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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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Beyond the Basics: Achieving a Liberal Education for All Children

America's true competitive edge over the long haul is not its technical prowess but its creativity, its imagination, its inventiveness. And those attributes are best inculcated not by skill-drill or 'STEM' but through liberal arts and sciences, liberally defined. Thus argues this new Fordham volume, edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Diane Ravitch, which also explores what policymakers and educators at all levels can to do sustain liberal learning and sketches an unlovely future if we fail.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Diane Ravitch 7.11.2007
NationalReport
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Ohioans' Views on Education 2007

This survey covers such topics as school quality and funding, academic standards, school reforms, proposals to improve how the public schools are run, teacher quality, charter schools and school vouchers. It follows up a survey conducted in 2005 and many of the questions are repeated, allowing us to gauge whether attitudes have shifted over time.

Steve Farkas 5.24.2007
NationalReport
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The Autonomy Gap

Though most public school principals believe that effective leadership of their schools requires authority over personnel decisions (e.g., staff selection, deployment, dismissal), they report having little such authority in practice. Based on a series of interviews with a small sample of district and charter-school principals, the report shows that most district principals encounter a sizable gap between the extent and kinds of authority that leaders need to be effective and the authority that they actually have.

Steven Adamowski 4.11.2007
NationalReport
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Crystal Apple: Education Insiders' Predictions for No Child Left Behind's Reauthorization

January 8, 2007, was the fifth birthday of the No Child Left Behind Act. This isn't just another milestone to be celebrated (or mourned). The law is now due for an update from Congress. But will NCLB be reauthorized on schedule? What changes are likely? No one knows for sure, but the ubiquitous 'Washington insiders' might be in a better position than others to cast prognostications. While not a 'representative sample' of thousands, their inside knowledge adds valuable insight.

Michael J. Petrilli, Coby Loup 4.1.2007
NationalReport
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Whole-Language High Jinks

If you thought whole-language reading instruction had been relegated to the scrap heap of history, think again. Many such programs (proven to be ineffective) are still around, but they're hiding behind phrases like 'balanced literacy' in order to win contracts from school districts and avoid public scrutiny. Louisa Moats calls them out in Fordham's new report, Whole-Language High Jinks.

Michael J. Petrilli, Coby Loup 1.29.2007
NationalReport
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2006 Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Sponsorship Accountability Report

For information on Fordham's unique role as a charter school sponsor in Ohio, there's no better source than The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Sponsorship Accountability Report 2005-06. The report offers a comprehensive account of Fordham's sponsorship policies and practices-as well as individual profiles of all Fordham-sponsored schools. Included in the profiles are descriptions of each school's educational program, school philosophy, and overall academic performance based on state achievement data.

Terry Ryan, Kathryn Mullen Upton 11.30.2006
NationalReport
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The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children?

The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children? appraises each state according to thirty indicators across three major categories: student achievement for low-income, African-American, and Hispanic students; achievement trends for these same groups over the last 10-15 years; and the state's track record in implementing bold education reforms. It finds that just eight states can claim even moderate success over the past 15 years at boosting the percentage of their poor or minority students who are at or above proficient in reading, math or science.

11.1.2006
NationalReport
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The State of State Standards 2006

Two-thirds of schoolchildren in America attend class in states with mediocre (or worse) expectations for what their students should learn. That's just one of the findings of Fordham's The State of State Standards 2006, which evaluates state academic standards. The average state grade is a 'C-minus'--the same as six years earlier, even though most states revised their standards since 2000.

Michael J. Petrilli, Chester E. Finn, Jr. 8.29.2006
NationalReport
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The State of State World History Standards 2006

Is America's K-12 education system preparing students for life in a global village? Unfortunately, it is not. Renowned historian Walter Russell Mead, author of this report, found that thirty-three states deserved D or F grades for their world history standards.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Martin A. Davis, Jr., Walter Russell Mead 6.6.2006
NationalReport
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Trends in Charter School Authorizing

Belatedly, policymakers and researchers are recognizing that quality charter schools depend on quality charter school authorizing. This report presents findings from a pioneering national examination of the organizations that sponsor, oversee, and hold accountable U.S. charter schools. Its primary aim is to describe and characterize these crucial but little-known organizations.

Michael J. Petrilli, Chester E. Finn, Jr., Rebecca Gau 5.3.2006
NationalReport
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Playing To Type? (2006)

Most discussions of charter schools assume that they are monolithic. This study, the first of its kind, categorizes the nation's charter schools into a robust typology according to their educational approaches. It also provides demographic information by type,how many are in each category, what their student populations look like, and so forth,and makes a first attempt at comparing their test scores. The result is a much richer and more accurate picture of the charter school universe.

Dick Carpenter, Chester E. Finn, Jr. 5.2.2006
NationalReport