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On March 4th, 2013 the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development released States' Perspectives on Waivers: Relief from NCLB, Concern about Long-term Solutions, a state survey report offering insight on states' early experiences with No Child Left Behind waivers.
On March 14, 2013 CEP held an event to discuss the findings of this report by key thought leaders and representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and Capitol Hill. The first panel addressed the impact of the waivers on student learning, teacher evaluation, Common Core State Standards, and other critical policy decisions. The second panel debated the implications of the waivers on the pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. More than 80 attendees from education & policy organizations participated in the event.
Program and Panelists
Welcoming remarks and moderator: Maria Ferguson, Executive Director, CEP
Review of findings from CEP Report: Jennifer McMurrer, Senior Research Associate, CEP
Panel I Federal Waivers: State Planning and Impact
Panel II Federal Waivers and ESEA reauthorization
Brad Thomas, Senior Education Policy Advisory, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
This report describes states’ early experiences in applying for flexibility from key requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as NCLB waivers, and their plans for implementing the new systems outlined in their applications. Findings from the 38 survey states indicate states believe that the waivers address several of the problems they see with the NCLB accountability requirements, however, many state officials are concerned about what will happen to the programs and policies in their waiver plans if ESEA is reauthorized. These and other key findings that emerged from the survey results are presented in this report.View Report
This report updates the May, 2012 report AYP Results for 2010-11 to include AYP data from the Consolidated State Performance Reports from the U.S. Department of Education. Several numbers have changed as a result of the new data. The estimated percentage of all public schools in the nation that did not make AYP for 2011 was 48%, an all-time high and an increase from 39% in 2010. The report also provides six years of trends in the percentage of schools in all 50 states, D.C., and the nation not making AYP.View Report
These two reports examine issues related to the accountability systems that approved waiver states have created with the Obama Administration's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) waiver requirements. The first report, What Impact Will NCLB Waivers Have on the Consistency, Complexity, and Transparency of State Accountability Systems?, compares the new accountability provisions in the waiver states with those in the NCLB statute. The report focuses on the complexity, transparency, and consistency of the new accountability systems in the waiver states, both on their own terms and in comparison with the NCLB statutory requirements. The second report, Accountability Issues to Watch under NCLB Waivers, highlights issues to lookout for over the next few years as states with waivers implement new accountability systems. For each of the issues discussed, the possible implications for public education systems, teachers, and students are considered.View Report
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, provided approximately $100 billion in extra federal funding for education fiscal year 2009. This money, intended to help stabilize and support public education during the economic recession, was used to compensate for state budget shortfalls and prevent the loss of educator jobs and to fund or supplement programs like Race to the Top, Title I and IDEA. This summary report synthesizes findings from six previous CEP reports examining the effects of the funding, based on survey responses of state and local officials charged with implementing the ARRA and Education Jobs programs. Taking a retrospective look over three years of survey data, this report distills themes and draws conclusions about the overall effects of ARRA on K-12 education.View Report
This series of three special reports examines implementation of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. The first special report, Schools with Federal Improvement Grants Face Challenges in Replacing Principals and Teachers, looks at how states, districts, and schools are addressing challenges related to SIG staffing requirements. The second special report, Increased Learning Time Under Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants: High Hopes, Varied Implementation, highlights key findings about state, district, and school experiences related to the requirement to increase student learning time in SIG-funded schools. Findings in these first two special reports draw on survey data from 46 responding states and case study research in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan, published in earlier CEP studies. The third special report, Changing the School Climate is the First Step to Reform in Many Schools with Federal Improvement Grants, examines the positive changes in school climate experienced by six case study schools that received the federal grants in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan.View Report
This report updates the December, 2011 report “AYP Results for 2010-11” to include AYP data from school year 2010-11 for New York State. Several numbers throughout the report have changed as a result of the new data from New York. Most notably, the estimated percentage of all public schools in the nation that did not make AYP for 2011 has been revised from 48% to 49%, an all-time high and an increase from 39% in 2010. The report also provides six years of trends in the percentage of schools in all 50 states, D.C., and the nation not making AYP.View Report
This report analyzes the NCLB waiver applications submitted in the second round by 26 states and Washington, D.C. to the U.S. Department of Education in February 2012. Among the findings in the report is that, like the first round of applications, these states are proposing new accountability systems that will lead to greater complexity both within states and between states, but at the same time will be more integrated with states’ own existing accountability systems. Also, nearly all the state applications propose annual achievement targets and performance levels that are more nuanced than what is currently in place under NCLB. At the same time, 19 of the 27 applications analyzed will use a combined subgroup for accountability decisions, rather than all of the student subgroups mandated under NCLB. None of the states analyzed will continue to require school choice and SES in schools identified for improvement, as is currently mandated.View Report
This report examines the implementation of the federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) program by drawing on research conducted in three states, seven school districts, and 11 schools -- including schools that were eligible for but did not receive a SIG award. The study looks at how the federal program requirements are working within the state and local context, the progress made during the first year of the three-year grant implementation, and the different approaches being used to improve student achievement in schools that received SIG funds compared to schools that were eligible for but did not receive grants.View Report
Based on a winter 2011-12 survey of state directors of the federal Title I program, this report examines the first year of state implementation of the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. It focuses on state processes for renewing the SIG awards made for school year 2010-11, state assistance to schools, and general perceptions of the ARRA SIG program requirements. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey.View Report
