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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Development And Design Of The Common Core State Standards For Mathematics, Jason Zimba Sep 2014

The Development And Design Of The Common Core State Standards For Mathematics, Jason Zimba

New England Journal of Public Policy

As one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, I begin by explaining what the standards are, what they are not, and how they were developed. Then I detail some ways in which the standards differ from previous state standards. Finally, I describe some of the developments I have seen in the implementation of the standards and the key developments I would like to see in the future.


Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley Sep 2014

Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley

New England Journal of Public Policy

On December 3, 2013, when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores, the ranking of the United States as number 27 on the global scoreboard elicited little surprise among teachers, educational professionals, academics, and educational policymakers. The usual platitudes were trotted out—no mention that the United States’ standing was getting any worse, just which other countries were passing us by. We were stuck at a perennial average.

The results are in a sense a metaphor of the slow decline of the United State since the 1970s from a position ...


Sustaining The Teaching Profession, Ronald Thorpe Sep 2014

Sustaining The Teaching Profession, Ronald Thorpe

New England Journal of Public Policy

Within the United States and across nations, there seems to be consensus that teacher quality is the most important school-based variable in determining how well a child learns. While such an observation hardly sounds like headline news, it is a milestone in the development of teaching as a profession. It suggests where investments should be made if people really are serious about student learning. It also explains why policymakers and the public should care about what it means to be an effective teacher and what it will take to create and sustain a teaching workforce defined by accomplished practice. Teachers ...


The National Commission On Education Excellence And Equity: Hypotheses About Movement Building, Christopher Edley Jr. Sep 2014

The National Commission On Education Excellence And Equity: Hypotheses About Movement Building, Christopher Edley Jr.

New England Journal of Public Policy

In 2013, the congressionally chartered national Commission on Education Equity and Excellence issued unanimous recommendations for P–12 policy changes at the federal, state, and local levels. This remarkably broad consensus, with unusual pragmatism and concreteness, is comprehensive in its scope and predominantly research based. As a clarion call and reform strategy, the commission report, For Each and Every Child, is a successor to A Nation at Risk (1983); the commission’s grand if not grandiose intention was to provide a framework for the next decade or more of nationwide policy struggle. This article, after briefly summarizing the recommendations, focuses ...


Poverty, Educational Achievement, And The Role Of The Courts, Michael A. Rebell Sep 2014

Poverty, Educational Achievement, And The Role Of The Courts, Michael A. Rebell

New England Journal of Public Policy

The large and growing proportion of U.S. students who come from poverty backgrounds explains this country’s relatively low performance on international achievement tests. These students need a broad range of comprehensive educational services if they are to have a meaningful opportunity to succeed in school. These opportunities include not only adequate resources for basic K–12 educational services but also parent engagement, health and other services, and additional early education, after-school, and summer programs. In most states, the schools attended by students with the greatest needs tend to receive the fewest resources because of the inequitable systems most ...


International Education Comparisons: How American Education Reform Is The New Status Quo, Randi Weingarten Sep 2014

International Education Comparisons: How American Education Reform Is The New Status Quo, Randi Weingarten

New England Journal of Public Policy

The United States participates in international studies comparing school systems across the world. Reformers have largely ignored the lessons from these studies about what works best to educate children, and a strategy of test-based accountability has become the new status quo. This article analyzes the failed policy ideas reformers keep pushing on our schools that have been shown across the globe to be unsuccessful in the areas of school choice and competition, teacher quality and evaluation, an engaging curriculum, and equity. Research examines what top performing countries do to help students succeed, as well as what works in districts across ...


School Reform In Canada And Florida: A Study Of Contrast, Catherine S. Boehme Sep 2014

School Reform In Canada And Florida: A Study Of Contrast, Catherine S. Boehme

New England Journal of Public Policy

Alberta and Florida have instituted school reform initiatives over the past fifteen years in an effort to improve the quality of their schools. Alberta has focused on systemic improvement by engaging the community in educational needs assessment, raising the high standards of teacher preparation, and improving effective instructional practices through professional development. Florida’s efforts have concentrated on holding students, teachers, schools, and districts accountable for high-stakes testing results by increasing the number and rigor of required assessments and increasing the negative consequences for low achievement scores. The 2012 PISA scores reveal that Alberta’s students are maintaining their high ...


