Independent peer review is an integral part of all CRPE research projects. Peer reviews are conducted by research or policy professionals who are not members of the CRPE project team.

Some externally published work, such as commissioned papers, books and book chapters, journal articles, and op eds, may be hosted on other sites, and some may require purchase or subscriptions to view.


The Power of Persuasion: A Model for Effective Political Leadership by State Chiefs
March, 2017
Paul Hill, Ashley Jochim

Hill and Jochim offer ideas and examples for how state chiefs can best use their powers to effectively lead the improvement of schools and districts.


Bridging the District-Charter Divide to Help More Students Succeed
January, 2017
Robin Lake, Sarah Yatsko, Sean Gill, Alice Opalka

Based on six years of research, this report explores why a growing number of districts and charter schools are choosing to work together, the costs and benefits of different types of cooperation, and the real impacts of...


Encouraging Districts and Charter to Link Arms to Solve Problems
January, 2017
Robin Lake

Robin Lake discusses opportunities that states have to support district-charter cooperation in the National Association of State Boards of Education's journal, The State Education Standard.


Unifying Enrollment in Camden: How Families Experienced the New Enrollment System
December, 2016
Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross, Colleen McCann, José Hernández, Sarah Yatsko

This study explores families’ experiences choosing and enrolling in schools using the new Camden Enrollment, and provides recommendations for improvements to the system....


Measures of Last Resort: Assessing Strategies for State-Initiated Turnarounds
November, 2016
Ashley Jochim

This paper provides the first comprehensive review of the research to date on state interventions, assessing the advantages and limits of five common turnaround approaches and outlining key ingredients for success.


The SEA of the Future: Maximizing Opportunities Under ESSA
November, 2016
Ashley Jochim, Betheny Gross, Paul Hill

Edited by Ashley Jochim and Betheny Gross, the sixth and final volume of the SEA of the Future provides SEAs a new framework under ESSA for strategic planning and concrete tools for implementation.


Apples to Apples: Common School Performance Frameworks as a Tool for Choice and Accountability
October, 2016
Sarah Yatsko, Alice Opalka, Jessica Sutter, Laura Weeldreyer, David Stewart

CRPE's new paper focuses on developing a common school performance framework, tool for measuring performance of an individual school using a defined set of metrics that is common to schools across different agencies or...


Sticking Points: How School Districts Experience Implementing the Portfolio Strategy
October, 2016
Robin Lake, Jordan Posamentier, Patrick Denice, Paul Hill

This analysis of trends across portfolio districts shows where cities are making progress on strategy implementation and where they are getting bogged down.


Herding Cats: Managing Diverse Charter School Interests in Collaboration Efforts
August, 2016
Sean Gill, Sarah Yatsko, Robin Lake

This paper looks at why many cities have missed opportunities to create more lasting relationships between their district and charter sectors, and offers suggestions for fostering stronger partnerships that could help improve...


The State Role in K–12 Education: From Issuing Mandates to Experimentation
July, 2016
Betheny Gross, Paul Hill

Betheny Gross and Paul Hill discuss the challenges and opportunities for state-level experimentation created by the Every Student Succeeds Act, in the Harvard Law and Policy Review.


The Politics of the Common Core Assessments
July, 2016
Ashley Jochim, Patrick McGuinn

CRPE research analyst Ashley Jochim and Drew University associate professor Patrick McGuinn explore why states are abandoning the assessments aligned with Common Core State Standards.


Incomplete Reform in Baltimore
June, 2016
Betheny Gross, Ashley Jochim

Betheny Gross and Ashley Jochim look at why Baltimore's promising education reforms stalled out and how it can regain momentum.


Grappling With Discipline in Autonomous Schools: New Approaches From D.C. and New Orleans
June, 2016
Betheny Gross, Sivan Tuchman, Sarah Yatsko

This report profiles leading efforts by two cities to bring consistency and fairness to discipline practices in both district and charter schools.


What States Can Do to Promote District-Charter Collaboration
June, 2016
Alex Medler

This paper explores opportunities for state education agencies to leverage their unique assets to advance district-charter collaboration..


Suburban Schools: The Unrecognized Frontier in Public Education
May, 2016
Sean Gill, Jordan Posamentier, Paul Hill

This paper reviews trends around changing student populations in suburban America and the accompanying demands facing suburban public school systems.


Roots of Engagement in Baton Rouge: How Community Is Shaping the Growth of New School Options
April, 2016
Christine Campbell

This case study looks at the community engagement efforts underway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a diverse group of civic leaders are working to create high-quality new school options.


Financing Personalized Learning: What Can We Learn From First-Generation Adopters?
April, 2016
Larry Miller, Betheny Gross, Tricia Maas, José Hernández, Alton Lu, Robin Lake

This paper takes the first systematic look at costs associated with implementing personalized learning schools, how leaders of these schools choose to allocate their funds, and what it might take to make personalized learning...


School Leadership Policy Toolkit
April, 2016
Eric Lerum

CRPE collaborated with the Fordham Institute to develop an online school policy leadership toolkit, a resource to help policymakers and advocates focus on getting great principals into all schools.


Changing Methods and Mindsets: Lessons from Innovate NYC
January, 2016
Steven Hodas

Author Steven Hodas shares his experiences working with the New York Department of Education to foster innovative practices and develop more nimble procurement procedures.


The SEA of the Future: Building Agency Capacity for Evidence-Based Policymaking
November, 2015
Betheny Gross, Ashley Jochim, Carrie Conaway, Nathaniel Schwartz, Venessa Keesler, Kathleen Dempsey, Caitlin Howley, Paul Kohler

Edited by Betheny Gross and Ashley Jochim, this fifth volume of the SEA of the Future explores how state education agencies can bolster their ability to use research and data to drive key spending, policy, and program...


Measuring Up: Educational Improvement and Opportunity in 50 Cities
October, 2015
Michael DeArmond, Patrick Denice, Betheny Gross, José Hernández, Ashley Jochim, Robin Lake

A groundbreaking new report that measures the health of school systems through a citywide lens.


The Policy Framework for Online Charter Schools
October, 2015
Rosa Pazhouh, Robin Lake, Larry Miller

CRPE partnered with Mathematica and CREDO on a rigorous analysis of online charter schools. Our paper examines how state policy shapes the online charter school landscape.


Understanding Student Discipline Practices in Charter Schools: A Research Agenda
September, 2015
Patrick Denice, Betheny Gross, Karega Rausch

CRPE convened a panel of experts to recommend a more comprehensive approach to capturing discipline data and evaluating and comparing school discipline practices.


Making Sense of Charter School Discipline Studies: A Reporter's Guide
September, 2015
Alison Krupnick

This brief provides guidance for education reporters seeking to interpret findings and draw conclusions about current school discipline research.


Backfill in Charter High Schools: Practices to Learn From and Questions to be Answered
August, 2015
Paul Hill, Tricia Maas

Paul Hill and Tricia Maas explore the charter high school "backfill" issue, using interviews with charter sector leaders to understand competing perspectives and practices that support transfer students.


The Best of Both Worlds: School District-Charter Sector Boundary Spanners
August, 2015
Sarah Yatsko, Angela Bruns

This paper explores the practice of district superintendents looking beyond the usual candidate pool and hiring administrators who have seen strong successes in the charter sector.


The Best of Both Worlds: Can District-Charter Co-Location Be a Win-Win?
August, 2015
Michael DeArmond, Elizabeth Cooley Nelson, Angela Bruns

This report explores the challenges of leveraging co-location as a tool for school improvement.


Carrots, Sticks, and Sermons: How Policy Shapes Educational Entrepreneurship
June, 2015
Ashley Jochim

This paper was written by Ashley Jochim for the American Education Institute's conference, The State of Entrepreneurship in K–12 Education, held June 24, 2015.


Redesigning the District Operating System
May, 2015
Steven Hodas

How ingrained district operating systems practices can interfere with policy goals and school-level initiative, and why we need to retool the DOS to enable dynamic problem-solving.


Common Enrollment, Parents, and School Choice: Early Evidence from Denver and New Orleans
May, 2015
Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond, Patrick Denice

This report examines the implementation and early results of common enrollment systems in Denver and New Orleans.


The SEA of the Future: Uncovering the Productivity Promise of Rural Education
May, 2015
Betheny Gross, Ashley Jochim, Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza, Tessie Rose Bailey, Rebecca Zumeta

Edited by Betheny Gross and Ashley Jochim, this fourth volume of the SEA of the Future details how rural schools and districts are innovative in how they deliver services, recruit teachers, use technology, and serve special...


Next Generation School Districts: What Capacities Do Districts Need to Create and Sustain Schools That Are Ready to Deliver on Common Core?
April, 2015
Robin Lake, Paul Hill, Tricia Maas

This paper argues that district-wide systems changes are necessary to encourage and free up schools to innovate, in order to implement personalized learning at scale and meet the challenges of Common Core.


The Case for Coherent High Schools
April, 2015
Paul Hill, Tricia Maas

This paper explains why personalized high schools are hard to get and keep, and shows how we can make them more broadly available through changes in policy and philanthropic investments.


The Portfolio Strategy CEO: The Job and How to Prepare for It
March, 2015
Paul Hill, Shannon Murtagh

This primer for portfolio strategy leaders identifies the main challenges of the job and how to approach them.


In-Depth Portfolio Assessment: Spring Branch Independent School District, Texas
March, 2015
Libuse Binder

This report examines Spring Branch Independent School District's progress on implementing the portfolio strategy.


Accountability and the Federal Role: A Third Way on ESEA
March, 2015
Linda Darling-Hammond, Paul Hill

In this paper, two different "camps" on school reform find common ground on how to improve educational accountability.


Title I: Time to Get It Right
March, 2015
Marguerite Roza, Robin Lake

This brief presents five clear principles on which Title I formulas should be based and progress measured.


Making Sense of Charter School Studies: A Reporter's Guide
March, 2015
Lydia Rainey

This guide educates the media and decision-makers about what questions to ask regarding charter school research, and provides them with information about the limits of any new research.


Principals: The Lead Communicators in the Portfolio Strategy
February, 2015
Paul Hill, Shannon Murtagh

This brief outlines how empowered principals can be assets for public engagement in school systems using the portfolio strategy.


A Blueprint for Effective and Adaptable School District Procurement
January, 2015
Tricia Maas, Robin Lake

This report outlines the problems districts face in procuring innovative goods and services, shows how other sectors have modernized procurement processes, and recommends ways to reform district procurement.


An Evaluation of Denver's SchoolChoice Process, 2012–2014: Is the School Enrollment System Working for Families?
January, 2015
Betheny Gross, Patrick Denice

Published in coordination with A+ Denver, the report evaluates Denver's SchoolChoice enrollment system from 2012 to 2014.


The Politics of K-12 Education in Small Rural School Districts: The Case of Idaho
January, 2015
Sam Sperry, Paul Hill

This report was published by the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho as part of their research on the challenges of rural education.


Special Education in New Orleans: Juggling Flexibility, Reinvention, and Accountability in the Nation's Most Decentralized School System
January, 2015
Lynn Schnaiberg, Robin Lake

This paper looks at new efforts to ensure special education functions effectively in New Orleans' full-choice public education landscape.


