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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.
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.
This 10th installment of CEP’s annual study of high school exit exams and other assessments finds that fewer states are requiring students to pass a high school exit exam, though testing in other areas has increased. The report, based on a survey of all 50 state departments of education, discusses state policies associated with high school exit exams, college entrance exams (such as the ACT or SAT), and college and career readiness assessments.
This November 23, 2011 Huffington Post blog written by CEP’s president Jack Jennings highlights a recent study of the education systems in Shanghai (China), Finland, Japan, Singapore, and Ontario (Canada), and discusses what lessons can be learned from these countries to help improve public education in the United States.
On November 9, 2011, a commentary written by Jack Jennings, CEP’s president, appeared in the Debate Club of U.S. News and World Report. That magazine had asked him to comment on a recent report concluding that American teachers were over-paid. The commentary rebuts that conclusion.
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.
On October 24, the Huffington Post carried a blog written by Jack Jennings, CEP’s president and CEO, on the views of the Republican presidential aspirants on the role of the federal government in education.
The Dallas Morning News asked Jack Jennings, CEP’s president and CEO, to write an article advising the city’s school board on what it should look for in a new local school superintendent. The article appeared in the newspaper on October 7, 2011.
This report examines testing data from 40 states and the
A supplemental appendix with listings of where states fall within the various analyses for this study is available as well as one-page profiles of state-specific performance trends at the advanced achievement levels for nine states.
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.
Education Writers Association's executive director Caroline Hendrie talks with Diane Stark Rentner of the Center on Education Policy about CEP’s report, Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts' Implementation, and how school districts are transitioning to the Common Core State Standards.
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.
This report, based on a nationally representative sample of school districts, examines school districts’ perceptions and early implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The report finds that approximately three-fifths of the districts in states that have adopted the CCSS agree that the new standards in math and English language arts are more rigorous than the ones they are replacing, and a similar proportion of districts expect the CCSS to improve students’ skills in these subjects. The survey results also show that district officials see relatively little resistance to the standards from parents, community members, and local educators, with only 10% of districts in the adopting states considering resistance from teachers and principals to be a major challenge in implementing the standards, and just 5 percent view resistance from parents and community members as a major challenge. However, adequate funding to implement all aspects of the CCSS was viewed as a major challenge by 76% of districts in CCSS-adopting states, and as a minor challenge among 21% of such districts.
This September 14, 2011 Huffington Post blog, written by Jack Jennings, discusses the Center on Education Policy Report, Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts’ Implementation.
This August 30, 2011 Huffington Post blog by Jack Jennings discusses how teacher pay in the United States compares to other countries.
This report compares achievement trends since 2002 (or a more recent year in some states) on state reading and math tests for Title I students and students not participating in Title I. The largest of the federal aid programs for K-12 schools, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 supports extra instructional services for low-performing students in low-income schools and for all students in the highest-poverty schools. Generally, achievement on state reading and math tests has improved in recent years for students participating in the Title I program in most of the 19 states with comparable data. Further, gaps between Title I participants and non-participants have also narrowed more often than they have widened since 2002, although trends were more positive at grades 8 and high school than at grade 4.
A one-page profile of state-specific performance trends for Title I and non-Title I students is available for each of the 19 states included in the study.
This report examines a decade’s worth of research on school vouchers and concludes that vouchers have had no clear positive effect on student academic achievement, and mixed outcomes for students overall. Effects on graduation rates, parental satisfaction, public school achievement and cost to taxpayers are discussed. The report also notes that much of this research has been carried out or sponsored by pro-voucher organizations, signaling a particular need for scrutiny. In addition to this research review, the report describes voucher programs currently in existence, summarizes major court cases and referenda on vouchers from the past ten years, and reflects on changes in the voucher landscape. The report serves as an update to CEP’s paper School Vouchers: What We Know and Don't Know…and How We Could Learn More, released in 2000.
In this Huffington Post blog, posted on July 27, 2011, Jack Jennings reviews the evolution of pro-voucher arguments over last 50 years, discusses these findings in light of CEP’s recent report on vouchers, and calls for greater efforts to improve public schools, which is where 90% of students attend school today.