Transforming Public Education: The Need For An Educational Justice Movement, Mark R. Warren Sep 2014

Transforming Public Education: The Need For An Educational Justice Movement, Mark R. Warren

New England Journal of Public Policy

Nearly fifteen years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, the failures of our educational system with regard to low-income children of color remain profound. Traditional reform efforts have sought improvements solely within the confines of the school system, failing to realize how deeply educational failure is part of and linked to broader structures of poverty and racism. A social movement that creates political and cultural change is necessary to transform the racial inequities in public education itself and to connect this transformational effort to a larger movement to combat poverty and racism. The seeds of a new educational ...


Getting To The Core And Evolving The Education Reform Movement To A System Of Continuous Improvement, Fernando M. Reimers, Eleonora Villegas-Reimers Sep 2014

Getting To The Core And Evolving The Education Reform Movement To A System Of Continuous Improvement, Fernando M. Reimers, Eleonora Villegas-Reimers

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article places the most recent study of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) in historical perspective, reviewing the role of international comparisons in efforts to build public education systems as key institutions of democratic societies. It discusses the findings for the United States, examining differences with other participating countries. It also looks at a paradox. Despite the high priority education has received in the United States in the past two decades, the country underperformed in a number of indicators in the PISA in comparison with many other countries participating in the study. The authors explain the findings as the ...


Massachusetts Schooling Matters: Good News, Contributing Factors, Challenges, Persistent Problems, Kathleen J. Skinner, Paul Toner Sep 2014

Massachusetts Schooling Matters: Good News, Contributing Factors, Challenges, Persistent Problems, Kathleen J. Skinner, Paul Toner

New England Journal of Public Policy

Massachusetts public schools have performed at the highest levels on national and international benchmarked reading, mathematics, and science assessments. The Commonwealth’s population demographics related to educational attainment, employment, and family income coupled with factors within the control of the state, districts, or schools, such as highly qualified and unionized teachers, average school-district size, defined time on learning, universal health care coverage for all children, state funding for pre-K–12 schooling, curriculum articulation through statewide standards, and high participation in college admissions exams, have contributed to academic success. Massachusetts schools, however, still face challenges in narrowing existing achievement gaps, reducing ...


Interview With Andreas Schleicher, Padraig O'Malley, Andreas Schleicher Sep 2014

Interview With Andreas Schleicher, Padraig O'Malley, Andreas Schleicher

New England Journal of Public Policy

This interview took place on March 17, 2014, in Washington, DC, with Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Schleicher is responsible for the Directorate of Education and Skills’ research, analysis, and publication of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems. The OECD reports on PISA, PIAAC, and TALIS were released between December 3 ...


What Can Pisa Tell Us About U.S. Education Policy?, Linda Darling-Hammond Sep 2014

What Can Pisa Tell Us About U.S. Education Policy?, Linda Darling-Hammond

New England Journal of Public Policy

Despite years of attention to “reform” in the United States, overall achievement on international assessments such as PISA has not improved during the period from 2000 to 2012. Reforms focused on high-stakes testing attached to sanctions, expansions of charter schools, and a market-based approach to teaching have been unsuccessful in changing outcomes. Meanwhile, growing childhood poverty, along with increasing segregation, income inequality, and disparities in school spending, have expanded the opportunity gap. Lessons from other nations and successful states indicate that systematic government investments in high-need schools along with capacity-building that improves the knowledge and skills of educators and the ...


The New Division Of Labor In Massachusetts, Daniel Georgianna, Corinn Williams Oct 2006

The New Division Of Labor In Massachusetts, Daniel Georgianna, Corinn Williams

New England Journal of Public Policy

In The New Division of Labor, Levy and Murnane describe a world of work re-shaped by computers where workers whose jobs can be reduced to steps based on rules are replaced, and where jobs that require judgment or negotiation are enhanced. The authors test the hypothesis of Levy and Murnane’s work with a close look at Fall River and New Bedford. These cities, with high unemployment and low rates of educational attainment, show patterns of job replacement by computers as compared with Massachusetts as a whole — a wealthy state with high rates of education, which shows a pattern of ...


