Jacob Vigdor is a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. His research interests are in the broad areas of education policy, housing policy, and political economy. Within those areas, Mr. Vigdor has published numerous scholarly articles on the topics of residential segregation, immigration, housing affordability, the consequences of gentrification, the determinants of student achievement in elementary school, the causes and consequences of delinquent behavior among adolescents, teacher turnover, civic participation and voting patterns, and racial inequality in the labor market. These articles have been published in outlets such as the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Mr. Vigdor's scholarly activities have been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Spencer Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Mr. Vigdor has taught at Duke since 1999.
As red ink continues to recede from state budgets nationwide, states and districts will find new opportunities to make smart investments in public education. The administrators who recognize the lessons of No Child Left Behind – both good and bad – will make the smartest choices.
Should No Child Left Behind be thought of as a well-intentioned initiative that failed? Or did it make some progress in its stated goal of improving academic achievement, particularly for disadvantaged students?
The root of America's mathematics problem is an excessive emphasis on equality in curriculum. Given the inherent variability in students’ math aptitude, equity can be achieved only by delivering a suboptimal education to at least some students.