With the rewritten Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), responsibility for improving outcomes for students is back where some say it has always belonged—under the purview of states. One thing is clear: as states take on their new responsibilities, they will need to use evidence to effect change, protect what is working, and ensure limited resources are used wisely. Few are well positioned to do so today. Many state education agencies (SEA) have no defined, dedicated research or analysis capacity.
Robin Lake encourages Washington state to support charter schooling in this guest blog originally published in Fordham's Flypaper.
Creating and transforming schools is the core work of education reform. But educational change, especially at the level of a whole city or district, is inevitably political. It requires adults to work differently, threatens some jobs, empowers parents with new choices, and makes schools’ existence depend on enrollment and academic performance.
In some cases, the education reform community has bypassed local politics by arranging mayoral control via state takeover, using foundation money to build new institutions, and importing teachers and charter operators.
John died last week at 61, leaving many in his debt. His book with Terry Moe, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools, opened the door to many of the reforms that are improving education for poor and disadvantaged children. The book demonstrated the importance of school choice for families, but also argued for government oversight to protect the rights of children and parents.
In the wake of the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown and the mass demonstrations that followed, community leaders in Ferguson, Missouri, are working to address years of racial injustice in their city and surrounding areas. Among their calls to action: change how area schools handle student suspensions and expulsions.
We recently released a report that looked at nine indicators to measure educational improvement and opportunity in 50 cities across America. Despite a few bright spots, the results paint a sobering picture of the state of urban public education today, especially for students from low-income households and students of color.
The most recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are out and generating a lot of discussion, including some cautions about how to interpret the results. I know the benefits and limits of the NAEP all too well.