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research studies database
Research Studies provide concise, bulleted Findings, Policy Implications, and Recommendations on key issues, such as:

  • High school rigor and exit exams
  • Better serving English language learners
  • Boosting reading and math achievement
  • College entry and completion
  • Reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates
  • And many more!  (Go to the database.)

progress of education reform
progress of ed reformThe Progress of Education Reform addresses the hottest education issue and provides information in a concise and easy-to-read format based on the most recent studies and reports.

ECS Document Collections
ECS regularly issues useful compilations, summaries and/or comparisons of state policies—enacted or pending—on a wide variety of education topics, listed on the right. For a list of our most current documents, please see our What's New page.

Please use the links below to download PDFs that include all the documents for a given year.

If you'd like to order a print copy, contact the ECS Distribution Center at 303.299.3692 or jivey@ecs.org.

Reprint Permission
ECS is pleased to have other organizations or individuals share its materials with their constituents. To request permission to excerpt part of our publications either in print
or electronically, please e-mail ecs@ecs.org, subject: Reprint Permission. State the full name of the document, and supply detail about how the permission will be used (audience, quantity, etc).  A response will be provided within 24 hours.

 

 

ECS Policy Analysis Topics:

(Note: Not all topics have an ECS document associated with them. If you are looking for information on a specific topic, you can use our search function.)

Civic Education

Different paths to a common goal: Preparing students for civic life - ECS, through its National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement institute, has released a series of reports in recent months that highlight the various approaches taken around the country to advance civic knowledge among all students. The sixth and final report provides an overview of the previous papers and offers several themes that helped lead to a common goal. (Delander and Millard, ECS, June 26)...

Secretaries of state make impact, lasting impression in civics - Among the responsibilities of individual secretaries of state in this country, the oversight of elections within their respective states plays a large role. These chief election officers actively work to maximize registration of eligible voters and help educate the public in regard to general voter information. Many secretaries of state attempt to go further and have started initiatives focused on civic learning and engagement – efforts that are designed to continue even after they leave office. (Delander and Millard, ECS, June 2014)...

Advancing civic learning with administrative authority - California and Montana, through the leadership of their state judiciaries and superintendents of public instruction, have taken steps to expand civics education through administrative directives. Such directives may be an expedited way to implement civics initiatives, though the challenge then becomes finding ways to sustain them. (Delander, Millard, ECS, June 2014)...

Florida and Illinois: Civic Issues, No Law Required - Florida and Illinois have created a network of academic institutions committed to providing students with opportunities to gain skills necessary to be effective participants in democracy. This ECS report from the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement illustrates the states’ different approaches, both accomplished without legislation. Illinois’ initiative is targeted at high school students through the state’s Democracy Schools. The Florida College System Civic Literacy Initiative is viewed as a long-term project that will impact college students as well as communities served by participating colleges....

States Address Civics with Mandated Task Forces - By coincidence or not, Massachusetts, Illinois and Virginia created civic education task forces not long after national test results showed a dismal understanding of the subject matter across all grade levels. (Brady Delander, ECS, May 2014)...

Florida and Tennessee: Accountability in Civic Education PDF - Lawmakers in Florida, in 2010, and in Tennessee, in 2012, approved legislation that holds students accountable for their civics knowledge. Students are taking the tests for the first time this school year. (Education Commission of the States, Brady Delander, April 2014)...

Civic Education: Legislative Updates PDF - While the role that civic education plays in public schools has been reduced in the past 50 years, the civic education field continues to make significant strides in identifying best practices for civic education. As evident in NCLCE's most recent 50-state policy scan, some states have recognized such best practices by enacting policy on "civics," "citizenship education," and "social studies." (Molly Ryan and Paul Baumann, ECS, September 2013)...

Linking Service-Learning and the Common Core State Standards: Alignment, Progress, and Obstacles PDF - These case studies examine whether and how four diverse sites are utilizing high-quality service-learning as a teaching strategy for implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The report also investigates what types of supports teachers and administrators need to effectively implement the Common Core using service-learning, which is a proven strategy for deeper learning. The authors found that what teachers and administrators interviewed need most at this juncture are guidance, support, and training on how to effectively integrate service-learning into Common Core implementation. (Lisa Guilfoile and Molly Ryan, ECS, April 2013)...

The Progress of Education Reform: The New Civics - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform provides a close look at the new civics—how it differs from previous practices, what it includes, how it is supported by research, and its implications for policy. (Paul Baumann and Molly Ryan, ECS, April 2013)...

Network News: Sustaining Service-Learning in Your School: Staying the Course PDF - Over the past year and a half, we have framed issues of Network News around identifying quality service-learning best practices and implementation. In this, our final installment, we look closely at what it takes to sustain service-learning, and offer ideas for how to anchor service-learning in curricula and bolster the wonderful programs taking place in the Schools of Success network schools. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, July 2012) ...

Network News, Cultivating Strong Service-Learning Partnerships PDF - We know that vibrant, thriving communities are those committed to the growth and well-being of all their members. Service-learning has become a valuable way for schools and community organizations to cultivate strong, sustainable relationships to meet community needs in collaborative settings. Looking for ways to connect students with community partners in service-learning? This issue focuses on what it takes to build strong community partnerships and the inherent benefits for all involved. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, May 2012)...

