Publications

Publications

Creating Measurement and Accountability Systems for 21st Century Schools: A Guide for State Policymakers

Because Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last December, states are revamping their federally required systems to measure school quality and hold schools accountable for performance. But most are doing so using outdated assumptions, holdovers from the Industrial Era, when cookiecutter public schools followed orders from central headquarters and students were assigned to…

Diminishing Credit: How Colleges and Universities Restrict the Use of Advanced Placement

The college affordability crisis looms large for working and middle class Americans. Parents and students are reeling from record levels of student loan debt and ever-increasing tuition hikes. Total student loan debt is now a record $1.26 trillion and the typical 2016 college graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last…

A 21st Century School System in the Mile High City

Some of the most dramatic gains in urban education have come from school districts using what many call a “portfolio strategy.” Others call it “reinvention,” a “21st century approach,” or “relinquishment.” By whatever name, it generally means that districts negotiate performance agreements with some mix of traditional, charter, and hybrid public schools, allow them great…

Unleashing Innovation and Growth: A Progressive Alternative to Populism

As Americans choose a new president in 2016, populist anger dominates the campaign. To hear Donald Trump or Senator Bernie Sanders tell it, America is either a global doormat or a sham democracy controlled by the “one percent.” These dark narratives are caricatures, but they do stem from a real dilemma: America is stuck in…

Memo to the Presidential Candidates: To Reduce Inequality, Reinvent Public Schools

Growing inequality has emerged as a central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Yet none of you has paid much attention to a major source of economic inequality in America: the uneven quality of our public schools. As far as we can determine, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has no thoughts on how to improve K-12…

U.S. News: The Schools of the Future

The first time I visited a Summit Public School, in February 2014, I pulled up in front of a one-story building in an office park. I was sure I had the wrong address – but no, there was a sign. This was Summit Denali, in Sunnyvale, California. Inside, my surprise deepened. All the students, then…

Schools of the Future: California’s Summit Public Schools

The first time I visited a Summit Public School, in February 2014, I pulled up in front of a long, low, one-story building in an office park setting. I was sure I had the wrong address—but no, there was a sign. This was Summit Denali, in Sunnyvale, California. Inside, my surprise deepened. All the students,…

A Tale of Two Systems: Education Reform in Washington D.C.

An important contest is taking place in Washington, D.C.—a race between two vehicles designed to carry children into the future with the habits and skills they need to live productive, meaningful lives. The older of the two, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), uses a “unified governance model” that emerged more than a century…

Creating New Pathways into Middle Class Jobs

Many policy ideas on how to reduce income inequality and improve the upward mobility of low-income Americans are gaining popularity, on both sides of the political aisle. As usual, Republicans suggest that tax cuts heavily tilted towards the rich can address these problems, though many of their proposals would actually worsen inequality and mobility. Populist…

Tech Opportunity for Minorities and Women: A Good News, Bad News Story

Can tech jobs be a source of economic opportunity and upward mobility for an increasingly diverse American population? Yes—consider two key facts about the labor market recovery, both of which show the potential for tech jobs to empower communities and bring shared prosperity. First, since the recovery began in 2009, tech has created almost as…