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.
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.
This blog, which was written by Jack Jennings, CEP’s president, and posted on the Huffington Post on May 8, 2011, discusses achievement gains of white, Latino, and African American students on the long-term National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The blog points out that while general trends show a mixed picture of achievement gains over the last four decades, Latino and African American students made great gains. Accompanying the blog is a table that shows the changes in long-term NAEP reading and math scores since the 1970s for white, Latino, and African American students as well as for all students.
On May 3, 2011, the Center on Education Policy issued an open letter to the member states of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which are developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The letter, which is based on CEP’s five-year extensive analysis of state testing results, raises some issues regarding the setting of the cut score for proficient performance and the reporting of results. The suggestions are offered in an effort to make the new assessment systems as useful as possible to policymakers, educators, researchers, parents, and the public. Also posted below is the response from SBAC.
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.
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.
This blog posted on April 21, 2011, in the Huffington Post, by Jack Jennings counters the criticisms of conservative critics of federal aid to education by describing the equity purpose of this aid and then highlighting the major educational achievements of the groups principally targeted for this assistance.
In this guest blog posted April 20 on Education Week’s Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook, Alexandra Usher discusses the early federal land grant program which encouraged the creation of public schools across the U.S. Referencing CEP’s 2011 background paper Public Schools and the Original Federal Land Grants, Usher describes how the Land Ordinance and Northwest Ordinance established a policy through which new states were given land by the federal government for the support of public schools.
In this paper, CEP president and CEO Jack Jennings tracks the federal government’s involvement in education through the course of American history, and argues that this involvement must continue. Jennings provides evidence that the government has played an essential role in the development of public schools – consistent with the founding fathers’ vision – and that this role is vital to the continued success of the country. Supplemental papers by Wayne Riddle and Alexandra Usher discuss in more detail two aspects of federal involvement: special provisions written into the U.S. tax code that provide substantial indirect financial support for public education, and the federal land grants given to states for the support of public schools. PDFs of states’ original Enabling Acts establishing their land grants are also available below.
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.
This report, which provides a detailed look at student performance on 8th grade state reading and math tests, tracks testing data by student race, ethnicity, income, and gender from as early as 2002 through 2009. State test results are analyzed when three or more years of comparable data are available, and student performance at the basic, proficient, and advanced achievement levels are included in the analysis. The main finding is that, contrary to popular wisdom, there have generally been upward trends in state reading and math test scores at 8th grade. The progress is more noteworthy in math, where every state with sufficient data made gains in the percentage of 8th grade students reaching the advanced level and all but one of these states showed gains at the proficient level. In most of the states, however, gaps have widened between lower- and higher-achieving subgroups of 8th graders at the advanced level in math.
Also available are 50 state profiles with detailed student achievement data and tables showing the performance of various student groups on state tests.
In his March, 2011 blog post for The Huffington Post, CEP president and CEO Jack Jennings asks the question, “Can Boys Succeed Later in Life if They Can’t Read as Well as Girls?” Jennings notes troubling statistics that illustrate lower performance of boys compared to girls, including performance on state reading tests, and graduation rates from both high school and college. He says that the good news is that the recent national focus on improvement in math achievement for women has paid off, but that the bad news is that men are falling behind in the workforce, most likely because of their educational deficiencies.
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.
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).
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.
This article, written by Jack Jennings, CEP's president and appearing in the February 7, 2011 Huffington Post, discusses the history of the federal role in education, and gives reasons why the federal government should continue to be involved in education.
On January 10, 2011, Jack Jennings, CEP's president, appeared on Washington Journal, a regular program on C-SPAN. The topics discussed included CEP's December 2010 report on the achievement gap, CEP's January 2011 report on common core state standards, the education agenda facing the 112th Congress, and many other issues.
In the fall of 2010, the Center on Education Policy surveyed state officials about their efforts to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards in reading and math. The survey found that states that have adopted the standards have plans for changing policies and programs, such as developing or adopting new assessments, modifying curriculum materials, and offering professional development for teachers, to ensure that the standards are fully implemented at the classroom level. However, many of these changes will not be fully in place until 2013 or later.