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Standards, Testing, and Accountability

Accountability was widely embraced as a reform strategy in the 1990s, but skepticism has grown about whether the approach is working. Amid mounting evidence that state-level accountability systems have been built on wildly differing expectations for student performance, there has been increased interest in the development of common academic standards that could be adopted by all 50 states.

Recent Topics

School Policy

Nine Questions: What Does It Even Mean to Oppose the Common Core?

What does it mean when Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, or Bobby Jindal says he “opposes” the Common Core?

Inside Schools

Model Citizens

Arizona became the first state to make passing the U.S. Citizenship Test a high school graduation requirement.

Government and Politics

Nine Questions: What Does It Even Mean to Oppose the Common Core?

What does it mean when Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, or Bobby Jindal says he “opposes” the Common Core?

Government and Politics

Nine Questions: What Does It Even Mean to Oppose the Common Core?

What does it mean when Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, or Bobby Jindal says he “opposes” the Common Core?

The Case Against Federal Accountability Mandates in Education

Instead of demanding that states intervene in failing schools, allow students to escape the worst schools through the powerful mechanism of parental choice.

To Empower State and Local Leaders, ESEA Reauthorization Should Include Competitive Grants

Competitive grant programs do not weaken local leadership. They strengthen local leadership much more effectively than block grants do.

Behind the Headline: What the New Senate Education Chair Thinks About No Child Left Behind

Sen. Lamar Alexander spoke with Time about his views on fixing NCLB. Alexander is still struggling to make a decision on whether a revised NCLB should include annual tests required by the federal government.

Fixing No Child Left Behind: Oral Testimony of Martin West

Congress should maintain the law’s current annual testing requirements while restoring to states virtually all decisions about the design of their accountability systems.

Inside Schools

Model Citizens

Arizona became the first state to make passing the U.S. Citizenship Test a high school graduation requirement.

What Does Online Learning Look Like?

Examples from Florida and Pennsylvania

Can an Online College Course Live Up to Students’ Expectations?

What we learned by teaching “Saving Schools: History, Politics and Policy in U. S. Education,” our first Massive Open Online Course

Is It Quality Or Quantity That Counts?

Ah, January is upon us: The wind is howling, the thermometer is plummeting, and we are greeted by the nineteenth consecutive edition of Quality Counts, Education Week’s compilation of mostly useful data, analysis, rankings and commentaries.

Carmen Fariña’s War on Evidence

While running the nation’s largest school system, Carmen Farina has made a growing list of decisions based not on empirical evidence, but on the chancellor’s personal preference.

School Policy

Nine Questions: What Does It Even Mean to Oppose the Common Core?

What does it mean when Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, or Bobby Jindal says he “opposes” the Common Core?

Portfolio Districts: One Ring to Rule Them All

I am wary of portfolio districts, mayoral takeovers, and other proposals for a super-regulator to govern all choice and traditional schools.

Improving Educational Options for Georgia Children

Raising the cap on Georgia’s scholarship tax credit program is an ideal way to bring freedom and excellence to K-12 education.

The Case Against Federal Accountability Mandates in Education

Instead of demanding that states intervene in failing schools, allow students to escape the worst schools through the powerful mechanism of parental choice.

How Charters Are Innovating on Pensions

Charter schools recognize that current teachers are increasingly mobile, so they offer teachers portable benefits.

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