The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In the ongoing debate about federal and state roles in K–12 public education, states got a leg up with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It renounces the strong regulatory role that the federal government had come to play, in favor of a return to state control.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My education policy friends were frustrated that education didn’t get more air time during the presidential campaign season, but I was relieved. I cringed every time I heard candidate Donald Trump and his surrogates talk about education. All I could think of was the analysis I did eight years ago of George W. Bush’s school choice legacy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Five years ago, Baltimore City Public Schools seemed on the brink of a breakthrough. By almost all accounts, the district-led portfolio system—traditional and charter school options, all authorized and managed by City Schools’ central office—was working. But today, progress appears to have stalled. CRPE research director Betheny Gross and analyst Ashley Jochim researched Baltimore to understand the story of its reforms from 2007 to present.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act abandons the prescriptive approach to school improvement embraced by both the No Child Left Behind Act and the Obama Administration’s flexibility waivers. Instead, states are empowered to craft their own “evidence-based” strategies to turn around struggling schools and districts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives heavy deference to “local control.” School districts, charter schools, and communities are meant to be in the driver’s seat. And they are. States don’t improve student outcomes—schools and families do. State agencies have limited authority to intervene in low-performing schools, for example, and have limited staff, funding, and expertise to support serious improvement efforts in every school that needs it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The NAACP’s resolution to oppose charter schools left thousands of black families whose children attend charter schools stunned. How could such a revered institution fail to recognize their beliefs and interests?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

One of the great promises of public school choice was the opportunity for diverse schools to develop unique performance measures, but the price has proven to be high. When schools set their own bar for success, families faced with a dizzying array of options can struggle to meaningfully compare the quality of public schools in their neighborhood or city. 

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