Publications

This new policy brief by Nathan Levenson, Managing Director at the District Management Council and former superintendent of Arlington (MA) Public Schools, offers informed advice to school districts seeking to provide a well-rounded, quality education to all children in a time of strained budgets...
This paper uses systems thinking to provide common sense ideas for saving money while improving special education services to the more than 275,000 Ohio students with special needs.
This groundbreaking study uses the largest database of information on special education spending and staffing ever assembled to uncover significant variance in how districts staff for special education. The report concludes that if the high-spending districts studied reduce their staffing in this...
Education budgets are tight and state and district leaders must make tough decisions about where to save. But is the public willing to accept cuts? If so, where? According to the results of this new survey, many Americans are open—selectively open—to dramatic changes in how school districts do...
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics represent a sea change in standards-based reform and their implementation is the movement’s next—and greatest—challenge. Yet, while most states have now set forth implementation plans, these tomes seldom address the...
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...
More than 1.7 million American children attend what we've dubbed "private public schools"—public schools that serve virtually no poor students. In some metropolitan areas, as many as one in six public-school students—and one in four white youngsters—attends such schools, of which the U.S. has about...
When it comes to public-sector pensions, writes lead author Mike Lafferty in this report, "A major public-policy (and public-finance) problem has been defined and measured, debated and deliberated, but not yet solved. Except where it has been." As recounted in "Halting a Runaway Train: Reforming...
To what extent have Ohio's leaders met the challenges and opportunities before them in K-12 education? What needs to happen next?
In this "Ed Short" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Amanda Olberg and Michael Podgursky examine how public charter schools handle pensions for their teachers. Some states give these schools the freedom to opt out of the traditional teacher-pension system; when given that option, how many...

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