It is hard to recall—or even to imagine—a stretch of time before the past three years when the news emanating from American public schools was more dispiriting. Day after day, it seems, researchers or government agencies release new test score data showing an unprecedented decline in students’ basic skills overContinue Reading

From weight and distance, to calorie-counting and calculating the depths of space, throughout history, humans have loved to measure things. Speaking to Elinor Evans, James Vincent – author of Beyond Measure – uncovers some fascinating and unexpected stories from the history of measurement. James Vincent is the author ofContinue Reading

Architecture, agriculture, art and more first blossomed in these cultures. While modern civilizations extend to every continent except Antarctica, most scholars place the earliest cradles of civilizations—in other words, where civilizations first emerged—in modern-day Iraq, Egypt, India, China, Peru and Mexico, beginning between approximately 4000 and 3000 B.C. These ancientContinue Reading

Has the achievement of U.S. students improved over the past half century? Have gaps between racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups widened or narrowed? These and similar questions provoke near-constant conversation. But answers are uncertain, partly because research to date has yielded inconsistent findings. Here we bring together information from everyContinue Reading

Who was Alice Kinloch? It is thought that Kinloch was born c1863 in Cape Province, South Africa, and died around c1946 in Tanganyika (today’s Tanzania). During her lifetime, Kinloch was a prominent public speaker in Britain, bringing attention to the maltreatment and oppression of African miners in Kimberley, where sheContinue Reading

Whether teacher supply problems reflect challenges unique to schools cannot be understood without considering the economy as a whole. This is especially true now, when tight labor markets are forcing employers to address “worker shortages” across the country. The pace of teacher hiring picks up over the summer. So doesContinue Reading

7 August 1209  Faced with an English invasion, William the Lion of Scotland agreed in the Treaty of Norham to pay 15,000 marks for King John’s ‘goodwill’ and handed over his two daughters for John to arrange their marriages. 7 August 1641 A parliamentary bill declaring ship money illegal received royalContinue Reading

When was the first Commonwealth Games? The first event called the Commonwealth Games took place in the Canadian city of Edmonton in 1978. But this was a re-branding of an older event that has always been closely tied to the political, cultural, and economic structures of British imperialism. So theContinue Reading