In public education today, individual schools are accountable under the federal No Child Left Behind Act as well as myriad state and local policy regimens for their students achievement and other vital outcomes. Increasingly, school leaders find their own job tenure and compensation tied to those outcomes as well. But do they possess the authority they need to lead their schools to heightened performance? Numerous surveys (conducted by Public Agenda, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and others) suggest that many school leaders feel they do not. Thus an important public policy question arises: what factors help or hinder school leaders in exercising their authority and in which areas?
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.
This report has a simple aim: to present results from international assessments so readers can judge for themselves how American students stack up globally. It shows how the U.S. has performed internationally in education in recent years, and it provides a glimpse of how education looks in several top-performing nations.
The most exciting innovation in education policy in the last decade is the emergence of highly effective schools in our nation's inner cities, schools where disadvantaged teens make big gains in academic achievement. In this book, David Whitman takes readers inside six of these secondary schools—many of them charter schools—and reveals the secret to their success: They are paternalistic.
This publication reports the results of the first two (of five) studies of a multifaceted research investigation of the state of high-achieving students in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era. Part I examines achievement trends for high-achieving students since the early 1990s; Part II reports on teachers' own views of how schools are serving high-achieving pupils in the NCLB era.
America's urban Catholic schools are in crisis. Over 1,300 of them have shut down since 1990, mostly in our cities. As a result, some 300,000 students have been displaced--double the number affected by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. This report, which includes a comprehensive survey of the attitudes of U.S. Catholics and the broader public towards inner-city Catholic schools, examines this crisis and offers several suggestions for arresting and perhaps reversing this trend in the interests of better education.
Ohio can boast of praiseworthy gains over the past decade in making school funding more equitable across districts, but there is more work to be done. To mitigate the school-finance inequities that remain within districts and gear school funding toward the realities of student mobility, school choice and effective school-based management, this report recommends that Ohio embrace Weighted Student Funding (WSF), which allocates resources based on the needs of individual students and by sending dollars directly to schools rather than lodging most spending decisions at the district level.
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.
In the era of No Child Left Behind, principals are increasingly held accountable for student performance. But are teacher labor agreements giving them enough flexibility to manage effectively? The Leadership Limbo: Teacher Labor Agreements in America's Fifty Largest School Districts, answers this question and others.