This report analyzes the NCLB waiver applications submitted by the first 11 states to the U.S. Department of Education in November 2011. Among the findings in the report are that these states are proposing new and complex accountability systems which they assert will respond to local needs and better identify schools that need assistance. Also, nearly all the state applications would base accountability decisions on the achievement of just two student groups: all students and a single “disadvantaged” group. This is a departure from the current NCLB policy, which holds schools accountable for the performance of numerous subgroups of students, ranging from major racial and ethnic groups to students with disabilities.View Report
This report, which is based on a fall 2011 survey of state education agency officials, finds that state spending cuts for K-12 education seemed to have bottomed out in many states, although some states are still strapped for funds. The report also examines states’ efforts to implement the four school reforms they promised to address in their applications for federal stimulus funds.View Report
This report, which is based on a fall 2011 survey of state education agency officials, finds that state funds for state education agency operations are being cut or level-funded in most states despite an improved outlook for overall education spending at the state level. To make up for the loss in this operational funding, most state education agencies are reducing their staffing costs. However, many states are maintaining, and sometimes increasing, state agency staff assigned to school reform efforts.View Report
Upon his retirement from the leadership of CEP, Jack Jennings reviews in this paper the three major school reform efforts of the last 50 years, proposes an agenda focused on the classroom, and advocates for the creation of a federal civil right to a good education to advance that agenda.View Article
In the fall of 2011, CEP surveyed state education agency officials about the need for waivers of the accountability provisions under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act. The state officials surveyed said the waivers are greatly needed and generally agree that the four principles that must be met in order for a state to receive a waiver will improve student learning in their state.View Report
This report updates previous CEP research with data from the 2010-11 school year on the number of schools not making adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The estimated percentage of all U.S. schools not making AYP was 48% in 2011, an all-time high and an increase from 39% in 2010. The report also provides six years of trends in the percentage of schools in all 50 states, D.C., and the nation not making AYP, using official numbers from the State Consolidated Performance Reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.View Report
This report, based on a nationally representative sample of school districts, examines school districts’ perceptions of key requirements and early school district implementation of the Title I school improvement grants programs funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.View Report
This document answers some frequently asked questions about the U. S. Secretary of Education’s authority to grant waivers of Elementary and Secondary Education Act requirements, including how that process works under current provisions, which requirements can currently be waived, and how often this authority has been used in the past.View Report
This document answers some frequently asked questions about accountability plans that states are required to develop under the No Child Left Behind Act. These plans outline each state’s policies for implementing NCLB’s accountability provisions and timelines for meeting student achievement goals, including the goal of all students reaching proficiency by school year 2013-14. U.S. Department of Education approval of state amendments to these accountability plans is another way for federal government to give states some flexibility in implementing certain NCLB provisions.View Report
In this Huffington Post blog, posted on June 30, 2011, Jack Jennings discusses the findings from the CEP report, Strained Schools Face Bleak Future: Districts Foresee Budget Cuts, Teacher Layoffs, and a Slowing of Education Reform Efforts. He warns that squeezed school budgets may lead to a decline in student achievement because school districts are laying off teachers in order to balance the budget. Fewer teachers will likely lead to increased class sizes and less attention to individual students.View Blog Post
Drawing on information gathered through a survey of a nationally representative sample of over 450 school districts, this report describes the fiscal condition of school districts for school year 2010-11 and the anticipated condition for school year 2011-12. The report examines the extent to which federal stimulus and Education Jobs funds made up for district funding shortfalls, and the types of cuts being made to balance district budgets. In order to compensate for lost funding, districts are cutting staff – including teachers – and services and are slowing the progress on education reform.View Report
On April 29, American RadioWorks, the producer of documentaries for public radio, released its podcast on the future of the No Child Left Behind Act. The program was an interview with Jack Jennings, CEP’s president and CEO.
Listen to the podcast here.View Multimedia
This report updates previous CEP research to include data from the 2009-10 school year on the number of public schools not making adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act. The percentage of schools not making AYP nationwide reached an all-time high of about 38% in 2010, marking a rise from the estimated 33% of public schools that failed to make AYP in 2009. Accompanying this report is a background paper, State Policy Differences Greatly Impact AYP Numbers written by Wayne Riddle and Nancy Kober, which analyzes how the number of schools not making AYP has been influenced by changes in state testing policies and cut scores for proficiency on state tests, rising state achievement targets, the federal “safe harbor” provision, growth models, and other factors.View Report
In this blog posted on April 7, 2011 in the Huffington Post, Jack Jennings describes the intent and weighs the prospects for success of President Obama’s initiative to make improvements in the nation’s lowest performing schools. The blog draws on the research conducted by CEP on schools needing restructuring under NCLB in assessing the chances for major improvement in these lowest performing schools.View Blog Post
This report, based on surveys of state education officials, presents an early look at the states' experiences implementing school improvement grants with funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The report offers a baseline understanding of how increased funding and new school improvement grant requirements have impacted the number and types of schools served as well as how state education agencies are using these funds to assist schools targeted by the program.View Report
This report examines Michigan's early implementation of the Title I school improvement grant funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It looks at how many and what type of schools are receiving funding, the school improvement models being implemented, and the type of assistance provided by the state and districts to help improve low-performing schools. The report includes case studies on three SIG-participating schools: Lincoln High School (Van Dyke Public Schools), Romulus Middle School (Romulus Community School District), and Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy (Detroit Public Schools).View Report
This report, based on an October 2010 survey of state education officials, discusses state education budgets, implementation of initiatives to support the four American Recovery and Reinvestment Act reform assurances, state education agency capacity, and Race to the Top.