School District Performance Under The Mcas, Jie Chen, Thomas Ferguson Mar 2002

School District Performance Under The Mcas, Jie Chen, Thomas Ferguson

New England Journal of Public Policy

Education reform has spawned efforts to test learning across the nation. This paper analyzes the determinants of Massachusetts’ school district test scores under the state’s high stakes testing program, MCAS. The study is the first to demonstrate direct links between improvements in MCAS scores and state aid to school districts. The authors estimate “value added” for each school district in the state. The list of schools with high value added produces real surprises — while some affluent districts do well, others rank at the very bottom. Additionally, the study analyzes how teacher maximum salaries, district superintendent salaries, per capita income ...


The Impact Of School Spending On Student Achievement: Results Of Meap Statewide Tests, Robert D. Gaudet Jun 1994

The Impact Of School Spending On Student Achievement: Results Of Meap Statewide Tests, Robert D. Gaudet

New England Journal of Public Policy

Examining school spending and student achievement as measured by the Massachusetts Educational Assessment Program tests on a community-by-community basis indicates that high spending in and of itself does not ensure achievement. While every community must have adequate funding to deliver an acceptable level of education services, there is a wide variation in achievement in similar communities with similar spending. The data suggest that other factors influence outcomes at least as much as spending.


Naep State Reports In Mathematics: Valuable Information For Monitoring Education Reform, Ronald K. Hambleton, Sharon F. Cadman Jun 1994

Naep State Reports In Mathematics: Valuable Information For Monitoring Education Reform, Ronald K. Hambleton, Sharon F. Cadman

New England Journal of Public Policy

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a congressionally mandated program, can provide valuable data to educational policymakers in Massachusetts and other New England states about the status of their educational reform initiatives and their performance standards. The three purposes of this article are to describe NAEP and its goals and structure, to present some of the results of the 1992 Mathematics NAEP Assessment as an example of the utility of this national assessment program, and to highlight ways in which background data collected by NAEP can be helpful in interpreting assessment results and monitoring educational reform. The six New ...


The School Improvement Industry: A Case Study Of Framingham, Abigail Jurist Levy Jun 1994

The School Improvement Industry: A Case Study Of Framingham, Abigail Jurist Levy

New England Journal of Public Policy

This study looked at school improvement in the Framingham public schools from three perspectives. We were interested in finding out if the administration and school committee, local businesses with an interest in education, and agencies that provide training and technical assistance to schools have similar ideas regarding how the Framingham schools should improve. We conducted interviews with administrators and members of the school committee, local businesses and businesses involved in school/business partnerships, and six agencies that provide training and technical support to schools in the Greater Boston area. We found that although all groups shared many interests, the businesses ...


Affirmative Action Strategies In Elementary And Secondary Schools, Abigail Therstrom Jun 1994

Affirmative Action Strategies In Elementary And Secondary Schools, Abigail Therstrom

New England Journal of Public Policy

Disproportionate numbers of black students do poorly on standardized tests; strategies to improve American education thus frequently target inner-city schools. These strategies often have an unrecognized affirmative action component. A search for more minority students or teachers is clearly an affirmative action effort. But the elimination of all tracking or competency grouping is another matter. Normally viewed as nothing more than a pedagogical strategy, it, like other affirmative action efforts, amounts to a conscious effort to alter the low-track status of minority pupils. Similarly, the demand for curricular reforms, racial sensitivity training, and more culturally "appropriate" tests, while not obviously ...


Notes On Higher Education In The 1990s, Zelda F. Gamson Jun 1994

Notes On Higher Education In The 1990s, Zelda F. Gamson

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article consists of a series of essays written for The Academic Workplace, the newsletter of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, since 1990. The backdrop for the essays is the increasing inequality in higher education caused by changes in the political economy of higher education, especially in New England. The first essay analyzes the roots of contemporary faculty dissatisfaction with their work lives by tracing the impacts of the expansion of higher education, changes in the student body, and greater government involvement in higher education. Subsequent essays discuss multicultural education, faculty shortages, political correctness, responses to cutbacks ...