Links to Documents, Articles, and Research about School Reform
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) P.L. 89-10 Passed by Congress under President Johnson; the original ESEA
Title 1: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged – Part of the 1965 ESEA
No Child Left Behind President Bush’s proposal for reauthorization of ESEA; was passed by Congress in 2001
ESEA Reauthorization: A Blueprint for Reform -President Obama’s 2010 proposal for reauthorization of No Child Left Behind
Race to the Top President Obama used stimulus money to allow states to compete for money for school reform.
Civil Rights Framework for Providing All Students an Opportunity to Learn through Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - seven civil rights groups castigate President Obama’s plans for school reform and submit their own proposals
Report to President by President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – report to President Obama on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
BLOGS Random blog posts dealing with educational reform are below. Blogs about school reform that appear regularly are on the sidebar under “Link to Education/School Reform Blogs.”
Sam Chaltain: The Science of School Renewal (Huffington Post): “the science of school renewal vs. the business of school reform”
James Dyson: America’s Science Crisis (The Daily Beast) billionaire and inventor: “But arbitrary benchmarks cheat kids out of a fulfilling education. In the workshop or lab, results are determined by experimentation and creativity, not rote learning.”
THE COLD HARD FACTS (BASED ON RESEARCH) As I come across the results of scientific research on various aspects of school reform, I will include it here. Doing so does not mean that I advocate the findings one way or the other. My goal is simply to shed light on the issues so that we can thoroughly understand them and so that we can make sound recommendations.
Achievement Gap Initiative (Harvard University) – AGI’s mission is to close the achievement gap for students in poverty areas; excellent research data
Merit Pay Found to Have Little Effect on Achievement (edweek.org)
National Education Policy Center – Boulder, Colorado – new university research organization. The Center’s Think Tank Review Project will critique the research performed by think tanks on the subject of American education. In addition to its Review Project, the Center sponsored an examination of President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform, touted by the President and Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, as research-based. In September, 2010 the Center released the results of its research in a book entitled The Obama Education Blueprint: Researchers Examine the Evidence — and found the research behind Blueprint for Reform to be flawed. You may order this report directly from the publisher.
Obama’s ESEA Plan Short on Research, Authors Allege (edweek.org) – refers to the above report
American Institutes for Research (edweek.org) – documents the fact that the various states’ assessments don’t use the same level of standards or passing scores; this means that state testing has been mostly meaningless; find how your state’s tests compare by clicking on the link in Sparks’ edweek.org column
Economic Policy Institute D.C. think tank which researches issues concerning low- and middle- income workers, including the issue of education. Go to the link to sign its statement opposed to using student test scores to evaluate and remove teachers; Diane Ravitch and Linda Darling-Hammond are listed among the 10 researchers from EPI who wrote the statement.
SCHOOL FUNDING (the school principal: until we address inequities of funding from district to district across the country, we will not be able to address the real issues of school reform.)
The Property Tax-School Funding Dilemma (Policy Focus Report)
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Test Scorer — an experienced test scorer lets us in on the dirty little secrets of the testing industry and shows us why high stakes testing is meaningless. You won’t believe what you’re reading. Yet these tests are used to decide whether or not students graduate and how schools are labeled.
Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools by Joanne Barkan – a chilling and startling assessment of why and how the American people have lost control of their public schools
The Role of School Districts in Education Reform – watch this fascinating video with a debate between Chester Finn and Gordon MacInnes. Sponsored by the New American Foundation. Gordon and Chester both believe that NCLB has not worked. Gordon believes we are trying to solve the wrong problems. He speaks about poverty and the need for early childhood education. Chester believes that we should eliminate local school districts and let each school work individually with the state.