After eight years of implementing the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and other school reforms, how much progress have states and school districts made in raising achievement for students from all backgrounds and closing achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity, income, and gender?
In its new report, the Center on Education Policy analyzed trends in reading and mathematics performance and achievement gaps for several groups of students: African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, and white students, as well as low-income, male, and female students.
View the comments by CEP President Jack Jennings, as he shares his viewpoints on the report and what it means for education reform.
What are the key findings of the report on the achievement gap in schools?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education Policy
What are the messages the report communicates?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education Policy
What is the impact on low-income children?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education Policy
What needs to change in schools in order to close the achievement gaps for poor children and children of color?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education Policy
What are the highlights of the report concerning Hispanic and Native American students?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education Policy
What gaps did you find between male and female students?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education Policy
Which states have been able to close the achievement gap?
Jack Jennings, President, Center on Education PolicyView Multimedia
This report analyzes trends over four years in the number of schools and school districts that did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in raising student achievement under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Using data from the Consolidated State Performance Reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we calculated the percentage of schools and districts in the nation and in each state that did not make AYP based on testing in school years 2005-06 through 2008-09. An update to this report will be released early in 2011 and will include data from school year 2009-10.View Report
This article, written by CEP President and CEO Jack Jennings, looks at the prospects for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education in the 112th Congress given the outcomes of the 2010 elections and the resulting divided government. The article appeared in the December 2010 Kappan magazine.View Article
This report highlights the extent to which school districts have experience with implementing the four federally-mandated school reform models intended to improve the nation’s lowest performing 5% of schools. Approximately $3 billion was provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for grants to districts to carry out these models. As of last school year, fewer than 12% of the nation’s school districts had implemented any of the four reform models, and among these districts, there were varying degrees of success with the models.View Report
In the spring of 2010, CEP surveyed a nationally representative sample of school districts to learn about their fiscal situation and how the funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have impacted them over the last year. CEP found that the federal funds helped districts save or create teaching jobs and stabilize budgets, but that most districts expected to layoff teachers in the 2010-11 school year. The report also addresses districts’ efforts to carryout ARRA’s four reform areas, district uses of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds and supplemental Title I and IDEA funds, and problems faced by districts in implementing ARRA.View Report
On Dec 7, 2009, CEP held a forum in Washington, D.C. to discuss CEP's five-year study of schools in restructuring under NCLB. The event included a discussion of CEP's research on schools in restructuring under NCLB in six states — California, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Ohio — and in 23 districts and 48 schools within those states. Panelist included an official from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as education leaders from states and school districts, and principals of successfully restructured schools. This report summarizes the presentations and discussion at that meeting.View Meeting
Drawing on data from state departments of education and other public sources, this report estimates the number nd percentage of public schools that did not make adequate yearly progress. The report finds that approximately one-third of the nation’s public schools did not make AYP in school year 2008-09, although the number varied greatly by state. A table outlining the percentage of schools not making AYP by state is also included.View Report
This article, written by CEP President Jack Jennings, appeared in The Hill on March 2, 2010, and discusses the critical last chance that effective ESEA reauthorization now faces.View Article
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). This document contains CEP's recommendations for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act. These recommendations are based on a two-year review of current and past federal policies and a wide range of research, including CEP's own comprehensive studies of NCLB and student achievement in all 50 states. In developing the recommendations, we also brought to bear our long-term experience with federal policies and consulted with numerous experts of varying backgrounds, including commissioning 11 papers on key issues. The document provides guidance for President Obama and the Congress in shaping the federal role in elementary and secondary education.
In developing these recommendations, CEP drew upon a series of commissioned papers, public forums and research compendium associated with their project Rethinking the Federal Role, as well as CEP's comprehensive studies of NCLB and our long-term experience with federal policies.View Report
This report looks at the early efforts of states to implement the elementary and secondary education provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The findings are drawn from a survey of officials in state education agencies and governors’ offices in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Key findings concern the financial condition of state education budgets, progress toward meeting the reform assurances, interest in national content standards and the Race to the Top Funds, and requests by the states for financial and regulatory relief.
Using data from state reading and mathematics tests, this report takes an in-depth look at the performance of students with disabilities and highlights the problems with the testing data for these students.
(Updated April 6, 2010)View Report
This report takes an in-depth look at how classroom practices in Rhode Island, Illinois, and Washington State have been influenced by state accountability policies and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The report, How State and Federal Accountability Policies Have Influenced Curriculum and Instruction in Three States, examines how teachers and administrators have responded to increased accountability and pressure to meet state standards. Drawing from case studies of 18 schools in the three states, CEP highlights the national implications for how accountability is impacting curriculum and instruction and provides recommendations to help mitigate some of the harmful effects of standards-based accountability systems.View Report
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.
