Four Failed Federal Education Reforms

Over the years, federal funding of primary and secondary education has increased, while students’ academic performance has flatlined. For instance, the high school reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Education …

Pell Grants and Prisoners

The states are looking for ways to reduce their prison costs. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, the states spent over $52 billion on prisons in fiscal year …

The Case for Conditional Cash Transfers in the United States

Programs in several countries providing conditional cash transfers to low-income individuals and families are focused on improving the education and general well-being of children. The conditions parents must meet range from general health check-ups to school attendance and performance requirements. Though cash transfer programs are popular and successful internationally, particularly in developing countries, Americans have paid very little attention to their potential benefits.

Innovative Teaching Methods Key to STEM Growth

It is a great time to be a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) major in Texas. Dallas made Forbes’ list of the top 10 cities for STEM jobs and has the second highest annual median wage growth for STEM workers, while Houston and Austin were named the top two metropolitan areas for STEM professionals in a Wallet Hub report.

The Higher Education Bubble

President Obama has proposed to give community college students two “free” years of community college at an projected cost of nearly $70 billion (ultimately to be paid for by workers who don’t go to college).

Engagement in STEM Education

Recent efforts by federal, state and local governments and private sector demand have made STEM-related fields of study much more accessible to students across the country. Both private and public school choice are providing students educational opportunities focused on STEM — the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

How much are teachers really paid?

Los Angeles and New York City elementary school teachers are some of the highest paid in the country according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data. It is no surprise that the country’s two largest cities would be atop this list, but what may be surprising is the city that beats New York and L.A.


Lessons from Teach For America

There is widespread agreement among education reformers that public school teachers should be hired based on their subject matter competence rather than their formal credentials; that the best teachers should be assigned to the lowest performing schools; and that teachers should be paid based on performance rather than tenure.

Private School Choice: Options for Texas Children

The fundamental problem with Texas public schools, and nationwide, is that children are not engaged in useful learning. Far too many children are confused, overwhelmed or bored. As a result, they learn little, become discipline problems, and drop out at high rates. Though the worst problems are in the urban schools attended by the poor, the issue cannot be solely attributed to low income or an urban environment.

Restructuring Public Education

Business, education and elected officials came together at the National Center for Policy Analysis’ first Education Colloquium on February 23 to discuss challenges and reform opportunities for public education. Attendees were invited because they represent significant stakeholders in educational outcomes, and to provide perspectives on why there is so much dissatisfaction with the performance of the current system and what policies have the best chance of significantly improving academic outcomes. The future of our nation depends heavily on what is done to transform schooling in America.

Young Patriots Essay Contest 2011

The central question of government is defining its role. What should a government provide to its citizens, and why should it do so? In its inaugural year, the Young Patriots Essay Contest invited students to describe their vision for the world they will one day lead.

Restructuring Public Education for the 21st Century

America is losing its edge in producing highly intelligent, creative young adults equal to the tasks presenting themselves worldwide. American public education needs a complete restructuring in order to support the development of critical thinkers ready to assume their positions as productive citizens of a free society.

How Much Do Public Schools Spend on Teaching?

Public education now costs federal, state and local governments upward of $500 billion annually. This total is up from $354 billion 15 years ago and currently represents the largest state and local government expenditure. While spending increased nearly 50 percent, enrollment increased by just over 10 percent, reading and science scores held steady and on-time graduation hovered at 70 percent.

Why Is College So Expensive?

Soft consumer demand in a weak economy has led many businesses to cut prices. But this is not the case in the market for higher education. Entering college freshmen and returning students face ever-higher tuition and fees. In fact, tuition at American universities has been increasing faster than inflation for the past 30 years.

Education Vouchers Benefit Edgewood Economy

Tuition voucher programs attempt to improve academic performance through school choice. Vouchers pay a set amount to schools chosen by the students' families. Programs can be federally funded (like the D.C. Opportunities Scholarship Program), funded by local government (such as the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program) or privately funded.

Education Vouchers Benefit Edgewood Students

Tuition voucher programs attempt to improve academic performance through school choice. Vouchers pay a set amount to schools chosen by the students' families. Some programs are federally funded (like the D.C. Opportunities Scholarship Program), funded by local government (such as the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program) or privately funded.

Beyond No Child Left Behind: Value-Added Assessment of Student Progress

The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires each state to evaluate every public school annually, and to make “adequate yearly progress” toward helping all students meet or exceed state standards in reading and math by 2014. However, each state defines its progress and creates its own tests. Most states measure academic achievement based on pass-fail tests that require students to attain a minimum score.

Green Schools Don’t Make the Grade

Congress is considering funding a range of projects designed to reduce carbon emissions, including the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act, which would provide $20 billion to build public schools that meet “green” environmental standards.  House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) says the legislation will not only save energy, but also make the facilities safer and cleaner and dramatically reduce costs.  Advocates claim that such schools will use 35 percent less energy.

School Choice and Hispanic Dropouts

In 2005, more than one-fifth (22.4 percent) of Hispanics 16 through 24 years of age were dropouts, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  This means they were not enrolled in school, and had not graduated from high school or passed General Educational Development (GED) tests. 

Texas Charters, Choice and Performance

Texas is at the forefront of a blossoming nationwide charter school movement. Although charter schools are publicly funded, they are free of some of the regulations that burden public schools and are managed independently.  Charter schools are subject to the state's accountability system, including the annual Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).