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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)
The report draws from CEP's eight-year study of high school exit exams to identify long-term trends in state policies and student performance. It highlights a growing trend among states to establish alternate pathways to graduation for students who are struggling to pass exit exams. The report also analyzes exit exam pass rates and finds that 11 of the 16 states showed an average annual growth in the proportion of students passing the test in reading and 13 states showed average annual growth in mathematics. Although many states narrowed the gaps in initial pass rates between the various student subgroups over the years, the gaps remain large in both subjects.
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.
This brochure invites research and analysis of the unique stockpile of data found on CEP’s Web site regarding K-12 testing results from all 50 states. The brochure describes the wealth of available test data and explains how to access that information.
This report examines testing data from all 50 states to determine if achievement gaps between subgroups of students are narrowing. The report also looks at the achievement trends of subgroups of students at the elementary school level.
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 Boulder
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The American School Board Journal (September 2009) contains an article on national or common academic standards written by Jack Jennings, CEP’s president.
On August 19, 2009, Jack Jennings, President of CEP, participated in an event at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to discuss the gains made in the state’s test scores since 2002. The press release appears below with links to the first 2009 CEP state test scores report, and the Pennsylvania profile used for that 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 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.
Many in the research and policy worlds have taken for granted the existence of a phenomenon known as the "plateau effect," wherein test scores rise in the early years of a test-based accountability system and then level off. Drawing from our database of reading and math test results from all 50 states going back as far as 1999, we looked for evidence of a plateau effect in 55 trend lines from 16 states with six to ten years of consistent test data. This report outlines those findings.
This report is the first in a series of reports describing results from CEP's third annual analysis of state testing data. The report provides an update on student performance at the proficient level of achievement, and for the first time, includes data about student performance at the advanced and basic levels. Also included are profiles for each state, which show trends in reading and math for basic, proficient, and advanced levels in elementary, middle, and high school. The study provides an in-depth look at the full range of student performance in order to better understand whether the No Child Left Behind Act's focus on proficiency has caused teachers to shortchange students at either end of the academic spectrum. **updated July 15, 2009
(Errata outlining the specific changes from the June 17th version of the report are available upon request. Please call or e-mail us at 202-822-8065 or email@example.com.)
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.
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.
On May 14, 2009, the Tucson Citizen published this guest editorial from CEP that addresses Arizona's high school exam policies for alternate paths for graduation and the state's testing policy for high school students who are learning English. The newspaper invited Jack Jennings and Ying Zhang to write this editorial because of research CEP conducted in five Arizona high schools. This research resulted in two reports, Conflicts Between State Policy and School Practice: Learning from Arizona's Experience with High School Exam Policies and Caught in the Middle: Arizona's English Language Learners and the High School Exit Exam, which are posted on the CEP Web site under the "High School Exit Examinations" tab.
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 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.
This report looks at how local educators perceive and act on state policies designed to help at-risk students and English language learners achieve the levels of proficiency needed to pass state high school exit examinations and graduate. Our findings are based on data from school observations and interviews with more than 50 school administrators, teachers, and other school staff in Arizona.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This CEP report examines the Title I funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Center on Education Policy has issued a report on its activities for the calendar year 2008. This report also describes the Center's plans for 2009 and shows CEP's overall impact.
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.