"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
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 BoulderView Report
On September 24, 2009, the Center on Education Policy submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the proposed requirements for Title I school improvement funds that are provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CEP's comments are informed by seven years of research on the No Child Left Behind Act, especially detailed work in six states studying their school improvement efforts.View Report
This report describes Ohio's efforts to assist schools in restructuring during school year 2008-09 and reports on the state's participation in the NCLB differentiated accountability pilot program.View Report
This report describes New York’s efforts to assist schools in restructuring during school year 2008-09 and reports on the state's participation in the NCLB differentiated accountability pilot program.View Report
This report describes Georgia's efforts to assist schools in restructuring during school year 2008-09 and reports on the state's participation in the NCLB differentiated accountability pilot program.View Report
This report examines how four states—Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Ohio—have taken advantage of the flexibility under the Differentiated Accountability Pilot program to help low-performing schools under the No Child Left Behind Act. Launched by the U.S. Department of Education in 2008, the program allows nine states to vary the intensity and type of intervention they use with struggling schools and focus their resources on those with the greatest needs.View Report
From January to April 2009, CEP conducted research in Washington State to understand the impact of federal and state accountability policies on curriculum and instruction in high schools. Administrators, teachers, students, and parents were interviewed for the study. At the end of each teacher group interview, CEP researchers asked the teachers: "If you met President Obama in an elevator and had 30 seconds to talk to him about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), what would you say?" This letter to President Obama summarizes the responses those teachers gave, offering their insights on federal education policy and the issues generally facing education today.View Letter
This report takes an in-depth look at how classroom practices have been influenced by No Child Left Behind and related state policies in Washington. Drawn from classroom observations and interviews, the report sheds new light on how teachers, principals, and administrators have responded to the federal school accountability law.View Report
On May 13, 2009, Education Week featured an article by CEP drawing conclusions from its five years of work reviewing the restructuring of schools required by NCLB. The piece was written by Jack Jennings, Caitlin Scott, and Nancy Kober.View Article
On May 19, 2009, CEP sent this letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlining the major issues raised in our April 30, 2009 forum regarding the early implementation of the economic stimulus package as it affects states and school districts.View Letter
On April 30, 2009, CEP convened a forum to discuss the impact of the economic stimulus funds on the federal role in elementary and secondary education. Speakers included Jeff Simering of the Council of the Great City Schools; Mary Kusler of the American Association of School Administrators; Dane Linn of the National Governors Association; Deborah Rigsby of the National School Boards Association; and Gene Wilhoit of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Presenters addressed two questions: how are the education funds in the economic stimulus package now being spent, and will there be any effect on the future federal role in elementary and secondary education as a result of the stimulus package? Below are links to the written and audio transcripts of the meeting.
Audio transcript of this meetingView Meeting
States and school districts will receive an unprecedented amount of funding -- more than $4.5 billion -- in the coming months targeted at providing extra assistance to schools that have failed to meet achievement targets under the No Child Left Behind Act. This report outlines how the Title I school improvement funds are distributed to school districts and what types of activities those funds can support.View Report
This report describes Michigan's efforts to assist schools in restructuring during school year 2008-09 and reports on the state's implementation of a growth model to measure student performance for purposes of accountability.View Report
This report describes Maryland's efforts to assist schools in restructuring during school year 2008-09 and reports on the state's participation in the NCLB differentiated accountability pilot program.View Report
This report describes California's efforts to assist schools in restructuring during school year 2008-09 and reports on the state's expanded approach to technical assistance, which includes public as well as private providers.View Report
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the economic stimulus package, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This law provides an unprecedented amount of federal funding for education. This summary describes the key components of the ARRA and discusses some of the implementation issues that are not yet decided.View Report
This CEP report examines the Title I funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.View Report
In the winter of 2008, the Center on Education Policy released reports examining the impact of national and state accountability systems on curriculum, instruction, and student achievement in Rhode Island and Illinois. Using classroom observations and interviews with school administrators, instructional specialists, teachers, parents, and students, CEP developed case studies of 12 schools in the two states. This report summarizes the common findings across the two states and discusses findings that were unique to each state.View Summary
This report takes an in-depth look at how classroom practices have been influenced by No Child Left Behind and related state policies in Illinois. Drawn from classroom observations and interviews, the report sheds new light on how teachers, principals, and administrators have responded to the federal school accountability law.View Report
This report takes an in-depth look at how classroom practices have been influenced by No Child Left Behind and related state policies in Rhode Island. Drawn from classroom observations and interviews, the report sheds new light on how teachers, principals, and administrators have responded to the federal school accountability law.View Report
In 2008, the Center on Education Policy undertook a project to rethink the federal role in elementary and secondary education. As a first step, CEP commissioned a series of papers on key issues, requiring the authors to provide evidence of the effects of various programs and initiatives, and to provide recommendations. Each paper was peer-reviewed by individuals with diverse points of view on the issue. Also, CEP convened a series of public forums in 2008 through 2009 to discuss several of the papers. We also compiled a compendium of key studies on the No Child Left Behind Act.
The result of these efforts formed a set of recommendations for the new President and Congress for shaping the federal role in elementary and secondary education.
FORUM 1: Oct 6, 2008 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building
Paul Manna of the College of William and Mary presented a paper on the history of the federal role in education.
