Publications

The "new normal" of tougher budget times is here to stay for American K-12 education. So how can local officials cope? This policy brief, by Mike Petrilli, provides a useful tool for navigating the financial challenges of the current school-funding climate, complete with clear dos and don'ts for...
Rigorous standards and aligned assessments are vital tools for boosting education outcomes but they have little traction without strong accountability systems that attach consequences to performance. This pilot study lays out the essential features of such accountability systems, intended to add...
Noting the success of last summer’s Education Reform Idol bonanza, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute proudly announces its new event series, Dancing with the School-Reform Stars. The show pairs noted reformers with famed defenders of the status quo.
In this analysis from the Fordham Institute, our acclaimed research team steps in to solve an age-old debate: Which education blogger is most self-absorbed and self-referential? In particular, does Andy Rotherham’s persistent disclaiming of his many influential personal connections take the cake?...
This report, authored by Superintendent Mike Miles, takes a detailed look at the Harrison (CO) School District 2's Pay-for-Performance Plan. The Harrison Plan confronted the dual challenges of defining an effective teacher and identifying all the things that demonstrate her effectiveness. This how-...
In this paper, John Chubb examines how local school district control retards the widespread use of instructional technologies. He argues that the surest way to break down the system’s inherent resistance to technology is to shift control from the local district—and thus the school board—and put it...
American science performance is lagging as the economy becomes increasingly high tech, but our current science standards are doing little to solve the problem. Reviewers evaluated science standards for every state for this report and their findings were deeply troubling: The majority of states...
Is it time for Ohio to consider new forms of governance and management for its most troubled schools and districts, and, if so, what might alternatives look like? The question of what to do with long-suffering public schools has driven many of the country’s most significant education reforms. Both...
The latest installment of Fordham's Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning series investigates one of the more controversial aspects of digital learning: How much does it cost? In this paper, the Parthenon Group uses interviews with more than fifty vendors and online-schooling experts to...
Will the move toward virtual and “blended learning” schools in American education repeat the mistakes of the charter-school movement, or will it learn from them? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, with the support of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, has commissioned five deep-thought papers...

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