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The Center on Education Policy is a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools.

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Common Core State Standards in 2014: Districts’ Perceptions, Progress, and Challenges

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner and Nancy Kober
Published: October 8, 2014

This report, based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of school districts in Common Core-adopting states, examines school districts’ efforts to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The report addresses district leaders’ views on the rigor of the CCSS and their impact on learning and instruction, progress on and challenges in implementing the standards, outreach efforts to inform various stakeholders about the CCSS, district collaboration with other entities on various implementation activities, and the types and helpfulness of CCSS-related assistance from the state education agency.

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Listen to American Opinions

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: September 3, 2014

The annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is coming out. It always gives us an important view of what Americans are thinking about their schools and education in general. There are important issues covered in the poll and we would do well to consider what the public is saying about our schools and we in Washington and across the country make and consider policy and initiatives for our future.

Read the full article here.

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A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards

Author(s): Matthew Frizzell
Published: August 7, 2014

This compendium includes over 60 research studies focused on the Common Core State Standards, and encompasses research from multiple sources, such as government entities, independent organizations, and peer-reviewed publications from academic journals and other outlets. For each study in the compendium, which have been categorized across nine topic areas, a short summary is provided as well as a URL link to the original research (when possible). The compendium is presented below both as a single document as well as individual PDFs of the nine topic areas. The compendium will be updated regularly as the body of CCSS-related research grows. Last up-dated on August 6, 2014.

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A Guide to Federal Education Programs That Can Fund K-12 Universal Prevention and Social and Emotional Learning Activities

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Olga Acosta Price
Published: May 7, 2014

The Center on Education Policy and the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools created this user-friendly guide that highlights 15 federal elementary and secondary education programs where the statutory language or the regulations/guidance that accompanies a program appear to permit funds to be used to support universal prevention programs and social and emotional learning initiatives. The guide also provides examples of schools, districts, and state education agencies that have successfully supported their prevention programs with federal education dollars. An annotated bibliography of significant research regarding the impacts of school-based behavioral and emotional health interventions on student academic performance accompanies the guide.

Click here to listen to the June 18, 2014 webinar on this topic.

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A Research Agenda for the Common Core State Standards: What Information Do Policymakers Need?

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Maria Ferguson
Published: April 3, 2014

As part of a broader project to better connect the research on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to policy and practice, CEP met with individuals from organizations representing state and local education policymakers to learn of their memberships’ research and data needs around the Common Core.  The conversations yielded four areas of policy-related research that will be needed in the coming year: (1) case studies of successful implementation of the CCSS; (2) studies of state and local CCSS outreach strategies; (3) studies of state education agency capacity to lead the CCSS implementation; and (4) analyses of the impact of federal education requirements on CCSS implementation.

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Amid the Chaos of Washington Lies Opportunity

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: March 26, 2014

Several important education authorization bills are languishing in the U.S. Congress, victims of sharp policy and political differences with the White House. But things are somewhat quieter now, so it might be a good time for Democrats and Republicans alike to find some common ground by looking at what has worked to improve education in the past.

Read the article here.

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Behind in Assessment and Losing the Shame Game

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: March 4, 2014

When the most recent PISA scores were released last fall, there was a flurry of headlines about America’s stagnant public schools. American students were characterized as being asleep at the wheel and in need of a major wake-up call. If we really wanted the public to look closer and try to understand why PISA, NAEP and other kinds of assessments are important, we would need to do more than just shame public schools. We would need to have a thoughtful and nuanced conversation about why some education systems have been able to improve student performance and others have not. We would have to look at culture, resources, leadership, teacher training and national sentiment. We would have to analyze gaps of all kinds, not just achievement. And we would have to use the information to help teachers and education leaders understand why others are making progress without humiliating them in the comparison.

You can read the full article here.

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High Schools: Grow up!

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: January 30, 2014

CEP Executive Director Maria Ferguson is the author of the “Washington View” monthly column for Kappan magazine (www.kappan.org). This month she focuses on the unique needs of high schools. Click here to read the column.

