Publications

Publications
In this volume, a diverse group of experts—scholars, educators, journalists, and entrepreneurs—offer wisdom and advice on how schools and districts can cut costs, eliminate inefficient spending, and better manage their funds in order to free up resources to drive school reform.
This study tackles a key question: Which of thirty major U.S. cities have cultivated a healthy environment for school reform to flourish (and which have not)? Nine reform-friendly locales surged to the front. Read on to learn more.
Despite the overall dismal performance of schools serving Ohio's poor, urban youngsters, there are a handful of schools that buck these bleak trends and achieve significant results for their students. This report examines eight of these schools.
In the era of No Child Left Behind, principals are increasingly held accountable for student performance. But are teacher labor agreements giving them enough flexibility to manage effectively? The Leadership Limbo: Teacher Labor Agreements in America's Fifty Largest School Districts, answers this question and others.
At first glance, the explosive growth of 'alternative' teacher certification--which is supposed to allow able individuals to teach in public schools without first passing through a college of education--appears to be one of the great success stories of modern education reform. But, as this report reveals, alternative certification programs have so far failed to provide a real alternative to traditional education schools. In fact, they represent a significant setback for education reform advocates.
Despite its long history and prodigious size, all is not well with Ohio's teacher pension system. In this Fordham Institute report, nationally renowned economists Robert Costrell and Mike Podgursky illuminate some of the serious challenges facing STRS.
Though most public school principals believe that effective leadership of their schools requires authority over personnel decisions (e.g., staff selection, deployment, dismissal), they report having little such authority in practice. Based on a series of interviews with a small sample of district and charter-school principals, the report shows that most district principals encounter a sizable gap between the extent and kinds of authority that leaders need to be effective and the authority that they actually have.
The nation's leading teacher educators made a startling admission last year in their tome, Studying Teacher Education, by conceding there's little evidence that what happens in ed schools helps in the K-12 classroom. Kate Walsh explores why teacher educators are ignoring the achievement gap and, thus, consigning their field to irrelevance.
The standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Excellence (NCATE) are of critical import for America's future teaching corps and will wield disproportionate influence for decades to come. Over the past fifteen years, 25 states have outsourced the approval of teacher preparation programs to NCATE by adopting or adapting its standards as their own; the other 25 have various 'partnerships' with the organization. Which makes it all the more disturbing that central to these standards is the call for teachers to possess certain 'dispositions' such as particular attitudes toward 'social justice.' As Professor William Damon of Stanford University explains in Fordham's latest Fwd: Arresting Insights in Education, NCATE's framing of the 'dispositions' issue has given education schools 'unbounded power over what candidates may think and do.' This is leading to (understandable) charges of ideological arm-twisting and Orwellian mind-control.
In just more than five years, Mary Anne Stanton has led 13 Catholic schools from high-poverty Washington, D.C. neighborhoods into a consortium that has not only strengthened each school's financial health, but has also greatly improved the academic performance of the children the schools are charged with educating. To get there, she's installed a new standards-based curriculum, shaken up old bureaucratic approaches, and streamlined operations. In its latest Fwd: Arresting Insights in Education, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation presents a compelling story of just how much change can be made by one determined school leader with a vision.

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