A Democratic Constitution for Public Education
January, 2015
Paul Hill, Ashley Jochim

In their new book, Paul Hill and Ashley Jochim offer a brilliant, simple, and distinctly American vision for revamping governance of our public K-12 education system.


How Parents Experience Public School Choice
December, 2014
Ashley Jochim, Michael DeArmond, Betheny Gross, Robin Lake

A survey of 4,000 parents in eight "high-choice" cities finds parents are taking advantage of choice, but they want more good options.


Special Education in Charter Schools: What We've Learned and What We Still Need to Know
December, 2014
Betheny Gross, Robin Lake

This report summarizes CRPE's past two years of research and findings of special education in charter schools.


Breaking New Ground in Rural Education
November, 2014
Paul Hill

In this paper for the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho, Paul Hill explains the importance of improving education in rural areas.


Making School Choice Work: It Still Takes a City
October, 2014
Michael DeArmond

Michael DeArmond explains how city leaders can make school choice work for all families, in this essay prepared for the PIE Network 2014 Policy Summit.


School Leadership in Washington State: Today's Leaders and Key Challenges They Face
September, 2014
Christine Campbell, Michael DeArmond, Patrick Denice

This brief discusses the ever-increasing importance of Washington State’s school principals and provides descriptive analyses of the principal workforce that uncovers opportunities for improvement.


Designing the Next Generation of State Education Accountability Systems: Results of a Working Meeting
September, 2014

This meeting summary outlines common principles to guide the redesign of next-gen accountability systems.


A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement
August, 2014
Julian Betts, Y. Emily Tang

This working paper provides a systematic analysis of the field’s most rigorous studies on charter school achievement.


Are Charter Schools Working? A Review of the Evidence
August, 2014
Patrick Denice

This brief summarizes a new review of the available evidence on charter schools and student achievement


Missing Out on Strong School Leaders? A Survey of Principal Hiring and Support in Washington State
August, 2014
Michael DeArmond, Patrick Denice, Christine Campbell

This report explores how Washington State school districts hire and support its principals. A 2013 survey of Washington superintendents and principals highlights areas of concern but also reasons for optimism.


Making School Choice Work
July, 2014
Michael DeArmond, Ashley Jochim, Robin Lake

This report examines the experience of parents in cities with multiple public school options to answer the question, how can civic leaders create a choice system that works for all families?


In-Depth Portfolio Assessment: Shelby County Schools, Memphis, TN
June, 2014
Christine Campbell, Libuse Binder

This report on the newly merged Shelby County Schools' (TN) provides an assessment of where the district stands in relation to the portfolio strategy’s 7 components.


20 Years of Expertise // Transformative, Evidence-Based Ideas
June, 2014

In this compilation of essays, leading researchers and reformers share their views on how CRPE has impacted education reform over the last 20 years.


Understanding the Charter School Special Education Gap: Evidence from Denver, Colorado
June, 2014
Marcus Winters

This study uses student-level enrollment data from Denver to provide evidence on what drives the special education gap between charter and traditional public schools.


Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What's Real and What's Imagined?
June, 2014
Larry Miller

This report examines federal, state, and district barriers that principals say hinder their ability to make innovative school improvements.


Is Personalized Learning Meeting Its Productivity Promise? Early Lessons from Pioneering Schools
May, 2014
Larry Miller, Betheny Gross, Robin Lake

This fiscal analysis finds that early difficulties forecasting enrollment and revenue can undermine implementation of personalized-learning models that blend computer-based and teacher-led instruction.


The SEA of the Future: Building the Productivity Infrastructure
May, 2014
Betheny Gross, Ashley Jochim, Paul Hill, Larry Miller, Marguerite Roza, Kelly Hupfeld, Suzanne Simburg

Edited by Betheny Gross and Ashley Jochim, the essays in this third volume of the SEA of the Future describe a "productivity infrastructure" intended to provide a foundation for the work of SEAs.


Stakeholder Engagement for Common Enrollment Systems
March, 2014

This brief provides an introductory look at how leaders can effectively engage stakeholders during the design and implementation of a common enrollment system.


Working Together to Manage Enrollment: Key Governance and Operations Decisions
March, 2014

This issue brief explains how three cities—Denver, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.—are addressing the issues involved with governing cross-sector enrollment systems.


Governing Schools for Productivity
February, 2014
Paul Hill

In this paper for the Bush Center, Paul Hill explains why educational productivity matters and how new governance arrangements can promote it.


Coordinating Enrollment Across School Sectors: An Overview of Common Enrollment Systems
February, 2014

This “Spotlight” brief outlines the elements of a successful common enrollment system, and the experiences and outcomes of cities currently using these systems.


Communicating Change in Education: Ideas from a PR Expert
December, 2013

This "Spotlight" brief outlines four strategies for building effective communication around district change efforts.


The Capacity Challenge: What It Takes for State Education Agencies to Support School Improvement
December, 2013
Ashley Jochim, Patrick J. Murphy

This study explores the primary obstacles that inhibit state education agencies from better supporting school and district improvement.


The SEA of the Future: Prioritizing Productivity
November, 2013
Betheny Gross, Ashley Jochim, Marguerite Roza, Michael Podgursky

Edited by Betheny Gross and Ashley Jochim, this volume begins a conversation with state education leaders about productivity.


Good Options and Choices for All Families: How Some Portfolio Districts Are Collaborating with Charter Schools
October, 2013

This "Spotlight" brief describes successful collaborative initiatives in district-charter Compact cities, and highlights the advantages that portfolio district superintendents bring to collaboration.


Why the Gap? Special Education and New York City Charter Schools
September, 2013
Marcus Winters

This study uses NYC data to analyze the factors driving the gap in special education enrollment between charter and traditional public schools.


HR with a Purpose: Building Talent for Distinct Schools and Networks
September, 2013
Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond

Prepared for the American Enterprise Institute Conference, “Teacher Quality 2.0: Will today’s reforms hold back tomorrow’s schools?”


Assessing the Outcomes of Charter School Students with Special Needs: Research Design Brief
August, 2013
Patrick Denice, Robin Lake, Betheny Gross

This brief outlines challenges of producing rigorous and useful research on how students with special needs fare in charters and makes recommendations for designing studies needed to inform policy and practice.


Defining and Organizing for School Autonomy
July, 2013
Paul Hill

This brief explains how portfolio districts define and implement autonomies for schools.


Improving Student Opportunities and Outcomes in Hartford Public Schools
June, 2013
Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross

This analysis of Hartford Public Schools seeks to show whether opportunities to attend quality schools and student outcomes have improved as the district implemented the portfolio strategy.


District-Charter Collaboration Compact: Interim Report
June, 2013
Sarah Yatsko, Elizabeth Cooley Nelson, Robin Lake

This interim report details the first two years of district-charter collaboration in 16 Compact cities, including lessons learned and potential opportunities and challenges ahead.


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2012
May, 2013
Robin Lake

This year's edition focuses on growth and innovation and pushes charter school leaders to consider whether they are fully using their flexibility and autonomy on behalf of students.


The SEA of the Future: Leveraging Performance Management to Support School Improvement
May, 2013
Betheny Gross, Ashley Jochim, Paul Hill, Patrick J. Murphy, Sam Redding

This edited volume explores how state education agencies (SEAs) can leverage performance management tools to provide strong support for school improvement.


Common Core: Will Charter Schools Lead or Lag?
March, 2013
Robin Lake, Tricia Maas

This paper was prepared for the American Enterprise Institute's "Common Core Meets the Reform Agenda" Conference.


A reform at risk? The political realities of the Common Core
March, 2013
Ashley Jochim

This paper was prepared for the American Enterprise Institute's "Common Core Meets the Reform Agenda" Conference.


Portfolio Strategies, Relinquishment, The Urban School System of the Future, and Smart Districts
February, 2013
Paul Hill, Ashley Jochim, Christine Campbell

This brief shows how some new proposals for K-12 public education governance are complements, rather than alternatives, to the portfolio strategy.


BRIEF - Principal Concerns in Wisconsin: Focus on Future Leaders for Rural Schools
February, 2013
Katherine Martin

This analysis finds that over 70% of Wisconsin's school leaders will still be on the job in five years, with rural districts most affected by upcoming retirements.


Steps in the Right Direction: Assessing “Ohio Achievement Everywhere” – the Kasich Plan
February, 2013
Paul Hill

In this short report, Paul Hill evaluates Ohio Governor John Kasich's education budget proposal.


Principal Concerns in Indiana: Focus on Developing Current Principals
January, 2013
Katherine Martin, Michael DeArmond

This analysis finds two thirds of Indiana principals will likely still be leading schools in five years, suggesting the state should focus on evaluating, supporting, and developing its current school leaders.


Student-Based Allocation to Enable School Choice
January, 2013
Marguerite Roza, Suzanne Simburg

This brief explains the need for student-based allocation to enable student choice and portable funding across schools within districts.


Are Residents Losing Their Edge in Public University Admissions? The Case at the University of Washington
December, 2012
Grant Blume, Marguerite Roza

Public universities across the country are shifting more spots to nonresidents (who pay higher tuitions) in order to plug budget gaps. This case study examines admissions data at the University of Washington in order to...


Innovating Toward Sustainability: How Computer Labs Can Enable New Staffing Structures, and New Savings
December, 2012
Suzanne Simburg, Marguerite Roza

Using wage and staffing data from states, this paper projects the financial and staffing implications of one innovative school model (the Rocketship lab rotation) to highlight potential impacts on the schooling workforce and...


What Happens to Teacher Salaries During a Recession?
December, 2012
Jim Simpkins, Marguerite Roza, Suzanne Simburg

This study uses data from Seattle Public Schools to explore actual salary changes amidst rapid changes in economic context and the effect of the recession on teacher pay.


The Opportunity Cost of Smaller Classes: A State-By-State Spending Analysis
December, 2012
Marguerite Roza, Monica Ouijdani

Consideration of whether smaller classes are preferable to larger ones requires some recognition of the opportunity costs involved. This brief provides a state-by-state context by computing the dollars at stake in marginally...


How Public Universities Close Budget Gaps Matters For States
December, 2012
Alicia Kinne, Marguerite Roza, Patrick J. Murphy, Betheny Gross

Cuts to state support for higher education have prompted some universities to raise tuition, admit more out-of-state students, and increase enrollment to close budget gaps. This analysis compares these three strategies in...


Strife and Progress: Portfolio Strategies For Managing Urban Schools
December, 2012
Paul Hill, Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross

This new book from Paul Hill and colleagues explains the underlying idea of the portfolio strategy.


"The Phantom Menace": How state finance policies that protect districts from declining or low enrollments drive up spending and inhibit adaptation
November, 2012
Marguerite Roza, Jon Fullerton

This working paper examines how state finance policies that protect districts from declining or low enrollments drive up spending and inhibit adaptation.


Federal Barriers to Innovation
November, 2012
Raegen Miller, Robin Lake

This report identifies three fiscal requirements of federal education programs that stand in the way of promoting innovation in education. The authors recommend modifications that would break down barriers to innovation as...


Getting Down to Dollars and Cents: What Do School Districts Spend to Deliver Student-Centered Learning?
November, 2012
Larry Miller, Betheny Gross, Monica Ouijdani

This report offers the first detailed look into the financial implications for public schools embracing student-centered learning models.