FORUM 2: Nov 19, 2008, at the Rayburn House Office Building
Papers were presented by Heather Weiss of the Harvard Family Research Project and Sharon Lynn Kagan of Columbia University. Dr. Weiss's paper addresses the federal role in out of school learning. Dr. Kagan's paper is on early childhood education.
FORUM 3: Nov 20, 2008, at the Rayburn House Office Building
Laura S. Hamilton and Brian M. Stecher of the RAND Corporation presented their paper on standards-based education reform, and W. James Popham of the University of California at Los Angeles presented his paper on the role of assessments in federal education programs.
FORUM 4: Mar 5, 2009 at the Rayburn House Office Building (Rm 2261)
Authors Gary Sykes and Kenne Dibner discussed their paper on federal efforts to improve teaching.
FORUM 5: Apr 30, 2009 at the Capitol Visitor Center in the U.S. Capitol Building (Rooms 208/209 SVC)
CEP convened its fifth forum in this series to discuss the impact of the economic stimulus funds on the federal role in elementary and secondary education. Speakers included Jeff Simering of the Council of the Great City Schools; Mary Kusler of the American Association of School Administrators; Dane Linn of the National Governors Association; Deborah Rigsby of the National School Boards Association; and Gene Wilhoit of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Presenters addressed two questions: how are the education funds in the economic stimulus package now being spent, and will there be any effect on the future federal role in elementary and secondary education as a result of the stimulus package? View Forum Materials
FORUM 6: Jul 1, 2009 at the Dirksen Office Building (Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing room)
Dr. Russell Rumberger of the University of California at Santa Barbara presented his paper on the federal role in improving high schools.
This report synthesizes findings from CEP's research on how the No Child Left Behind Act's school restructuring requirements are being implemented in Michigan, California, Maryland, Ohio, and Georgia. Document reviews and interviews with state officials were conducted in the five states, and case study research was carried out in 19 districts and 42 schools. Among the report's findings are that more schools have entered restructuring and many remain in that status for multiple years; the "any other" restructuring option is the most popular option in the states studied; and the five states varied greatly in the supports they offered restructuring schools.View Report
This report, CEP’s third annual review of Maryland’s efforts to restructure schools under the No Child Left Behind Act, finds that (1) although between school years 2006-07 and 2007-08 the number of schools in the restructuring implementation phase declined slightly, there was a drastic increase in the number of schools entering restructuring planning; (2) more restructuring schools are choosing to replace most or all of their staff (including principals) as a strategy; and (3) the “turnaround specialist” option for restructuring is losing favor in Maryland. The report’s findings are based on interviews with state officials, case studies of four school districts and 10 schools within those districts.View Report
This report discusses funding for states and schools districts under the federal Title I, Part A program for school year 2008-09. (Title I is the largest federal program assisting elementary and secondary schools, and contains the key accountability provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act.) The report highlights the impact of annual poverty count updates on the distribution of funds, and discusses funding for school improvement activities. The report also examines the targeting of Title I funds to the highest poverty districts.View Report
This report describes Georgia's school restructuring efforts under the No Child Left Behind Act, including findings from interviews with state officials and regional administrators and case studies of five schools in three school districts: Atlanta Public Schools, Muscogee County School District, and Stewart County School District. Key findings from the report include: (1) the number of Georgia schools implementing restructuring has declined since 2004 and a substantial number have exited; (2) restructuring plans in Georgia tend to focus on state priorities for school improvement; (3) the small number of schools in restructuring, as well as the state’s willingness to invest additional dollars in improving them, has allowed Georgia to provide intensive intervention in schools; and (4) Georgia imposes requirements beyond those in federal law on schools that have implemented restructuring for two years without making adequate yearly progress.View Report
This report describes Ohio's school restructuring efforts under the No Child Left Behind Act, including findings from interviews with state officials and case studies of nine schools in four school districts: Cincinnati Public Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Mansfield City Schools, and Mount Vernon City Schools. Key findings from the report include: (1) despite holding steady for the previous three years, the number of Ohio schools in restructuring rose from 56 schools in 2006-07 to 130 schools in 2007-08; (2) only 7 of the 177 Ohio schools ever in restructuring have successfully exited; (3) districts in Ohio that receive federal improvement funds must share data and permit state officials to visit their schools; and (4) while some Ohio schools have received attention for choosing to replace their entire staffs, most report doing so reluctantly and advise other schools to do so only as a last resort.View Report
Research report on the impact of the fifth year of implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act on a geographically diverse list of schools and school districts.
