The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy
Monday, April 10, 2017

As states unfurl their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans, we’ve been hearing a common dialog from state education leaders—promising on the one hand, troubling on the other.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Charter schools start out with big advantages, but there’s no guarantee they’ll keep them. It depends on whether they avoid the same financial traps that school districts have fallen into.

New charter schools control hiring and spending and can adapt to changes in students’ needs and improvements in instructional methods. In comparison, districts are frozen in place by commitments made in the past, to buildings, employees, and retirees.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

After more than two decades of state supervision, Newark’s public schools are slated to return to local control. When the state hands the keys back to the city, local leaders will inherit a district that’s in a fundamentally different position than it was in 1995, the year the state took over.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Many have observed that the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act provides states a prime opportunity to support improvement in K-12 education. But can state chiefs, historically weak and with few formal powers, deliver? In a new paper published today, we argue that they can.

While chiefs employ few people and control little money, their position and its limited but real powers create bargaining leverage that, skillfully used, can make a great deal of difference for students.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Americans are waking up to the plight of rural and small town areas. Rural students and workers need government and philanthropic help to link to jobs, higher education, and career opportunities, whether near their homes or in cities.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Earlier this month, CRPE hosted its 14th Portfolio Network meeting in Philadelphia. We brought together nearly 150 community, district, and charter leaders from 23 cities. These are all leaders who are working across sector lines to focus on great education for all kids in the city.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A recently released annual update from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools included a surprising fact: a mere 329 charter schools opened across the country in the 2016-2017 school year. In no year since the Alliance began tracking new charter openings has the total number of new schools been so low.

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