Archive for the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Category

School Choice Week – State of the Union and Policy/Governance

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Last night, education was one of the main topics in President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  Race to the Top was highlighted as a successful way for the federal government to encourage states to create more rigorous standards of teaching and learning, reforming education at the local and state level.  School choice was expected by many to have a prominent place in the President’s education, but it did not.  As Congress and the President work toward reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or replacing No Child Left Behind as President Obama said in the State of the Union, now is a good time to examine what we know about the impacts of laws on education.

Much of our research on policy and governance deals with charter laws and governance.  However, one research project, School Accountability under No Child Left Behind, specifically examines the impacts of the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  In Achievement Tradeoffs and No Child Left Behind, Ballou and Springer compare the achievement outcomes from high-stakes versus low-stakes years after passage of the bill to determine the impact of the legislation.  Springer also examines the effect of accountability on the distribution of student test scores and whether higher achieving students are harmed by the gains of their lower-performing peers.   As a new reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is considered, it is important to take into account the findings of researchers on the impacts of previous legislation.

For more information on what is known about school choice effects in general, check out our publication page!

Springer Named Fellow with George W. Bush Institute

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Matthew G. Springer, a scholar who has performed research on No Child Left Behind through the National Center on School Choice, was named a fellow of the new George W. Bush Institute on Tuesday. Springer, of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, was chosen for his expertise in performance incentives and education finance and policy as well as his skill at appraising “the success or failure of complicated education reform strategies and practices,” according to a Bush institute press release.
Springer Blog Post
Matthew Springer, second from right, with former President Bush and scholars and
policymakers at the George W. Bush Institute.

Springer’s research with the NCSC includes the examination of theories that schools dealing with the accountability requirements of NCLB would exercise a kind of “educational triage” that produced test score gains among students near the proficiency threshold but disadvantaged others.  (He found that generally they did not in the locations studied.) He also has studied the effects on test score gains of Supplemental Educational Services such as tutoring provided through NCLB. He also co-edited two NCSC books: Charter School Outcomes (2008), with Mark Berends and Herbert J. Walberg; and Handbook of Research on School Choice (2009), with Professors Berends, Walberg and Dale Ballou.

Springer will join other scholars at the Bush institute, including James W. Guthrie, formerly of Vanderbilt, and two other fellows also named Tuesday,  Jay P. Greene of the University of Arkansas and Michael J. Podgursky of the University of Missouri. All will work on issues related to education reform, with special focus on improving the work of principals as leaders and strengthening middle schools, according to the press release. Each of the three fellows will serve a three-year renewable term.

The institute is affiliated with the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which includes an archive and museum, that is being built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Read the institute press release here.


Learn more about Springer and his work with the NCSC project School Accountability under No Child Left Behind.

The NCSC is funded by a 5 year, $13.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Its lead institution is Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The center is housed on the campus of Peabody College, one of the nation's top graduate schools of education.