New York State Special Education Enrollment Analysis
November, 2012
Robin Lake, Betheny Gross, Patrick Denice

This report examines the distribution of students with special needs in New York State charter and district-run schools. The analysis shows that different levels of comparison yield different results. The authors recommend...


BRIEF - Principal Concerns: Iowa May Face Statewide Demand
October, 2012
Michael DeArmond, Monica Ouijdani

This analysis finds that nearly half of Iowa’s principals will be eligible for retirement in the next five years, representing both a challenge and an opportunity for schools and communities statewide.


Portfolio School Districts in Transition: Steering Through Uncharted Waters
October, 2012
Christine Campbell

This brief recaps the themes of the seventh Portfolio School District Network that was held in Seattle, WA, July 2012. It also outlines some of the supports that CRPE is providing to help districts keep moving forward.


Commentary on "Alternative Strategies for Identifying High-Performing Charter Schools in Texas"
October, 2012
Robin Lake

Robin Lake comments on "Identifying High-Performing Charter Schools in Texas," in the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk.


Examining Charters: How Public Charter Schools Can Work in Washington State,
October, 2012

This report examines how charter schools would fit into Washington state's public education landscape.


Principal Concerns: Leadership Data and Strategies for States
September, 2012
Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross

This report offers a set of powerful new tools to help state policymakers diagnose their principal workforce needs and develop comprehensive strategies to address them.


Modernizing the State Education Agency: Different Paths Toward Performance Management
September, 2012
Patrick J. Murphy, Lydia Rainey

This project shows how eight state education agencies have reshaped their organizations to address the challenges of improving their lowest-performing schools. By focusing on states at the forefront of the turnaround effort,...


The U.S. Charter School Movement: Lessons for South Africa
September, 2012
Robin Lake, Tricia Maas, Betheny Gross

This report evaluates lessons from U.S. charter school legislation and implementations to inform South Africa and other countries about how to achieve the best possible results with charter school policies.


Q&A on the Chicago Teachers Contract Math
September, 2012
Marguerite Roza

This Rapid Response brief examines the real numbers on the Chicago teachers contract costs.


Chicago Teacher Salaries in the Regional Chicago Context
September, 2012
Marguerite Roza

This Rapid Response brief looks at how Chicago teacher salaries compare in regional and national contexts.


The Sheepskin Effect and Student Achievement: De-emphasizing the Role of Master's Degrees in Teacher Compensation
July, 2012
Raegen Miller, Marguerite Roza

This Center for American Progress brief dissects the nation’s sizeable investment in master’s bumps as a means of highlighting policy obstacles to a more smartly differentiated compensation approach.


The Evolution of School Support Networks in New York City
June, 2012
Eric Nadelstern

In this working paper, Eric Nadelstern discusses New York City's efforts to change the central office and create a system of support organizations to oversee networks of autonomous schools.


Baltimore and the Portfolio School District Strategy
June, 2012
Sarah Yatsko

This case study of the implementation of Baltimore City Public Schools' portfolio strategy explores how the district's reform work aligns with CRPE’s definition of the portfolio strategy and how it compares to the approaches...


Logic Model: How Education Challenges Add Up to 7 Portfolio Components
June, 2012

This logic model outlines the premises, strategy principles, actions, and reform elements of the Portfolio School District model.


Managing Talent for School Coherence: Learning from Charter Management Organizations
June, 2012
Michael DeArmond, Betheny Gross, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Robin Lake

This report examines how charter management organizations recruit, hire, and develop teachers, and how they manage teacher performance.


Better Schools Through Better Politics: The Human Side of Portfolio School District Reform
March, 2012
Sam Sperry, Kirsten Vital, Cristina Sepe, Paul Hill

This working paper series examines the politics of portfolio school district reform, with a primary focus on the issues surrounding high school closures.


Learning from Charter School Management Organizations: Strategies for Student Behavior and Teacher Coaching
March, 2012
Robin Lake, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Moira McCullough, Joshua Haimson, Brian Gill

This is the final report from The National Study of CMO Effectiveness, a four-year study designed to assess the impact of CMOs on student achievement and identify CMO structures and practices that are most effective in raising...


Tinkering Toward Transformation: A Look at Federal School Improvement Grant Implementation
March, 2012
Sarah Yatsko, Robin Lake, Elizabeth Cooley Nelson, Melissa Bowen

In 2009, the federal government committed over $3 billion to help states and districts turn around their worst-performing schools. This report looks at the results of a field study of the first-year implementation of those...


The Portfolio Mindset: Innovation Starts from the Ground Up
February, 2012
Christine Campbell

In January 2012, over 100 district and charter leaders gathered in New Orleans for the sixth Portfolio School District Network meeting. John White, new state superintendent of Louisiana, launched the meeting with the idea of a...


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2011
January, 2012
Robin Lake, Betheny Gross

The 6th annual edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality provides a clear roadmap for school districts and charter schools interested in working together to improve education options. The report explains the risks and...


Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts
January, 2012
Joshua Furgeson, Brian Gill, Joshua Haimson, Alexandra Killewald, Moira McCullough, Ira Nichols-Barrer, Bing-ru Teh, Natalya Verbitsky-Savitz, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Paul Hill, Robin Lake

This report from the National Study of CMO Effectiveness provides key findings from the study on CMO practices, impacts, and the relationships between them. The updated report also examines longer-term impacts of CMOs on high...


Are Charter School Unions Worth the Bargain?
December, 2011
Mitch Price

This study of charter school unionization compared charter school collective bargaining agreements with traditional district contracts and found that, while the new contracts innovate in many ways, they could go much further...


The Machinery that Drives Education-Spending Decisions Inhibits Better Uses of Resources
December, 2011
Marguerite Roza

This paper illustrates the flaws in the existing structure for making resource allocation decisions in public education.


For Next-Generation Educating, We Need Next-Generation Funding
December, 2011
Paul Hill

In this Education Week commentary, author Paul Hill suggests how to transform our education funding system in order to promote digital learning and technological innovation.


The 7 Components of a Portfolio Strategy
October, 2011

This one-pager outlines the 7 key components upon which the portfolio strategy is built.


The Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis of the Literature
October, 2011
Julian Betts, Y. Emily Tang

This report infers the causal impact of attending a charter school on student performance and finds that whether charters outperform traditional public schools depends on the location, grade, and subject.


The Changing Role of States in Education: The Move from Compliance to Performance Management
September, 2011
Patrick J. Murphy, Paul Hill

This essay was written for the PIE Network 5th Annual Policy Summit, September 2011. The authors argue that state education agencies need to shift from their role of compliance monitor to performance manager—a shift most are...


Creating Recovery School Districts to Drive Reforms: Lessons from Louisiana
September, 2011
Paul Hill, Betheny Gross

As states look at building their own recovery school districts, this essay outlines key lessons from Louisiana’s leaders.


Improving the Front-End of the Teacher and Leader Pipeline
September, 2011
Michael DeArmond

This essay looks at the efforts in a handful of states that are moving to simultaneously reform and expand how they oversee the preparation and certification of teachers and leaders.


Beating the Odds: How State Education Agencies Can Better Support School Turnarounds
September, 2011
Sarah Yatsko, Melissa Bowen

This essay was written for the PIE Network 5th Annual Policy Summit, September 2011. The authors argue that states can maximize their support for turnaround work by pushing for bold, workable plans, providing technical...


State Education Agencies Overlooked in Education Reform? Talent Is the First Place to Start
September, 2011
Christine Campbell, Michael DeArmond

This essay was written for the PIE Network 5th Annual Policy Summit, September 2011. The authors note that state education agencies have been tasked with increasing student outcomes on fewer funds and examine whether they are...


Smart Choice Policy: Using Evidence to Inform Policy
August, 2011
Betheny Gross

CRPE Senior Research Analyst Betheny Gross presented this overview of the latest evidence on choice policies including public school choice, vouchers, and charter schools at the National Conference of State Legislatures...


State Capacity for School Improvement: A First Look at Agency Resources
August, 2011
Patrick J. Murphy, Monica Ouijdani

This report examines whether State Education Agencies (SEAs) have the capacity they need to fulfill their expanding roles in turning around schools in need of improvement.


Limited Capacity at the State Level: A Threat to Future School Improvement
June, 2011
Patrick J. Murphy, Monica Ouijdani

This study identifies key functions performed by state education agencies, estimates the relative level of resources devoted to each activity, and explores ways SEAs could free up resources to build school improvement capacity...


Eliminating the Achievement Gap: A White Paper on How Charter Schools Can Help District Leaders
June, 2011
Robin Lake, Alex Hernandez

Drawing from the experiences of high-performing charter school networks, this white paper examines why districts struggle to close the achievement gap, what portfolio district leaders can find when they look outside the...


Growing Number of Districts Seek Bold Change With Portfolio Strategy
June, 2011
Paul Hill, Christine Campbell

A growing number of urban districts across the country are pursuing a "portfolio strategy," profoundly changing the role of the school district and its relationship to schools in order to bring about dramatically better...


On Recovery School Districts and Stronger State Education Agencies: Lessons from Louisiana
June, 2011
Paul Hill, Patrick J. Murphy

This working paper reports on a meeting in which representatives from several states gathered for a candid discussion of the lessons learned from Louisiana's dramatic school turnaround efforts.


Contracted Providers: Overcoming Challenges in a Portfolio School District
May, 2011
Jackqueline Miller

Over the past two decades, some district leaders have asked urban universities to develop emergency strategies to rescue low-performing schools. How do universities and districts develop effective relationships that align with...


Reforming Districts Through Choice, Autonomy, Equity, and Accountability: An Overview of the Voluntary Public School Choice Directors Meeting
May, 2011
Betheny Gross, Robin Lake

In February 2011, the Center on Reinventing Public Education convened a conference to help districts implementing school choice under the U.S. Department of Education’s Voluntary Public School Choice program. This paper...


How Do Charter Schools Get the Teachers They Want?
March, 2011
Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond

This paper examines charter school leaders' deliberate strategies to hire teachers who will boost student achievement and contribute to a thriving school culture.


What Does Washington State Get for Its Investment in Bonuses for Board Certified Teachers?
March, 2011
Jim Simpkins

Washington State is set to spend nearly $100 million in the next two years on pay bonuses for teachers who receive national board certification. This brief explores whether this investment makes a difference in improving the...


Will Seniority-Based Layoffs Undermine School Improvement Efforts in Washington State?
March, 2011
Robin Lake, Michael DeArmond, Cristina Sepe

This brief examines why policies known as “last in, first out” may disproportionately affect schools receiving federal School Improvement Grants.


Inside Charter Schools: Unlocking Doors to Student Success
February, 2011
Betheny Gross

This final report from the four-year Inside Charter Schools initiative examines how charter schools differentiate themselves from traditional public schools to attract students and families and how they recruit and...


Special Needs and Choice Districts
February, 2011
Robin Lake, Betheny Gross

This report focuses on the evidence to date on how students with special needs fare under choice, and promising new ideas that have yet to be tried.


What Have We Learned in 15 Years about Getting High-Quality Charter Schools? Lessons for Washington State
January, 2011
Robin Lake

In this one-page brief, Robin Lake summarizes key lessons for creating high-quality charter schools.


