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House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Brooks Coleman addresses a question to Georgia Partnership president, Dr. Steve Dolinger, and policy and research director, Dr. Dana Rickman, during a joint House and Senate Education Committee meeting. Dolinger and Rickman were invited to brief the lawmakers on key issues found in the Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2017 report.


This page offers a look at education policy from a variety of sources and perspectives - new reports, articles, government guidance.  Inclusion here does not indicate Georgia Partnership endorsement.  Entries began in 2012.  Report broken links here.


The 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform

This survey conducted earlier this year, offers an opportunity to look at how the power-swing over the past 18 months, including the impact of the new president, is effecting education policy on a variety of subjects. Related story. (August 16)

Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems - What is the Issue and Why Does It Matter?
Education Commission of the States (ECS)

As states tackle complex policy issues spanning the pre-school through workforce pipeline, the importance of using data to inform education policy continues to increase. (August 2)

Alignment of Instructional Materials to State Readiness Standards - Trends, Best Practices and Actions Across States in the SREB Region
Southern Regional Education Board

How have schools managed the massive shift of aligning classroom instructional materials to their states' college- and career-readiness standards? This report details how states approached the challenge and recommends strategies to focus on as the work continues. Introduction. (July 26)

Time To Act - Put Data in the Hands of People
Data Quality Campaign

This summarizes states' efforts to act on the Data Quality Campaign's previously released Four Policy Priorities and provides a clear set of actions that must be taken to fully realize the power of data to support all students. Introduction. (July 13)

Informing Progress - Insights on Personalized Learning Implementation and Effects
Rand Corporation

The basic concept of personalized learning (PL) - instruction that is focused on meeting students' individual learning needs while incorporating their interests and preferences - has been a long standing tradition in U.S. and U.K. schools.  This study finds "modest gains, big challenges." (July 11)

Measuring What Matters Most
Education First - Advancing Higher Quality States Assessments

The resources provided here offer state and local policy makers materials to help advocate for higher quality assessments. (June 26)

What the Common Core Saga Tells Us About the Education Policy Environment
Education Commission of the States (ECS)

When Donald Trump used Twitter as a key part of his political campaign, education policymakers must have wondered what role social media would play in the new political environment. Some important clues can be found in an analysis of the Common Core debate on Twitter. (April 6)

Georgia's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education: Review of Trends and Policy Implications
Georgia State University, Andrew Young Center for State & Local Finance

Georgia enacted the special purpose local option sales tax for education (ESPLOST) in 1996, giving school districts the opportunity, with voter approval, to adopt a 1 cent sales tax with revenue earmarked for capital outlay. The ESPLOST has proven to be very popular with voters. (March 9)


K-3 Policymakers' Guide to Action: Making the Early Years Count
Education Commission of the States

The preschool through third-grade years are foundational in a child’s journey towards lifelong learning. Developmentally, these early elementary years are when children best acquire the academic and non-academic skills on which long-lasting educational success depends. Introduction. (December 2) 

Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level
Johns Hopkins School of Education - Institute of Education Policy

A leading gifted-and-talented expert once believed the number of students who performed above grade level was between 5 and 15 percent. But this study shows the number is much higher. (November 3)

ESSA, Equity and Exploring Specific Student Populations 
Education Commission of the States (November 3)

To assist state education leaders in the policymaking process, ECS is releasing five reports focused on a variety of student populations. (November 3)  

SREB Insights - Compare and Understand State Policy and Practice
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)

What policies have states adopted to help students reach college and career-readiness standards, and how are they implementing them?  Explore actions across 16 states. Introduction. (October 17)

Surveying State Legislators - Views on K-12 Education, Choice-Based Policies, and the Profession
Ed Choice

State legislators oversee billions of dollars in spending, in many cases more than half of it for K-12 education. But how do legislators set their agendas? What sources of information do they rely on? And what do they think about K-12 education? Related story. (October 4) 

How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level
Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy

The purpose of this policy brief is to answer the following foundational question, which should be considered by policymakers and school administrators well before adopting curricula or assessments: How many students perform above grade level? Related story. (September 14)

Educational Technology Policy Brief - Data Privacy and Security

Educators and policymakers often struggle to find the right balance between keeping data private and secure – and making educational technology systems highly available for the latest innovations in teaching and learning. This reviews recent legislation related to data privacy and security and reports on security breaches at various organizations. Related story.  Introduction. (September 13)

