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Even though Simon was critical of IMPACT, he agreed that policymakers had not been focusing much on improving teacher quality through feedback and evaluation. One reason D. The administration also used No Child Left Behind waivers to incentivize similar policies. By January , 40 states had applied for the first round of competitive Race to the Top grants. There was little research on its actual effectiveness, but many states nevertheless looked to D. Isolated gains achieved under one reform theory were tossed aside, lost or forgotten in the next.

Some reforms that did have an impact went awry, accelerating inequality, distrust and decline. In , a coalition of more than 60 business and community leaders published a report calling for sweeping changes to D. By , the D.

By , the Council of the Great City Schools, a national nonprofit, published its own report, noting that D. They recommended a series of reforms that had been floated over the past five decades—new accountability systems for student achievement, more standardized curricula and instruction, and incentives to attract high-quality teachers to work in the most challenging schools. Unlike other places, elected D. Congress can overturn laws passed by the D. In addition to pushing forward a new teacher evaluation system, she fired hundreds of teachers, replaced principals, and closed schools.


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Her brash style of leadership frustrated even those who backed her policy ideas. Alan Ginsburg, a retired year veteran of the U. Department of Education, published a report in that found that D. Another thorny issue is demographics: Some critics charge that any documented learning gains can be attributed to the increase in white, affluent students who now enroll in DCPS.

However, controlling for demographics does make the ten-year reading gains for eighth graders almost entirely disappear. In late February, Levy, the independent D. She noted that the lowest achieving groups are black males, at-risk students, and special education students. Achievement gaps between white and black or Hispanic students have narrowed somewhat since , but white proficiency rates still run about 65 percentage points above black proficiency rates, and 53 to 61 percentage points above Hispanic rates. Socioeconomic gaps have widened. Critics have raised other concerns about the way D.

In , Thomas Dee, a professor of education at Stanford University and James Wyckoff, an education policy professor at the University of Virginia, published a working paper suggesting that D. These were encouraging results, but DCPS officials went on to exaggerate the findings. Former D. Wilson Elementary on August 23, , in Washington, D. The high salaries and bonuses DCPS teachers earn would likewise be difficult for many struggling school districts to adopt. The WTU has been under siege since the Rhee years , and teachers have been working under a contract that expired in According to Davis, the union president, DCPS educators still strongly oppose the new evaluation system.

Teacher turnover districtwide also remains very high. Levy, the budget analyst, finds almost half of all newly hired teachers, whether experienced or new to the profession, leave the classroom within two years; and 75 percent leave within five years. There is similar turnover among principals: Levy finds most schools have had two or three principals in the last five years.

As a result, it is hard for researchers to get a sense of how specific policies are working, and for the public to hold school leaders accountable. When D. The law also allowed the mayor to skip the annual reports and produce a five-year independent evaluation by September Fenty opted for the latter—but his two proposed evaluators, Frederick Hess of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and Kenneth Wong of Brown University, had both supported the DC mayoral school-takeover plan.

How D.C. Became the Darling of Education Reform

Public Education Fund, a private organization launched and run by a former Fenty aide , which solicits private-sector donations to support education reform. Gray believed that the evaluation should be publicly funded. Yet three years later, when Gray himself ran for mayor, his tune on rigorous evaluations changed. Levy thinks that incentives for oversight worsened after the switch to mayoral control. This issue led the council to enact tougher oversight measures. But after the move to mayoral control, DCPS failures were no longer pinned on the city council.

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The National Research Council, an organization chartered by Congress, conducted the review and found some promising evidence of improvements, but the evaluators identified many persistent disparities, and noted a lack of comprehensive, accessible data. They said they were often unable to obtain important information for their research effort, and recommended the creation of a data warehouse for ongoing, independent studies. After the NRC issued its report, a group of education advocates and public policy researchers gathered in to discuss creating an independent think tank to evaluate D.

Simon opposes D. Good teachers are not found through some magical recruitment pipeline. They are made, over time. Simon says that in he approached Jason Kamras, the D. There had been some innovative teacher evaluation models at the time—Toledo, Ohio, was experimenting with peer review and others were exploring so-called professional learning communities. Even though Simon was critical of IMPACT, he agreed that policymakers had not been focusing much on improving teacher quality through feedback and evaluation.

One reason D. The administration also used No Child Left Behind waivers to incentivize similar policies. By January , 40 states had applied for the first round of competitive Race to the Top grants. There was little research on its actual effectiveness, but many states nevertheless looked to D. Isolated gains achieved under one reform theory were tossed aside, lost or forgotten in the next. Some reforms that did have an impact went awry, accelerating inequality, distrust and decline. In , a coalition of more than 60 business and community leaders published a report calling for sweeping changes to D.

By , the D. By , the Council of the Great City Schools, a national nonprofit, published its own report, noting that D. They recommended a series of reforms that had been floated over the past five decades—new accountability systems for student achievement, more standardized curricula and instruction, and incentives to attract high-quality teachers to work in the most challenging schools. Unlike other places, elected D.

The Hard Truth: Problems and Issues in Urban School Reform

Congress can overturn laws passed by the D. In addition to pushing forward a new teacher evaluation system, she fired hundreds of teachers, replaced principals, and closed schools. Her brash style of leadership frustrated even those who backed her policy ideas. Alan Ginsburg, a retired year veteran of the U. Department of Education, published a report in that found that D.

Another thorny issue is demographics: Some critics charge that any documented learning gains can be attributed to the increase in white, affluent students who now enroll in DCPS. However, controlling for demographics does make the ten-year reading gains for eighth graders almost entirely disappear.

In late February, Levy, the independent D.

Problems of educational reform in Zambia

She noted that the lowest achieving groups are black males, at-risk students, and special education students. Achievement gaps between white and black or Hispanic students have narrowed somewhat since , but white proficiency rates still run about 65 percentage points above black proficiency rates, and 53 to 61 percentage points above Hispanic rates.

Education for opportunity: 3 ideas for American education reform

Socioeconomic gaps have widened. Critics have raised other concerns about the way D. In , Thomas Dee, a professor of education at Stanford University and James Wyckoff, an education policy professor at the University of Virginia, published a working paper suggesting that D. These were encouraging results, but DCPS officials went on to exaggerate the findings. Former D.

Wilson Elementary on August 23, , in Washington, D. The high salaries and bonuses DCPS teachers earn would likewise be difficult for many struggling school districts to adopt. The WTU has been under siege since the Rhee years , and teachers have been working under a contract that expired in According to Davis, the union president, DCPS educators still strongly oppose the new evaluation system.

Teacher turnover districtwide also remains very high. Levy, the budget analyst, finds almost half of all newly hired teachers, whether experienced or new to the profession, leave the classroom within two years; and 75 percent leave within five years. There is similar turnover among principals: Levy finds most schools have had two or three principals in the last five years. As a result, it is hard for researchers to get a sense of how specific policies are working, and for the public to hold school leaders accountable.

When D. The law also allowed the mayor to skip the annual reports and produce a five-year independent evaluation by September Fenty opted for the latter—but his two proposed evaluators, Frederick Hess of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and Kenneth Wong of Brown University, had both supported the DC mayoral school-takeover plan.

Public Education Fund, a private organization launched and run by a former Fenty aide , which solicits private-sector donations to support education reform. Gray believed that the evaluation should be publicly funded. Yet three years later, when Gray himself ran for mayor, his tune on rigorous evaluations changed. Levy thinks that incentives for oversight worsened after the switch to mayoral control.