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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Education: Education and Federalism

Education and Federalism

Structural Problems in Educational Accountability

Six years into the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, many state agencies lack adequate access to, or budgets to pay for, the expertise they need to implement and monitor sound accountability systems. Policymakers, educators and testing companies face incentives to cut corners, lower standards, and game the system, and the public lacks a clear idea of the effectiveness of the various components of the education system because curriculum standards and measures of performance vary widely from state to state. These are “structural” features of the educational accountability sector that probably require changes in institutions and incentives.
Allison Armour-Garb, April 2008

Intergovernmental Approaches to Standards and Assessment

Education Week executive editor Lynn Olson summarizes the Rockefeller Institute’s October 29, 2007 symposium entitled “Intergovernmental Approaches to Strengthen K-12 Accountability Systems.” She explains that variability in state proficiency standards under the federal No Child Left Behind Act has led to renewed call for common national standards and measures of proficiency, but there is little appetite for having the federal government develop national standards and tests. She summarizes the alternatives that were considered by the symposium participants, such as state led-collaboratives, a national accreditation agency, and possible federal models.
Lynn Olson, March 2008.

Intergovernmental Approaches for Strengthening K-12 Accountability Systems

This volume contains an edited transcript of the Rockefeller Institute’s October 29, 2007 symposium, a list of participants, and a framework paper circulated to participants in advance. Leading Speakers: Michael McPherson, Michael Cohen, Chester E. Finn, Jr., Lynn Olson, Robert Linn, Thomas Toch, John Merrow. Edited by Allison Armour-Garb, March 2008.

GulfGov Reports: Education — An Examination of the Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

A special GulfGov Report that examines the public school districts in several communities across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and the effect of the storms on those districts. Specifically, the study looks at school districts in Cameron, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, East Baton Rouge, and St. Tammany parishes in Louisiana; Jackson, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Bay St. Louis/Waveland, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula in Mississippi; and Mobile County in Alabama.
Karen Rowley, April 2007.

The No Child Left Behind Act in New York

The “No Child Left Behind Act” greatly expanded the federal role in education and aims to improve students’ performance generally and particularly for disadvantaged students. NCLB has sparked considerable controversy nationwide and here in New York State. James Kadamus gives the basics of the act and discusses the positives and the challenges.
James A. Kadamus, Deputy Commissioner for Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education, New York State Education Department,October 24, 2005.

Public Education: A Major American Growth Industry in the 1990's

Public education, very much in the forefront of American concerns, has been a major growth industry in the 1990s, expanding its employment by 23.7 percent from 1988 to 1998, well above the 20.7 percent increase for the overall private economy. This Rockefeller Institute Report examines the record of the 1990’s, comparing it to the experience of the 1980’s. It reviews developments in public education overall, and separately at the state and local levels, in elementary and secondary education, with comparisons for instructional and other staff, and in higher education, libraries and other educational activities. It also explores comparative developments in educational services in the private sector, combining both nonprofit and profit-making education activities. Finally, it looks ahead to some key workforce challenges facing the educational enterprise at the outset of a new decade of demographic transition.
Samuel M. Ehrenhalt, March 2000.