Education Consumers Foundation

Who We Are We are trained, experienced, and independent educators. We use data and analysis to help parents and taxpayers identify good schools and navigate the others. What We Do We turn school performance data into graphics and explain what they mean about school quality. Why We Do It? Our mission is to improve education by showing those who use and pay for schools how to recognize good ones, find better ones, and get the most from the … Read More

Parents and School

The 150-Year Struggle for Control in American Education The following material was excerpted from Chapter 2. Parents and Schools is not available online.   The Peripheral Parent: Making the Most of Marginality In the 1920S, there was widespread support in the United States for the idea that parents and teachers should work together. However, Americans were still uncertain about the nature and extent of this cooperation. It remained unclear to what degree parents should join in the education … Read More

Parents and Schools

Parents and Schools: The 150-Year Struggle for Control in American Education (click here for full article) (Click here to download the PDF of this article) By William W. Cutler, III Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.   Briefing Why aren’t schools more responsive to parent and taxpayer demands for improvement? Because they are a monopoly and they just don’t care? Because they are increasingly influenced by unions and put member interests ahead of the public interest? Or, is … Read More

Why students in some countries do better

(click here for full article) (Click here to download the PDF of this article) By Ludger Woessman Education Next, Summer 2001.   Briefing “Why Do Students in Some Countries Do Better?” Other countries usually have a national ministry of education that sets forth uniform education goals and standards, but not here. Our Constitution leaves authority over schools to the states, which delegate much authority to local school districts, which leave much discretion to principals and teachers. This local … Read More

The Impact of Funding Adequacy Litigation

posted in: Briefings & Reports

By Richard Phelps, Ph.D. Economist Education Consumers Consultants Network   As one may recall from history class, the U.S. constitution includes no mention of education. Therefore, as one may also recall from history class, that issue remains in the domain of our country’s original founding entities, the states. Most state constitutions do provide some general, vague guarantee for the public provision of education. But, most of these constitutions were written between the late 1700s and late 1800s, when … Read More

Court-Ordered Spending Brings More of the Same

posted in: Briefings & Reports

(click here for full article) (click here to download a PDF of this article) By Richard Phelps, Ph.D. Economist Education Consumers Consultants Network   Briefing Attorneys advocating increased public school spending for poor children spent years arguing an equity case. Their contention was that children in poor communities are treated inequitably because the tax base generates inadequate school funding–a violation of the equal-protection provisions in some state constitutions. But state judges typically found no language requiring equity and … Read More

Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Educational Testing Programs

posted in: Briefings & Reports

By Richard Phelps, Ph.D. Economist Education Consumers Consultants Network   Benefit-cost analysis is imbedded in all studies that ask the essential question of an activity, “Is it worth doing?” Benefit-cost analysis is a set of techniques, philosophy, and logic that can impose an order and rigor on the process used to answer the essential question. The logic of benefit-cost analysis is that of the accountant’s spreadsheet. Indeed, one could accurately describe it as economists’ accounting method. The essential … Read More

How Science Informs Reading Instruction

How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading (click here for full article) (click here to download a PDF of this article) By Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark S. Seidenberg. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Vol. 2, No. 2, November 2001   Briefing The greatest weakness of the public schools is their continuing ineffectiveness in reading instruction. During the course of children’s school careers, very many of their academic and … Read More

The Evolution of the New American Schools

The Evolution of the New American Schools: From Revolution to Mainstream (click here for full article) (Click here to download the PDF of this article) By Jeffery Mirel, Ph.D. School of Education University of Michigan   Briefing What are the “New American Schools?” Unfortunately they are the latest educational reform to be identified as a failure. A variety of factors played a role in their demise, but the most obvious problem was their reliance on the “progressive” vision … Read More

Sample Opinion 1

A “Second Opinion” Regarding Implementation of the Nebraska Partnership for Quality Education Project September 9, 1999 George K. Cunningham, Ph.D. College of Education University of Louisville J.E. Stone, Ed.D. College of Education East Tennessee State University Martin Kozloff, Ph.D. Watson School of Education University of North Carolina – Wilmington all of the Education Consumers Consultant Network At the request of Ann Mactier–member of the Nebraska Board of Education–the Nebraska Partnership for Quality Education proposal was examined by the … Read More

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