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Failure IS an Option

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: January 16, 2014

CEP Executive Director Maria Ferguson is the author of the “Washington View” monthly column for Kappan magazine (www.kappan.org). Her December column focuses on finding the value in failure and how educators and policymakers can learn from their efforts, even those that don’t turn out the way they hope. Click here to read the column.

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Ten Big Takeaways from CEP’s Research on State Implementation of the Common Core

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner
Published: January 14, 2014

This October 2013 blog, written by CEP deputy director Diane Stark Rentner for the Hunt Institute’s  Intersection, summarizes the major key findings from CEP’s 3013 survey of state education agencies’ on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

http://www.huntintersection.com/2013/10/03/ten-big-takeaways-from-ceps-research-on-state-implementation-of-the-common-core/

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A Research Agenda for the Common Core State Standards

Author(s): Center on Education Policy
Published: December 5, 2013

The Center on Education Policy, with generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, convened two meetings in 2013 to focus on the need for a more relevant and coordinated research agenda on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The idea behind this project was that the research agenda for the CCSS and aligned assessments should be informed not only by the interest areas of leading researchers, but also by the needs of policymakers and practitioners. In order to do that, the traditional roles, relationships, and incentives that have long kept researchers, policymakers, and practitioners huddled within their own silos will need to change. This summary report details the key findings from those meetings and makes recommendations for developing a robust and timely research agenda for the CCSS that informs both policy and practice.

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Education Writers’ Association Symposium on the Common Core State Standards

Author(s): Center on Education Policy
Published: November 14, 2013

On November 4, 2013, the Center on Education Policy at the George Washington University hosted the Education Writers’ Association symposium on the Common Core State Standards. This day-long event brought education writers and reporters from across the country to the GW campus to talk about the most pressing policy, practice, and research concerns related to implementation of the Common Core and the next generation assessments. A series of panel discussions featured some of the leading thinkers in education including CEP’s Maria Ferguson and Diane Stark Rentner, Randi Weingarten (AFT), Marc Tucker (NECC), former Michigan Gov. John Engler, and author Amanda Ripley. For more information, visit EWA’s website: www.ewa.org.

 photo MariaEWA_zpsbe5829f9.jpg     photo DianeEWA_zpse361c88a.jpg

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Career Readiness Assessments Across States: A Summary of Survey Findings

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer, Matthew Frizzell and Shelby McIntosh
Published: October 29, 2013

This summary report describes how states are defining career readiness and which assessments states and districts are using to measure this attribute.  The report is based on a survey administered in the summer of 2013 to state directors of career and technical education (CTE) or their designees about career readiness assessments.  A total of 46 states completed the survey, counting the District of Columbia.  Also available on this site are four related papers containing additional details on the main topics covered in the summary report, including the responses of specific states, and profiles of major career and technical assessments.

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CEP on RadioWest

Author(s): Center on Education Policy
Published: October 26, 2013

On September 11, 2013, CEP executive director Maria Ferguson was a guest on RadioWest to discuss student engagement.  The podcast of that show can be downloaded here: http://radiowest.kuer.org/topic/improving-utah-schools.   On October 2, 2013, CEP deputy director Diane Stark Rentner appeared on the program to discuss Utah’s accountability system that assigns schools an A through F letter grade.  A podcast of that event can be downloaded here: http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/improving-utah-schools-school-accountability

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Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Transitioning to CCSS-aligned Curriculum and Assessments for Students with Disabilities

Author(s): Matthew Frizzell
Published: October 25, 2013

This report, based on a spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, focuses on state efforts to prepare students with disabilities for the Common Core State Standards.  The report also addresses the challenges states face with supporting teachers of students with disabilities and state plans for assessing Common Core mastery for students with disabilities and students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

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Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: State Education Agencies' Views on Postsecondary Involvement

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer and Matthew Frizzell
Published: September 18, 2013

This report, based on a spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials who oversee K-12 education in Common Core-adopting states, describes states’ perceptions about the variety of ways in which they are collaborating with their state’s postsecondary institutions to prepare for and implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Other topics covered in the report include the role of postsecondary institutions in providing professional development and preparation for current and future educators under the new standards and postsecondary review and use of the CCSS and aligned assessments.

