Zuckerberg’s Folly? Not Really

The popular view is that the Newark reforms failed.  The New Jersey Department of Education data says otherwise.  Charter schools excelled and the projected reduction in dropouts and unprepared graduates district-wide will benefit taxpayers for years to come. June 17, 2014 – Print School districts and their boards often face seemingly insurmountable opposition to changes that would beneficial to students. Changes that would be upsetting to the established bureaucratic and institutional order are especially challenging, yet there are examples … 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

Private Sector Alternatives for Preventing Reading Failure

Groff, P.  (1987).  Private sector alternatives for preventing reading failure, Washington, DC:  National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement. Editor’s note:  Chapters IV-VI contain outdated names, addresses, and references, and therefore were omitted _________________ A directory of national organizations providing a rationale for their need;  An assessment of the professional training they provide for prospective or inservice teachers of reading By Patrick Groff, Professor of Education San Diego State University   I. Introduction The major purpose of … Read More

Teacher Reform Gone Astray

(click here for full article) (click here to download a PDF of this article) By Chester E. Finn, Jr. In Our Schools and Our Future . . . Are We Still at Risk?, Paul E. Peterson, ed., Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, 2003.    Briefing In Teacher Reform Gone Astray, Chester E. Finn, Jr. reviews efforts that have been made on improving teacher quality since A Nation at Risk was published in 1983. Finn argues that the teacher education … Read More

The Real Value of Teachers

The Real Value of Teachers: Using New Information about Teacher Effectiveness to Close the Achievement Gap” (click here for full article) (click here to download a PDF of this article) By Kevin Carey Thinking K-16, Vol. 8, Issue 1, Winter 2004.   Briefing If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Tennessee’s Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) has been widely hailed as the nation’s best. It should be maintained if not expanded. Created in the early 1990s, the TVAAS … Read More

How Effective are the Teachers in Your School District?

In Tennessee and several other states, teacher effectiveness can be assessed on the basis of annual student achievement gains.  Although there are exceptions like the reports that were undertaken by the Los Angeles Times, value added data by levels of teacher performance within school districts is rarely available to the public.  That said, even district averages are of value in assessing the quality of teacher hiring, retention, and oversight  As can be seen in the charts below, there are substantial differences between … Read More

Value Awards Past Winners

Past Winners of the Value-Added Achievement Awards 2014 Elementary Schools Beth Roeder, Andersonville Elementary Visit website Click here for Beth Roeder’s Recipe for Success Teresa Leonard, Boones Creek Elementary Visit website Click here for Teresa Leonard’s recipe for success Renee Bernard, McPheeter’s Bend Elementary Visit website Click here for Renee Bernard’s Recipe for Success Tammy Hoover, Baxter Elementary   Visit website Click here for Tammy Hoover’s Recipe for Success Joe Thompson, Black Fox Elementary Click here for Joe Thompson’s … Read More

Sample Opinion 2

Value-Added Accountability and Public Confidence in Education J. E. Stone, Ed. D. House of Representatives Testimony to the Select Committee on House Resolution 495 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Tuesday, September 19, 2000 Introduction Good morning. My name is John Stone. I am a licensed educational psychologist and licensed school psychologist, and I have taught prospective teachers for the past 30 or so years. I am a graduate of the University of Florida and currently a professor in the College of … Read More

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