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Commissioned Papers for CEP's Project to Rethink the Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education

Author(s): CEP
Published: October 1, 2009

In 2008 and 2009, the Center on Education Policy (CEP) commissioned a series of major papers to assist in rethinking the federal role in elementary and secondary education. Authors were asked to review areas of activity in which the federal government has been involved over the past half century, determine the purposes of the federal programs, examine the evidence of their effect on education, and make recommendations for the future role of the federal government in public education. Each paper was peer-reviewed by individuals with diverse points of view on the issue. CEP also convened a series of public forums to discuss several of the papers and compiled a compendium of key studies on the No Child Left Behind Act.

In February 2010, CEP issued its recommendations for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act). In developing these recommendations, CEP drew upon these papers, forums, research compendium, as well as CEP's comprehensive studies of NCLB and our long-term experience with federal policies. The document, Better Federal Policies Leading to Better Schools, provides guidance for President Obama and the Congress in shaping the federal role in elementary and secondary education.

View the Compendium of Key Studies

Presented Papers:

"Federal Aid to Elementary and Secondary Education: Premises, Effects, and Major Lessons Learned" by Paul Manna, College of William and Mary

"Standards-Based Reform in the United States: History, Research, and Future Directions" by Laura S. Hamilton, Brian M. Stecher, and Kun Yuan, RAND Corp.

"The Role of Assessment in Federal Education Programs" by W. James Popham, University of California, Los Angeles

"Demographic Trends and the Federal Role in Education" by Harold Hodgkinson, Hodgkinson Associates, Ltd.

"The Federal Role in Education: Lessons from Australia, Germany, and Canada" by Chad R. Lykins and Stephen P. Heyneman, Vanderbilt University

"Advancing ECE2 Policy: Early Childhood Education (ECE) and its Quest for Excellence, Coherence, and Equity (ECE)" by Sharon L. Kagan and Jeanne L. Reid, Teachers College, Columbia University

"The Federal Role in Out-of-School Learning: After-School, Summer Learning, and Family Involvement as Critical Learning Supports" by Heather B. Weiss, Priscilla M. D. Little, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Sarah N. Deschenes, and Helen Janc Malone, Harvard Family Research Project

"From PLATO to Podcasts: Fifty Years of Federal Involvement in Educational Technology" by Mathew Cherian, Graduate Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"National Efforts to Bring Reform to Scale in America’s High-Poverty Elementary and Secondary Schools: Outcomes and Implications" by Geoffrey D. Borman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Fifty Years of Federal Teacher Policy: An Appraisal" by Gary Sykes and Kenne Dibner, Michigan State University

"What the Federal Government Can Do to Improve High School Performance" by Russell W. Rumberger, University of California, Santa Barbara

Related Papers:

Two other papers that are informing this project to rethink the federal role in elementary and secondary education were developed in 2004 for a CEP forum on the No Child Left Behind Act.

"Ruminations Regarding NCLB'S Most Malignant Provision: Adequate Yearly Progress" by W. James Popham, University of California, Los Angeles

"Rethinking the No Child Left Behind Accountability System" by Robert L. Linn, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, University of Colorado at Boulder

Download files:

Summaries of commissioned papers (PDF format, 673 KB)

Manna Paper (PDF format, 322 KB)

Manna Paper - Appendix (PDF format, 141 KB)

RAND Corp. Paper (PDF format, 411 KB)

Popham Paper (PDF format, 327 KB)

Hodgkinson Paper (PDF format, 3594 KB)

Lykins & Heyneman (PDF format, 863 KB)

Kagan & Reid Paper (PDF format, 293 KB)

Harvard Family Research Project Paper (PDF format, 752 KB)

Cherian Paper (PDF format, 151 KB)

Borman Paper (PDF format, 193 KB)

Sykes & Dibner (PDF format, 318 KB)

Rumberger Paper (PDF format, 714 KB)

Popham Related Paper (PDF format, 44.6 KB)

Popham Related Paper - Figure 1 (PDF format, 10.5 KB)

Linn Related Paper (PDF format, 26.3 KB)