Program on Education Policy and Governance - Survey 2016
Education Next 
U.S. Education Ratings Show Record Political Polarization

As a new school year gets underway, the Common Core remains a partisan flashpoint, while Americans overall have serious concerns about the direction of our public education system. That's according to these two new polls. Introduction. Related story. (August 23)

No More Free Lunch for Education Policy Makers and Researchers

This report says Free and Reduced Lunch data cannot serve as a proxy for poverty because more and more schools now offer free lunch to all their students. Related story. (July 5)

How Racially Diverse Schools & Classrooms Can Benefit All Students
Teachers College - Columbia University

This study validates parents’ intuition about the benefits of diversity for their children, concluding that diverse public schools can have a strong positive academic and social impact on all students. Introduction. (February 2016) 


Special Report: Assessment Driven Instruction

Student assessments come in many shapes and sizes, but the best ones help educators differentiate instruction and help students find meaning in their schoolwork.  This provides a roundup of news about student assessment. (November 2015) 

Student Testing in America's Great City Schools: An Inventory and Preliminary Analysis
Council of Great City Schools

This study revealed that students take approximately eight standardized tests per year, or 112 from the time students enter school until graduation. This consumes 4.21 days (20 to 25 hours), or 2.34 percent of school time. Related story. (November 2015) 

Want Better Education Policy?  There's a Checklist for That.

In efforts to "fix" the schools, a baseline of key information helps policymakers see the big picture. (November 2015)

Emerging state turn around strategies
Education Commission of the States

Policymakers and education leaders have spent decades searching for effective ways to address low-performing schools, yet the struggles persist. This report outlines three ideas that are gaining traction around the nation – innovation zones, recovery districts and receiverships. (October 2015)

Trauma Faced by Children of Military Families - What Every Policymaker Should Know
National Center for Children in Poverty

Active duty military personnel and National Guard and reservists experience multiple deployments as a result of the conflicts that comprise the War on Terror. A large body of research has accumulated on the behavioral health problems faced by military personnel as a result of these conflicts. Introduction. (October 2015)

The New Georgia Milestones...  It's Time To Be Honest
James Magazine

This article (flip to page 26) by the Georgia Partnership's Policy and Research director, Dr. Dana Rickman, looks at the state's new assessment program that better evaluates the level of learning for Georgia students. (October 2015)

Here's a preview of education reform proposals
Insider Advantage/Morris News Service

Lawmakers won’t have a chance to consider the recommendations of the governor’s Education Reform Commission for months, but here’s an early peek at what they’re likely to see. (September 2015) 

Does Shortening the School Week Impact Student Performance?  Evidence from the Four-Day School Week.
Georgia State University

(There is a charge for the full report.  Abstract provided here.) School districts use a variety of policies to close budget gaps and stave off teacher layoffs and furloughs. More schools are implementing four-day school weeks to reduce overhead and transportation costs. Related story. (September 2015)

Improved Adult Education Support Critical to Georgia's Bottom Line
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

This report describes Georgia’s adult education challenges and successes. It also recommends ways for the state to educate more of its adults. Blog. (August 2015)

State Homeschool Policies:  A patchwork of provisions
Education Commission of the States

Just 13 states and the District require homeschool instructors to have minimum qualifications, in most cases a high school diploma. Though homeschool rules have received criticism for being too lax, many advocates say their movement is built on the notion of trusting parents to understand and provide the best education for their children. (August 2015)

The Four-day School Week in Rural Idaho Schools
Albertson Family Foundation

This tackles the question of what a shorter school week means for Idaho’s communities, students, and teachers. Based on interviews with leaders in over 20 Idaho districts, this paper provides insights into a little understood practice. Introduction. Related article. (July 2015)

New Orleans Recovery School District Not Quite as Recovered as Advertised
National Education Policy Center

Following Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, an extraordinary experiment in market-driven governance of public schools was imposed on the city. On this anniversary, advocacy groups and think tanks have issued numerous reports touting the claimed success of the New Orleans model. Past claims put forward by these groups have rarely been supported by rigorous, objective research. In fact, independent researchers have disputed these claims. (July 2015)

Redesigning State Financial Aid: Principles to guide state policymaking
Education Commission of the States

While a college education is more important than ever, students face unprecedented challenges in financing the cost. Policymakers across the country are working to design financial aid programs that foster postsecondary degree access and completion. (July 2015)

The Civics Education Initiative of 2015
Education Commission of the States

The goal of this initiative is to have all states establish the requirement that students pass a 100-question test on basic history and civic facts to graduate from high school. (June 2015)

