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Accountability and the ESEA Reauthorization Deal: Your Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet provide the accountability, early reaction and more details on other aspect (an update of past Politics K-12 cheat sheets, including some new information on which programs made it into the agreement and which are on the chopping block) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 

Accountability and the ESEA Reauthorization Deal: Your Cheat Sheet. (2015). Education Week. Retrieved from

Marketing social change: The case of family preservation

This case study examines the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's promotion of the Homebuilders type of family preservation services as the sole model worthy of public support.

Adams, P. (1994). Marketing social change: The case of family preservation. Children and Youth Services Review16(5-6), 417-431.

The Effect of Voucher Programs on Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis

This meta-analysis examines the effectiveness of school voucher programs for improving student achievement. The research is of special interest for three important reasons; (1) it examines an important policy issue relevant to educators and the public, (2) it is an example of a study designed to replicate previous research on an important topic, and (3) it highlights the importance of examining the cost effectiveness associated with implementing practices in real world settings.


Bennett, M., Banerjee, H. L.,  Doan, L. N., Geib, T., and Burley, A. (2018). The Effect of Voucher Programs on Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. AERA Conference New York, NY. 10.302/1302823

Achieving Equitable Accessing to Strong Teachers: A Guide for District Leaders

The purpose of this guide is to help district leaders take on the challenge of ensuring that students have equitable access to excellent teachers. It shares some early lessons the Education Trust has learned from districts about the levers available to prioritize low-income students and students of color in teacher quality initiatives. The guide outlines a seven-stage process that can help leaders define their own challenges, explore underlying causes, and develop strategies to ensure all schools and students have equitable access to effective teachers.

Bromberg, M. (2016). Achieving Equitable Access to Strong Teachers: A Guide for District Leaders. Education Trust.

Policies that support professional development in an era of reform.

In this article the authors examine some design principles to guide policy-makers and school reformers who seek to promote learner-centred professional development which involves teachers as active and reflective participants in the change process.

Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1995). Policies that support professional development in an era of reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(8), 597–604.

What educators need to know about ESSA.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) returns decision making for our nation’s education back where it belongs – in the hands of local educators, families, and communities – while keeping the focus on students most in need.

Fennell, M. (2016). What educators need to know about ESSA. Educational Leadership, 73, 62–65.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report on Department of Education Staffing

A recently released report from the GAO finds that overall staffing in the Department of Education has fallen from a high of 6,391 in 1981 to 4,077 in 2015, while contracting levels have remained relatively stable. It is important to note that the workload for Department of Education has grown as the budget for the department has increased significantly during this same period. More eliminations of personnel are expected as the Trump administration has called for a further 13.5% reduction. It is interesting to note that the entire federal workforce has experienced a 4% reduction in staffing from 1991 through 2015, while the Department of Education lost 12% of it’s personnel.


Foxx, V., Guthrie, B., Rokita, T. and Rothmam, G. (2107). Department of Education: Staffing Levels Have Generally Decreased Over Time, While Contracting Levels Have Remained Relatively Stable. US Government Accountability Office GAO-17-669R.

Governing Schools for Productivity. The Productivity for Results Series No. 4

The author explains in this paper that policies from on high often work against campuses being more productive. This paper ends with definite recommendations about how new governance arrangements can promote productivity. 

George W. Bush Institute. (2014). Governing Schools for Productivity. The Productivity for Results Series No. 4. Retrieved from

High Versus Low Implementation of Instructional Support Teams: A Case for Maintaining Program Fidelity

In 1990, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania implemented a statewide instructional support team (IST) process to provide prereferral assessment and intervention for at-risk students in 500 school districts. The current study examined the academic performance of students affected by this process as contrasted with other at-risk students who did not have access to it.

Kovaleski, J. F., Gickling, E. E., Morrow, H., & Swank, P. R. (1999). High versus low implementation of instructional support teams: A case for maintaining program fidelity. Remedial and Special Education20(3), 170-183.

