Publications

Publications
The typical U.S. charter school lacks the autonomy it needs to succeed, once state, authorizer, and other impositions are considered. For some schools—in some states, with some authorizers—the picture is brighter but for many it's bleak. State-specific grades for charter autonomy range from A to F.
To what extent have Ohio's leaders met the challenges and opportunities before them in K-12 education? What needs to happen next?
Statewide survey of Ohio school district superintendents (and other education leaders) on the most critical issues facing K-12 education in the Buckeye State, including budgets, school effectiveness, and troublesome laws.
This study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute finds that low-performing public schools—both charter and traditional district schools—are stubbornly resistant to significant change. After identifying more than 2,000 low-performing charter and district schools across ten states, analyst David Stuit tracked them from 2003-04 through 2008-09 to determine how many were turned around, shut down, or remained low-performing. Results were generally dismal. Seventy-two percent of the original low-performing charters remained in operation—and remained low-performing-five years later. So did 80 percent of district schools. Read on to learn more.
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.
How should the "common core" state standards be governed? Who will "own" these standards (and related assessments) 20 years from now? To stir smart thinking about important aspects of these issues, the Fordham Institute invited knowledgeable experts to write background papers.
From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary's Role in American Education examines the role of the courts in modern American K-12 education. From race to speech, from religion to school funding, few aspects of education policy have escaped the courtroom. In this book, experts describe just what the impact of judicial involvement has been. Published jointly by Fordham and Brookings Institution Press.
Voucher opponents often argue that it's unfair to hold public schools accountable for results under the No Child Left Behind Act and various state rules while allowing private schools that participate in school voucher programs to receive taxpayer dollars without similar accountability. In pursuit of a reasonable middle ground, we sought the advice of twenty experts in the school-choice world. This paper presents their thoughts and opinions, as well as Fordham's own ideas.
This yearly report covers Fordham's sponsorship practices throughout the year as well as newsworthy events related to our sponsored charter schools. You can also find detailed reports on all of Fordham-sponsored schools. Each school report contains information on the school's academic performance, educational philosophy, and compliance for the 2007-2008 school year.
In public education today, individual schools are accountable under the federal No Child Left Behind Act as well as myriad state and local policy regimens for their students achievement and other vital outcomes. Increasingly, school leaders find their own job tenure and compensation tied to those outcomes as well. But do they possess the authority they need to lead their schools to heightened performance? Numerous surveys (conducted by Public Agenda, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and others) suggest that many school leaders feel they do not. Thus an important public policy question arises: what factors help or hinder school leaders in exercising their authority and in which areas?

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