Paying for Scale: Results of a Symposium on CMO Finance
January, 2011
Robin Lake, Allison Demeritt

In April 2010, the Center on Reinventing Public Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation convened a group of researchers and financial analysts to discuss how to better understand the financing and sustainability...


New York City’s iZone
January, 2011
Robin Lake, Betheny Gross

In 2010, New York City’s Department of Education created the Innovation Zone to employ cutting edge technology to solve students’ most persistent learning problems. This study analyzes the iZone's impact so far.


Charter School Authorizers and Student Achievement
December, 2010
Ron Zimmer, Brian Gill, Kaitlin Obenauf

In this working paper the authors use student data from Ohio to compare the effectiveness of various types of charter school authorizers.


The Promise of Cafeteria-Style Benefits for Districts and Teachers
December, 2010
Noah Wepman, Marguerite Roza, Cristina Sepe

This brief describes how a different method of supplying benefits to employees might work for districts: cafeteria plans. While typical school district plans offer a one-size-fits-all package of benefits to employees,...


Seattle Public Schools Performance Analysis 2009–2010
November, 2010
Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross, Cristina Sepe, Sarah Yatsko

This brief analyzes Seattle's school 2009-2010 performance levels, how performance varies across the city, and how access to high-performing schools varies across demographic groups.


You’re Leaving? Sustainability and Succession in Charter Schools
November, 2010
Christine Campbell

This report, part of a four-year study of charter school teachers and leaders, finds that many charter schools are unprepared when it comes to leadership turnover.


Talent Management in Portfolio Districts
November, 2010
Christine Campbell, Michael DeArmond

A look at New York City and Washington, D.C., this paper shows how portfolio—and perhaps traditional—districts can transform talent management from a bureaucratic staffing system into a core leadership function.


The $500 Million Question
October, 2010
Robin Lake, Kevin Hall

This Education Next forum addresses what we know about the strengths and frailties of CMOs, what the future holds, and what promising alternatives might be. 


Washington State's Schoolchildren Can't Afford to Wait for Superman
October, 2010
Christine Campbell

In this commentary from The News Tribune, author Christine Campbell argues that Washington State's need for bold reform is just as urgent as the cities featured in the film "Waiting for Superman."


Is Washington State Still Waiting for "Superman"?
September, 2010

"Waiting for 'Superman'" may leave Washington viewers wondering, “How does our state stack up?” This guide presents facts about the state of education in Washington and ideas for what parents and communities can do to get...


Parallel Patterns: Teacher Attrition in Charter vs. District Schools
September, 2010
Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond

This study explores the question of teacher turnover in charter schools by surveying newly hired teachers from both traditional and charter schools.


Washington State High Schools Pay Less for Math and Science Teachers than for Teachers in Other Subjects
August, 2010
Jim Simpkins, Marguerite Roza, Cristina Sepe

In this brief, CRPE analysts find that most of Washington's largest districts spend less per math or science teacher than for teachers in other subjects.


Curing Baumol’s Disease: In Search of Productivity Gains in K–12 Schooling
July, 2010
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza

Improvements in productivity in other sectors may hold important lessons for understanding how the education system can become more efficient.


Strategic Communications for Portfolio School District Reform
July, 2010
Sam Sperry

This paper, one of a series of papers designed to assist leaders in portfolio district reform efforts, argues that effective, strategic communications policies and practices are a key element of successful portfolio reform....


The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness: Report on Interim Findings
June, 2010
Robin Lake, Brianna Dusseault, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Paul Hill

This interim report from the National Study of CMO Effectiveness explores how CMOs vary according to their theories of action, structural organization, and growth strategies and delves into the ongoing organizational and...


Multiple Pathways To Graduation: New Routes to High School Completion
May, 2010
Shannon Marsh, Paul Hill

Leading districts are creating multiple pathways to graduation that might keep students from dropping out. Early results are promising.


Unique Schools Serving Unique Students: Charter Schools and Children with Special Needs
May, 2010
Robin Lake

This book offers a pioneering look at the role of charter schools in meeting the needs of special education students.


The Disproportionate Impact of Seniority-Based Layoffs on Poor, Minority Students
May, 2010
Cristina Sepe, Marguerite Roza

Looking at the 15 largest districts in California, this analysis finds that teachers at risk of layoff are concentrated in schools with more poor and minority students, concluding that "last in, first out" policies...


Seniority Rules: Do Staffing Reforms Help Redistribute Teacher Quality and Reduce Teacher Turnover?
May, 2010
Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond, Dan Goldhaber

This paper finds that shifting from a seniority-based hiring system to a “mutual consent” hiring system leads to a short-term increase in turnover and inexperienced teachers, but after a few years the level of inexperienced...


Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go?
April, 2010
Marguerite Roza

This book explains how varied funding streams can prevent schools from delivering academic services that mesh with their stated priorities and offers concrete prescriptions for reform.


Taking Measure of Charter Schools: Better Assessments, Better Policymaking, Better Schools
April, 2010
Julian Betts, Paul Hill

This book explores how to improve estimates of charter schools' performance and suggests how policymakers can learn more about charter schools and make better use of evidence.


The Charter School Catch-22
April, 2010
Paul Hill, Robin Lake

This article addresses the claim that charter schools worsen segregation by serving too high a proportion of minority students.


Washington State Has Work to Do For Next Round of Race to the Top
March, 2010
Christine Campbell

In this commentary from the Seattle Times, Christine Campbell argues that Washington will need to make bold education reforms to compete in the second round of Race to the Top.


How Do Charter Schools Compete for Teachers? A Local Perspective
March, 2010
Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond

Drawing on an an original survey of hiring practices in charter schools and their local school districts in six-states, this paper offers an exploratory look at how charter schools compete for teachers across local contexts....


K–12 Job Trends Amidst Stimulus Funds: Early Findings
March, 2010
Marguerite Roza, Chris Lozier, Cristina Sepe

This brief explores trends in K–12 education jobs—those funded through the stimulus and by other means—to answer the question of what role ARRA played in overall education employment.


Paul Hill: Reinventing Our Ideas About Public Education
March, 2010
Robin Lake, Dominic Brewer

The CRPE founder isn’t afraid to challenge existing institutions when they fail to serve kids, and respects the evidence, no matter what it says. A look at Hill's legacy.


Learning as We Go: Why School Choice Is Worth the Wait
February, 2010
Paul Hill

This book examines the real-world factors that can complicate, delay, and in some instances interfere with the positive cause-and-effect relationships identified by the theories behind school choice. Hill explains why schools...


Beyond Teacher Reassignments: Better Ways Districts Can Remedy Salary Inequities Across Schools
February, 2010
Marguerite Roza, Sarah Yatsko

This brief demonstrates how, contrary to common worry, closing Title I's "comparability provision" loophole would not force districts to mandatorily reassign teachers.


Have States Disproportionately Cut Education Budgets During ARRA? Early Findings
January, 2010
Marguerite Roza, Susan Funk

This analysis explores how state education spending has changed or will change given the application of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2009
January, 2010
Robin Lake

This edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality explores the lessons high-performing charter schools offer for other public schools, including the alignment of lesson content with state curriculum, frequent formative...


Now Is a Great Time to Consider the Per Unit Cost of Everything in Education
January, 2010
Marguerite Roza

Calculating the per unit costs of what schools or districts deliver can provide the best insight into the implications of all that spending. This paper was published in the edited volume, "Stretching the School Dollar: How...


The 'Master's Pay Bump': Why Ending It Shouldn't Frighten Ed. Schools
December, 2009
Patricia Wasley, Marguerite Roza

This analysis argues that in the current fiscal climate, districts should rethink automatically paying teachers for master's degrees, and consider how money could instead be channeled into compensation in ways that lead to...


Charter High Schools: Alternative Paths to Graduation
November, 2009
Sarah Yatsko, Betheny Gross, Jon Christensen

This white paper explores the alternative path to graduation that charter high schools make possible.


Portfolio School Districts for Big Cities: An Interim Report
October, 2009
Paul Hill, Christine Campbell, David Menefee-Libey, Brianna Dusseault, Michael DeArmond, Betheny Gross

Study on four urban school districts experimenting with new school designs and new ways of holding schools accountable for performance by implementing a "portfolio strategy."


Performance Management in Portfolio School Districts
August, 2009
Robin Lake, Paul Hill

As portfolio districts take on duties they were not designed for, this report offers guidance on how to manage some of the most complicated tasks.


Drivers of Choice: Parents, Transportation, and School Choice
July, 2009
Paul Teske, Jody Fitzpatrick, Tracey O'Brien

This report surveys the broad transportation landscape and conducts in-depth work with families in two cities to determine what role transportation plays in parents' school decisions, and how districts might address related...


Separation of Degrees: State-By-State Analysis of Teacher Compensation for Master's Degrees
July, 2009
Marguerite Roza, Raegen Miller

This analysis argues that in the current fiscal climate, districts should rethink automatically paying teachers for master's degrees, and consider how money could instead be channeled into compensation in ways that lead to...


The Tradeoff Between Teacher Wages and Layoffs to Meet Budget Cuts
July, 2009
Marguerite Roza

This analysis shows that school districts faced with large budget gaps could avoid some or all teacher layoffs by rolling back salaries.


Breaking Down School Budgets: Following the Dollars Into the Classroom
June, 2009
Marguerite Roza

This analysis examines ways in which per-pupil spending in high schools varies by subject and course level, and demonstrates how such fiscal metrics can reveal the financial implications of the inner workings of individual...


Custom Tailored: Trends in Charter School Educational Programs
May, 2009
Jon Christensen, Lydia Rainey

This research brief analyzes detailed descriptions of charter school educational programs to better understand how these schools tailor their programs to meet their students' needs.


Ranking the States: Federal Education Stimulus Money and the Prospects for Reform
May, 2009
Marguerite Roza

This brief presents rank order projections of changes in state K-12 education spending amidst state revenue gaps and the addition of ARRA funds.


Can Transfer and Articulation Policies Propel Community College Students to a Bachelor's Degree—and Is This the Only Goal?
May, 2009
Betheny Gross, Dan Goldhaber

This brief considers the role of transfer and articulation policies in higher education policy and administration.


Community College Transfer and Articulation Policies: Looking Beneath the Surface
April, 2009
Betheny Gross, Dan Goldhaber

This paper explores the relative importance of specific policy components on post-secondary outcomes, and how such policies impact students with different aspirations or economic and ethnic backgrounds.


State Intervention and Contract Choice in the Public Teacher Labor Market
March, 2009
Michael Hansen

The paper exploits variation across states in education policies and labor laws to identify differences in teacher contract choice at the local level, and finds relatively small variances in contract outcomes within the state...


Projections of State Budget Shortfalls on K-12 Public Education Spending and Job Loss
February, 2009
Marguerite Roza

This brief makes early projections of of what state budget cuts might mean for education spending and job losses.


Ohio at the Crossroads: School Funding—More of the Same or Changing the Model?
February, 2009
Paul Hill

This study of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's education plan, published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, finds that the plan's so-called "evidence-based" approach would actually scuttle any modernizing efforts.


