Publications

Publications
In 2011, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) faced a dramatic and painful increase in employee retirement costs, driven primarily by a sharp rise in the bill for retiree health insurance, a program covered by collective-bargaining agreements between the district and its unions. In March 2011, however,...
In the final evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) , the Thomas B. Fordham Institute grants the standards a C grade. The NGSS grade is clearly superior to grades we granted to the science standards of sixteen states and the PISA framework in the State of State Science Standards...
Teachers and other employees of the School District of Philadelphia receive their retirement benefits from the Pennsylvania state retirement plan for schools, which includes both a defined-benefit pension plan and a modest retiree health benefit. The cost of the former is expected to rise quite...
When it comes to pension reform in the education realm, it’s hard to stay positive. Here, we’re saddled with a bona fide fiscal calamity (up to a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities by some counts), and no consensus about how to rectify the situation. No matter how one slices and dices this...
This report is based on the responses to an online survey conducted in Spring 2013 with 344 school district superintendents (an impressive 56 percent) in Ohio. The survey covered seven education policies, specifically: Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluations, the Third Grade Reading...
The Reynoldsburg City School District, just east of Columbus, is far down the “portfolio management” path – further than probably any suburban school district of its size. This feature article discusses portfolio management and takes readers behind the scenes in Reynoldsburg.
Adapted from the Foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Amber M. Winkler As the challenges of education governance loom ever larger and the dysfunction and incapacity of the traditional K–12 system reveal themselves as major roadblocks to urgently needed reforms across that system, many have asked, “...
When charter schools first emerged more than two decades ago, they presented an innovation in public school governance. No longer would school districts enjoy the “exclusive franchise” to own and operate public schools, as chartering pioneer and advocate Ted Kolderie explained. Charters wouldn’t...
In just two decades, charter schools have grown from a boutique school reform strategy to an alternative public school system serving a significant percentage of the nation’s K-12 students. In 1996, just 19 states had charter legislation in place, and there were only about 250 charters serving some...
How does Governor Kasich’s school funding plan stack up, according to one of the nation’s foremost experts in school finance and reform? Find out in our latest publication, Steps in the Right Direction: Assessing “Ohio Achievement Everywhere” – the Kasich Plan. In 2009, Fordham's Ohio team engaged...

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