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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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Boosting the Quality and Efficiency of Special Education

This groundbreaking study uses the largest database of information on special education spending and staffing ever assembled to uncover significant variance in how districts staff for special education. The report concludes that if the high-spending districts studied reduce their staffing in this area to the national median the public could save $10 billion and offers clear recommendations for improving special-education quality and efficiency.

Nathan Levenson 8.28.2012
NationalReport
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Exam Schools: Inside America's Most Selective Public High Schools

What is the best education for exceptionally able and high-achieving youngsters? There are no easy answers but, as Chester Finn and Jessica Hockett show, for more than 100,000 students each year, the solution is to enroll in an academically selective public high school. Exam Schools is the first-ever close-up look at this small, sometimes controversial, yet crucial segment of American public education.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Jessica Hockett 7.31.2012
NationalReport
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How Americans Would Slim Down Public Education

Education budgets are tight and state and district leaders must make tough decisions about where to save. But is the public willing to accept cuts? If so, where? According to the results of this new survey, many Americans are open—selectively open—to dramatic changes in how school districts do business.

Steve Farkas, Ann Duffett 7.20.2012
NationalReport
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Commentary & Feedback on Draft I of the Next Generation Science Standards

In May, Achieve unveiled and solicited comments on the first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards, the product of months of work by a team of writers from twenty-six states. This document provides commentary, feedback, and constructive advice that Fordham hopes the NGSS authors will consider as they revise the standards before the release of a second draft later this year.

Paul Gross, Lawrence S. Lerner, John Lynch, Martha Schwartz, Richard Schwartz, W. Stephen Wilson 6.20.2012
NationalReport
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Putting a Price Tag on the Common Core: How Much Will Smart Implementation Cost?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics represent a sea change in standards-based reform and their implementation is the movement’s next—and greatest—challenge. Yet, while most states have now set forth implementation plans, these tomes seldom address the crucial matter of cost. This report estimates the implementation cost for each of the forty-five states (and the District of Columbia) that have adopted the Common Core State Standards and shows that costs naturally depend on how states approach implementation.

Patrick J. Murphy, Elliot Regenstein 5.24.2012
NationalReport
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Education Reform for the Digital Era

Can we be smarter about taking high-quality online and blended schools to scale—and to educational success? Yes, says this volume, as it addresses such thorny policy issues as quality control, staffing, funding, and governance for the digital sector. Read on to learn more.

Bryan C. Hassel, Emily Ayscue Hassel, Frederick M. Hess, Tamara Butler Battaglino, Matt Haldeman, Paul T. Hill, John E. Chubb 4.20.2012
NationalReport
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Texas math standards review

Review of Draft Texas Mathematics Standards 2012

In April 2012, Texas adopted new math standards. Fordham reviewed the draft standards and found them to be a modest improvement. But not by much, and they remain inferior to the Common Core math standards. Download the review to learn more.

W. Stephen Wilson 4.17.2012
NationalReport
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How School Districts Can Stretch the School Dollar

The "new normal" of tougher budget times is here to stay for American K-12 education. So how can local officials cope? This policy brief, by Mike Petrilli, provides a useful tool for navigating the financial challenges of the current school-funding climate, complete with clear dos and don'ts for anyone involved in or concerned with local education budgets.

Michael J. Petrilli 4.11.2012
NationalReport
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Defining Strong State Accountability Systems: How Can Better Standards Gain Greater Traction?

Rigorous standards and aligned assessments are vital tools for boosting education outcomes but they have little traction without strong accountability systems that attach consequences to performance. This pilot study lays out the essential features of such accountability systems, intended to add oomph to new common standards and aligned assessments.

Eileen Reed, Janie Scull, Gerilyn Slicker, Amber M. Northern, Ph.D. 4.2.2012
NationalReport
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Teacher Compensation Based on Effectiveness: The Harrison (CO) School District's Pay-for-Performance Plan

This report, authored by Superintendent Mike Miles, takes a detailed look at the Harrison (CO) School District 2's Pay-for-Performance Plan. The Harrison Plan confronted the dual challenges of defining an effective teacher and identifying all the things that demonstrate her effectiveness. This how-to guide is meant to serve as a tool and model for Ohio’s school districts.

3.14.2012
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