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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

Use Caution in Drawing Conclusions from Ohio Voucher Study

The Fordham Institute recently released a study on the academic impact of Ohio’s flagship school choice program.

By Guest Blogger

Inside Schools

Should Civic Education Emphasize Diversity or What We Have in Common?

The key to creating conditions that sincerely celebrate diversity may lie in focusing the attention of our children on what makes us one country.

Government and Politics

What’s at Stake in the Ongoing Fight About School Spending Comparability?

Today’s dispute over comparability marks the midpoint in a decades-long struggle over whether districts have a right to skimp on funding their most troubled schools.

Government and Politics

What’s at Stake in the Ongoing Fight About School Spending Comparability?

Today’s dispute over comparability marks the midpoint in a decades-long struggle over whether districts have a right to skimp on funding their most troubled schools.

Could ESSA Spark an Overhaul of How We Fund Schools?

Three provisions in the new law might help states and school districts improve their systems of school finance.

Proposed ESSA Regulations Limit States on Accountability

Like No Child Left Behind, the proposed ESSA regulations are going to stand in the way of some promising approaches to state accountability. What’s the point of that?

What Was Accomplished in the Era of Reform via Federal Regulation?

For all their differences, George W. Bush and Barack Obama shared a surprisingly common approach to school reform: a regulatory approach.

The End of the Bush-Obama Regulatory Approach to School Reform

Choice and competition remain the country’s best hope

Inside Schools

Should Civic Education Emphasize Diversity or What We Have in Common?

The key to creating conditions that sincerely celebrate diversity may lie in focusing the attention of our children on what makes us one country.

Teacher Pension Systems Are Incompatible with Efforts to Improve the Teaching Profession

Colorado has done the right thing in making the teaching profession at least somewhat contingent on performance. The state should create a retirement system that matches that expectation.

Why New Technologies Often Don’t Help Students

Breakthrough innovations come from finding ways to use new technologies to rethink old processes.

The Illinois Teacher Labor Market Is Incredibly Fragmented

The fragmented teacher labor market has implications for how we think about improving teacher preparation, not to mention how school districts go about hiring new teachers.

Are Teacher Salaries Flat Because of Changing Workforce Demographics?

The shift from a veteran-dominated profession to one more heavily tilted toward newcomers implications for calculating average teacher salaries.

By Guest Blogger

School Policy

Use Caution in Drawing Conclusions from Ohio Voucher Study

The Fordham Institute recently released a study on the academic impact of Ohio’s flagship school choice program.

By Guest Blogger

Can High Standards and Accountability Co-Exist? Lessons From the Common Core Assessment Consortia

It’s easy for policymakers and the public to embrace high standards in principle. But when policymakers seek to hold students, teachers, and schools accountable for those standards by using the results from aligned assessments, support is far more likely to falter.

How Chartering Makes Possible An Entirely New Approach to Accountability

The leadership of an urban district should ask state policy makers for permission to apply charter-type accountability to all schools in the district.

Should Charter Schools Be Pressured to Reduce Suspensions?

At the National Charter Schools Conference, Secretary of Education John King challenged U.S. charter operators to rethink their approach to discipline.

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