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Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: States Prepare for Common Core Assessments

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner
Published: August 28, 2013

This report, based on a spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, highlights states’ efforts to prepare for the administration of Common Core-aligned assessments, including plans to assess students' mastery of the standards prior to the administration of the state consortia-developed assessments, efforts to prepare teachers to interpret and use the results of the Common Core-aligned tests to improve student learning, and actions to inform parents and other stakeholders about potential lower student pass-rates on the exams.  The report also discusses state education officials’ views of certain features of the state consortia-developed assessments.

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Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: An Overview of States’ Progress and Challenges

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner
Published: August 7, 2013

This report, based on spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, broadly examines states’ efforts to implement the Common Core.  Topic covered include states’ views on the rigor of the standards, timelines for teaching a Common-Core aligned curricula, a discussion of state actions to help schools and districts prepare for the standards, and an assessment of state education agency capacity to implement the Common Core.

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Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Professional Development for Teachers and Principals

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Shelby McIntosh, and Diane Stark Rentner
Published: August 7, 2013

This report, based on spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, provides information on state efforts to prepare teachers and principals.  The report examines which entities are providing Common Core related-professional development services within the states, the estimated proportion of teachers and principals that have participated in such services, and the challenges that states face in preparing educators to teach a Common Core-aligned curricula.

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Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: State Education Agencies’ Views on the Federal Role

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner
Published: July 24, 2013

This report, based on a winter/spring 2013 survey of 40 Common Core State Standards-adopting states, examines state education agency (SEA) officials’ views on the federal role in implementing the standards. The report finds that, although a direct federal role in implementing the Common Core State Standards has been controversial, a majority of states in the survey support legislative and/or regulatory changes to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act to help them with their implementation efforts. The report also addresses the issue of within-state opposition to standards and finds that the vast majority of survey states do not anticipate their state’s decision to adopt the standards will be reversed, limited or changed in 2013-14.

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States’ Perspectives on Waivers: Relief from NCLB, Concern about Long-term Solutions

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer and Nanami Yoshioka
Published: March 4, 2013

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.

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Civic Education and Charter Schools: Current Knowledge and Future Research

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, Nancy Kober, Nanami Yoshioka, and Jennifer McMurrer
Published: February 6, 2013

At the request of the Spencer Foundation, CEP analyzed data and background variables from the 2010 NAEP civic assessment to learn how the performance of charter school students compared to traditional public school students.   The study also reviewed other research on charter school students and civic education. The full report and a summary are available.

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AYP Results for 2010-11 — November 2012 Update

Author(s): Alexandra Usher
Published: November 1, 2012

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.

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Unfolding 2013 challenges: Maria Ferguson on education

Author(s): Center On Education Policy
Published: October 19, 2012

The leader of George Washington University’s Center on Education Policy explains why teacher accountability is so difficult to implement and tells us the advice she’d give to the president to improve schools. Please see Maria Ferguson interviewed on The Fold at the Washington Post.

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Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan on the Diane Rehm Show

Author(s): Center on Education Policy
Published: October 19, 2012

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just completed a cross-country bus tour promoting education as an investment in America's future. He joins Diane to talk about ongoing reforms and challenges still facing our nation's schools. Later in the hour, a panel of education experts give their views on what is and isn't working in the U.S. education system.

Maria Ferguson, the Executive Director of George Washington University’s Center on Education Policy, was present for the discussion. Please give some time to listen to this important conversation about the future of American education.

Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan on the Diane Rehm Show

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NCLB Waivers and Accountability

Author(s): Wayne Riddle and Nancy Kober
Published: October 2, 2012

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.

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State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition

Author(s): Shelby McIntosh
Published: September 19, 2012

CEP’s 11th annual report on state high school exit exams finds that states are embracing higher standards on their exit exams, which means schools and students will feel the impact. The report, based on data collected from state education department personnel in 45 states, discusses the present status of state exit exam policies, the future of these policies as states implement the Common Core State Standards and common assessments, and lessons that can be learned from states’ past experiences with implementing new exit exam policies.

State Profiles for Exit Exam Policies Through 2011-12

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