinders learning.

Can A Gun Problem Be Solved With More Guns?

By Shraddha Harshvardhan Published February 28, 2019

A warning sign stating staff is armed inside a school

President Trump has recently proposed arming school teachers as a solution to mass shootings in schools. However, the outcome of this policy might not satisfy its intent.

Priced-Out: The Effects of the Housing Market on Educators in San Francisco

By Elia Morelos Published February 19, 2019

Teachers, faculty and supporters rallied Tuesday in front of the offices of the San Francisco Unified School District demanding higher pay to counter the high cost of living in The City.

The San Francisco Unified School District is currently experiencing a high teacher turnout rate. This is in part due to the high housing costs in San Francisco, ameliorated by the tech boom in the Bay Area. SFUSD needs to refocus their efforts on making sure that their educators are able to live in the areas that they teach in.

Prioritize Stopping School Segregation Over Slander

By Nicole Sochaczevski Published February 17, 2019

Comic of a teacher presenting a math lesson: 1 White kid in a well funded white school + 1 black kid in an under-funded ghetto school = 1 well education American child equipped for the future

As the debate rises over Biden’s previous opinions about school segregation, I challenge the public to focus on reversing school segregation, which still exists today, instead of spending time slandering the former Vice President.

Treating Teachers Better

By Aren Moss Published February 17, 2019

Frustrated Los Angeles teachers take to the streets to protest low wages and mistreatment.

The 2008 recession worsened the status of America's most important workers- its teachers. Now, struggling educators turn to striking as they face the consequences of years neglect and mistreatment. The United States can learn a thing or two from Singapore, the world's education frontrunner, to improve the quality and desirability of teaching.

America is Getting BORED with STAFFORD - Why we should look elsewhere for student loan reform.

By Ashni Verma Published February 17, 2019

The price of education skyrockets in the United States. (Image taken from the article:

The Stafford Loan Program has established itself as a societal detriment, both for the federal government and for individual students. The future of America's student loan program will require us to look at the systems in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Improving Education Through Debate Instruction

By Marie Ceske Published November 17, 2018

Two individuals debating

With the rise of partisanship and an America that has become increasingly divided on many political issues, debate education in schools may be part of the solution.

It's Time to Abandon the Meritocracy

By Ashni Verma Published November 17, 2018

Pictured above: protesters marching a sign that reads "Defend Affirmative Action"

As the battle over affirmative action rages on, it is important to question the validity of a merit-based system in determining who can and cannot climb up the socioeconomic ladder. While affirmative action is extremely controversial, it is one of the few policies in existence that can actually address this issue.

A Conversation on Hate Speech and University Codes

By Jenna Zitomer Published January 1, 2017

Hate Speech in the Trump Era

With More Diversity Comes Greater Segregation: An American Paradox

By Shraddha Harshvardhan Published January 1, 2017

The need for diversity in our children's classrooms and why we have not yet achieved it.

Devaluing the Humanities? How Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences' New Curriculum Proposal Discourages True Liberal Arts Education

By Marie Ceske Published January 1, 2017

Aimed to give Arts and Sciences students more direction, Cornell's new curriculum proposal sacrifices the humanities and academic exploration.

Why Genetics Oriented Education Is Important

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

With genetic testing becoming more consumer friendly, a gaping hole is being revealed current education : it does not have the capability to equip people with an understanding of what is an inseparable part of themselves - their DNA.

Furthering Nationalist Values Rather than Liberating Minds

By Lydia Holley Published January 1, 2017

Although education is frequently portrayed as the gateway to opportunity and equality, most education systems fall far from this ideal. The US' current treatment of history as well as Poland's impending changes to the history curriculum both demonstrate that nationalistic tendencies of governments infuse public education with fallacious interpretations of history and vocationally-oriented coursework, creating students that think less freely due to biased information and courses meant to prepare them for the job market.

Gifted and Talented: A Step Forward, or a Step Back?

By Ackel Braide Published January 1, 2017

Gifted and talented programs have proliferated across the United States as a solution for educating our brightest students. But does the program do them a favor, or work against them?

The One and Done Rule in NCAA Basketball Recruitment Scandal

By Geneva Saupe Published January 1, 2017

The recent FBI probe intro bribery and fraud in the college basketball recruitment process has resulted coaches from top programs being arrested and fired. In light of this, perhaps it's time to reexamine the NBA's one and done rule, which mandates that players be a year removed from high school before they can enter the draft.

A Step Back: Betsy DeVos and Her Removal of Strict Title IX Policies on University Campuses

By Jenna Zitomer Published January 1, 2017

Secretary Devos' revocation of Obama era Title IX does a disservice to survivors of campus sexual assault

Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Affirmative Action

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

At a time when affirmative action is being cited as overly aggressive, a New York Times analysis calls into question the effectiveness of the decades old policy.

How the American Health Care Act (2017) Makes America's Schools Sick

By Arwa Ali Published January 1, 2017

The AHCA will result in Medicaid cuts that will reduce funding to schools used to provide health services to low-income and special education students, causing many children to fall further behind and widening already present education disparities.

