Policy Issues


Finding What Works in Educational Innovation

Researchers have identified four conditions that motivate teachers to move forward with technology-driven changes to instructional practices. Top-down coercion isn't one of them.

ESSA Plans Give Preview of Promises for State Ed Data Usage

A study of every state's Every Student Succeeds Act plan found that "while approaches to student success vary, the commitment to data use is clear." The study outlined three "major ways" states are "deploying data to meet their education goals."

Measuring Academic and Nonacademic Skills Equally Important

A new report commissioned by NWEA revealed that parents, teachers and school leaders agree about the importance of measuring students' soft skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork and view them as equally important as academic skills. However, which skills to teach and who should have the primary role in doing so is an area where the roles disagreed.

Data Linkages Offers Alternative to Free Lunch Designation for At-Risk Students

According to Matthew Chingos, director of Urban Institute's Education Policy Program, a handful of states are using new methods of data analysis for identifying economically disadvantaged students as an alternative to the long-used free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) measure.

NM Commits to Returning State Testing Results by May

A new move by the New Mexico Public Education Department will give school districts in that state 15 more days to prepare for statewide PARCC exams and deliver student test scores before the end of the school year.

What We Can Learn from New Orleans' Post-Katrina School Reforms

Reforms put in place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005 turned out to have many positive impacts, according to a new report published by the Education Research Alliance. The move to state-controlled charters boosted student achievement, high school graduation rates, college entry numbers, the college persistence rate and the college graduation rate.

Feds to Pump $1.2 Billion into CTE Next Year

After six years of kicking around the official language for an updated Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education bill, Congress and the president have voted and signed the act into law. The Perkins Act, H.R. 2353 (115), which has been considered for reauthorization since 2012, commits between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion for the program over the next six years.

Texas Report Tackles Dual-Credit Outcomes

A recent draft report on dual credit participation by Texas students confirmed that those who took such courses had better college outcomes than high school graduates who didn't; that they completed their college degrees faster; and that although progress is being made, a participation "disparity" still exists for "less advantaged groups."

Wise to Step Down as Head of Alliance for Excellent Education

Gov. Bob Wise has announced plans to leave his position as CEO of the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) in January. All4Ed will be conducting a search for a new CEO in the meantime.

Gates 'Effective Teaching' Initiative Delivers Few Benefits in Face of Failures

A mammoth report by RAND and the American Institutes for Research laid out in excruciating detail the mix of outcomes for the "Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching" initiative, designed and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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