Scrambling the Nest Egg: How Well do Teachers Understand Their Pensions and What Do They Think about Alternative Pension Structures?
February, 2009
Michael DeArmond, Dan Goldhaber

This paper adds to the nascent literature on teacher pensions by exploring two questions: How well do teachers understand their current pension plans? And, what do they think about alternative plan structures?


Seniority-Based Layoffs Will Exacerbate Job Loss in Public Education
February, 2009
Marguerite Roza

In this brief, Marguerite Roza explains why K-12 school districts that lay off personnel according to seniority cause disproportionate damage to their programs and students than if layoffs were determined on a seniority-...


The Productivity Imperative: Getting More Benefits From School Costs in an Era of Tight Budgets
January, 2009
Marguerite Roza, Dan Goldhaber, Paul Hill

In this commentary, the authors argue that the economic crisis could ultimately strengthen public education if leaders make tough resource decisions that can produce greater efficiencies.


Did Bush Hurt the Charter Movement by Trying to Help It?
January, 2009
Robin Lake

This guest editorial argues that the Bush administration failed to meaningfully move the charter sector forward.


Teacher Union Contracts and High School Reform
January, 2009
Mitch Price

Are teachers unions and collective bargaining agreements barriers to high school reform and redesign efforts in Washington, California, and Ohio? The report offers an overview of real and perceived barriers to reform, along...


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2008
December, 2008
Robin Lake

This year's edition explores how charter school achievement varies across the sector, how the educational strategies used by charters differ from those used in traditional public schools, how charters are providing unique...


Value-Added and Experimental Studies of the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement: A Literature Review
December, 2008
Julian Betts, Y. Emily Tang

This paper provides an analysis of 14 charter school studies that use the two most rigorous methods: either randomization based on lotteries, or value-added modeling.


Schools: Look for Ways to Get Better Results for Less Money
November, 2008
Marguerite Roza, Robin Lake

This op-ed argues that Washington's budget crisis presents a good time for school districts to find innovative ways to do more with less, but the state hasn't created the context necessary for districts to redesign toward...


Facing the Future: Financing Productive Schools
November, 2008
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza, James Harvey

This report is the conclusion of an extensive six-year national study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The authors criticize school finance systems for being outmoded and not linked to student results and...


Measuring School Efficiency: Educational Return on Investment: A Case Study of An Urban District
October, 2008
Michael Foote, Marguerite Roza

This article examines a few methods that assess the relationship between educational investment and educational outcome, then focuses on a Return on Investment (ROI) model to assess the efficiency of an urban district.


Funding Student Learning: How to Align Education Resources with Student Learning Goals
October, 2008
Jacob E. Adams, Jr., Paul Hill

This report summarizes the work of of the National Working Group on Funding Student Learning, a group of eleven top school finance scholars. The report both describes the problems with state school finance systems and offers...


Financing Schools for Results
September, 2008
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza

This is a pre-print version of an article that was published in ASBO International's School Business Affairs magazine. The article summarizes a five year research study that examined the linkages between how money is...


The High-Wire Job of Charter School Leadership
September, 2008
Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross, Robin Lake

This essay, published in Education Week's "Leading for Learning" report on charter school leadership, presents new national survey data about who charter school leaders are, why they take the jobs, where they struggle most,...


Working Without a Safety Net: How Charter School Leaders Can Best Survive on the High Wire
September, 2008
Christine Campbell, Betheny Gross

In this report CRPE researchers explore the complex job of charter school directors, who may have little experience with facilities, finances, hiring, or strategic planning; some of the most serious issues for charter schools...


Must Public Education Suffer From Baumol's Disease?
August, 2008
Marguerite Roza

In this commentary from The Denver Post, Marguerite Roza explores the phenomenon of Baumol's disease in education—the tendency for costs to rise even as outputs stay the same.


Returns to Skill and Teacher Wage Premiums: What Can We Learn By Comparing the Teacher and Private Sector Labor Markets?
August, 2008
Dan Goldhaber, Michael DeArmond, Albert Liu, Dan Player

This paper offers empirical evidence on the size of incentives that might be needed to make teaching a relatively more attractive occupation for people with technical skills or high academic aptitude.


Recruiting New Teachers to Urban School Districts: What Incentives Will Work
August, 2008
Anthony Milanowski, Hope Longwell-Grice, Felicia Saffold, Janice Jones, Allen R. Odden, Kristen Schomisch

This paper explores the value teachers place on financial incentives and how much of a salary incentive is needed to attract new teachers to high-needs schools.


Money Strings Bind Schools
July, 2008
Shelley De Wys

This commentary from the News & Observer argues that North Carolina needs to fundamentally reform how the state funds its public schools.


Exploring Success in the Charter Sector: Case Studies of Six Charter Schools Engaged in Promising Practices for Children with Disabilities
July, 2008
Lauren Morando Rhim, Dana Brinson

This report presents findings from exploratory case studies of six charter schools identified due to their reported success educating children with disabilities.


Taking Stock of the Fiscal Costs of Expanded Learning Time
July, 2008
Marguerite Roza, Karen Hawley Miles

This report provides a framework for policymakers and practitioners to identify the key cost components involved in expanding the school day.


Finding a Balance: How Application and Authorization Policies Impact School Supply
June, 2008
Meghan Squires, Lydia Rainey

This paper describes how high-quality authorizers have changed their application procedures and standards and examines the effect these changes have had on the quality and quantity of new charter school applicants.


What if We Closed the Title I Comparability Loophole?
June, 2008
Marguerite Roza

This paper explores why the current Title I program's comparability provision falls so short of what is needed, and the reasons for modifying it.


Quality Improvement and Performance Management in Schools: Lessons From Abroad
June, 2008
Ashley Jochim, Katharine Destler

This paper considers systematic school reform efforts in Australia, New Zealand and England, where each government took steps to heighten accountability, decentralize governance and invest in schools’ capacity to improve...


Contrasting Approaches to Charter School Oversight
June, 2008
Katharine Destler

This paper outlines competing principles of charter school oversight and examines how those principles affect an authorizer’s approach to finding and selecting new schools, conducting day-to-day oversight of performance, and...


Closing Troubled Schools
June, 2008
Julie Kowal, Bryan Hassel

This report analyzes the main reasons charter authorizers close schools, and how districts can use those closures as part of an overall improvement strategy that aligns with and reinforces their core values.


Tough Calls: Identifying and Addressing School-Level Problems
June, 2008
Robin Lake, Meghan Squires

This working paper summarizes common problems faced by new and established charter schools and highlights strategies to diagnose and, when appropriate, intervene in struggling schools.


Closing the Skill Gap: New Options for Charter School Leadership Development
June, 2008
Christine Campbell, Brock J. Grubb

This report analyzes specialized charter leadership programs and finds that they show promise in their responsiveness, course relevance, and methods of instruction.


A Leap of Faith: Redesigning Teacher Compensation
June, 2008
Michael DeArmond, Dan Goldhaber

This paper briefly summarizes three School Finance Redesign Project teacher compensation studies that begin to help build the evidence base for teacher pay reform.


What Is the Sum of the Parts? How Federal, State and District Funding Streams Confound Efforts to Address Different Student Types
June, 2008
Marguerite Roza, Kacey Guin, Tricia Davis

This report demonstrates in greater detail than ever before how America’s methods of school finance work against a single-minded focus on student learning.


Is it Better to be Good or Lucky? Decentralized Teacher Selection in 10 Elementary Schools
May, 2008
Michael DeArmond, Betheny Gross, Dan Goldhaber

This working paper presents results from a qualitative field study of school-based hiring—one of the more foundational ideas for reforming centralized and bureaucratic human resource management (HRM) systems.


Community Colleges and Higher Education: How Do State Transfer and Articulation Policies Impact Student Pathways?
May, 2008
Dan Goldhaber, Betheny Gross, Scott DeBurgomaster

This paper reviews state cross-institutional policies designed to better integrate community colleges with four-year college and university system schools, and examines how patterns of college attendance, transfer, and degree...


Buying Smart in Thin Markets: District Tactics to Improve the Quality and Quantity of Autonomous Schools
May, 2008
Katharine Destler, Stephen Page

This paper identifies tactics districts can use to influence the factors that shape the supply and quality of providers of autonomous schools in thin markets.


School Funding's Tragic Flaw
May, 2008
Kevin Carey, Marguerite Roza

This paper finds that federal, state, and local policies designed to distribute education funds systematically provide more money to higher-income students and wealthier schools.


Working With Private Partners to Manage the Market: Collaborative Approaches to Charter School Oversight
May, 2008
Katharine Destler

This paper finds that informal partnerships between authorizers and private organizations have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of new schools.


Allocation Anatomy: How District Policies That Deploy Resources Can Support (or Undermine) District Reform Strategies
May, 2008
Marguerite Roza

This paper explores the nature of micro-budgeting decisions and shows how they support or hamper district reform strategies. It also provides a framework to help district leaders recognize different kinds of allocations.


Spending Money When It Is Not Clear What Works
May, 2008
Paul Hill

Public school funding in the U.S. is not a product of intelligent design, but this article shows that Americans can learn to make more effective use of the money available for public schools.


Salvaging Assets: Considering Alternatives to School Closure
April, 2008
Lucy Steiner, Bryan Hassel

What are the options for charter school authorizers or entities with similar responsibilities who want to preserve assets when closing low-performing schools? This study suggests that authorizers rarely try to salvage these...


In the Eye of the Beholder: Charter Schools and Innovation
April, 2008
Robin Lake

This paper summarizes the research evidence on charter school innovation to date and suggests ways to more productively pursue future research and development in the charter sector.


A False Dilemma: Should Decisions About Education Resource Use Be Made at the State or Local Level?
April, 2008
Marguerite Roza

The paper looks at the evolution of California’s largely state-controlled funding system and makes suggestions for policymakers to improve their education finance system.


The End of School Finance As We Know It
April, 2008
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza

This Education Week article outlines changes to the education finance system that are needed in order to bring about new and more productive uses of existing funds.


Challenges and Charter Schools: How Families with Special-Needs Students Perceive and Use Charter School Options
March, 2008
Tracey O'Brien, Kelly Hupfeld, Paul Teske

This report addresses choices made at the intersection of two very important trends in education: special education and charter schools.


Special Education Challenges and Opportunities in the Charter School Sector
February, 2008
Lauren Morando Rhim

This report explores the various difficulties charter schools face related to educating children with disabilities and examines potential opportunities to address those.


Performance Pressure and Resource Allocation in Ohio
February, 2008
Shelley De Wys, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Jacob E. Adams, Jr.

New accountability systems require that states and districts accomplish something never accomplished before—ensuring that all students meet state standards. This report explores how these expectations have altered resource...


Putting Students First: Playing Second Fiddle to Finances, Teacher Contracts, Politics
February, 2008
Shelley De Wys, Paul Hill

This op ed urges the Washington's Basic Education Finance Joint Task Force to move to change our education finance system to support the state's education goals.


Mayoral Intervention: Right for Seattle Schools?
February, 2008
Ashley Jochim, Paul Hill

This paper reviews other cities' experiences with mayoral intervention and provides an evidence base for use in case takeover proposals surface again in Seattle.


Performance Pressure and Resource Allocation in Washington
January, 2008
Shelley De Wys, Melissa Bowen, Allison Demeritt, Jacob E. Adams, Jr.