The following reports comprise the Annual Report for Year 5 (Click to View the individual reports):
This CEP report examines the impact of NCLB on student achievement and teacher quality in some rural districts and the challenges those rural districts face in complying with the Act. The findings in this report are drawn from CEP’s 2006-07 nationally representative survey of school districts and from interviews with administrators in eight rural districts in various parts of the country.View Report
To assist officials of the District of Columbia Public Schools with their efforts to develop and implement school restructuring plans consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act, on May 28, 2008, the Center on Education Policy sent an open letter to Chancellor Rhee, State Superintendent Gist, and Board President Bobb outlining the key lessons we have learned from studying the NCLB school restructuring process. CEP has examined school restructuring in Michigan for four years, and restructuring in California and Maryland for three years. This summer, CEP will also issue reports on the restructuring process in Georgia and Ohio. The key lessons shared with DCPS officials are based on examining data related to restructuring in those five states as well as detailed case studies of 19 districts and 42 restructuring schools within those districts.View Letter
This report examines the interim objectives for student achievement established by states in their accountability plans for the No Child Left Behind Act. These objectives lay out the percentages of students that must score at or above the proficient level on state tests each year, on the way toward meeting the law's ultimate goal of 100% of students achieving proficiency by school year 2013-14. These annual objectives are used by states to determine whether schools and districts have made adequate yearly progress. CEP's analysis found that almost half of the states (23 states) have "backloaded" their trajectories for reaching 100% proficiency. In other words, they have called for smaller achievement gains in the earlier years of the trajectory and much steeper gains in later years, as 2014 grows nearer. Another 25 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a more incremental approach that assumes steadier progress toward the 100% goal. The two remaining states have blended trajectories that do not fit readily into the backloaded or incremental categories.View Report
This report describes Michigan's school restructuring efforts under the No Child Left Behind Act, and includes findings from case studies of nine schools in four school districts: Detroit Public Schools, Flint Community Schools, Harrison Community Schools, and Willow Run Community Schools. Key findings from the report include (1) more Michigan schools are in restructuring due to a greater number of high schools entering restructuring; (2) the state offers additional assistance and monitoring to restructuring schools through intermediate school districts and other regional entities; (3) turnaround specialists remain the most popular restructuring option; and (4) federal Title I funds increased, but state financial difficulties hinder restructuring.View Report
This report examines the magnitude of changes in instructional time in elementary schools in the years since NCLB took effect in 2002, and is a follow up report to Choices, Changes, and Challenges: Curriculum and Instruction in the NCLB Era that was issued by CEP in July 2007.View Report
This report describes California’s school restructuring under the No Child Left Behind Act, and also includes findings from case studies of nine schools in four school district: Grant Joint Union, Oakland Unified, Palmdale Elementary, and Tahoe-Truckee Joint Unified.View Report
On January 24, 2008, Dr. Caitlin Scott, CEP consultant, testified before California’s Little Hoover Commission about school restructuring under the No Child Left Behind Act. The Little Hoover Commission is an independent state oversight agency that investigates state government operations and aims to promote efficiency, economy, and service. The testimony is based on CEP studies of restructuring in California, Maryland, and Michigan, as well as CEP’s five-year study of NCLB, our annual reports on Title I funding, and our 2007 study of state capacity.View Report
This report describes findings from case studies of 10 Maryland schools undergoing restructuring in accordance with the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The ten schools are located in four school districts in Maryland: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools; Baltimore County Public Schools; and Prince George’s County Public Schools. Interviews were also conducted with state officials.View Report
Despite problems with the federal administration of the Reading First program, this CEP report finds that the program is widely credited by state and local officials for lifting the achievement of students who receive Reading First services. Overall, more than three-fourths of states and two-thirds of districts with Reading First grants reported that the program’s assessment and instructional programs were important causes of gains in student achievement. Further, the report finds that Reading First’s impact is felt far beyond the participating schools, with more than half of Reading First districts using elements of Reading First in non-Reading-First schools and in the upper grades. Similarly, states reported that more than 3,000 non-Reading-First districts participated in state-led Reading First professional development.View Report
On September 10, 2007, Jack Jennings, CEP's president, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Education and Labor Committee on the Miller/McKeon Discussion Draft of ESEA reauthorization legislation.View Report
Since the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law in 2002, the Center on Education Policy (CEP) has been monitoring the effects of this important national policy. This paper presents CEP’s recommendations for changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by NCLB. These recommendations grow out of the main findings of CEP’s research on the effects of NCLB.View Report
This report discusses funding for states and schools districts under the federal Title I, Part A program for school year 2007-08. (Title I is the largest federal program assisting elementary and secondary schools, and contains the key accountability provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act.) The report highlights the impact of annual poverty count updates on the distribution of funds and discusses the mandatory state reservation of funds for school improvement activities.View Report
This report examines the amount of time spent during the school week on core academic subjects and how that allocation of time across subjects has changed since school year 2001-02 when NCLB was enacted. The report finds that approximately 62% of school districts increased the amount of time spent in elementary schools on English language arts and or math, while 44% of districts cut time on science, social studies, art and music, physical education, lunch or recess.
