Category Archives: Studies

National Council On Education Standards and Testing, Raising Standards for American Education (1992)

The full citation of this study is: National Council On Education Standards and Testing, Raising Standards for American Education: A Report to Congress, the Secretary of Education, the National Education Goals Panel, and the American People (Washington: GPO, January 24, 1992)

Details on NCEST, which produced this report, can be found on the Federal Education Policy History website.

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The National Education Goals Reports 1991-1999

The National Education Goals Reports provide a trove of education data. Reading them also gives the researcher a feel for the big subjects of the tumultuous federal schooling debates of the 1990s.  Additionally, the movement to establish education standards grew out of the effort to reach education goals—standards being the benchmarks for progress thereto.(1) The National Education Goals reports were published by the National Education Goals Panel (NEGP). This organization formed after the historic 1989 Charlottesville education summit, which was attended by governors and President George H.W. Bush.  NEGP was established to report annually on the nation’s progress toward the nation’s education goals. The 1994 Goals 2000: Educate America Act (Sections 201-207) gave federal statutory recognition to NEGP, which further heightened its position in the education policy debates of the time. NEGP was effectively abolished by Section 1011 of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. Continue reading

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Beatrice F. Birman et al., The Current Operation of the Chapter 1 Program (1987)

This study of Chapter 1 (Title I) was commissioned by by the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement (formerly the National Institute of Education).

The report was produced by Department of Education staff and researchers at private sector firms, such as Policy Study Associates. Congress mandated this study be done in December 1983.

A big finding of this study was that only a small proportion of students served by Chapter 1, the centerpiece of the Elementary and Secondary Eduction Act of 1965,were achieving at the levels that other American children were.

The full citation is Beatrice F. Birman et al., The Current Operation of the Chapter 1 Program: Final Report from the National Assessment of Chapter 1 (Washington: GPO, 1987).

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Survey of Elementary Schools’ Curricula (1925)

This is a wonderful survey completed by Jesse Knowlton Flanders in 1925.

His research question is simple: What are the 48 states (yes, 48) requiring students to study?

Flanders utilized statutes from each state to derive his findings.  Not surprisingly, in a time when the federal government had very little involvement in the schools, each state has its own idiosyncratic curriculum.

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Federal Aid for School Construction (1955)

This study was written by Charles Quattlebaum of the Legislative Reference Service, the predecessor to the Congressional Research Service, and it was published by Congress in February 1955.  It reviews the history of federal funding for school buildings, but spends the bulk of its pages on legislative proposals of the day and their justifications (e.g., states lack of funds, population growth, etc.)
 

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Andrew Rotherham, Toward Performance-Based Federal Education Funding (1999)

This April 1999 study was written by Andrew Rotherham for the Progressive Policy Institute.  Rotherham served as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Clinton administration.  He went on to found Education Sector, a thinktank, and Bellwether Education Partners.

This study is significant because it was made by a Democrat who argued in favor of restructuring the Title I program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  (republicans long had criticized Title I as wasteful and ineffective.)

In short, Rotherham argued for reducing federal red tape and mandates (which states favored) in exchange for states testing their students.  The logic was potent and became dominant in federal education policy—if states received education funding, they ought to show how effectively they are utilizing it.  This thinking is part and parcel of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

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Report of the Long Range Planning Phase of the School Facilities Survey (1955)

This is a study by Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Study of school buildings. It was published in 1955.

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