New accountability systems require that states and districts accomplish something never accomplished before—ensuring that all students meet state standards. This report explores how these expectations have altered resource...


The School Finance Redesign Project: A Synthesis of Project Work to Date
January, 2008
Paul Hill

This Interim Report explains the study questions, research strategies, and early findings of the School Finance Redesign Project.


Reform the Way We Pay Teachers
December, 2007
Dan Goldhaber, Michael DeArmond

This article first appeared in the Seattle Times, December 19, 2007.


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2007
December, 2007
Robin Lake

Like previous editions of Hopes, Fears, & Reality, the 2007 edition explores some of the most challenging issues facing the charter school movement with a focus on the pressing concerns, tensions, and opportunities...


Lessons from the Headlines: Key Questions for Districts Attempting to Close Schools
November, 2007
Kacey Guin, Marguerite Roza

This brief touches on the experiences of urban school districts as they sought to close schools. It offers insight into the critical questions districts encountered and different paths chosen during the process.


Do Districts Fund Schools Fairly?
October, 2007
Marguerite Roza, Kacey Guin, Betheny Gross, Scott DeBurgomaster

This study takes an in-depth look at funding differences between and within Texas school districts and finds that funding decisions within districts currently have a greater impact on a school’s resources than inequalities in...


Waiting for the Tipping Point: Why School Choice is Proving to Be So Hard
September, 2007
Paul Hill

This commentary by Paul Hill first appeared in Education Week, September 4, 2007. Hill lays out the reasons that school choice has been more challenging than originally envisioned and suggests which problems need to be...


Are Public Schools Losing Their 'Best'? Assessing the Career Transitions of Teachers and Their Implications for the Quality of the Teacher Workforce
September, 2007
Dan Goldhaber, Betheny Gross, Dan Player

This paper examines attrition and mobility of early-career teachers in North Carolina public schools using teacher value-added measures.


Quantity Counts: The Growth of Charter School Management Organizations
August, 2007

This report analyzes why replicating successful charter schools has been tougher and more costly than expected for both for-profit and nonprofit charter management organizations (EMOs and CMOs).


Teacher Labor Markets and the Perils of Using Hedonics to Estimate Compensating Differentials in the Public Sector
August, 2007
Dan Goldhaber, Katharine Destler, Dan Player

Policymakers and researchers alike have expressed concern about a teacher quality gap between schools with affluent student populations and the more disadvantaged ones. This study uses teacher and school-level data from the...


Teacher Attitudes About Compensation Reform: Implications for Reform Implementation
August, 2007
Dan Goldhaber, Michael DeArmond, Scott DeBurgomaster

This paper describes research designed to shed light on how teachers feel about different pay and incentive reforms.


Difficulties of Estimating the Cost of Achieving Education Standards
August, 2007
Susanna Loeb

This paper shows that none of the available methods for estimating what it would cost to reach high standards for all children is adequate to the task.


The ERS District Resource Allocation Modeler (DREAM): A Tool to Help District Officials Reallocate Resources
July, 2007
Karen Hawley Miles

This policy analysis tool, created by by Education Resource Strategies, helps districts deliberate about how to use funds effectively.


Spending Choices and School Autonomy: Lessons From Ohio Elementary Schools
July, 2007
Marguerite Roza, Tricia Davis, Kacey Guin

This study examines resource allocation patterns across elementary schools and how these patterns differ depending, in part, on various levels of autonomy over resources at the school level.


Two Alternative Yet Complementary Conceptual Frameworks for Financing American Education
July, 2007
Michael Kirst, Lori Rhodes

In this working paper, Michael Kirst suggests that a productive education system would focus relatively greater resources on out-of-school interventions, especially for the most disadvantaged children. He argues that such...


Leadership to Date, Leadership Tomorrow: A Review of Data on Charter School Directors
June, 2007
Betheny Gross, Kirsten Martens Pochop

This report reviews the available data to describe the current corps of charter school leaders: how they are prepared, how they experience their work, and the institutional strategies in place to sustain and transition...


Beyond the Battle Lines: Lessons From New York's Charter Caps Fight
June, 2007
Lisa M. Stulberg

The report examines lessons from New York's experience with charter caps politics and provides policy considerations relevant to the growing number of states in which charter schools are reaching their legislated limit.


Toward Effective Resource Use: Assessing How Education Dollars Are Spent
May, 2007
Jason Willis, Robert Durante, Paul Gazzerro

This paper shows how districts can assess the efficiency of their own resource use compared to similar districts and judge whether non-instructional expenditures are excessive.


Resource Allocation in Traditional and Reform-Oriented Collective Bargaining Agreements
May, 2007
Julia E. Koppich

When school boards enter contracts with teachers unions, they determine the use of nearly half of all the funds available to public education. In this paper Julia Koppich looks at an important source of resource allocation...


Identifying and Replicating the "DNA" of Successful Charter Schools: Lessons from the Private Sector
May, 2007
Robin Lake

This brief begins with a look at the main problems faced by organizations attempting to replicate charter schools at scale, followed by a summary of lessons from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors about the process of...


A New Approach to the Cost of Teacher Turnover
April, 2007
Anthony Milanowski, Allen R. Odden

This paper explores ways districts can reduce the costs (in terms of lost school productivity and lost training investments) of teacher turnover.


Incentive-Based Financing of Schools
April, 2007
Eric Hanushek

This report analyzes the incentives under which public school teachers and leaders work. It concludes that there are few rewards for producing high levels of student achievement and many rewards for work that does not promote...


School Finance Systems and Their Responsiveness to Performance Pressures: A Case Study of North Carolina
April, 2007
Janet S. Hansen, Gina S. Ikemoto, Julie Marsh, Heather Barney

New accountability systems require that states and districts accomplish something never accomplished before—ensuring that all students meet state standards. This report explores how these expectations have altered resource...


How the Federal Government Shapes and Distorts the Financing of K-12 Schools
March, 2007
Christopher T. Cross, Marguerite Roza

This paper examines the categorical program strategy by which the federal government and most states try to target extra funds for particular purposes.


Out of the Box: Fundamental Change in School Funding
March, 2007
David Monk

How might money be used in a more productive system? This working paper imagines a public educational system in which it is possible to link benefits received with costs borne.


Paying for School Finance Adequacy With the National Average Expenditure Per Pupil
March, 2007
Allen R. Odden, Michael E. Goetz, Lawrence O. Picus

This working paper shows that many districts have accelerated student learning by reallocating funds to emphasize targeted assistance to students, fewer non-instructional burdens on teachers, greater use of instructional...


Making Resource Decisions Amidst Technical Uncertainty
March, 2007
James Guthrie, Paul Hill

This working paper paper suggests how a performance-driven system would allocate funds, monitor performance, search for more productive models of instruction, and replace less effective schools and programs.


Conditions for Student Success: The Cycle of Continuous Instructional Improvement
March, 2007
Joanne Weiss

This paper explores how schools can seek “continuous improvement.”


School Spending Profiles: A Framework to Enlighten Resource Allocation Decisions
March, 2007
Marguerite Roza, Claudine Swartz

This paper proposes the creation and use of school spending profiles as a way to communicate more complete and comparable school spending information.


Creating the Political Conditions for Major Changes in School Finance Policy
March, 2007
Lorraine M. McDonnell

This paper asks whether significant changes in public education finance are politically feasible.


School Safety in Urban Charter and Traditional Public Schools
March, 2007
Jon Christensen

Analyzing data from the 2003-04 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), this working paper finds that charter schools consistently reported significantly fewer issues with threats to persons or property and fewer behavioral...


Learning Science Meets School Finance: The How People Learn Framework as a Tool for Resource Decisions
March, 2007
Diana Sharp, John Bransford

In this paper, Diana Sharp and John Bransford show how the learning sciences can be applied to school finance.


Not for the Timid: Breaking Down Barriers, Creating Breakthrough High Schools in Ohio
March, 2007
Donald Van Meter, Mitch Price

This report presents the results of an analysis of perceived barriers to high school redesign and real impediments embedded in federal and state statutes and regulations, as well as in local district policies in the state of...


Improving Title I Funding Equity Across States, Districts, and Schools
March, 2007
Goodwin Liu

This report demonstrates that there are many promising alternative ways to allocate and use funds under Title I, the federal government's largest K-12 funding program.


School Finance Systems and Their Responsiveness to Performance Pressures: A Case Study of Texas
March, 2007
Janet S. Hansen, Julie Marsh, Gina S. Ikemoto, Heather Barney

New accountability systems require that states and districts accomplish something never accomplished before—ensuring that all students meet state standards. This report explores how these expectations have altered resource...


Does This Spending Help Students?
January, 2007
Marguerite Roza

This op ed discusses why it is important to understand how much money is spent on different school-district policies, including those dictated by common teacher-contract provisions.


Inside Charter Schools: A Systematic Look at Our Nation's Charter Schools
January, 2007

This is the introductory report from the "Inside Charter Schools" initiative, a multi-year, federally funded study of the people and work of charter schools.


Opening Doors: How Low-Income Parents Search for the Right School
January, 2007
Paul Teske, Jody Fitzpatrick, Gabriel Kaplan

Researchers with CRPE's Doing School Choice Right initiative determine what drives the school-choice decisions made by 800 low- to moderate-income families in three cities.


Educational Accountability in a Regulated Market
December, 2006
Paul Hill, Jacob E. Adams, Jr.

This article shows how a regulated market in education would work and how one could be created.


Frozen Assets: Rethinking Teacher Contracts Could Free Billions for School Reform
December, 2006
Marguerite Roza

This report, published by Education Sector, examines common teacher contract provisions, estimates total spending on these provisions, examines studies on their effects on student achievement, and explores how these “frozen...


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2006
December, 2006
Robin Lake, Paul Hill

This edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality explores some of the most controversial issues facing the charter school movement and the implications of continued growth for leading players in the charter school debates....


How Can Anyone Say What's Adequate If Nobody Knows How Money Is Spent Now?
November, 2006
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza

Plaintiffs in adequacy lawsuits presume that school districts know how to use additional funds effectively. This chapter, from Courting Failure: How School Finance Lawsuits Exploit Judges' Good Intentions and Harm our Children...


Charter Schools Against the Odds: An Assessment of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education
October, 2006
Paul Hill

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Charter Schools against the Odds, published by Hoover Institution Press, analyzes laws and policies that are restricting growth of charter schools, and explores alternatives of how to instead, encourage the...


The Future of Charter Schools and Teachers Unions: Results of a Symposium
October, 2006
Paul Hill, Lydia Rainey, Andrew Rotherham

The National Charter School Research Project and the Progressive Policy Institute convened a meeting of local, state, and national leaders from both the charter school and teachers union communities to address ongoing battles...


Understanding Student-Weighted Allocation as a Means to Greater School Resource Equity
October, 2006
Karen Hawley Miles, Marguerite Roza

As attention shifts to how districts allocate resources to schools, student weighted allocation has emerged as an alternative to traditional staff-based allocation policies. This article examines how the shift to student-...


No Longer the Only Game in Town: Helping Traditional Public Schools Compete
September, 2006
Christine Campbell, Michael DeArmond, Kacey Guin, Deborah Warnock

This report reveals how two very different school districts, Milwaukee and Dayton, are affected by and responding to the pressures of school choice.


