Publications

No Child Left Behind meant well, but it had a pernicious flaw: It created strong incentives for schools to focus all their energy on helping low-performing students get over a modest “proficiency” bar. Meanwhile, it ignored the educational needs of high achievers, who were likely to pass state...
Eleven weeks ago, in High Stakes for High Achievers: State Accountability in the Age of ESSA , the Fordham Institute reported that current K–8 accountability systems in most states give teachers scant reason to attend to the learning of high-achieving youngsters. We coupled that bleak finding with...
No Child Left Behind meant well, but it had a pernicious flaw: It created strong incentives for schools to focus all their energy on helping low-performing students get over a modest “proficiency” bar. Meanwhile, it ignored the educational needs of high achievers, who were likely to pass state...
In Failing Our Brightest Kids , Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Brandon L. Wright argue that for decades, the United States has focused too little on preparing students to achieve at high levels. There are two core problems. First, compared to other countries, the United States does not produce enough...
Gadfly editorial by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Amber M. Northern While the merit and politics of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been much debated and discussed, one topic has been virtually ignored: What do the standards portend for America’s high-ability students? This brief addresses...
What is the best education for exceptionally able and high-achieving youngsters? There are no easy answers but, as Chester Finn and Jessica Hockett show, for more than 100,000 students each year, the solution is to enroll in an academically selective public high school. Exam Schools is the first-...
"Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students," is the first study to examine the performance of America's highest-achieving children over time at the individual-student level. Produced in partnership with the Northwest Evaluation Association, it finds that many high-...
Brookings scholar Tom Loveless examines tracking and detracking in Massachusetts middle schools, focusing on changes that have occurred and the implications for high-achieving students. Among the findings: detracked schools have fewer advanced students in math than tracked schools and detracking is...
The media is awash with stories about Ohio's brain drain: in 2007, the Buckeye State saw 6,981 more residents between the ages of 25 and 34 leave the state than migrate into it. What's worse, the more education these young people have, the more likely they are to leave. The Thomas B. Fordham...
Over the past five years, the number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam rose by more than half. This news is celebrated but is there a downside? To find out, Fordham commissioned the Farkas Duffett Research Group to survey AP teachers in the US. The AP program remains popular...

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