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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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Cracks in the Ivory Tower? The Views of Education Professors Circa 2010

This national survey of education school professors finds that, even as the U.S. grows more practical and demanding when it comes to K-12 education, most of the professoriate simply isn't there. They see themselves more as philosophers and agents of social change, not as master craftsmen sharing tradecraft. They also resist some promising reforms such as tying teacher pay to student test scores. Still, education professors are reform-minded in some areas, including tougher policies for awarding tenure to teachers and financial incentives for those who teach in tough neighborhoods. Read on to find out more.

Steve Farkas, Ann Duffett 10.21.2011
NationalReport
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Charter School Autonomy: A Half-Broken Promise

The typical U.S. charter school lacks the autonomy it needs to succeed, once state, authorizer, and other impositions are considered. For some schools—in some states, with some authorizers—the picture is brighter but for many it's bleak. State-specific grades for charter autonomy range from A to F.

Jacob L. Rosch, Dana Brinson 10.21.2011
NationalReport
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America's Private Public Schools

More than 1.7 million American children attend what we've dubbed "private public schools"—public schools that serve virtually no poor students. In some metropolitan areas, as many as one in six public-school students—and one in four white youngsters—attends such schools, of which the U.S. has about 2,800.

Michael J. Petrilli, Janie Scull 10.21.2011
NationalReport
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Ohio's Education Reform Challenges: Lessons from the Frontlines

Fordham has been both an advocate of choice and an authorizer of charter schools serving some of Ohio's neediest students. This book describes and analyzes our efforts, successes and failures, and what we think it means for others committed to school reform.

Mike Lafferty, Chester E. Finn, Jr., Terry Ryan 10.21.2011
NationalReport
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Renewal and Optimism: Five Years as an Ohio Charter Authorizer

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is pleased to share our 2009-10 Sponsorship Accountability Report. The report, Renewal and Optimism: Five Years as an Ohio Charter Authorizer, contains a year in review for Ohio's charter school program, detailed information on the Fordham Foundation's work as a charter school sponsor, and data on the performance of our sponsored schools during that year.

Kathryn Mullen Upton 10.21.2011
NationalReport
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Halting a Runaway Train: Reforming Teacher Pensions for the 21st Century

When it comes to public-sector pensions, writes lead author Mike Lafferty in this report, "A major public-policy (and public-finance) problem has been defined and measured, debated and deliberated, but not yet solved. Except where it has been." As recounted in "Halting a Runaway Train: Reforming Teacher Pensions for the 21st Century," these exceptions turn out to be revealing—and encouraging. As leaders around the country struggle to overhaul America's controversial and precarious public-sector pensions, this study draws on examples from diverse fields to provide a primer on successful pension reform. Download to find valuable lessons for policymakers, workers, and taxpayers looking for timely solutions to a dire problem.

Mike Lafferty 10.20.2011
NationalReport
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Review of the National Research Council's Framework for K-12 Science Education

Representatives from twenty states are hard at work developing Next Generation Science Standards—and using as their starting point the National Research Council's recently released Framework for K-12 Science Education. This review of that framework, by Paul R. Gross, applauds its content but warns that it could wind up sending standards writers off track. This appraisal find much to praise in the Framework but also raises important concerns about a document that may significantly shape K-12 science education in the U.S. for years to come. Download to learn more.

Paul Gross 10.4.2011
NationalReport
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Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students

"Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students," is the first study to examine the performance of America's highest-achieving children over time at the individual-student level. Produced in partnership with the Northwest Evaluation Association, it finds that many high-achieving students struggle to maintain their elite performance over the years and often fail to improve their reading ability at the same rate as their average and below-average classmates. The study raises troubling questions: Is our obsession with closing achievement gaps and "leaving no child behind" coming at the expense of our "talented tenth" and America's future international competitiveness? Read on to learn more.

Robert Theaker, Yun Xiang, Michael Dahlin, John Cronin, Sarah Durant 9.20.2011
NationalReport
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Teaching about 9/11 in 2011: What Our Children Need to Know

Any number of organizations are offering advice about what to teach schoolchildren about the events of September 11, 2001, yet (unlike that day's murderous pilots) most sorely miss the mark. Fordham's publication, "Teaching about 9/11 in 2011: What Our Children Need to Know," highlights the danger of slighting history and patriotism in the rush to teach children about tolerance and multiculturalism. It combines ten short essays by distinguished educators, scholars, and public officials from our 2003 report, "Terrorists, Despots, and Democracy: What Our Children Need to Know," essays that feel more timely than ever, and includes a new introduction by Chester E. Finn, Jr. reflecting on how the lessons of these essays apply today.

Richard Rodriguez, Andrew J. Rotherham, William Damon, William Galston, Lamar Alexander, Victor Davis Hanson, Katherine Kersten 9.7.2011
NationalReport
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The Common Core and the Future of Student Assessment in Ohio

Ohio adopted the Common Core standards in ELA and math in June 2010, but now stands at a crossroad in making sure statewide assessments are aligned to those standards. Ohio is a participating member in two federally funded assessment consortia—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC)--but is a decision-maker in neither. This primer outlines both consortia and suggests that Ohio make a decision soon to begin the massive reboot required to realign assessments, professional development, and accountability systems to match the Common Core.

Kathleen Porter-Magee, Jamie Davies O'Leary, Emmy L. Partin 8.29.2011
NationalReport
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Charting a New Course to Retirement: How Charter Schools Handle Teacher Pensions

In this "Ed Short" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Amanda Olberg and Michael Podgursky examine how public charter schools handle pensions for their teachers. Some states give these schools the freedom to opt out of the traditional teacher-pension system; when given that option, how many charter schools take it? Olberg and Podgursky examine data from six charter-heavy states and find that charter participation rates in traditional pension systems vary greatly from state to state. When charter schools do not participate in state systems, they most often provide their teachers with defined-contribution plans (401(k) or 403(b)). But some opt-out charters offer no alternative retirement plans at all for their teachers. Read on to learn more.

Amanda Olberg, Michael Podgursky 6.22.2011
NationalReport