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The State of State Standards Post-Common Core

Eight years ago, we compared states’ English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards to what were then the newly-minted Common Core State Standards. That report found that the Common Core was clearer and more rigorous than the ELA standards in thirty-seven states and stronger than the math standards in thirty-nine states.

While many states have, to varying degrees, revised their standards since 2010, the questions that should concern policymakers and the public haven’t changed: Are states’ ELA and math standards of sufficient quality and rigor to drive effective instruction? And if not, how might they be improved?

David Griffith, Victoria McDougald, Solomon Friedberg, Diane Barone, Juliana Belding, Andrew Chen, Linda Dixon 8.22.2018
NationalReport
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The Mad, Mad World of Textbook Adoption

Statewide textbook adoption, the process by which 21 states dictate the textbooks that schools and districts can use, is fundamentally flawed. It distorts the market, entices extremist groups to hijack the curriculum, enriches the textbook cartel, and papers the land with mediocre instructional materials that cannot fulfill their important education mission. Tinkering with it won't set it right, concludes this latest Fordham Institute report. Legislators and governors in adoption states should eliminate the process, letting individual schools, individual districts, or even individual teachers choose their own textbooks.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Diane Ravitch 9.29.2004
NationalReport
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A Wide-Angle Look at the Charter School Movement in Ohio/Dayton, circa September 2004

Charter school opponents have been taking shots nationally at charter schools in recent days, but these sorts of attacks have been a common occurrence in Dayton, Ohio since charter schools first opened there in 1998. Herewith is a report from the field on how charter schools are faring in the Buckeye State circa September 2004.

Terry Ryan 9.1.2004
NationalReport
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The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America's History Teachers

Widely used supplemental materials may be dangerous to educational health! These works often include hefty doses of political manipulation and ideological bias, courtesy of their authors. This study casts a wary glance toward materials that seldom come under scrutiny. This study is the fifth in a series dedicated to reforming social studies education.

Sandra Stotsky 4.13.2004
NationalReport
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School Finance in Dayton: A Comparison of the Revenues of the School District and Community Schools

This report, prepared for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute by Public Impact, compares charter school funding and district school funding. It finds that charter schools are under-funded compared to their district counterparts, even after accounting for differences in students and grade levels. These findings should be taken seriously by those who argue that charter schools drain funds from district schools.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Bryan C. Hassel, Michelle Godard Terrell 3.26.2004
NationalReport
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Grading the Systems: The guide to state standards, tests, and accountability policies

Co-published by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and AccountabilityWorks, with support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, this report looks at six elements of K-12 accountability systems in 30 different states. Each state is rated on standards, test content, alignment of tests to standards, test rigor, testing trustworthiness and openness, and accountability policies. The major conclusion: while some states have the basis of a sophisticated and rigorous accountability system in place, no state has every element of a serious standards-based education reform package in place. And few states are as open to evaluation as they ought to be.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Richard W. Cross, Theodor Rebarber 1.30.2004
NationalReport
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2004 Thomas B. Fordham Prizes for Excellence in Education

This brochure contains profiles of the winners of the second annual Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Prizes for Excellence in Education. The 2004 prize for Valor is awarded to Howard Fuller, and the 2004 prize for Distinguished Scholarship is awarded to Eric Hanushek.

Eric Hanushek 1.26.2004
NationalReport
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Having Their Say: The Views of Dayton-area Parents on Education

Much has changed in education in Dayton during the past two years. The remarkable election of a 'reform' majority to the Dayton school board, and the selection of a new superintendent. Passage of a huge levy for school-building construction and renewal. The arrival of the politics-governance Act and Ohio's Senate Bill 1. The dramatic growth of the charter-school sector and of controversy surrounding it. Some ferment on the high-school reform front. And much more. Thus, it seemed time to once again 'take the community's temperature' with respect to a wide array of K-12 education issues. Herewith are the results.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Terry Ryan 11.14.2003
NationalReport
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The State Testing Program for Ohio and How It Works: A Primer for Charter Schools

With the passage of the politics-governance Act (NCLB), states have had to adjust their accountability systems to comply with federal law. As a result, in the summer of 2003 Ohio's Governor Taft signed House Bill 3, which dramatically changed the state's assessment system and what it means for charter schools. This report helps charter school leaders coordinate their testing and data reporting procedures to meet state and federal guidelines, in the hope that all students might surpass Ohio's academic expectations.

Amy Germuth 10.24.2003
NationalReport
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Effective State Standards for U.S. History: A 2003 Report Card

Is there any subject as disheveled, distorted and dysfunctional as social studies? As part of our continuing effort to revitalize the subject of social studies, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute offers Effective State Standards for U.S. History: A 2003 Report Card. This groundbreaking and comprehensive state-by-state analysis of K-12 education standards in U.S. history was prepared by Sheldon Stern, historian at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston for more than 20 years. It evaluates U.S. history standards in 48 states and the District of Columbia on comprehensive historical content, sequential development, and balance.

Sheldon M. Stern 9.22.2003
NationalReport
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Terrorists, Despots, and Democracy: What Our Children Need to Know

This new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation includes the voices of 29 political leaders, education practitioners, and cultural analysts who discuss what schools should teach about U.S. history, American ideals, and American civic life in the wake of 9/11, the war on terror, and the liberation of Iraq.

Richard Rodriguez, Kenneth R. Weinstein, Victor Davis Hanson, Walter Russell Mead 8.1.2003
NationalReport