Make it less intrusive and more meaningful, but don't get rid of annual testing, writes Betheny Gross.
2012 Year in Review
2012 was a very productive year at CRPE. Below is a recap of some of our more notable publications, and our webinars can be found here.
Strife and Progress: Portfolio Strategies For Managing Urban Schools (December 2012, Brookings Press) explains the underlying idea of the portfolio strategy. Based on findings from studies of portfolio school districts, the book shows how mayors and other city leaders have introduced the strategy, compares different cities’ implementation, tells about the civic coalitions that come together to support it, and analyzes the intense and colorful conflicts it can set off.
Portfolio Strategy, Charter Schools, and District-Charter Collaboration
- Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2011 explains the risks and technical challenges behind charter-district collaboration and provides examples of how they can be overcome. A number of experts shared their opinions on the promise and peril of collaboration.
- Portfolio School Districts in Transition: Steering Through Uncharted Waters captures themes from the seventh Portfolio Network meeting and outlines supports that CRPE is providing to help districts keep moving forward.
- The Portfolio Mindset: Innovation Starts from the Ground Up: Louisiana Superintendent John White launched the sixth Portfolio Network meeting with this idea of a "portfolio mindset."
- Baltimore and the Portfolio School District Strategy explores how the district's reform work aligns with CRPE’s definition of the portfolio strategy and how it compares to approaches taken in other districts.
- Better Schools Through Better Politics: The Human Side of Portfolio School District Reform examines the politics of portfolio school district reform, with a focus on the issues around high school closures.
- New York State Special Education Enrollment Analysis examines the distribution of students with special needs in New York State charter and district-run schools and recommends further research to identify where and why underenrollment of students with special needs exists.
- Final Reports from the National Study of Charter Management Organization Effectiveness:
- Managing Talent for School Coherence: Learning from Charter Management Organizations examines how CMOs recruit, hire, and develop teachers and manage teacher performance.
- Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts provides key findings about CMO practices and longer-term impacts on high school graduation and college entry.
- Learning from Charter School Management Organizations: Strategies for Student Behavior and Teacher Coaching takes an in-depth look at two promising practices that exhibit a strong association with impacts: high expectations for student behavior and intensive teacher coaching.
Redesigning State Education Agencies and Managing Human Capital
- Modernizing the State Education Agency: Different Paths Toward Performance Management shows how eight states at the forefront of the turnaround effort have reshaped their education agencies to address the challenges of improving their lowest-performing schools. Related commentary: The Sleeping Giant Awakes: To Focus on School Performance, State Departments Must Adapt
- Principal Concerns: Leadership Data and Strategies for States offers new tools to help state policymakers diagnose their principal workforce needs and develop comprehensive strategies to address them. A series of briefs provide state-specific analyses.
Finance and Productivity
- Federal Barriers to Innovation identifies three fiscal requirements of federal education programs that stand in the way of promoting innovation and recommends modifications to break down barriers and promote smarter, fairer uses of taxpayer money.
- Tinkering Toward Transformation: A Look at Federal School Improvement Grant Implementation looks at first-year implementation of SIGs in Washington State and finds that districts and schools are using the grants for only marginal change.
- Getting Down to Dollars and Cents: What Do School Districts Spend to Deliver Student-Centered Learning? is the first detailed look into the financial implications for public schools embracing student-centered learning models. Read the executive summary here.
- “Rapid Response” Series of Fiscal Analyses:
- Are Residents Losing Their Edge in Public University Admissions? The Case at the University of Washington
- How Public Universities Close Budget Gaps Matters For States
- The Opportunity Cost of Smaller Classes: A State-By-State Spending Analysis
- Innovating Toward Sustainability: How Computer Labs Can Enable New Staffing Structures, and New Savings
- What Happens to Teacher Salaries During a Recession?
- The Sheepskin Effect and Student Achievement: De-emphasizing the Role of Master's Degrees in Teacher Compensation
- Q&A on the Chicago Teachers Contract Math and
Chicago Teacher Salaries in the Regional Chicago Context