The Fordham Institute's expert reviewers have analyzed the draft Common Core K-12 education standards (made public on March 10) according to rigorous criteria. Their analyses lead to a grade of A- for the draft mathematics standards and B for those in English language arts. Read on to find out more.
Expert reviewers appraise the Common Core drafts -- which outline college and career readiness standards in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and in math -- and also evaluate the reading/writing and math frameworks that undergird the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA). How strong are these well-known models?
Whether the United States should embrace national standards and tests is perhaps today's hottest education issue. For guidance in addressing it, this report looks beyond our borders. How have other countries navigated these turbid waters? What can we learn from them? Expert analysts examined national standards and testing in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore and South Korea.
Over the past five years, the number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam rose by more than half. This news is celebrated but is there a downside? To find out, Fordham commissioned the Farkas Duffett Research Group to survey AP teachers in the US. The AP program remains popular with its teachers. But there are signs that the move toward "open door" access to AP is starting to cause concern.
Voucher opponents often argue that it's unfair to hold public schools accountable for results under the No Child Left Behind Act and various state rules while allowing private schools that participate in school voucher programs to receive taxpayer dollars without similar accountability. In pursuit of a reasonable middle ground, we sought the advice of twenty experts in the school-choice world. This paper presents their thoughts and opinions, as well as Fordham's own ideas.
In this study of the No Child Left Behind Act system and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) rules for 28 states, we selected 36 real schools that vary by size, achievement, diversity, etc. and determined which ones would or would not make AYP when evaluated under each state's accountability rules. If a school that made AYP in Washington were relocated to Ohio, would it still make AYP?
As Gov. Ted Strickland concludes his 12-city "Conversation on Education" tour to gather ideas for reforming public education in Ohio, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute has put forth a report of five recommendations designed to keep improvements in the Buckeye State's public schools on track toward three critical goals: 1) maximizing the talents of every child; 2) producing graduates as good as any in the world; and 3) closing the persistent academic gaps that continue between rich and poor, and black and white and brown.
Beginning in August 2008, Ohio's academic accountability system includes a value-added component that measures student academic progress in addition to achievement. Fordham created this short primer on value-added to help business people, lawmakers, policymakers, and others understand this powerful but complex tool.
Too Good to Last: The True Story of Reading First is an in-depth and alarming study of Reading First's betrayal. Under the leadership of White House domestic policy chief Margaret Spellings and with support from Congress, Reading First was to provide funding to primary-reading programs that were based on scientific research. Backlash and brouhaha followed. Aggrieved whole-language program proprietors complained bitterly that their wares couldn't be purchased with Reading First funds. Then the administration turned its back on Reading First, allowing the program to be gutted and starved of funding.
NCLB allows each state to define proficiency as it sees fit and design its own tests. This study compares state tests to benchmarks laid out by the Northwest Evaluation Association to evaluate proficiency cut scores for assessments in twenty-six states. The findings suggest that the tests states use to measure academic progress and student proficiency under NCLB are creating a false impression of success, especially in reading and especially in the early grades.