Amanda Ripley
Amanda Ripley is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way.
  • The Upwardly Mobile Barista

    Starbucks and Arizona State University are collaborating to help cafe workers get college degrees. Is this a model for helping more Americans reach the middle class?

  • Why Do American Students Have So Little Power?

    A group of Kentucky teens is struggling to get a modest bill passed, revealing just how difficult it is to convince adults that kids' opinions matter.

  • The Case Against High-School Sports

    The United States routinely spends more tax dollars per high-school athlete than per high-school math student—unlike most countries worldwide. And we wonder why we lag in international education rankings?

  • Motivation Matters More Than Ever

    Ideas of the Year 2013

  • Why Kids Should Grade Teachers

    A decade ago, an economist at Harvard, Ronald Ferguson, wondered what would happen if teachers were evaluated by the people who see them every day—their students. The idea—as simple as it sounds, and as familiar as it is on college campuses—was revolutionary. And the results seemed to be, too: remarkable consistency from grade to grade, and across racial divides. Even among kindergarten students. A growing number of school systems are administering the surveys—and might be able to overcome teacher resistance in order to link results to salaries and promotions.

  • Boot Camp for Teachers

  • The World’s Schoolmaster

    How a German scientist is using test data to revolutionize global learning

  • Your Child Left Behind

    For years, poor performance by students in America relative to those in other countries has been explained away as a consequence of our nationwide diversity. But what if you looked more closely, breaking down our results by state and searching not for an average, but for excellence?

  • What Makes a Great Teacher?

    For years, the secrets to great teaching have seemed more like alchemy than science, a mix of motivational mumbo jumbo and misty-eyed tales of inspiration and dedication. But for more than a decade, one organization has been tracking hundreds of thousands of kids, and looking at why some teachers can move them three grade levels ahead in a year and others can’t. Now, as the Obama administration offers states more than $4 billion to identify and cultivate effective teachers, Teach for America is ready to release its data.

  • In Case of Emergency

    FEMA’s new administrator has a message for Americans: get in touch with your survival instinct.