Archive for the ‘Education standard’ Category

Does Common Core Serve the Purpose of Helping Students Reach College and Career Ready Goals?As states move to implement the Common Core State Standards, key challenges remain. One is how to make sure a high school diploma acknowledges what students have achieved. Should states adopt a two-tiered diploma, in which students who pass internationally aligned Common Core exams at a career- and college-ready level receive an “academic” diploma, while students who fail to meet that bar receive a “basic” diploma? Yes, say three prominent thinkers who have long wrestled with questions of standards, testing, equity, and excellence. Chester E. Finn, Jr., is distinguished senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Richard D. Kahlenberg is author of the definitive autobiography of Albert Shanker, and Sandy Kress advised President George W. Bush on the No Child Left Behind Act.

• Chester E. Finn, Jr.: Different Kids need Different Credentials

• Richard D. Kahlenberg: Hold Students Accountable and Support Them

• Sandy Kress: Diplomas Must Recognize College and Career Readiness

(Originally published on

educationIs it true that the only problem with America’s schools is too many poor kids raised in less-educated families? According to a new study, from researchers Eric Hanushek (Stanford University), Paul Peterson (Harvard University), and Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich), the answer is a clear no.

Parental education has long been shown to be the best family background indicator of a student’s readiness to learn at school, and the United States’ comparatively low proficiency rates are often attributed to the large numbers of students who come from disadvantaged families, such as those where parents do not have a high school diploma. However, a new study appearing in Education Next finds that U.S. schools do as badly at teaching those from better-educated families as they do at teaching those from less well-educated families.

U.S. Students from Educated Families Lag in International Tests: It’s not just about kids in poor neighborhoods” is available now on

Watch or attend an event to discuss this new research

Paul Peterson will present findings from this study and will be joined by Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts for the discussion portion. Gerard Robinson, Vice President of Partnerships, UniversityNow, will participate as a moderater.

When: Today, May 13, 2014, 12:00-1:45 PM (Eastern)

Watch Online: Launch the Livestream event

Attend In Person: Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS)– South
Room 050 (Lower Level), 1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

For more information contact:  or (617) 496-5488

About Education Next

For more information about Education Next, please visit:

The Role of Costs in the Political Battles Over the Common Core

Posted by Terri McCormick On November - 21 - 2013

Included in the panel: Matthew M. Chingos, Tom Loveless and Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst

Eighty-five percent of American students attend school in a state that has adopted the Common Core State Standards. As these states transition from adoption to implementation of the new standards, many are grappling with how best to assess whether students are learning the material contained in the Common Core. How expensive might the new Common Core tests be? And what is the role of costs in the political battles over the Common Core that are currently raging in many states?

Continue reading at

Is Our Stagnant School System Endangering our Nation’s Future Prosperity?

Posted by Terri McCormick On September - 4 - 2013

Stagnant school system

Event Agenda (Reposted from

Introduction and Moderator:
Alice M. Rivlin
Director, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform
Brookings Senior Fellow, Economic Studies

Overview: Endangering Prosperity
Eric Hanushek
Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Paul E. Peterson
Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government, Harvard University
Ludger Woessmann
Professor of Economics, University of Munich and ifo Institute

Chris Cerf

Commissioner of Education, New Jersey
Isabel V. Sawhill
Co-Director, Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priorities Brookings Senior Fellow, Economic Studies

About the Event:

The association between student math performance and subsequent economic grow is very strong. It suggests that if the United States could lift its performance to the level achieved by Canadians, the average U. S. paycheck might increase by 20 percent.  In order to achieve this growth the U.S. will have to perform substantially better at the advanced level.  Over 13 percent of the students in both Germany and in Canada are high flyers, while only about the 7 percent in the U.S. perform at the advanced level. In Asia, the percentage of advanced students escalates upward–to 16 percent in Japan, 20 percent in Korea, and 30 percent in Singapore.

This event will explore why the United States must do better if it wishes to enhance its economic strength.

Registration Information:

Event is open to the public.  Webcasting information will be available at

September 12, 2013
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium
1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036

Hosted By
Brown Center on Education Policy

Related Book
Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School
2013, Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson and Ludger Woessmann
Foreword by Lawrence H.  Summers
Prosperity: A Global View of the American SchoolEndangering Prosperity is a wake-up call for structural reform.

Evidence shows constructive district reactions to presence of charter schools in urban districts

School choiceThe McCormick Standard strongly recommends this article for the sake of an ‘honest’ dialogue about the future of public education in the United States. (Reposted from

Charter school enrollment in urban areas has increased by 59 percent in the past 6 years, and their presence is inducing traditional public schools to respond, innovate, and look for improvement. Although some districts still try to forestall the spread of charter schools, authors of a new study find that the urban school districts they examined made significant changes in policy or practice in response to the presence of charter schools in their district, indicating that school districts are choosing to emphasize the strengths of their own public schools and benefit from school choice in their areas.

After reviewing 8,000 media reports from the past five years regarding 12 different urban areas, authors Marc J. Holley, Anna J. Egalite, and Martin F. Lueken identified 132 pieces of evidence of competition awareness and constructive or obstructive responses, an average of approximately 11 per city. The authors then assessed how districts responded to competition from charters. Each news story was coded according to the “types of responses by public school officials.” The article, “Competition with Charters Motivates Districts: New political circumstances, growing popularity,” will appear in the Fall 2013 issue of Education Next and is currently available on the web at

In Boston and New Orleans, the authors found evidence that traditional public schools were supportive and innovative in response to the introduction of charter schools to their district. For example, both districts collaborated with local charters, showed support for pilot and innovation schools (as did Denver), and expanded and improved their own school offerings. Even Atlanta, a district that was “previously relatively unwelcoming to charter schools” has showed willingness to collaborate with KIPP schools.

In urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West where at least 6 percent of students attended choice schools, the authors found evidence of significant changes in the policies and practices of schools within districts where school choice had been introduced. The most common reaction to the presence of charter schools was one of “district cooperation or collaboration with charter schools.” Positive responses included partnerships with CMOs or for-profit school operators, replication of successful charter school practices, and increased efforts on the part of traditional schools to market their services to students and families.

According to the authors, “where school districts once responded with indifference, symbolic gestures, or open hostility,” they found “a broadening of responses, perhaps fueled by acceptance that the charter sector will continue to thrive, or by knowledge that many charters are providing examples of ways to raise academic achievement.”

While there were some instances of negative reactions in specific districts, such as challenging or delaying charters’ access to unused school buildings in Los Angeles and the District of Columbia, the authors say those instances were visibly fewer than those of positive change.

The authors conclude, “This evidence suggests that while bureaucratic change may often be slow, it may be a mistake to underestimate the capacity of these bureaucratic institutions to reform, adapt, and adjust in light of changing environments.”

About the Authors
Marc J. Holley is evaluation unit director at the Walton Family Foundation and research fellow in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, where Anna J. Egalite and Martin F. Lueken are doctoral academy fellows.

About Education Next
Education Next is a scholarly journal published by the Hoover Institution that is committed to careful examination of evidence relating to school reform. Other sponsoring institutions are the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, part of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. For more information about Education Next, please visit:

Terri McCormick honored for excellence in government relations by Cambridge's Who's Who industry experts