ERIC Number: ED402653
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
The Progress of Education Reform: 1996.
Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
In 1995, the Education Commission of the States released the first in a series of annual reports examining the progress of education reform. The report concluded that despite many encouraging signs of progress, American schools and students were losing ground. This 1996 report, the second in the series, summarizes data on student performance, student backgrounds, and public attitudes about education; trends in state education policy; and major research findings on the effectiveness of reform. The information underscores the need for more comprehensive state efforts to evaluate reform policies. The report begins with an overview of a broad range of student performance indicators. The data show steady, though uneven, improvement in student performance. However, the progress is dwarfed by changes in the knowledge and skill requirements of work and citizenship in the 21st century. The second section reviews national trends in education policy, with an emphasis on standards-driven reform strategies and flexibility strategies. It reviews trends in school finance, technology, school safety and discipline, and school-improvement networks. In the absence of comprehensive evaluations, state policymakers lack empirical evidence about the effects of such reforms on student achievement. State education policy is therefore vulnerable to constantly changing trends, which contributes to public skepticism about reform. The third section reviews research findings on various reforms and concludes that the most effective strategies strengthen the teaching and learning process. These include reform networks and standards-based reform. Flexibility strategies (charter schools, deregulation, choice, site-based management, and waivers) generally work best when combined with other strategies that more directly affect teaching and learning. Recommendations for state policymakers are included. The appendix provides brief descriptions of the major reform networks and relevant information data. (Contains 55 notes.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Effective Schools Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Outcomes of Education, Performance, School Effectiveness, School Restructuring, Standards, State Programs
ECS Distribution Center, 707 17th Street, Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202-3427 (Stock No. SI-96-7; $12.50 plus $4.25 postage and handling; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
Note: For the 1995 report, "Bridging the Gap: School Reform and Student Achievement," see ED 393 183.