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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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Overcoming the Governance Challenge in K-12 Online Learning

In this paper, John Chubb examines how local school district control retards the widespread use of instructional technologies. He argues that the surest way to break down the system’s inherent resistance to technology is to shift control from the local district—and thus the school board—and put it in the hands of states. Download the paper to read the ten steps Chubb argues will get us to this brave new governance system.

John E. Chubb 2.6.2012
NationalReport
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The State of State Science Standards 2012

American science performance is lagging as the economy becomes increasingly high tech, but  our current science standards are doing little to solve the problem.

1.30.2012
NationalReport
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The Costs of Online Learning

The latest installment of Fordham's Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning series investigates one of the more controversial aspects of digital learning: How much does it cost? In this paper, the Parthenon Group uses interviews with more than fifty vendors and online-schooling experts to estimate today's average per-pupil cost for a variety of schooling models, traditional and online, and presents a nuanced analysis of the important variance in cost between different school designs.

1.9.2012
NationalReport
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Quality Control in K-12 Digital Learning: Three (Imperfect) Approaches

Will the move toward virtual and “blended learning” schools in American education repeat the mistakes of the charter-school movement, or will it learn from them? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, with the support of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, has commissioned five deep-thought papers that, together, address the thorniest policy issues surrounding digital learning. The goal is to boost the prospects for successful online learning (both substantively and politically) over the long run. In this first of six papers on digital learning commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Frederick M. Hess explores the challenges of quality control.

Frederick M. Hess 1.9.2012
NationalReport
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Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction

Will the move toward virtual and “blended learning” schools in American education repeat the mistakes of the charter-school movement, or will it learn from them? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, with the support of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, has commissioned five deep-thought papers that, together, address the thorniest policy issues surrounding digital learning. The goal is to boost the prospects for successful online learning (both substantively and politically) over the long run.

1.9.2012
NationalReport
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The Accountability Plateau

After more than ten years under NCLB, that law’s legacy continues to be fiercely contested. This analysis of NAEP scores—focusing on Texas and on the entire nation—by former NCES commissioner Mark Schneider finds that solid gains in math achievement coincided with the advent of "consequential accountability," first in the trailblazing Lone Star State and a few other pioneer states, then across the land with the implementation of NCLB. But Schneider warns that the recent plateau in Texas math scores may foreshadow a coming stagnation in the country’s performance. Has the testing-and-accountability movement as we know it run out of steam? How else might we rekindle our nation’s education progress?

Mark Schneider 12.28.2011
NationalReport
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Rethinking Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century

School reforms abound today, yet even the boldest and most imaginative among them have produced—at best—marginal gains in student achievement. What America needs in the twenty-first century is a far more profound version of education reform. Instead of shoveling yet more policies, programs, and practices into our current system, we must deepen our understanding of the obstacles to reform that are posed by existing structures, governance arrangements, and power relationships. Yet few education reformers—or public officials—have been willing to delve into this touchy territory.

12.9.2011
NationalReport
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Better Choices: Charter Incubation as a Strategy for Improving the Charter School Sector

In this policy brief, Public Impact??s Joe Ableidinger and Julie Kowal examine the merits of the incubation model, outline specific strategies for supporting it, and profile organizations around the U.S. putting it into practice. The authors explain that through the strategic recruitment, selection, and training of talented leaders???and support of them as they launch or expand new charter schools???incubators offer charter school advocates an important tool in guaranteeing quality school choice.

Terry Ryan 12.8.2011
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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Fordham's 2010-11 Sponsorship Accountability Report

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is pleased to share its latest annual Sponsorship Accountability Report, Two Steps Forward, One Step Back. The sixth of its kind, the report reflects on Ohio??s charter school policy environment and the performance of Fordham sponsored charter schools ??? in terms of absolute achievement, growth, and adherence to goals set forth in our authorizing contract ??? as well as developments in state law over the year. Despite some tough battles during the state budget as it relates to holding authorizers (and operators) accountable, overall Fordham and its schools had an encouraging year, with Fordham sponsored-charters making achievement gains and positioning themselves to do even better in the future.

Terry Ryan 11.22.2011
NationalReport
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School Finance in the Digital-Learning Era

Will the move toward virtual and “blended learning” schools in American education repeat the mistakes of the charter-school movement, or will it learn from them? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, with the support of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, has commissioned five deep-thought papers that, together, address the thorniest policy issues surrounding digital learning. The goal is to boost the prospects for successful online learning (both substantively and politically) over the long run.

Paul T. Hill 11.16.2011
NationalReport
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Now What? Imperatives and Options for Common Core Implementation and Governance

This Fordham Institute publication—co-authored by President Chester E. Finn Jr. and VP Michael J. Petrilli—pushes folks to think about what comes next in the journey to common education standards and tests. Most states have adopted the Common Core English language arts and math standards, and most are also working on common assessments. But...now what? The standards won't implement themselves, but unless they are adopted in the classroom, nothing much will change. What implementation tasks are most urgent? What should be done across state lines? What should be left to individual states, districts, and private markets? Perhaps most perplexing, who will govern and own these standards and tests ten or twenty years from now?

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Michael J. Petrilli 10.21.2011
NationalReport