Note: Although the overall findings of this report have not changed, some of the specific numbers have been revised since its original publication to correct initial contractor data tabulation errors. To review the specific changes made, please click on "Report with Specific Revisions in Tracking".View Report
This report examines the kind of assistance that schools in improvement receive and how effective district and state officials believe that assistance to be. The report's findings are based on CEP's annual survey of 50 state departments of education; our nationally representative annual survey of districts; and 12 case study districts involving interviews with district and school officials.View Report
On June 7, 2007 Jack Jennings, CEP's president, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives ' Education and Labor Committee 's Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. Mr. Jennings was asked by the Subcommittee to testify on CEP's report, Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?View Report
As part of its comprehensive, multiyear study of state and local implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Center on Education Policy hosted a roundtable discussion on May 1, 2007 with leaders from 25 organizations to address potential improvements to the students with disabilities’ provisions of NCLB. For more information about this meeting see the meeting summary and guiding principles for reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB and other supporting material below provided by Nancy Reder and Stanley Rabinowitz, guest speakers invited to initiate our discussion.View Meeting
As part of its comprehensive, multiyear study of state and local implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Center on Education Policy hosted a roundtable discussion on March 20, 2007 with leaders from 25 organizations to address potential improvements to the English language learners’ provisions of NCLB. For more information about this meeting see the meeting summary and other supporting material below provided by Diane August and Stanley Rabinowitz, guest speakers invited to initiate our discussion.View Meeting
The second report in a series of CEP publications on the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act examines the capacity of state education agencies to carry out the requirements of NCLB. An analysis of survey data from all 50 states and interview data of 15 high-ranking state education officials from 11 states revealed four major capacity challenges: (1) limitations in staffing and infrastructure; (2) inadequate federal and state funding; (3) a lack of sufficient guidance and technical support from the U.S. Department of Education; and (4) barriers in NCLB and within state education agencies.View Report
The Center on Education Policy was asked to testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education on March 14, 2007. The testimony highlights CEP's research on funding issues surrounding the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act.View Report
This study examines the No Child Left Behind Act's restructuring process in California. The number of California schools in NCLB restructuring nearly doubled in the last year, increasing from 401 schools in 2005-06 to 701 in 2006-07, or roughly 8% of California schools. CEP's study found that California schools in restructuring implementing multiple reform efforts tailored to individual school needs were more likely than other schools in restructuring to meet AYP targets in English language arts.View Report
CEP's third review of school restructuring in Michigan finds that over half of Michigan's 90 restructuring schools improved student achievement enough to meet the state's AYP targets for two consecutive years, allowing them to graduate out of the school improvement designation altogether. A CEP analysis of the restructuring approaches used indicates that no single factor is most responsible for improving student achievement. Instead, schools that implemented five or more reforms over the past two years were significantly more likely to exit restructuring than were other restructuring schools.View Report
This report describes state efforts to carry out the supplemental educational services requirements. It is the first in a series of CEP publications on the NCLB implementation that will report on the results of our 2006 surveys of officials from 50 state educational agencies and a national sample of school districts, as well as case study research.View Report
As part of its comprehensive, multiyear study of state and local implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Center on Education Policy hosted two meetings last fall with leaders from nearly two dozen education organizations to address potential improvements to the teacher provisions of NCLB. The recommendations that received the broadest support during the two roundtable sessions are included in Principles for Reauthorizing the Teacher Provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Higher Education Act, which is intended to offer policymakers a set of principles to consider as they undertake reauthorization efforts.View Meeting
This report summarizes the changes to state NCLB accountability plans approved by the U.S. Department of Education during 2006, and discusses the changes in and expansion of state testing programs as a result of NCLB.View Report
On November 29, 2006, CEP convened representatives from 23 organizations to discuss possible changes to the NCLB definition of a highly qualified teacher. For more information on this meeting, click below on the meeting summary and the participating organizations' proposed improvements for NCLB reauthorization.View Meeting
This article describes ten major effects of the No Child Left Behind Act based on CEP's four year study of the implementation of NCLB at the federal, state, and local levels. The article appeared in the October 2006 Phi Delta Kappan, a magazine of Phi Delta Kappa International.View Article
On October 17, 2006, CEP convened 22 organizations to discuss possible changes to the NCLB requirement to equitably distribute qualified, experienced teachers among high-need and lower-need schools. For more information on this meeting, click below on the meeting summary and the participating organizations' proposed improvements for NCLB reauthorization.View Meeting
The report highlights findings from CEP’s surveys of state and school district officials and school district case studies regarding the federal Reading First program. CEP found that state and district officials believe that Reading First is having a significant and positive impact on student achievement, and has led to many changes in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Also significant majorities of state and districts officials surveyed by CEP credit Reading First for student achievement gains.View Report
This report summarizes the State of Maryland’s strategy in dealing with 79 schools that are in NCLB’s restructuring phase because they have missed adequate yearly progress targets for five or more consecutive years. The report also highlights several schools in restructuring or planning for restructuring in Prince George’s County Public Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Anne Arundel County Public Schools.View Report
School Year 2006-07 Update. This report provides information on the federal Title I, Part A funding for states and school districts for school year 2006-07.View Report
On April 27, 2006, the Center on Education Policy hosted a debate on High School Dropouts between Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, and Jay P. Greene, endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a Manhattan Institute senior fellow. Jack Jennings, president and CEO of CEP, moderated. The debate focused on the discrepancy between Mr. Green's dropout figures, which employ U.S. Department of Education diploma and enrollment data, and Mr. Mishel's analysis which also includes household and student longitudinal surveys.View Meeting
Research report on the impact of the fourth year of implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act on a geographically diverse list of schools and school districts.View Report