How Trump's Budget Harms Public Education

By Samuel Kim Published January 1, 2017

The blueprints for Trump's budget plan feature proposals for a massive 14% decrease in allocations for the Department of Education. This would mean that the Department of Education will lose $9.2 billion in funding, the third largest loss in budget behind only the Departments of State and Health and Human Services.

Providing Schools to a Community

By Samara Jacobson Published January 1, 2017

Mayor DeBlasio's approach to education reform in NYC is holistic and innovative, but is his approach too ambitious?

AltSchool: Silicon Valley's Answer to Education Reform

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

Former Google employee Max Ventilla has founded a school which he believes can revolutionize the public sphere by offering tailored education - many aren't happy with his thinking.

Governor Cuomo's Free Tuition Expansion

By Emily Bramhall Published January 1, 2017

New York Governor Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship expands tuition-free college to the middle-class New Yorkers. However, the scholarship comes with stringent requirements that emphasizes on-time graduation, and these requirements may actually be a barrier to college completion for some.

School Lunch on the Chopping Block

By Nicole Sochaczevski Published January 1, 2017

The Trump administration plans to cut funding for free and reduced-price lunches in public school across the United States.

The Future of Correctional Education Under the Trump Administration

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

Obama's administration had pushed for various reforms in the prison system to ensure greater education access to all inmates to help reduce recidivism. That may be set to change under President Donald Trump.

Education Based in Rigor

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

Basis Charter Schools provide an example of how charter schools can help students learn and provide value to communities

Trump and School Choice

By Emily Bramhall Published January 1, 2017

In a time when many believe the United States public schools are failing its students, Donald Trump's proposed solution is to commit federal dollars to promote school-choice among the states. School-choice vouchers have the potential to take resources away from struggling public schools. Are the benefits worth the cost?

Online Education, Distinction Without a Degree

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

Online education, whether it is pursued be for a degree, certificate, or leisure has proved to be a dynamic way for people around the world to freely learn. This is why the government should provide economic benefits to Edx to further encourage universities to collaborate and provide MOOCs.

The Demise of ITT Tech; Dealing with the Closure of a For-Profit College

By Emil Kunkin  Published January 1, 2017

The closure of one of the biggest chains of for-profit schools following a ruling from the Department of Education has left former students reeling.

Protecting a Language or Limiting a Population?

By Nicole Sochaczevski Published January 1, 2017

Quebec's Charter of the French Language, better known as Bill 101, forces education in French and impedes employment opportunities for students.

How Property Taxes Fund Inequality

By Kayleigh Rubin Published January 1, 2017

Public school districts in much of the United States are funded, to varying degrees, by local property taxes. This article discusses how this method of finance diminishes the equality of students' educational opportunities.

The Importance of Comprehensive Sex and HIV/AIDS Education

By Jenna Zitomer Published January 1, 2017

The lack of sex and HIV/AIDS education has always been an issue in our country, and is often times a topic of controversy with regards to its place in the classroom. This paper outlines the importance of comprehensive sex and HIV/AIDS education for young adults, touching on the positive and negative effects that are correlated with existence of comprehensive sex education, and the lack of it, respectively.

The Language of Colonization

By Girisha Arora Published January 1, 2017

English as a language in India still serves as a reminder of colonial oppression - even after 70 years of independence.It is causing a neo-castist divide which can only be sought to removed if all languages were to be allowed to develop equally.

The Negative Effects of Clinton's "New College Compact" on Private Colleges

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published January 1, 2017

Hillary Clinton's plan to improve college affordability was definitely influenced by Sanders' plan and campaign message, but the political feasibility and reality of her ideas is lacking because of the adverse effects it could have on private colleges.

Why Sports Performance Majors Won't Fix the Gap between Collegiate Academics and Athletics

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published January 1, 2017

The argument over proper compensation for high-performing student-athletes has resurfaced, but less attention has been given to the idea of narrowing the gap between sports and academics for these students through a sports performance major. This article discusses why such a program in its current conceptualized form is not necessary and easy to take advantage of.

Death, Taxes, and Tuition

By Emil Kunkin  Published January 1, 2017

Paying for higher education is a topic on the minds of many American families today, as college costs have skyrocketed. While radical changes are politically or economically unfeasible, there are other ways to help families pay for college.

Why AP Courses Are Overrated

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

More people are taking APs, but are they the right people, are the costs fair, and most importantly are the curriculums advantageous?

Title IX and the Bathroom Bill

By Emily Silfkin Published January 1, 2017

Title IX is one of the most important parts of our country's educational code. As a woman who takes pride in her education, I believe that I should have every opportunity that a male student has, and to the same quality.

Is Our Higher Education System Failing Our Veterans?

By Emily Silfkin Published January 1, 2017

For-profit colleges have become increasingly popular in the United States for people who cannot pursue a traditional degree. However, the benefits of these institutions are not always what the advertisements claim. The debt accumulated at for-profit schools and the lack of opportunities with a degree hurt a very important group of students, our nation's veterans.

A Crisis of Language

By Nicholas Kaye Published January 1, 2017

The study of languages in American schools has steadily been declining, leaving students disadvantaged for the increasingly connected global market. Steps must be taken to promote the existing language education programs and investigating alternative language teaching methods, such as dual-language programs.

