Just Answer Yes or No: State Ballot Proposals and Making Education Policy by Direct Democracy

  Courtesy of wikipedia commons Citizens last week voted yes or no on scores of statewide proposals, including seventeen in California. The nine measures in seven states that concerned education policy fall into two distinct categories: proposals affecting education funding and proposals affecting education governance. Proposals Affecting Education Funding Six proposals sought new or enhanced …

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Do Non-Traditional Incentive Structures Hold the Key to Increasing Student Achievement?

In recent years, a number of attempts have been made to understand how financial incentives can be used to improve student achievement. Researchers have studied the effects of school wide bonuses, small group incentives, and individual teacher rewards on student achievement, but to date, the research is inconclusive. Loss Aversion May Motivate Teachers to Produce …

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Grand Pianos, Subway Sandwiches, and Bounce Houses: Are Public Schools Spending Tax Dollars Efficiently?

Photo Courtesy of Images Money Public schools are often accused of wasteful spending. With the abundance of negative media coverage on this issue, it’s no surprise that these accusations are rampant. Last year, for example, a Kansas City high school was in the spotlight for its purchase of a $47,000 grand piano. Chicago Public Schools …

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Who’s Really In Charge? A Look at the Rising Influence of “Boardroom Progressives”

These days, schools are facing demands from an increasing number of governing bodies. In addition to the usual policies and laws imposed on schools by local, state, and federal government, Boardroom Progressives are playing an increasing role in influencing how students are educated. Dr. Sarah Reckhow has coined the term “Boardroom Progressives” to describe private …

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Distressed District, At-Risk, and Retirement Funding Among Items of Debate in the Upcoming State Budget Conferences

While Governor Snyder’s release of his Executive Budget Recommendations in early 2015 received significant attention, very little notice was paid to the release of the Senate and House of Representative’s budget proposals. Although the two houses in the legislative branch concurred with the Governor on many aspects of the proposed 2015-16 School Aid Fund appropriations, …

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