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    • Two years ago, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress, and Frederick M. Hess of the American Enterprise Institute came together to grade the states on school performance.

    • In this follow-up report, we turn our attention to the future, looking not at how states are performing today, but at what they are doing to prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead. Thus, some states with positive academic results receive poor grades on our measures of innovation, while others with lackluster scholarly achievement nevertheless earn high marks for policies that are creating an entrepreneurial culture in their schools. We chose this focus because, regardless of current academic accomplishment in each state, we believe innovative educational practices are vital to laying the groundwork for continuous and transformational change.

    • Roughly one in three eighth graders is proficient in reading. Most high schools graduate little more than two-thirds of their students on time. And even the students who do receive a high school diploma lack adequate skills: More than 33% of first-year college students require remediation in either math or English.

    • Our aim is to encourage states to embrace policies that make it easier to design smart solutions that serve 21st century students and address 21st century challenges. The impulse to either dictate one-size-fits-all solutions from the top or simply to do something–anything–differently will not address our pressing needs. Instead, this report seeks to foster a flexible, performance-oriented culture that will help our schools meet educational challenges.

    • The challenge is to boost the chance that creative problem solvers will ultimately make a real, lasting difference for our nation and our children

    • Too often, reformers tend to embrace only those advances that we can conveniently measure with today’s crude tools, such as grades three-to-eight reading and math scores. The principal virtue of the No Child Left Behind Act, for example–a much-needed focus on outcomes and transparency–has been coupled with a bureaucratic impulse and an inflexible, cookie-cutter approach to gauging teacher and school quality.

    • we should also embrace what might be called smart quality control. That means measuring the value of various providers and solutions in terms of what they are intended to do–whether that is recruiting teachers or tutoring foreign languages–rather than merely on whether they affect the rate at which students improve their performance on middle school reading and math tests.

    • Capacity building is

    • the need for a variety of new providers that deliver additional support to educators in answering classroom and schoolwide challenges.

    • To examine the degree to which states have developed such a culture, we focused on eight areas:

    • School Management

    • Finance (including the accessibility of state financial data)

    • Staffing: Hiring & Evaluation (including alternative certification for teachers)

    • Staffing: Removing Ineffective Teachers (including the percentage of principals who report barriers to the removal of poor-performing teachers)

    • Data (including such measures as state-collected college student remediation data)

    • Technology (including students per Internet-connected computer)

    • Pipeline to Postsecondary (including the percentage of schools reporting dual-enrollment programs)

    • State Reform Environment (an ungraded category that includes data on the presence of reform groups and participation in international assessments)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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