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The Sea of the Future: Building the Productivity Infrastructure

May 13, 2014

Productivity is clearly a priority in state education agencies (SEA). The first two volumes of The SEA of the Future made the case for a "productivity mindset" in our country's state education agencies. Authors in these volumes argued that SEAs must fight against focusing exclusively on regulatory compliance to find more ways to provide local autonomy and consistently measure, assess, and hold themselves, their districts, and schools accountable for both performance and costs. Though these essays sharply challenged the traditional work of SEAs, state leaders responded enthusiastically, saying, "Yes. Where do we start?" In this third volume of the series, we introduce the "productivity infrastructure." The productivity infrastructure constitutes the building blocks for an SEA committed to supporting productivity, innovation, and performance -- from the state chief to the classroom. These building blocks include: * Policies to expand the flexibility of district and school leaders and allow them to make choices about resource use.* State funding arrangements that fund students, not programs.* Information systems that allow district and school leaders to accurately assess the productivity of policies and practices.The essays in this volume offer a rich discussion of each of these elements.

Allocating Resources within a Big City School District: New York City after Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York

May 1, 2005

This brief looks at at the mechanisms used to distribute resources across public schools. We first present what we know about the current distribution of educational resources within New York City and other large city districts. Then we discuss current efforts to promote greater equity in the distribution of resources and improve student performance. We conclude with lessons and policy implications for New York State as it implements the CFE decision in New York City. These findings also apply to other large districts in the state, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. Our focus in this brief is on vertical equity--ensuring that schools serving students with different levels of need receive appropriately different levels of resources--rather than adequacy. But the two concepts are closely related. If we ensure that students with a variety of needs have ample resources to achieve agreed upon educational goals, we will achieve both school-level adequacy and vertical equit