Redesigning State Education Agencies
State legislatures, governors, advocacy groups, and citizens are calling on state education agencies (SEAs) to do more to drive changes in K–12 education. In order to meet these new demands, states will need to restructure work along several fronts, including brokering support to struggling schools and districts, raising standards and expectations, addressing weaknesses in the teacher and principal labor market, and strengthening connections between early childhood education, K–12, higher education, and careers. They will need to act on these issues at a time of constrained resources. Our work explores how SEAs can meet the increasing demands they face. We ask:
- What capacities need to be developed for SEAs to act on their reform agenda?
- How can SEAs balance their compliance responsibilities with demand for services and public oversight of K–12?
- What can state legislatures, governors, advocacy groups, and other parties do to support the work of SEAs?
Envisioning the SEA of the Future
CRPE contributes an annual volume to the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center, a U.S. Department of Education-funded center that provides technical assistance to states. The SEA of the Future examines how SEAs are adapting to the growing demands for productivity in the face of tight fiscal realities.
State Regulatory Frameworks for Portfolio Cities
State legal frameworks deeply influence how well a city can pursue the portfolio strategy. With the right leadership, cities can work to transform local public education, but they can be more successful when their state provides a policy environment that supports transformation. What changes in state law are needed to allow full implementation of the portfolio strategy? To answer this question, CRPE has mapped state barriers as well as proposed solutions relating to each element of the portfolio strategy, showing what a state can do to allow a city to advance its school system. CRPE has translated this work into model legislation, which provides not only a robust pathway for cities wishing to pursue the portfolio strategy, but also incorporates complementary education solutions, including a new conceptualization of local school boards, independent administration of education facilities, and remedies to district financial crises.