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ERIC Number: ED502136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Salvaging NY's School "Contracts." Policy Briefing No. 4
Meyer, Peter
Empire Center for New York State Policy
The centerpiece of former Governor Elliot Spitzer's education reform agenda was a set of performance agreements between the state and designated needy school districts. Known as Contracts for Excellence, or C4E, these agreements would eventually be linked to over a quarter of the new state aid proposed in the governor's first budget. C4E districts would not just get more money than other districts, they would be obligated to implement "proven" programs and, most importantly, be held accountable for the results. The program was supposed to ensure the efficient and effective use of limited resources to improve educational outcomes. This policy briefing argues that C4E has been seriously hobbled by flaws in its assumptions about the mechanisms of reform, by misguided beliefs about "what works" in achieving excellence, and by a compressed timeline for adoption and implementation. For better or worse--mostly worse--C4E could now more accurately stand for "Commitments for Expenditures." Spitzer's "contracts" have ended up looking more like a typical government grants program, draped with the jargon of reform. The former governor's original education reform speech continues to offer a touchstone of principles for making C4E the kind of program New York needs. This briefing shows how to accomplish it. (Contains 12 endnotes.)
Empire Center for New York State Policy. P.O. Box 7113, Albany NY 12224. Tel: 518-434-3100; Fax: 518-434-3130; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Empire Center for New York State Policy
Identifiers - Location: New York