A Texas-Sized Fight Over Textbooks

By Emil Kunkin  Published January 1, 2017

Sensational claims and seemingly outdated policies bring media attention to the content of Texas' textbooks, but its outsize presence in the national market for textbooks means that Texas statewide standards, which have been criticized as being overly political, can affect the content of textbooks nationwide.

Reform Teacher Tenure

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

Many speak out against tenure because it gives incompetent teachers virtual immunity from firing. In Michigan for example, it takes almost a year to expel a teacher in a belabored principal, board, and union battle, which is even before the legal process! To make matters more ridiculous, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to fire and(or) reassign bad tenured teachers.

Obama's New Socioeconomic Integration Program to Prioritize Diversity

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published January 1, 2017

"Stronger Together," a competitive federal grant program which attempts to integrate schools by income through a competition among states, is a national response to what has become a trend among both red and blue states. Unlike past grant programs that encouraged charter schools and performance-based evaluations for teachers, this initiative gives low income students the opportunity to attend better schools.

What Does A New SAT Mean for Higher Education?

By Kiara Butler Published January 1, 2017

The recent changes made to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), play a significant role in altering admissions to universities and colleges. The changes drastically altered the exam format, and fail to implement common systems to evaluate the results. In order to protect an exam which plays a primary role in college admissions, it is necessary to implement a score conversion system and regulations to closely review the exam on a frequent basis.

Education: A Hot Topic? Not for the GOP

By Emily Silfkin Published January 1, 2017

Education should be on every candidate's mind as they are moving through this election cycle. With a system in desperate need of reform, it is vital that our presidential candidates relay to the public their plans for improving education in this country. However, the GOP has been shy in telling debate viewers their plans for education reform, while reform is a major tenet of Democratic campaigns.

Asessing Teachers' Pay and Performance

By Gideon Teitel Published January 1, 2017

Various definitions of teacher performance are offered to add context to the debate about whether teachers should be paid and receive promotions on the basis of performance.

Mental Health on Campus: The Need for Comprehensive Reform and Supportive Policy

By Elizabeth Clarke Published January 1, 2017

This post discusses the need for more comprehensive mental health programming in higher education, especially in light of recent, highly publicized tragedies. Institutional and government level policy-makers play an integral role in developing the financial and information-based platforms necessary to spark improvement.

Are All For-Profits Villains?

By Phoebe Keller Published January 1, 2017

For-profit schools have recently received a storm of criticism for misleading prospective students and failing to adequately prepare them to acquire "gainful employment. However, flaws inherent in the methods of regulating these schools may soon deny government funding to even those for-profits outperforming their private sector counterparts. While the for-profit sector does appear dismal if all its schools' statistics are conflated, certain for-profits offer students a pragmatic vocational alternative to a liberal arts education and boast consistently successful graduates.

Flip the Classrom

By Tess Davey Published January 1, 2017

Flipping the classroom involves students watching a video of the lecture outside of class at their convenience and then doing activities and HW in class with the teacher's help

Discrimination on College Campuses

By Nicole Sochaczevski and Samara Jacobson Published January 1, 2017

How the election of President Trump has contributed to the rise of hatred and discrimination on college campuses across the United States.

Who is Betsy Devos?

By Aaron Gottesfeld and Nicole Sochaczevski Published January 1, 2017

Get to know the newly appointed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. Does she hold the proper qualifications? What are her intended goals as secretary of education? How will her position impact the American education system?

Dual-Language Programs Find a Growing Appeal among Native and Nonnative English Speakers

By Toni-Anne Richards  Published November 9, 2015

This post discusses the growing demand for dual language programs throughout the United States and the statistical advantages to this form of language learning as opposed to more established methods.

Too Many Test, Not Enough Learning

By Alison Molchadsky Published November 9, 2015

The current public school system in the United States is based on test taking as a form of assessment. However, the rampant test taking is severely detrimental to the education system and is in definite need of reform. Obama's recent announcement to pull the reign on the excessive testing is a step in the right direction, however there needs to be tangible legislation and change"”not just rhetoric.

Presidential Candidates Education Policies

By Emily Silfkin Published November 9, 2015

Do we need common core, free higher education, or Federal control of education?

De Blasio's High-Reaching Education Initiatives Promise Bold Changes for NYC Public Schools

By Toni-Ann Richards Published October 18, 2015

Will NYC public schools have enough funding and expertise for computer science programs?

Ranking Education: Does Obama's Scorecard Stack Up?

By Elizabeth Clarke Published October 18, 2015

This post analyzes the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to provide a centralized government resource for students to compare their higher education options. It takes a closer look at the new College Scorecard system, which evolved form the President's original controversial plan to rank all colleges and universities.

Obama's Scorecard Isn't An A, But It's a Solid B+

By Phoebe Keller Published October 18, 2015

The newly unveiled "College Scorecard" evaluates colleges and universities based on their measured "access, affordability and outcomes." Although many have found fault with the methodology of data collection or expansion of federal regulation accompanying the introduction of the new tool, its release is a step towards enabling students to invest more prudently in strong schools.