Money, Momentum, and the Gates Foundation: What Will Warren Buffett's Gift Mean for U.S. Schools?
August, 2006
Paul Hill

This Ed Week commentary looks at the differences in the problems the Gates Foundation has addressed, and in the strategies it has used, via its health and education giving.


Must Enrollment Declines Spell Financial Chaos for Districts? Avoiding Budgetary Shell Games to Create More Nimble Fiscal Systems
August, 2006
Marguerite Roza

This commentary lays out the benefits of district budget reform for both long-term fiscal stability and the ability to articulate priorities in district spending patterns.


High-Quality Charter Schools at Scale in Big Cities: Results of a Symposium
August, 2006
James Harvey, Lydia Rainey

This report summarizes a meeting of leaders from charter management organizations, school districts, and foundations to address the question of charter expansion and provides concrete recommendations for those interested in...


Getting Hold of District Finances: A Make-or-Break Issue for Mayoral Involvement in Education
July, 2006
Paul Hill

In this article, Paul Hill argues that mayors who seek to reform their schools need to untangle the tendrils of school district accounting practices, and he warns that mayors who attempt large-scale school reform without first...


Boosting Student Achievement: The Impact of Comprehensive School Reform on Student Achievement
June, 2006
Kevin Booker, Betheny Gross, Dan Goldhaber

This paper investigates the effects of implementing CSR models on student achievement.


Key Issues in Studying Charter Schools and Achievement: A Review and Suggestions for National Guidelines
May, 2006
Julian Betts, Paul Hill

This white paper from the Charter School Achievement Consensus Panel examines the existing research on student achievement in charter schools and details how future research could be improved.


Sticking with It: To What Extent and Why do Schools Sustain or Discontinue CSR Models?
May, 2006
Betheny Gross, Dan Goldhaber

This paper examines the issues surrounding decisions to discontinue the use of Comprehensive School Reform models by participating schools.


Poor Parents Can Be Good Choosers
April, 2006
Paul Teske, Patrick Wolf, Paul Hill

This Education Week commentary by Paul Teske, Patrick Wolf, and Paul Hill discusses low-income parents and school choice.


Seeing Success: The Impact of Implementing Model Practices on Student Outcomes
April, 2006
Betheny Gross, Lydia Rainey, Dan Goldhaber

This working paper evaluates the effect of implementing one of three prominent Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) models on student achievement and discipline outcomes, using a matched sample of Florida model and non-model...


Doing School Choice Right: Preliminary Findings
April, 2006
Paul Hill, James Harvey

This paper gives an advance report on the results of studies in the Doing School Choice Right project.


Legal and Policy Barriers to Redesigning California High Schools
April, 2006
Mitch Price

This report presents the results of an analysis of legal, regulatory, and policy barriers to high school redesign in California.


Holding Charter Authorizers Accountable: Why It Is Important and How It Might Be Done
February, 2006
Robin Lake

Too many charter school authorizers aren't fulfilling their responsibilities in providing adequate oversight for charter schools. This white paper examines the causes and consequences of poor authorizing and proposes how the...


Put Learning First: A Portfolio Approach to Public Schools
February, 2006
Paul Hill

This paper details the portfolio management approach—a new vision for education reform that fosters innovation, adaptability, and performance.


The Future of Public Education in New Orleans
January, 2006
Paul Hill, Jane Hannaway

This essay is part of a collection of essays published by The Urban Institute that assess the challenges facing New Orleans and recommend tested models for making the city's social infrastructure stronger and more equitable...


A Foundation Goes to School
December, 2005
Paul Hill

This Education Next commentary summarizes how The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation became interested in high school reform.


What NAEP Can't Tell Us About Charter School Effectiveness
December, 2005
Jon Christensen, Lawrence Angel

This article from Education Week argues that claims about the effectiveness of charter schools compared to traditional public schools that are drawn from NAEP data are generally overstated due to limitations of the dataset....


When Learning Counts: Rethinking Licenses for School Leaders
December, 2005
Jacob E. Adams, Jr., Michael A. Copland

This report examines licensure content for principals to address whether the licenses that states require encompass the knowledge and skills principals need and how decisionmakers might rethink licenses.


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2005
November, 2005
Robin Lake, Paul Hill

This debut edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality provides new data on many aspects of charter schools in the United States and examines issues and controversies surrounding reform.


Re-Creating Public Education in New Orleans
September, 2005
Paul Hill

This Ed Week commentary calls for a coherent strategy for rebuilding public education in New Orleans post-Katrina.


Strengthening Title I To Help High-Poverty Schools: How Title I Funds Fit Into District Allocation Patterns
August, 2005
Marguerite Roza, Larry Miller, Paul Hill

Drawing on data from five large school districts, this report reveals that the nation's main program for educating the disadvantaged, Title I, is hampered by loopholes that prevent it from fulfilling its mission.


Equalizing Education Dollars
August, 2005
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza

In this article, originally published in the Washington Post, CRPE's Paul Hill and Marguerite Roza argue that district accounting practices and the of tendency of experienced teachers to choose wealthier schools result in...


Addressing Funding Inequities Within Districts
August, 2005
Kelly Warner-King, Veronica Smith-Casem

This is the first in a series of working papers on ways people working for the disadvantaged might use evidence about within-district spending inequalities.


Decentralized Decision-Making for Schools: New Promise for an Old Idea?
August, 2005
Janet S. Hansen, Marguerite Roza

This paper argues that decentralizing decisionmaking authority to schools is a reform worthy of a new look, despite the perceived failure of earlier school-based management (SBM) efforts to improve student performance.


Lessons from Blair's School Reforms
July, 2005
Paul Hill

In this article, Published by the Hoover Institution, Paul Hill argues that Tony Blair took a bolder approach to education reform than anyone expected of a Labour prime minister and that similar reforms are possible in the US...


Why Do So Few Public School Districts Use Merit Pay?
June, 2005
Dan Goldhaber, Michael DeArmond, Dan Player, Hyung-Jai Choi

This working paper presents a principal-agent model in the context of public schools to help explain the factors that affect district decisions about merit pay.


BRIEF - Lessons on Assessing the Costs of Small High Schools: Evidence from Seattle and Denver
March, 2005
Marguerite Roza, Claudine Swartz, Larry Miller

This brief examines small high school costs in Denver and Seattle, analyzing each layer of district expenditures in order to get a better look at the price tag for small schools in comparison to others.


Many a Slip 'Tween Cup and Lip: District Fiscal Practices and Their Effect on School Spending
February, 2005
Marguerite Roza

This paper, prepared for The Aspen Institute Congressional Program, February, 2005 explores the causes of school level spending variations.


The Back Office: A Neglected Side of Teacher Quality
February, 2005
Michael DeArmond, Dan Goldhaber

This commentary from Education Week argues for more research on the role of district human-resources departments in bringing high quality teachers into the profession.


Buried Treasure: Developing a Management Guide From Mountains of School Data
January, 2005
Mary Beth Celio, James Harvey

This report provides a practical discussion of what is required to develop a school district management guide, along with an actual guide built on evidence-based indicators.


School Districts Choosing to Charter
November, 2004
Robin Lake

This brief, published by NACSA, explores the reasons urban, suburban, and rural districts alike have embraced charter schools as an integral part of their overall strategy for school improvement, and offers suggestions for...


Charter Schools in Washington State: A Financial Drain or Gain?
October, 2004
Amy Berk Anderson

This working paper examines the potential fiscal impact of charter schools in Washington State, at both the state and local levels.


Making School Reform Work: New Partnerships for Real Change
October, 2004
Paul Hill, James Harvey

Edited by James Harvey and Paul T. Hill, this book identifies roles for foundations and civic groups in defining strategies for big-city school reform, and ensuring that promised changes are implemented. This is the third and...


A Cost Allocation Model for Shared District Resources: A Means for Comparing Spending Across Schools
September, 2004
Larry Miller, Marguerite Roza, Claudine Swartz

Under current budgeting practices it is difficult to assess how resources are distributed between schools and whether every school is afforded the same opportunities to meet its educational goals. This paper addresses one key...


Doing School Choice Right: Proceedings of a Meeting on Communities and Choice
August, 2004
James Harvey, Lydia Rainey

This report summarizes a two-day seminar which addressed the question, "How Can Communities Do School Choice Right?" convened at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., in August 2004.


Chronic Teacher Turnover in Urban Elementary Schools
August, 2004
Kacey Guin

This study examines the characteristics of elementary schools that experience chronic teacher turnover and the impacts of turnover on a school's working climate and ability to effectively function.


Broadening What's Meant by School
August, 2004
Paul Hill

In this commentary for The Hoover Institution, Paul Hill suggests that to be effective with disadvantaged children, schools need to extend learning time and offer a broader range of services.


Legal Issues and Small High Schools: Strategies to Support Innovation in Washington State
July, 2004
Kelly Warner-King, Mitch Price

This report explores legal issues affecting the establishment and operation of small high schools in Washington State.


From Bystander to Ally: Transforming the District Human Resources Department
April, 2004
Christine Campbell, Michael DeArmond, Abigail Schumwinger

Based on 49 interviews with district and school personnel, the report's aim is to identify key issues that leaders in districts elsewhere can use to begin thinking about how they might make their HR office more efficient or...


Attracting the Best Teachers
March, 2004
Paul Hill

In this commentary for The Hoover Institution, Paul Hill offers some ideas for how to attract quality people to teaching.


How Within-District Spending Inequities Help Some Schools Fail
February, 2004
Marguerite Roza, Paul Hill

This paper, published by Brookings Institution Press, reports the results of an original study of district spending at the school level. It shows that teacher cost averaging drives significant amounts of money out of schools...


School Choice: Doing It the Right Way Makes a Difference
November, 2003
Paul Hill

The National Working Commission on Choice in K-12 Education, chaired by CRPE's Paul Hill, was established to explore how choice works and to examine how communities interested in the potential benefits of new school options...


Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Funding Equity Through Student-Based Budgeting
October, 2003
Karen Hawley Miles, Kathleen Ware, Marguerite Roza

This report, published by The Phi Delta Kappan, traces Cincinnati Public Schools's process of moving to a system of student based budgeting: funding children rather than staff members, and weighting the funding according...


Baselines for Assessment of Choice Programs
October, 2003
Paul Hill, Kacey Guin

This paper argues that choice programs should be compared against the real performance of the current public education system and attempts to establish an appropriate baseline against which choice programs can be assessed.


Administrative Costs of Education Voucher Programs
September, 2003
Paul Hill

A number of states and localities are now considering creating voucher programs. This paper focuses on the administrative costs of these programs.


Making Sense of Leading Schools: A Study of the School Principalship
September, 2003
Bradley Portin, Paul Schneider, Michael DeArmond, Lauren Gundlach

This report, based on in-depth interviewes with educators, looks at the daily working lives of school leaders. It then asks what this implies for policy and leadership development.


An Impossible Job? The View From the Urban Superintendent's Chair
July, 2003
Howard L. Fuller, Christine Campbell, Mary Beth Celio, James Harvey, John Immerwahr, Abigail Schumwinger

Based on a survey and on interviews with superintendents from the nation's largest urban districts, this study explores the working life of urban superintendents. This report is second in second in the Center's leadership...


