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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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Does School Board Leadership Matter?

Are the nation’s 90,000-plus school board members critical players in enhancing student learning? Are they part of the problem? Are they harmless bystanders? Among the takeaways are the following:

Arnold F. Shober, Michael T. Hartney 3.25.2014
NationalReport
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Public accountability & private-school choice

The Fordham Institute supports school choice, done right. That means designing voucher and tax-credit policies that provide an array of high-quality education options for kids that are also accountable to parents and taxpayers.

Adam Emerson 1.8.2014
NationalReport
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Financing the Education of High-Need Students

School districts face an enormous financial burden when it comes to educating our highest-need students. Financing the Education of High-Need Students focuses on three specific challenges that are often encountered when districts—especially small ones—grapple with the costs of serving their highest-need special-education students.

Matt Richmond, Daniela Fairchild 11.24.2013
NationalReport
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Right-sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers

In the overwhelming majority of American classrooms, pupils are divided roughly equally among teachers of the same grade in the same school. Parceling them out uniformly is viewed as fair to teachers—and doing otherwise might be seen as unfair. Parents might wonder, too.

Michael Hansen 11.18.2013
NationalReport
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Ohio Pension Reform in Cleveland: New Teachers Beware

At first glance, the recent teacher-retirement reforms in Ohio seem to bring good fiscal news to school systems in the Buckeye State. Thanks to Senate Bills 341 and 342—and a series of cutbacks on retiree healthcare—the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is projected to spend less on retirement costs in 2020 than it does today.

Robert M. Costrell, Larry Maloney 9.9.2013
NationalReport
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What Parents Want: Education Preferences and Trade-offs

This groundbreaking study finds that nearly all parents seek schools with a solid core curriculum in reading and math, an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and the development in students of good study habits, strong critical thinking skills, and excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw, Ph.D., Amber M. Northern, Ph.D. 8.26.2013
NationalReport
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Commentary on Appendix L: Alignment of the Next Generation Science Standards with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Among the shortcomings of the NGSS is its acute dearth of math content, even in situations where math is essential to the study and proper understanding of the science that students are being asked to master. Also problematic is the alignment of NGSS math with the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. Appendix L of the NGSS seeks to explain the alignment and apply math more thoroughly to NGSS science. This commentary by Johns Hopkins mathematician appraises that appendix. Download Commentary on Appendix L: Alignment of the Next Generation Science Standards with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics to read the appraisal.

W. Stephen Wilson 8.20.2013
NationalReport
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Exemplary Science Standards: How Does Your State Compare?

With states weighing whether to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute compares the existing science standards of thirty-eight states with the NGSS and with exemplary standards from three other states. (The thirty-eight are those states with standards that are either “clearly inferior” to the NGSS or “too close to call,” based on our Final Evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards and The State of Science Standards 2012.)

Kathleen Porter-Magee, Brandon L. Wright, Laurel Horn 8.20.2013
NationalReport