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ERIC Number: ED555546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Rise and Fall of Supplemental Educational Services: Policy Implications for Government Markets
Mesecar, Doug
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Free after-school tutoring, known as supplemental educational services (SES), was brought to life by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002. SES was designed to provide extra academic assistance to low-income students in schools failing to make accountability targets. SES is a cautionary tale, for there has never been an experiment like it in federal law, and its rise and fall provides important lessons in governing, policymaking, government markets, and the structure of the educational system. SES also offers lessons for ongoing efforts to improve charter school quality and authorizing, and developing online-learning marketplaces. SES produced some positive results for the individual students who received great services from quality providers. In fact, some studies showed that overall, SES produced some small positive academic outcomes.The political price to achieve these modest results, however, was too high, complex, and confrontational. The marketplace incentives exacerbated the fundamental flaws baked into America's uniquely federal education system. The future viability and potential of the charter school and online-learning sectors rest on the predictable and balanced operation of government-created markets. With charter schools, various government entities are responsible for creating, regulating, and funding a system of schools parallel to the traditional system. While this market has proven durable and grown steadily, it continues to operate in competition with a much larger system and in the context of political whims. As such, the charter sector must remain vigilant and expansionist, flexible but cautious.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001