Publications

In Redefining the School District in America , Nelson Smith reexamines existing recovery school districts (RSDs)—entities in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Michigan charged with running and turning around their state’s worst schools—and assembles the most comprehensive catalog of similar initiatives...
For the past year, Ohio policymakers have been grappling with the issue of deregulating public schools. But what does deregulation mean--and how should policymakers go about doing it? In this new report-- authored by Education First’s Paolo DeMaria, Brinton S. Ramsey, and Susan R. Bodary--the...
School Closures and Student Achievement: An Analysis of Ohio’s Urban District and Charter Schools examines 198 school closures that occurred between 2006 and 2012 in the Ohio ‘Big Eight’ urban areas (Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown). The research...
The myriad challenges facing school principals in the United States have been well documented, including limited opportunities for distributed leadership, inadequate training, and a lackluster pipeline for new leaders. Recently, the Fordham Institute teamed up with the London-based Education...
At the Education for Upward Mobility conference, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute released ten working conference papers about the intersection between the anti-poverty and education-reform agendas. These draft papers tackle difficult, but integral questions, including: Is “college for all” the...
Over the past decade, the English government has revamped that country’s approach to school leadership. At the center of the reform is the sensible idea that school leadership needs to be a team endeavor. While not a new idea—there’s been for years plenty of discussion about “distributed leadership...
What happens when policymakers create statewide school districts to turn around their worst-performing public schools? In Louisiana and Tennessee, Recovery School Districts (RSDs) have made modest-to-strong progress for kids and serve as national models for what the future of education governance...
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute set out to answer a basic (yet complicated) question: how much does each school in the D.C. metro area spend on day-to-day operations for each student it enrolls? In the Metro D.C. School Spending Explorer , we found that there are differences in spending within the...
The number of non-teaching staff in the United States (those employed by school systems but not serving as classroom teachers) has grown by 130 percent since 1970. Non-teachers—more than three million strong—now comprise half of the public school workforce. Their salaries and benefits absorb one-...

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