Harrison’s Successes Continue Under Pay-For-Performance System

A few months ago, I wrote about how important it is to use the right metric—fairness for teachers— when evaluating the success of pay-for-performance compensation systems. That post was a response to a rather biased Denver Post article on the subject, which featured as one of its subheadings the assertion that these systems provide “No [...]

2015 School Board Candidate Briefing Materials

The Education Policy Center has received numerous requests for the information it provided to school board candidates across Colorado this year. One of the Center’s primary goals is to educate local education leaders about important education policy issues, thereby equipping them to make smart, well-informed decisions in their school districts. As part of that effort, […]

Colorado’s ACT Flatline Has Me Worried

I feel like I’ve been alienating my fellow edu-nerds in recent weeks by spending so much time talking about the antics of the courts. Most recently, we examined a Colorado Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the “Negative Factor” under Amendment 23. One could be forgiven for believing that I had suddenly changed careers [...]

Wait, What? Washington Supreme Court Finds Charter Schools Unconstitutional

I’ve got to admit, Little Eddie’s faith in judges’ ability to fairly decide education issues is beginning to fray. Or it would be accurate to say that I’ve moved past fraying, and that my confidence has fully fallen apart at the seams like the blanket I’ve been dragging around with me since infancy. Back in [...]

Of Successful Turnarounds, Heavy Hands, and Union Bargaining Power

It’s much better to have a light touch, rather than a heavy hand, from the state to exert efforts to improve schools. Colorado has its share of schools and districts in need of turnaround, with some serious options on the table (but delayed one year by a 2015 state law). Whenever possible, I always like [...]

New Orleans Video Underscores the Power of Reform

What a week! My mom and dad moved me to a new house last weekend. This one is a long way from the Capitol, which they say is to keep me from sneaking in there and playing edu-politics when I should be doing my homework. On top of that, I attended an awesome student-based budgeting [...]

Despite Union Statements, National Polls Show Public Support for Testing

About this time last year, I was puzzling over the presence of a strange phantom statistic quoted by NEA in the wake of the annual PDK/Gallup national education poll. The statistic was eventually released weeks after the rest of the poll, which means NEA didn’t lie about it. They did, however, get special access to [...]

New Study Highlights Success in New Orleans

You know what’s way more fun than debunking silly arguments about charter schools? And almost as exciting as celebrating fair funding for charter students in two of my favorite districts? New research showing huge improvements in New Orleans, which has the nation’s first all-charter system. Well, almost all charter. Over 90 percent of the city’s [...]

On Pay for Performance and Using the Right Yardstick

Pay for performance (PFP) is an incredibly hotly debated facet of education reform. I’ve never really quite understood that because, well, rewarding folks for doing great work strikes me as common sense. I mean, I get more allowance money if I do my chores well, and not so much if I “clean my room” by [...]

Friday Decisions: A Furry Friend, Sneak-onomics, and Extra Ice Cream!

Yesterday the Colorado Department of Education released CMAS science and social studies test results. It’s only the second year the test has been given (science to 5th and 8th graders, social studies to 4th and 7th graders), so you can’t read too much into the trend lines. The bottom line is that scores are up [...]