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The Center on Education Policy is a national,

Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools: The Politics of Education Reform

Presentation and Book Signing with

Jack Jennings

April 8, 2015, 5-6:30 p.m. EST



In his new book Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools, longtime education policy expert Jack Jennings examines the evolution of federal education policy and outlines a bold and controversial vision for its future. The book coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the landmark legislation that has provided the foundation of federal education policy in the United States.

Jennings, the founder and former CEO of the Center on Education Policy, will hold a presentation on the book at the National Press Club on April 8, 2015, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. EST. Also speaking will be William J. Bushaw, Ph.D., the CEO of PDK International.

Copies of Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools will be available for
purchase, and a book?signing will follow the presentation. Wine and other
beverages will be served.

Click here to RSVP.

What's New

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Building a Better Relationship between Education and Data

Author(s): Center on Education Policy
Published: February 19, 2015

Empowering Educators to Lead the Way on Data Use

Despite the presence of technology and data in almost every aspect of our lives, the K-12 education sector is still grappling with how to effectively use data to support instruction and student learning.  While some important progress has been made, many educators still need support--including time, training and resources--on how to manage and use data.

On  March 17, 2015, the Center on Education Policy (CEP), in collaboration with Renaissance Learning and the Data Quality Campaign, convened a conversation on the campus of the George Washington University about empowering educators to lead the way in using data to improve classroom instruction and student learning. The conversation looked at state and local leadership on data use, including the benefits and challenges associated with new technologies that process and organize school data. Issues covered include:

  • Data and assessment literacy: Empowering teachers and administrators
  • State leadership: Creating the conditions and culture for effective data use
  • More than just numbers: The power and potential of data visualization

Video of the webcast


View Meeting

A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards

Author(s): Matthew Frizzell and Tara Dunderdale
Published: February 10, 2015

This updated compendium includes over 85 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. Each study in the compendium has been summarized and categorized across nine topic areas. A URL link to the original research is also provided 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. This latest version is updated as of February 10, 2015.

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Expanded Learning Time: A Summary of Findings from Case Studies in Four States

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer, Matthew Frizzell, Nanami Yoshioka, Caitlin Scott, and Nora Ostler
Published: January 13, 2015

This summary report describes the strategies being used by case study sites to meet federal requirements and encouragements for increased or expanded learning time, and the challenges, successes, and impacts associated with this implementation process.  The report is based on the findings of a series of case studies of 17 low-performing schools within 11 school districts in four geographically dispersed states—Connecticut, Colorado, Oregon and Virginia.  CEP interviewed 49 education leaders at the state, district, and school-levels to collect data for the study.  Also available on this site are detailed reports for each of the four states and 11 districts with the 17 case study schools and a webinar presentation of the key findings.

Case Study Reports


View Summary

Common Core State Standards in 2014: District Implementation of Consortia-Developed Assessments

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Nancy Kober
Published: October 30, 2014

This report, based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of school districts located in Common Core-adopting states that are also members of the PARCC or Smarter Balanced testing consortium, examines school districts’ efforts to prepare for the consortia assessments. The report discusses district leaders’ views on the consortia assessments, plans to provide remediation and support for students who may need assistance, readiness for administering the assessment online, and plans for revising or eliminating their own math and English language arts assessments.

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Common Core State Standards in 2014: Curriculum and Professional Development at the District Level

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Nancy Kober
Published: October 29, 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 develop and implement CCSS-aligned curricula and to provide professional development to teachers and principals.   Specifically, the report examines anticipated timelines for implementing CCSS-aligned curricula in all schools, sources of CCSS-aligned curricula, the estimated percentages of teachers and principals who have participated in CCSS-related professional development, anticipated timelines for when all teachers and principals will be prepared for the CCSS, and providers and topics of CCSS-related professional development.

View Report

Moving ahead after November elections

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: October 28, 2014

The outcome of the November elections in Washington for House and Senate seats, along with the 36 governor offices up for votes means that there may be a very different political landscape come January. But perhaps the greatest promise of the results of the upcoming elections is that Congress and state houses could find some common ground and new leaders may emerge to move the nation toward addressing sorely neglected education issues.

Click here to read the full article.

View Article

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.

View Report

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.

View Article

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.

View Brochure

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.

View Report

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.

View Article

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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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.

View Blog Post
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