Service-Learning in the United States: Status of Institutionalization PDF - Inclusion in state statute and code gives service-learning validity and stability, and ensures that it is not subject to the varying interests and priorities of specific leaders, according to a 50-state policy scan conducted by the National Center for Learning and Citizenship in 2011. The commitment of district and school leaders is important, though the priorities of and support from superintendents can differ, the report states. (Ann Rautio, ECS, March 2012)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Civic Engagement through Digital Citizenship PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform includes a closer look at the characteristics of digital natives and provides a summary of research about digital natives' civic engagement habits and the implications of this research for education policy aimed at promoting digital citizenship for today’s youth. (Paul Baumann, ECS, February 2012)...

12 for 2012 - 12 for 2012 is an ECS “read of the field,” built on our scrutiny of new reports and research, and our analysis of emerging drivers of change. The 12 policy areas do not represent an exhaustive list of the critical issues for the coming year, nor is this report intended to dictate your education policy priorities for 2012. Rather, 12 for 2012 is intended to stimulate thinking around how best to craft the “2.0” of powerful policy across the states. (ECS, 2012)...

QNA - QNA is a searchable database that can be used to construct your own assessments of civic knowledge, skills and dispositions, and school citizenship climate. The database contains questions categorized by national civics students that have been juried by civic learning experts for their clarity and meaningfulness in relation to the competencies of civic knowledge, skills and dispositions. (National Center for Learning and Citizenship, ECS)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Civic Education--Civic Knowledge and Literacy - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Civic Education--Pledge of Allegiance - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

The Progress of Education Reform: Citizenship Education PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform examines research on what constitutes citizenship education, how citizenship education contributes to the acquisition of 21st century skills and civic learning opportunity and achievement gaps. (Jennifer Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, October 2010)...

Service-Learning and Hispanic Students: What Works in the Field PDF - This report examines best practices in educating Hispanic students and improving student graduation rates and matriculation into higher education. The author sought to determine whether successful schools implemented different practices for Hispanic students and how successful service-learning was as a pedagogical approach. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, July 2009)...

State Policies on Youth Engagement in Policymaking MS Word PDF - This ECS StateNote examines results of a 50-state review of state policies that encourage student involvement in decisionmaking and policymaking. While many institutions of higher education, districts and schools have similar policies, this review was limited to identifying those opportunities codified at the state level in state statute and administrative code. (Judy English, Jennifer Piscatelli, Ann Rautio and Hillary Whitten, Education Commission of the States, June 2008)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Student Engagement - This issue of the Progress of Education Reform features highlights of K-12 research on student engagement, a civic orientation and building resiliency. Taken together, they provide a useful, up-to-date look at evidence on the merits of engaging students for achievement and success. It also includes policy implications based on the research, as well as links to studies and resources on student engagement in higher education. (Education Commission of the States, October 2007) ...

Citizenship Education Policy Brief PDF - This policy brief reviews current data and recent state action in support of citizenship education. It highlights eight states’ standards which go beyond the teaching of knowledge and extend to skills and dispositions, analyzes common characteristics of state standards and concludes with questions for policymakers. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, October 2006)...

Youth Legislative Engagement Initiative: An Overview of Effective Strategies to Design, Implement and Sustain Youth Legislative Initiatives PDF - The nation faces a youth citizenry that is disengaged and lacks the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to participate in and carry out their civic duties. This ECS policy brief summarizes the state-level goals and accomplishments of the Youth Legislative Engagement project. Recommendations build cooperation between state legislators and students to enable students to develop civic competencies to contribute to our democracy now and in the future. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, July 2006)...

Developing Citizenship Competencies from Kindergarten through Grade 12: A Background Paper for Policymakers and Educators PDF - This paper, updated in July 2006 to include new resources and policy information, is designed to help policymakers and education leaders incorporate civic knowledge, skills and attitudes into policies that support effective citizenship education from the early elementary grades through high school. (Judith Torney-Purta and Susan Vermeer Lopez, Education Commission of the States, August 2006)...

Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar E. Chavez: Legacies of Leadership and Inspiration for Today’s Civic Education PDF - Hundreds of public schools and streets are named after either Martin Luther King Jr. or Cesar E. Chavez, although their lasting influence, particularly regarding the civic mission of schools, extends much further. To demonstrate this lasting influence, this issue paper provides: (1) lessons from the work of King and Chavez that can help educators and policymakers think more deeply about ways in which awareness and advocacy can be strengthened to support the civic mission of schools; (2) examples of ways in which schools are using the King and Chavez legacies; and (3) recommendations for policymakers that use the legacies to create opportunities for effective civic education in America's schools. (Anthony Welch and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Education Commission of the States, September 2005)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Civic Education--Character Education - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

State Policies for Citizenship Education Database - This database contains information about the state policies that support citizenship education in all 50 states. (Education Commission of the States)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Civic Education - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Online Databases
Roll over each database for a description.

p-3 archived databases
kindergarten artscan
k-12 choice
charter highly qualified requirements for special ed
choice-open enrollment NCLB
citizen-ed NCLB snaps
dual kindergarten
high school leadership
K-12 Paraprofessionals: Explore our findings for Title I Instructional Paraprofessional qualifications and certification requirements, paraprofessional professional development programs and state assessments for paraprofessionals.
school accountability literacy
service-learning teacher certification
teacher tenure teacher comp
postsecondary Teacher Professional Development
Postsecondary teacher prep
transfer and articulation special-ed teacher certification
  dual
charter
 
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