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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

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, 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.)

International Benchmarking

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

International School Finance MS Word PDF - Public interest has put significant focus on how the United States education system compares with those around the world. This ECS StateNote uses data collected and published by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to show how America's school funding system compares with other developed countries’ systems from around the world. (Mike Griffith, Education Commission of the States, April 2010)...

International Benchmarking--Time MS Word PDF - Comparisons of U.S. schools and those in top-performing counties have proliferated in the past few years. The paper reports on a handful of potential drivers on which leaders might consider spending time: (1) time spent learning; (2) establishing world-class standards; (3) teacher selection and preparation; (4) professional development; (5) assessment and curriculum review. (Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States, May 2009)...

Progress of Education Reform: International Benchmarking PDF - If the United States wants to compete in the worldwide market again, "... it would have to adopt internationally benchmarked standards for educating its students and its workers, because only countries with highly skilled workforces could successfully compete in that market." What is more important — teaching content or teaching skills? Do they have equal value? Should 21st century skills be taught separately or in concert with content? (Barbara Thompson, ECS, April 2009)...

International Benchmarking Toolkit - Access ECS' unique resource for state policymakers, school district officials, principals and teachers looking to raise the bar in America’s classrooms. The toolkit responds to growing concerns that U.S. students may lack workforce competitiveness and are lagging behind those from high-performing countries. (Barbara Thompson, Education Commission of the States, 2009)...

From Competing to Leading: An International Benchmarking Blueprint PDF - International Benchmarking is the alignment of standards, instruction, professional development and assessment to those of the highest-performing countries. This Blueprint presents the rationale why states should consider benchmarking to international standards as well as describing policy recommendations for policymakers and education leaders. This is the first action guide of its kind to enable states, districts and schools to craft new policies and adjust existing policies proven to demonstrate world-class performance....

Online Databases
Roll over each database for a description.

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