From the Headlines to the Frontlines: The Teacher Shortage and its Implications for Recruitment Policy
July, 2003
Patrick J. Murphy, Michael DeArmond

This report suggests that even with the economic slowdown and the sense of relief from a pending teacher shortage, districts will continue to struggle to get and keep good teachers unless they make dramatic changes in the ways...


A National Crisis or Localized Problems? Getting Perspective on the Scope and Scale of the Teacher Shortage
July, 2003
Patrick J. Murphy, Michael DeArmond, Kacey Guin

This article, published in Education Policy Analysis Archives, attempts to estimate the size and nature of the celebrated teacher shortage of the late 1990s by using data from the U.S. Department of Education's 1999-00 School...


The Chasm Remains
April, 2003
Paul Hill, Kacey Guin, Mary Beth Celio

This Education Next article addresses how problems within the public education system particularly affect urban children.


Change The Rules
April, 2003
Paul Hill

This article looks at why we should devolve decisionmaking in schools. Hill recommends three changes in state laws to create a public education system in which families and teachers have options, schools have a good balance of...


A Matter of Definition: Is There Truly a Shortage of School Principals?
January, 2003
Marguerite Roza, Mary Beth Celio, James Harvey, Susan Wishon

This report finds that although some districts and areas are experiencing difficulties finding good school principals, there are far more candidates interested in assuming school leadership roles than there are principal...


Big City School Boards: Problems and Options
December, 2002
Paul Hill, Kelly Warner-King, Christine Campbell, Meaghan McElroy, Isabel Muñoz-Colón

This report summarizes the functions of school boards, identifies some of the problems with big city school boards, and suggests options for reorienting boards around the trusteeship of the children they serve.


Charter Schools and Accountability in Public Education
December, 2002
Paul Hill, Robin Lake, Mary Beth Celio

Aimed toward elected officials, school reform activists, and educators, this book is the result of the first national-scale study of charter school accountability.


Choice with Equity: An Assessment by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education
December, 2002
Paul Hill

This Koret Task Force book, published by Hoover Institution Press, reviews the furious national debate over school choice, examining the benefits of choice for children, families, and schools-and showing how properly designed...


Closing the Achievement Gap in Washington State: Holding Schools Accountable for Equity
November, 2002
Elise M. Huggins, Mary Beth Celio

Prepared for the Washington State Academic Achievement and Accountability Commission in 2002, this report attempts to take a fresh look at the data from the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) in order to provide...


Philanthropic Due Diligence: Exploratory Case Studies to Improve Investments in Urban Schools
August, 2002
Christine Campbell, James Harvey, Michael DeArmond

Many foundations have put funds into urban school reform. The paper suggests that foundation giving needs to be backed up by a clear theory of change and that foundation officials need to know whether the districts in which...


The Future of School Facilities: Getting Ahead of the Curve
May, 2002
Michael DeArmond, Sara Taggart, Paul Hill

This paper looks at five trends in education and what they imply about the kinds of buildings and spaces districts will need for tomorrow's schools.


A New Look at Inequities in School Funding: A Presentation on the Resource Variations Within Districts
May, 2002
Marguerite Roza, Karen Hawley Miles

This paper presents the first results of a series of studies on within-district spending patterns. It provides an overview of some early analysis of variations in spending among schools within three districts.


The New Schools Handbook: Strategic Advice for Successful School Start-Up in Partnership With School District Officials, Staff and Community Members
May, 2002
Robin Lake, Abigail Schumwinger, Jeff Petty

This guide provides an overview of the school development process in three sections and includes an appendix of additional resources. It should be helpful for anyone starting a new school, whether it is a private school, a...


Superintendents' 'Coach Speak'
April, 2002
Paul Hill, James Harvey

In this commentary, Paul Hill and James Harvey look at how urban superintendents can get beyond misleading platitudes to confront real problems.


Building More Effective Community Schools: A Guide to Key Ideas, Effective Approaches, and Technical Assistance Resources for Making Connections Cities and Site Teams
December, 2001
Paul Hill, Christine Campbell

This report, prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, describes why community schools are important, addresses the initial questions and concerns in creating community schools, explains promising approaches, and concludes...


Building "Social Capital" Through Advocacy, Alliances & Forums
December, 2001
Paul Hill

In this essay for the Public Education Network, Paul Hill discusses the role local education funds can play in building social capital in schools


Making Standards Meaningful: High School Reform Efforts in Washington State
October, 2001
Sara Taggart, Mary Beth Celio

This report marks the third year of CRPE's exploration into the way fast-improving schools in Washington State work, with a focus on high schools. The other reports in the series are: Making Standards Work (1999) and Making...


Washington State Elementary Schools on the Slow Track Under Standards-Based Reform
October, 2001
Maria McCarthy, Mary Beth Celio

This study examines the experiences of fifteen elementary schools in Washington State demonstrating relatively slow improvement on the reading and math sections of the WASL.


Charter School Districts
May, 2001
Paul Hill

This article explores the concept of charter districts—school districts composed entirely of charter and contract schools.


A Conspiracy of Silence
February, 2001
Paul Hill

In this commentary, published by the Hoover Institution, Paul Hill writes that the key to reversing the inequitable distribution of teachers in big cities is to give real-dollar budgets to all schools and charge schools the...


Are Charter Schools Getting More Money into the Classroom? A Micro-Financial Analysis of First Year Charter Schools in Massachusetts
October, 2000
Paul Herdman, Marc Dean Millot

This report examines the first-year finances of Massachusetts charter schools.


New Hope for Public Schools
July, 2000
Paul Hill

This essay written for the Hoover Institution looks at new trends in education initiatives undertaken by private corporations and individuals.


Helping Hands: Cities Need Capacity for Education Reform
July, 2000
Paul Hill

This commentary by Paul Hill, published by Brookings, suggests that failed school systems need to create hybrid reform strategies drawn from the strong parts of various reform proposals, rather than relying on "name brand"...


How States Can Hold Schools Accountable: The Strong Schools Model of Standards-Based Reform
June, 2000
Sarah R. Brooks

This paper is the result of a review of efforts across the country, and specifically in five states, to introduce performance accountability into education reform strategies.


Stimulating the Supply and Building the Capacity of New Schools and School Developers: Recommendations for the Design and Implementation of a New Schools Incubator
June, 2000
Abigail Schumwinger

An increasingly pressing issue impacting the quality of educational services in the United States is the country's growing need for new public schools equipped to meet the unique demands of this generation's students and...


Making Standards Stick
April, 2000
Robin Lake, Maria McCarthy, Sara Taggart, Mary Beth Celio

This report documents Washington State's attempts to ensure students meet new, higher standards for student learning. It is part of a trio of reports on this topic. The other reports are: Making Standards Work (1999) and...


How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education
April, 2000
Paul Hill

More than 1.2 million students are now being taught at home, more students than are enrolled in the entire New York City public school system. This report discusses the pros and cons of learning at home and the effects home...


It Takes a City: Getting Serious about Urban School Reform
January, 2000
Paul Hill, Christine Campbell, James Harvey

This volume is the second in a trilogy of books designed to describe the politics of reform in urban school systems and clarify reform options available to mayors and other community leaders who want to improve school...


Supplying Effective Public Schools in Big Cities
December, 1999
Paul Hill

How can we move toward a public education system that can supply good schools for city children? This chapter presents two discussions: first, an analysis of the practices and attitudes that now prevent big cities from...


Making Standards Work: Active Voices, Focused Learning
February, 1999
Robin Lake, Paul Hill, Lauren O'Toole, Mary Beth Celio

This report works at identifying steps Washington state schools can take to improve new state assessment scores and meet higher state standards. Follow-up reports include Making Standards Stick (2000) and Making Standards...


Fixing Urban Schools
December, 1998
Paul Hill

This book identifies the essential elements of reform strategies that can transform school performance in big cities beset by poverty, social instability, racial isolation, and labor unrest. It also suggests ways that local...


Reinventing Public Education: How Contracting Can Transform America's Schools
December, 1997
Paul Hill, Lawrence Pierce, James Guthrie

A heated debate is raging over our nation’s public schools and how they should be reformed, with proposals ranging from imposing national standards to replacing public education altogether with a voucher system for private...


Toward a K-12 Education Accountability System in Washington State
December, 1997
Paul Hill, Robin Lake

This report sketches a strong and unique accountability system for Washington State, one that is driven by measurements of student performance and incentives to improve, creates clear lines of responsibility, gives every...


What It Takes to Start A Pennsylvania Charter School: A Guide for Applicants
December, 1997
Marc Dean Millot

This report was written in anticipation of the passage of House Bill 1834, a charter school statute considered and ultimately rejected by the Pennsylvania legislature in the fall of 1996. The information and advice contained...


A Public Education System for the New Metropolis
August, 1997
Paul Hill

What, if anything can now be said about whether decentralization of public school systems is possible and, if so, under what conditions is it likely to lead to changes in instruction and improvements in student outcomes? This...


Supplying a System of Charter Schools: Observations on Early Implementation of the Massachusetts Statute
June, 1997
Marc Dean Millot, Robin Lake

This report examines the "supply side" of education reform - the extent to which proposals to decentralize public education can be implemented by the individuals, groups, or institutions prepared to operate schools in the new...


A Nonprofit Technical Assistance Activity for Charter Applicants in Pennsylvania: Mission, Functions, Capabilities and Plans
May, 1997
Marc Dean Millot

This Report describes the mission, functions, capabilities and plans of a potential nonprofit Technical Assistance Activity (TAA) for charter school applicants under House Bill 1834, the Charter School Act previously under...


A Guidebook for Chartering Agencies
January, 1997
Marc Dean Millot

This is a guidebook for school boards and other government agencies given the power to permit private individuals and groups to operate autonomous public schools under state charter school legislation.


So You Want to Start a Charter School? Strategic Advice for Applicants: Recommendations from an Expert Workshop
December, 1996
Marc Dean Millot, Robin Lake

In September of 1995, the Program on Reinventing Public Education invited twelve experts to Seattle for a workshop about the business side of charter school start-up. This report summarizes the strategies for charter school...


Autonomy, Accountability, and the Values of Public Education
September, 1996
Marc Dean Millot

This report was written for a very specialized audience—individuals considering the passage or amendment of charter school legislation.


The Educational Consequences of Choice
June, 1996
Paul Hill

In this article, Paul Hill argues that there is ample evidence that universal public school choice would strongly benefit all children, including the disadvantaged, by promoting candid and demanding relationships among...


Priority Shift: The Fate of Mandatory Busing for School Desegregation in Seattle and the Nation
March, 1996
Laura Kohn

This paper examines the trend in school districts, across the country and in Seattle, of substantially withdrawing from mandatory integration policies.


What Are Charter Schools? An Introduction to the Concept and the Statutes
December, 1995
Marc Dean Millot

This article provides details about the charter school concept: its relationship to other well-known proposals for school reform, the essential characteristics of a charter school, and the approaches taken by states to...


High Schools with Character
August, 1990
Paul Hill, Gail E. Foster, Tamar Gendler

This paper analyzes big-city high schools: how they function and how the education of the low-income minority youth in these high schools can be improved.

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