Cautious Optimism and a Path to Reduce Bullying
Education Policy Center - American Institutes for Research

Bullying is on the decline, but evidence mounts that it is even more toxic for children and adolescents than previously thought. (June 2015)

Global Policy Agenda

It is time for education policies to address and support the needs of today's students and educators.  Rather than continuing to rely on antiquated, turn-of-the-century education policies, it is necessary to push for a comprehensive set of goals for public education systems and strategies and supports to meet them. Related story. (May 2015)

Targeted programs and career pathways within workforce development policies
Education Commission of the States

To assist state leaders in their pursuit of information about policies that can better align education programs and workforce needs, ECS takes a deeper dive into the content of specific, related policies. The policies outlined in the report work toward the greater goal of increasing workforce opportunities for students at multiple levels. (April 2015)

Turning Around Failing Schools: Governance Resources and Accountability 
Forum co-hosted by Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and Voices for Georgia's Children, February 24, 2015

Panelists from the national, state, and local levels discussed governance and accountability strategies of improving outcomes for our lowest performing schools and learners. A video of the session and program agenda are available for your review. Slides from Georgia Partnership Policy and Research Director Dr. Dana Rickman, and Fordham Institute National Policy Director Michael Brickman are also available. 

Education Savings Accounts Carry Big Sticker Shock
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation to allow parents to take state dollars for private educational use.  House Bill 243 proposes to create Education Savings Accounts to set public money aside for a variety of educational services. (February 2015)

The State Education Agency: At the Helm, Not the Oar
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

(This research piece was first published in April 2014 but is relevant now considering Governor Nathan Deal's plan for Opportunity School Districts in Georgia.) This paper from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute suggests a new governance approach, organized around the “4 Cs”: Control, Contract, Cleave, Create. Related story. (February 2015)


Governor's High Demand Career Initiative Report
Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia

The state’s High Demand Career Initiative released findings Wednesday that highlighted trouble spots for Georgia’s job sector — and potential opportunities to bolster the state’s workforce. Introduction. Related story. (December 2014)

Data for Action - 2014 (How does Georgia stack up?)
Quality Data Campaign

Data are more than just test scores, and by effectively accessing and using different types of data—such as attendance, grades, and course-taking—teachers, parents, and school and district leaders can help ensure that every student is on a path for success every day, not just at the end of the school year. (November 2014) 

A Cure for Remedial Reporting Chaos: Why the U.S. Needs a Standard Method for Measuring Preparedness for the First Year of College
Education Commission of the States

The alarming numbers of college students who require remedial education courses continue to stir concerns within state policy, education and research circles. But do states really have a solid grasp of how many and which students require remediation? (September 2014)

Alternative Education: Exploring Innovations in Learning
Rennie Center Education Policy & Research - Policy Brief

Eighty-five percent of Massachusetts' high school students graduate in four years, but for some at-risk young people, traditional education isn't a good fit. This report looks at alternative education both nationally and in the Commonwealth -- education that aims to rescue youth at risk for dropping out. (June 2014) 

State Policy Report Card  2014

The report card was created to evaluate the education laws and policies in place in each state.  "We hope this helps reveal more about what states are doing to improve the nation's public education system..." (January 2014)


The Schoolhouse Squeeze
Georgia Budget & Policy Institute

Georgia’s school districts are struggling against a relentless financial squeeze. There are many forces combining to put tremendous strain on districts at a time when they are working to lift student achievement to higher levels than ever. Report summary. (September 2013)

Criteria for High-Quality Assessment
Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

A bevy of heavy-hitting assessment experts has identified five things that make assessments high quality, and is urging states to hold out for such tests in the face of political and financial pressures.  Related story. (June 2013)

Using Early Warning Data to Keep Students on Track toward College and Careers
Data Quality Campaign

Early Warning Systems (EWS) provide educators, administrators, and policymakers with actionable information that they can use to prepare all students to succeed in college and careers. (June 2013)

Learning Time in America: Trends to Reform the American School Calendar
National Center on Time and Learning

The report shows that while some states and local governments have reduced learning time in response to severe budget pressures – typically by reducing the number of days in the school year – others have prioritized expanding learning time to better prepare students for success in high school, college and the workforce. Related story. Introduction. (May 2013)

Rifts Deepen Over Education Policy in U.S.
Education Week

In statehouses and cities across the country, battles are raging over the direction of education policy—from the standards that will shape what students learn to how test results will be used to judge a teacher's performance. (May 2013)