This report describes problems with the way the funds under the No Child Left Behind Act are made available to schools identified for improvement.View Report
This look at selected school districts in California that are restructuring under the No Child Left Behind Act may offer insights for other schools that must reevaluate their structures.View Report
Progress report on three Michigan school districts undergoing the restructuring phase of the No Child Left Behind Act.View Report
This reports describes states' flexibility in determining adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left behind Act.View Report
NCLB: Narrowing the Curriculum - Subset of data from the Center on Education Policy's December 2004 Fall District Survey shows schools change curriculum to accommodate reading/language arts and/or math requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act.View Policy Brief
NCLB: What School Districts are Doing to Improve Teacher Quality in High-Need Schools -Subset of data from the Center on Education Policy's December 2004 Fall District Survey shows strategies taken by school districts to evenly distribute qualified teachers among high-need schools.View Policy Brief
The report shows the top gaining and losing school districts in Title I funding in the 2005-2006 school year.View Report
Issues to Watch in Reading First - A report showing the impact of the Reading First Act on reading instruction in selected states and school districts.View Report
NCLB: Urban Schools are Targeted for Improvement at Higher Rates than Suburban or Rural Schools - Subset of data from the Center on Education Policy's December 2004 District Survey shows the disproportionate number of Title I urban schools identified for improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act.View Policy Brief
NCLB: Middle Schools are Increasingly Targeted for Improvement - Subset of data from the Center on Education Policy's December 2005 District Survey shows middle schools are disproportionately identified for improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act.View Policy Brief
These findings indicate the way districts are identified for improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act, the consequences of that designation, and possible corrective actions.View Report
Report of findings from the third year of implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act shows progress but problems in federal administration, funding, and capacity.View Report
Examination of the restructuring phase mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act in three Michigan school districts.View Report
This report shows the changes approved and disapproved by the US Department of Education in states' NCLB accountability plans and how these changes may affect the states making adequate yearly progress.View Report
Put the Money Where Your Mouth Is - Appearing in the Washington Post's op-ed Outlook section this letter points out the initial problems with the Administration's implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act.View Article
Published in the Fall 2004 issue of Notebook, a publication of the Grantmakers in Education association, this articles touches on effects the coming election might have on the No Child Left Behind Act.View Report
The report analyzes the mechanism for funding for Title I under the No Child Left Behind Act and the states that have either lost or gained federal funding under the program for school year 2004-2005.View Report
This report from the Center on Education Policy describes the implementation and effects of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) during calendar year 2003, the second year of the Act's existence. The report is the first and most comprehensive national examination of all main aspects of NCLB implementation at the federal, state, and local levels, and is the second CEP report to examine the implementation of NCLB. The information in this report is based on a survey of 47 states and the District of Columbia, a nationally representative survey of 274 school districts, in-depth case studies of 33 urban, suburban, and rural school districts, and other research methods.
Among our major findings are that: states and school districts are trying hard to meet the requirements of the Act and agree with its goals; broader and deeper effects of the law were being felt by school districts in 2003, which is resulting in additional help for schools identified for improvement; choosing another public school is rarely used by parents of children in identified schools, while the option of receiving tutoring services is used more frequently; states and school districts are moving slowly to update the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals as required by the Act; some of the requirements of the Act are unworkable; and states and school districts face serious funding pressures and a lack of capacity to carry out the Act.
List of School Districts in Case Studies:
Alabama: Calhoun County School District
Mississippi: Pascagoula School District
Initial findings on how 15 diverse school districts are initially implementing the No Child Left Behind Act.View Report
This article from the Chattanooga Times Free Press advocates testing and accountability should just be part of an overall strategy for educational reform.View Article
The report summarizes the results of a 2002 study on special education programs in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee in relation to the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.View Report
Findings from review of first year of implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act at state and federal levels. This also includes the 15-District case study "Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act: A First Look Inside 15 School Districts in 2002-03" which are initial findings on how 15 diverse school districts are initially implementing the No Child Left Behind Act.View Report
This offers a brief overview of the provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act.View Report
This article reprinted from the "American School Board Journal" describes the immediate and long term impact of the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act.View Article
Stricter Federal Demands: Bigger State Role - This article, which appeared in "The State Education Standard," a quarterly publication of the national Association of State Boards of Education, indicates the changing roles for states and local school districts under the No Child Left Behind Act.View Article
The Next Phase of Education Reform - A summary of the recommendations by Maryland to implement the No Child Left Behind Act and the implications for other states.View Summary
The Good News and the Work Ahead - This review covers the advancements in special education programs at the national level over the past 25 years and the challenges ahead.View Report
A compilation of three experts' opinions on what should or should not be changed in the reauthorization of the Children with Disabilities Education Act.View Report
This column from the Wallace Readers Digest Funds, "Leaders Count Report," indicates the key points of the No Child Left Behind Act and its impact on educational and community leaders.View Article
Report Cards on Congressional Action on Education Legislation (2001) Does the Senate Make the Grade? - This brief overview shows the positive and negative "grades" for the Senate on education legislation.View Report
Report Cards on Congressional Action on Education Legislation (2001) Does the House Make the Grade? - This brief overview shows the positive and negative "grades" for the House of Representatives on education legislation.View Report
A brief on then-candidate Al Gore's positions and proposals on education funding, the use of technology in schools, before and after-school care, educational accountability, ensuring teacher quality, preschool and child care proposals and Higher Education during the 2000 campaign.View Report
A brief on then-candidate George W. Bush's positions and proposals for improving math and science achievement, the use of technology in schools, educational accountability, ensuring teacher quality and Higher Education during the 2000 campaign.View Report