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Student-Teacher Race Match in Charter and Traditional Public Schools

There’s mounting evidence that, for children of color especially, having one or more teachers of the same race over the course of students’ educational careers seems to make a positive difference.

But to what extent, if any, do the benefits of having a same-race teacher vary by type of school?

Existing “race-match” studies fail to distinguish among the traditional district and charter school sectors. Knowing whether differences exist across school types could improve how we recruit and develop educators, as well as shed light on whether the success of urban charter schools is due in part to their greater success in recruiting a diverse teaching staff—an explanation that’s received short shrift in research and policy circles.

Seth Gershenson 6.4.2019
NationalReport
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Pre-K and Charter Schools: Where State Policies Create Barriers to Collaboration

In Pre-K and Charter Schools: Where State Policies Create Barriers to Collaboration, authors Sara Mead and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel examine thirty-six jurisdictions that have both charter schools and state-funded pre-K programs to determine where charters can provide state-funded pre-K.

Sara Mead, Ashley LiBetti Mitchel 7.15.2015
NationalReport
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Redefining the School District in America

In Redefining the School District in America, Nelson Smith reexamines existing recovery school districts (RSDs)—entities in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Michigan charged with running and turning around their state’s worst schools—and assembles the most comprehensive catalog of similar initiatives underway and under consideration elsewhere.

Nelson Smith 6.10.2015
NationalReport
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Uncommonly Engaging? A Review of the EngageNY English Language Arts Common Core Curriculum

The need for standards-aligned curricula is the most cited Common Core challenge for states, districts, and schools. Yet five years into that implementation, teachers still report scrambling to find high-quality instructional materials. Despite publishers’ claims, there is a dearth of programs that are truly aligned to the demands of the Common Core for content and rigor.

Elizabeth Haydel, Sheila Byrd Carmichael 5.19.2015
NationalReport
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Developing School Leaders: What the U.S. Can Learn from England's Model

The myriad challenges facing school principals in the United States have been well documented, including limited opportunities for distributed leadership, inadequate training, and a lackluster pipeline for new leaders. Recently, the Fordham Institute teamed up with the London-based Education Foundation to seek a better understanding of England’s recent efforts to revamp school leadership.

Mark Toner 3.17.2015
NationalReport
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Building a Lattice for School Leadership

Over the past decade, the English government has revamped that country’s approach to school leadership. At the center of the reform is the sensible idea that school leadership needs to be a team endeavor. While not a new idea—there’s been for years plenty of discussion about “distributed leadership” on both sides of the pond—the Brits got busy actually making it happen as opposed to jawboning about it. Central to their leadership structure is the formalization of three levels of school leaders, each with distinct roles and responsibilities: headteachers who lead schools (equivalent to the principal’s role in the U.S.), senior leaders or deputy heads who assist the headteacher (similar to the vice principal role in American education but...

Jonathan Supovitz 11.25.2014
NationalReport
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Metro D.C. School Spending Explorer

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute set out to answer a basic (yet complicated) question: how much does each school in the D.C. metro area spend on day-to-day operations for each student it enrolls? In the Metro D.C.

10.15.2014
NationalReport
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The Hidden Half: School Employees Who Don't Teach

The number of non-teaching staff in the United States (those employed by school systems but not serving as classroom teachers) has grown by 130 percent since 1970. Non-teachers—more than three million strong—now comprise half of the public school workforce. Their salaries and benefits absorb one-quarter of current education expenditures. 

Matt Richmond 8.12.2014
NationalReport
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Lacking Leaders: The Challenges of Principal Recruitment, Selection, and Placement

A school’s leader matters enormously to its success and that of its students and teachers. But how well are U.S. districts identifying, recruiting, selecting, and placing the best possible candidates in principals’ offices? To what extent do their practices enable them to find and hire great school leaders? To what degree is the principal’s job itself designed to attract outstanding candidates?

6.24.2014
NationalReport