Middle Class or Middle of the Pack - What can we learn when benchmarking U.S. schools against the world's best?
America Achieves

According to this study, middle-class students are lagging far behind their peers in other countries, adding a new perspective to beliefs that low-income students are most in need of better educational opportunities. Related storyRelating story - Thomas Friedman's My Little (Global) School. (April 2013)

A Public Policy Statement - Assessments
The Gordon Commission

The report calls on state and federal policymakers to commit to a long-term effort to develop assessments that place greater emphasis on providing timely and valuable information to students and teachers.  Related story. Press release. (March 2013)

Students with Disabilities in Extracurricular Activities - Guidance
Office for Civil Rights - U.S. Department of Education

This guidance clarifies clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities. Related story. Press release. (January 2013)

What Do International Tests Really Show About U.S. Student Performance?
Economic Policy Institute

International test comparisons, are oversimplified, frequently exaggerated, and misleading. They ignore the complexity of test results and may lead policymakers to pursue inappropriate and even harmful reforms. Related stories: International tests severely misrank U.S. students and Pros and cons of U.S. education. (January 2013)

Quality Counts Report
Education Week

The 17th edition of Education Week's Quality Counts continues the report's tradition of tracking key education indicators and grading the states on their policy efforts and outcomes. Executive summary. Related stories - Education Week  (Executive Summary). States' transitions and alignments. Georgia Department of Educaton Press Release. (January 2013)


Data for Action 2012 - Focus On People to Change Data Culture
Data Quality Campaign

States are making progress in supporting effective data use, but the hardest work remains. Although states collect quality data and have enacted policy changes, they have not yet focused on meeting people’s needs. Related story. (November 2012) 

Teacher Absence as a Leading Indicator of Student Achievement
Center for American Progress

New national data offer opportunity to examine cost of teacher absence relative to learning loss.   The report urges state policymakers to revise their teacher leave policies in an effort to improve student achievement and usher in significant savings.  Related story. (November 2012)

Democracy Left Behind:  How Recent Education Reforms Undermine Local School Governance and Democratic Education
National Education Policy Center - University of Colorado College of Education

Democratic policymaking and democratic education have been undermined by the passage of No Child Left Behind. This brief offers guidelines for future federal education policy that addresses the loss of local control brought on by recent reforms. Press release. (November 2012)

College Courses in High School: A Strategy for College Readiness
Jobs for the Future

There is no panacea when it comes to education policy, but a growing body of research suggests that allowing students in high school to complete even a single college course could significantly increase their chances of attending college and eventually graduating. Related story. (October 2012)

A Guide to Turning Around Chronically Low Performing Schools
Institute of Education Sciences (IES) - What Works Clearinghouse

The goal of this practice guide is to formulate specific and coherent evidence-based recommendations for use by educators aiming to quickly and dramatically improve student achievement in low-performing schools. Related story. (September 2012)

The Effects of School Vouchers On College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City
Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings and Harvard Kennedy School – Program on Education Policy and Governance

In the first study, using a randomized experiment to measure the impact of school vouchers on college enrollment, the researchers examine the college-going behavior through 2011 of students who participated in a voucher experiment as elementary school students in the late 1990s. Related story. (September 2012)

The Competition That Really Matters - Comparing U.S., Chinese, and Indian Investments in the Next-Generation Workforce
Center for American Progress and The Center for the Next Generation

The greatness of America is exemplified by the march of generations.  The next, by any measure, has always surpassed the previous, thanks to a sacred promise we have kept since our founding. That promise is now less certain. Related story. (August 2012)

Is Retaining Students in the Early Grades Self-Defeating?
Center on Children and Families at Brookings

Whether a child is a proficient reader by the third grade is an important indicator of their future academic success. Indeed, substantial evidence indicates that unless students establish basic reading skills by that time, the rest of their education will be an uphill struggle. Related story. (August 2012)

State Education Reforms
National Center for Education Statistics

This site, which draws from data collected from organizations other than NCES, compiles and disseminates data on state-level elementary and secondary education reform efforts in five key areas. (March 2012)

States lessening seat time requirements
National Governors Association

States have established an array of policies in recent years to free schools from having to award academic credits based on "seat time," with the goal of making it easier for struggling students to catch up, exceptional students to race ahead, and students facing geographic and scheduling barriers to take the courses they need. Relating story. (March 2012)