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John T. Yun

Michigan State University
John T. Yun is an associate professor in the K-12 Educational Administration program in the College of Education at Michigan State University. His research focuses on issues of equity in education, specifically: patterns of school segregation; the effects of school context on educational outcomes; the importance of integrating evaluation into everyday school practice; and the educative/counter-educative impacts of high-stakes testing. Before joining the MSU faculty he served as the Founding Director of the University of California Educational Evaluation Center. 
 
Email John Yun at: jyun@msu.edu
 

NEPC Publications

NEPC Review: The Michigan Context and Performance Report Card: High Schools 2018 (Mackinac Center, January 2019)

Ben DeGrow and Ronald Klingler
The Michigan Context and Performance Report Card: High Schools 2018

A Mackinac Center for Public Policy report, The Michigan Context and Performance Report Card: High Schools 2018, seeks to measure and publicize high school performance by ranking schools according to their test scores. Although this has been done previously in many contexts, this publication touts as its major contribution taking socioeconomic status into account in its school rankings. While the stated goal of the report is laudable, the reality falls far short due to several shortcomings, detailed in this review. Given these shortcomings, the rankings presented in this report should be given no weight in any discussions of policy or practice. In fact, this report does a disservice by introducing questionable information in an easily readable form that is not substantiated by any credible analysis.

Update: Ben DeGrow and Michael Van Beek posted a response to the review in a blog post at: https://www.mackinac.org/critique-of-cap-report-card-fires-blanks.

John T. Yun’s response to the blog is posted immediately below the review. There is a corresponding newsletter at:
https://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/newsletter-yun-response-050219.

NEPC Review: America's Private Public Schools (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, February 2010)

Michael J. Petrilli and Janie Scull
America's Private Public Schools

A recent report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, America's Private Public Schools, has received considerable attention and includes some controversial recommendations. The report's authors suggest the existence of what they term "private public schools," and they argue that the existence of these "exclusive" public schools justifies the support of publicly funded vouchers to private schools. While the report's analysis does support the contention that there are public schools with extreme isolation by class, the authors inappropriately use this finding as the basis to argue that private schools should be publicly funded through vouchers or tax credits -- a conclusion with extremely tenuous logic and one that is unsupported by their analysis. Ultimately, this report has some utility in providing a point of departure for discussions about how we as a society wish to allocate schooling opportunities to students. However, methodological and data problems and the omission of important substantive contextual information about socioeconomic segregation undermine the report's credibility. In addition, the central findings of the authors are disconnected from their ultimate recommendations. And those recommendations do not provide workable solutions or shed any new light on the difficult problem of de facto income segregation. In pursuing such a flawed argument, the authors miss a chance to seriously address this important issue and spur an informed debate on national priorities for public schooling.

Suggested Citation: Yun, J.T. (2010). Review of "America’s Private Public Schools." Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-Americas-Private-Public

NEPC Review: The Effect of Special Education Vouchers on Public School Achievement: Evidence from Florida's McKay Scholarship Program (Manhattan Institute, April 2008)

Jay P. Greene & Marcus Winters
The Effect of Special Education Vouchers on Public School Achievement: Evidence from Florida's McKay Scholarship Program

A new report published by the Manhattan Institute for Education Policy, The Effect of Special Education Vouchers on Public School Achievement: Evidence from Florida’s McKay Scholarship Program, attempts to examine the complex issue of how competition introduced through school vouchers affects student outcomes in public schools. The possible contributions of this report, however, are outweighed by research design problems, failure to take into account alternative explanations, and unsubstantiated assumptions about the direction of possible selection bias. Together, these problems call into question the findings and render the conclusions drawn from those findings highly suspect.

Suggested Citation:

Yun, J. T. (2008). Review of “The Effect of Special Education Vouchers on Public School Achievement: Evidence from Florida’s McKay Scholarship Program.” Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-effect-of-special

NEPC Review: Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind? (June 2007)

Center on Education Policy
Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?

A new report released by the Center on Education Policy, "Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?" has received a great deal of attention in the press and is likely to be cited often in the upcoming debate on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Using states as their unit of analysis, this report concludes that since the implementation of NCLB in 2002, on average, test scores have increased, the achievement gap has narrowed, and achievement gains post-NCLB have increased faster than before NCLB. Despite its attempt and intent to carefully analyze the complex issue of test score improvement before and after the implementation of NCLB in 2002, however, there are some important weaknesses in the analysis that may have resulted in a much more optimistic picture of the impact of the legislation than the data warrant. The report acknowledges several important methodological weaknesses, but other such weaknesses are never mentioned. Among these additional problems are issues of scope, measurement, and selection—all of which ultimately call into question the robustness of the findings, rendering the report’s conclusions far from definitive.

Suggested Citation:

Yun, J. (2007). Review of "Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?"  Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-answering-question-that-matters-most-has-student-achievement-increased-since-no-chi