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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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Rating the Ratings: Analyzing the First 17 ESSA Accountability Plans

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) grants states more authority over their school accountability systems than did No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—meaning that states now have a greater opportunity to design improved school ratings. Rating the Ratings: Analyzing the First 17 ESSA Accountability Plans examines whether states are making the most of the moment.

Brandon L. Wright, Michael J. Petrilli 7.27.2017
NationalReport
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Three Signs That a Proposed Charter School Is at Risk of Failing

It’s well established that some charter schools do far better than others at educating their students. This variability has profound implications for the children who attend those schools. Yet painful experience shows that rebooting or closing a low-performing school is a drawn-out and excruciating process.

Anna Nicotera, David A. Stuit 4.18.2017
NationalReport
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Leveraging ESSA to Support Quality-School Growth

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal School Improvement Grants program is gone, but the goal of school improvement remains. States must now use seven percent of their Title I allocation for these efforts, but are no longer constrained by a prescribed menu of intervention options.

Nelson Smith, Brandon L. Wright 3.30.2017
NationalReport
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The Right Tool for the Job: Improving Reading and Writing in the Classroom

Although it’s been almost seven years since many states took the important step of elevating their academic standards by adopting the Common Core, teachers and administrators across the country still bemoan the lack of reliable information about which instructional materials are high-quality and best aligned to the new standards.  

Melody Arabo, Jonathan S. Budd, Shannon Garrison, Tabitha Pacheco 3.14.2017
NationalReport
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(No) Money in the Bank: Which Retirement Systems Penalize New Teachers?

A new teacher’s pension is supposed to be a perk. The truth is that for the majority of the nation’s new teachers, what they can anticipate in retirement benefits will be worth less than what they contributed to the system while they were in the classroom, even if they stay for decades.

Martin Lueken 1.26.2017
NationalReport
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High Stakes for High Schoolers: State Accountability in the Age of ESSA (Part II)

Eleven weeks ago, in High Stakes for High Achievers: State Accountability in the Age of ESSA, the Fordham Institute reported that current K–8 accountability systems in most states give teachers scant reason to attend to the learning of high-achieving youngsters.

Michael J. Petrilli, David Griffith, Brandon L. Wright 11.15.2016
NationalReport
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Charter Schools at the Crossroads: Predicaments, Paradoxes, Possibilities

Over the past quarter-century, charter schools have gone from an upstart education experiment to a prominent, promising, and disruptive innovation in K–12 education. Indeed, few observers present at the creation of the first charter schools could have predicted how rapidly this movement would spread or how thoroughly it would come to dominate the education-reform agenda.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Bruno V. Manno, Brandon L. Wright 10.25.2016
NationalBook
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Charter School Boards in the Nation's Capital

Tens of thousands of individuals across the United States volunteer their time, energy, and expertise as members of charter school boards. Yet as the charter sector has grown, we’ve learned remarkably little about these individuals who make key operational decisions about their schools and have legal and moral responsibilities for the education of children in their communities.

Juliet Squire, Allison Crean Davis 9.29.2016
NationalReport
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High Stakes for High Achievers: State Accountability in the Age of ESSA (Part I)

No Child Left Behind meant well, but it had a pernicious flaw: It created strong incentives for schools to focus all their energy on helping low-performing students get over a modest “proficiency” bar. Meanwhile, it ignored the educational needs of high achievers, who were likely to pass state reading and math tests regardless of what happened in the classroom.

Michael J. Petrilli, David Griffith, Brandon L. Wright, Audrey Kim 8.31.2016
NationalReport
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Enrollment and Achievement in Ohio's Virtual Charter Schools

This Fordham study, conducted by learning technology researcher June Ahn from NYU, dives into one of the most promising—and contentious—issues in education today: virtual schools. What type of students choose them? Which online courses do students take? Do virtual schools lead to improved outcomes for kids?

June Ahn, Ph.D. 8.2.2016
NationalReport