With the Obama/Duncan NCLB-waiver announcement
imminent and support for state-run accountability systems swelling, this
Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) report is especially timely.
Using “budget forensics” for eight states—including California, New York, and
Texas—analysts evaluated how these jurisdictions allocate funding, and inferred
each state’s capacity to spearhead school-improvement initiatives. The upshot:
State education agencies (SEAs) aren’t yet ready to take up the mantle of
school improvement in toto—on this
front, they lack both experience and funding. (Louisiana was the one outlier,
as the state oversees NOLA’s Recovery School District.) While CRPE’s report reaches
few actionable conclusions, it does raise a warning flag for policymakers
re-crafting state accountability systems: Before states can get very far with school
improvement, a solid foundation must be laid.