Dear Colleagues Letter: Resource Comparability

Dear Colleagues Letter: Resource Comparability is a letter written by United States Department of Education. This letter was meant to call people attention to disparities that persist in access to educational resources, and to help address those disparities and comply with the legal obligation to provide students with equal access to these resources without regard to race, color, or national origin (This letter addresses legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI). This letter builds on the prior work shared by the U.S. Department of Education on this critical topic.

Lhamon, C. E. (2014). Dear colleague letter: Resource comparability. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Retrieved from http://www2. ed. gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-resourcecomp-201410. pdf.

No, The Sky is Not Falling: Interpreting the Latest SAT Scores

The College board was recently released SAT scores for the high school graduating class of 2015. Both math and reading scores declined from 2014, continuing a steady downward trend that has been in place for the past decade. Pundits of contrasting political stripes seized on the scores to bolster their political agendas. Petrilli argued that falling SAT scores show that high schools needs more reform. For Burris, the declining scores were evidence of the failure of policies her organization opposes. This articles pointing out that SAT was never meant to measure national achievement and provide detail explanation. 

Loveless, T. (2015). No, the sky is not falling: Interpreting the latest SAT scores. Brown Center Chalkboard. Retrieved from

Prioritizing Leadership: New Leaders' Federal Policy Platform

Founded in 2000 by a team of social entrepreneurs, New Leaders is a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders and designs effective leadership policies and practices for school systems across the country.

New Leaders. (2014). Prioritizing Leadership: New Leaders' Federal Policy Platform. Retrieved from

America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again

President Trump’s proposed America First Budget reduces the Department of Education budget by $9.2 Billion.  It is important to note in America education is primarily a State and local responsibility. The federal portion of education budget is only 1% of the total national education expenditures. Some of the programs that are at risk are Title II grants which provide funds to hire and train teachers, teacher improvement programs, summer programs, after-school and extended-learning initiatives, teacher-preparation program improvement, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) which offer aid to low-income undergraduates, TRIO Programs (TRIO) serving low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities, GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, and The Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program which provides non-profits resources for recruiting, selecting, and preparing or providing professional enhancement activities for teachers and principals.


Office of Budget and Management. (2017). America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.


Hiring an External Evaluator

This essay seeks to help you put the hard-earned experience of others to use through a set of practical steps, prompts, and tips for matching the right evaluator to your need.

S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. (2018). Hiring an External Evaluator. Retrieved from

The participant effects of private school vouchers across the globe: A meta-analytic and systematic review

Our focus throughout this study will be to see what impact, if any, school voucher programs, in the United States and throughout the world, have had on student test scores. If the findings are mixed, we shall try to determine unique patterns that are driven either by geography or relevant program design components. We will also compare overall outcomes for reading and math scores for programs within the US vs. outside the US and publically funded vs. privately funded programs. This can be helpful for policymakers designing future private school voucher programs. Reading assessments will only be included if they were in English, regardless of the language of the country in which they were administered. We do this to ensure commonality in the international reading assessments and also because the international voucher evaluations in the meta-analysis come from developing countries where English language skills are highly valued.

Shakeel, M., Anderson, K., & Wolf, P. (2016). The participant effects of private school vouchers across the globe: A meta-analytic and systematic review.

Digest of Education Statistics 2017

This annual publication is thedefinitive compendium of data on virtually every aspects of education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. Its chapters include: All Levels of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, Postsecondary Education, Federal Funds for Education and Related Activities, Outcomes of Education, International Comparisons of Education, and Libraries and Use of Technology. 

Snyder, T.D., de Brey, C., and Dillow, S.A. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics 2017 (NCES 2018-070). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.


Hey! Don't Forget About Me! Education's Investment in the Severely, Profoundly, and Multiply Handicapped.

Presented are 12 author contributed chapters which developed out of an invisible college of leaders concerned with providing services to the severely, profoundly, and multiply handicappe

Thomas, M. A. (1976). Hey! Don't Forget About Me! Education's Investment in the Severely, Profoundly, and Multiply Handicapped.

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