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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.

Steps in the Right Direction: Assessing Ohio Achievement Everywhere -- the Kasich Plan

March 1, 2013

Ohio Governor Kasich issued his "Achievement Everywhere" plan in early February, and as details came out over the following weeks we again asked Professor Hill if he would provide a review of the governor's plan. Professor Hill took on the challenge and here the Thomas B. Fordham Institute proudly presents "Steps in the Right Direction: Assessing "Ohio Achievement Everywhere" -- the Kasich Plan", which should interest lawmakers, policy makers, journalists, and others concerned about the education of Ohio's children. As the title notes, Professor Hill observes that Governor Kasich's reform plan will advance Ohio and it schools, but it could be better and bolder. Or, as Professor Hill concludes, "Governor Kasich's Achievement Everywhere moves Ohio in the right direction, but it needs to go further if the ultimate goal is a world-class education for all students."

Education Reform for the Digital Era

April 25, 2012

Will the digital-learning movement repeat the mistakes of the charter-school movement? How much more successful might today's charter universe look if yesterday's proponents had focused on the policies and practices needed to ensure its quality, freedom, and resources over the long term? What mistakes might have been avoided? Damaging scandals forestalled? Missed opportunities seized?

Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts

November 10, 2011

Examines the growth of charter school management organizations, characteristics of students served, and use of resources; CMO practices; impact on students, including middle school test scores; and structures and practices linked to positive outcomes.

Multiple Pathways to Graduation: New Routes to High School Competition

May 31, 2010

Examines three approaches -- targeted population, district-wide, and linked learning -- to raising graduation rates, benefits, and challenges; what is required for implementation; and which approaches work well for different types of districts.

Performance Management in Portfolio School Districts

August 31, 2009

Explores the challenges of performance-based oversight of portfolio districts -- districts trying to provide diverse types of schools with common standards and accountability -- and the capacities needed. Includes profiles and best practices.

Facing the Future: Financing Productive Schools

December 1, 2008

Synthesizes the School Finance Redesign Project's findings on policy options for redesigning the system to focus resources on promoting student learning. Calls for student count-based funding, integrated data collection, innovation, and accountability.

The School Finance Redesign Project: A Synthesis of Project Work to Date

August 3, 2007

Highlights the School Finance Redesign Project's early findings on the funding needed for all students to meet academic standards, promising ideas for focusing funding on promoting learning and rewarding educators, and the current system's constraints.

Connections: A Journal of Public Education Advocacy - Winter 2001, Vol. 8. No. 1

December 21, 2000

Contents:Building "Social Capital" Through Advocacy, Alliances & ForumsWorking With School LeadershipLEFs: A Proud History of Evolving to Meet ChallengesTranslating Public Concerns Into a Shared ResponsibilitySummary of PEN's 2000 Annual Survey