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A Promise Unfulfilled: How Title I funding is broken and what could be done about it PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform examines inequities in how Title I funds are distributed, and proposes changes that address three key factors. (Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, May 2011)...

It's All Relative: How NCLB Waivers Did - And Did Not - Tranform School Accountability - States with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers are using school accountability systems based on relative rather than absolute measures of performance, according to this report. Waivers allowed thousands of schools to be removed from "corrective action" lists. The author argues that NCLB's measures and methods to identify low-performing schools weren't very good ones and recommends research to discover if waiver implementation really is improving school, educator and student performance. (New America Foundation, December 2013) ...

The New State Achievement Gap: How Federal Waivers Could Make it Worse - Or Better - Since passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the achievement gap among states is growing, according to this report. The question is, how will these new state achievement gaps affect the Obama administration’s NCLB waiver program which grants exemptions from NCLB’s regulations in exchange for adopting innovative approaches to helping disadvantaged students? Taking a look at what states have promised to do in their waiver applications and how they will achieve those goals, the authors compare progress made by highest performing states with progress of the lowest. They find high performing states are implementing more robust plans, going above and beyond the federal requirements to build on existing successes, while low performing states seem to be taking the easier road, driven by the basic guidelines provided by the administration, such as signing onto the Common Core standards to meet the “college ready” requirement, but failing to benchmark their assessments against other measures of college readiness. (John Chubb and Constance Clark, Education Sector, June 2013)...

States' Perspectives on Waivers: Relief from NCLB, Concern about Long-term Solutions - States' early experiences with waiver applications and their plans for implementation are described. Among the findings: states believe the waivers solved some accountability problems under No Child Left Behind (NCLB)and will improve student learning. Waivers have shaped state policies and have resulted in some reforms; changes in teacher and principal evaluation protocols are underway. There is some concern about what will happen to new programs if Congress reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). (Jennifer McMurrer and Nanami Yoshioka, Center on Education Policy, March 2013)...

Federal Compliance Works Against Education Policy Goals - Key points the authors make in this study include: (1) Federal compliance rules can stifle innovation and hinder federal programs from reaching their goal of increased student achievement; (2) States often impose more restrictive rules than the federal law requires; and (3) Congress and education policymakers should clarify and streamline these requirements so schools can focus less on compliance and more on raising student achievement. (American Enterprise Institute, July 2011)...

Overlooked and Underpaid: How Title I Shortchanges High Schools, and What ESEA Can Do About It - This paper summarizes the ways in which high schools are overlooked within Title I policy. Specific examples are provided in order to illustrate and explain the complexities of Title I policy, and recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are provided in order to strengthen support of high schools through Title I. (Alliance for Excellent Education, June 2011)...

Title I and High Schools: Addressing the Needs of Disadvantaged Students at All Grade Levels - This paper explains in detail the process in which states, districts, and schools receive Title I funding, and discusses the low level of support that high schools receive from Title I. New data in this report includes a state-by-state analysis of the number of high-poverty high schools that are not eligible for Title I. Additionally, recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are provided in order to strengthen support of high schools through Title I. (Wayne Riddle, Alliance for Excellent Education, June 2011)...

Growth Models and Accountability: A Recipe for Remaking ESEA - The authors note that accountability isn't just about identifying which schools have the most failing students, it is also about responding to that information in a way which helps students succeed. This report offers policymakers a recipe for combining student growth with student achievement to create a more meaningful accountability system. (Education Sector, May 2011)...

How Federal Education Policy Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Can Support States in School Improvement - Researchers examined federal and state roles in improving schools and student achievement and found that states are still searching for the most effective ways to improve schools. However, they also found no specific strategy yet exists that will work for all states. They concluded that federal policymakers should consider the key issues of state capacity, cost and state politics when designing policies to improve public education. (RAND Education, 2011)...

ESEA Briefing Book - In this blueprint for reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act, the authors call for a radical rethinking of the federal role in education--to a role that is much more limited and focused and tailored to the government's capacity and expertise. They also call for doing away with the mandate that teachers become "highly qualified" saying it has done very little to improve the system. (Michael Petrilli and Chester Finn, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, April 2011)...

Enhancing the Blueprint for School Improvement in the ESEA Reauthorization: Moving From a Two- to a Three-Component Approach - To date, federal policy addresses two components as primary and essential to school reform: (1) instructional factors; and (2) governance and operations of schools. Research has clarified the need for a third component that directly and comprehensively focuses on: (1) addressing barriers to learning and teaching; and (2) re-engaging disconnected students. (National Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2010)...

A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - This blueprint builds on the reforms already made in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 around the areas of: (1) improving teacher and principal effectiveness to ensure that every classroom has a great teacher and every school has a great leader; (2) providing information to families to help them evaluate and improve their child's schools and to educators to help them improve their students' learning; (3) implementing college- and career-ready standards and developing improved assessments aligned to those standards; and (4) improving student learning and achievement in the lowest-performing schools. (U.S. Department of Education, March 2010)...

Don't Leave Accountability Behind: A Call for ESEA Reauthorization - This report argues that, despite the promise of education reform efforts such as Race to the Top and the state-led common standards movement, improvement can only be sustained if Congress and the Administration update and improve the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The report describes four distinct reasons ESEA reauthorization is necessary to support long-term reform and ensure strong accountability for student outcomes and improvement. (Alliance for Excellent Education and Aspen Institute's Commission on No Child Left Behind, February 2010)...

Better Federal Policies Leading to Better Schools - It's a good time to rethink the federal role in elementary and secondary education. But where should the nation go from here? Two years ago CEP began a research-based review of the federal role--examining an extensive body of research, reviewing scholarly papers, holding forums to discuss ideas, etc. At the end of the process they developed five guiding principles for reshaping the federal role and ten recommendations for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. They are included in this report. (Center for Education Policy, February 2010)...


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