Consortium for Policy Research in Education
The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) is a community of researchers from renowned research institutions and organizations committed to advancing educational policy and practice through evidence-based research.
PublicationGraduating From High School: New Standards in the States(1989-04-01) University of Pennsylvania
This brief examines attempts by states to improve public education by increasing high school course requirements in 1989. According to a report published by the Center for Policy Research in Education, these attempts have had mixed results. As a result of the reforms, low-and middle-achieving students are taking more courses in science and math, but there are serious questions about the quality of the courses themselves. This issue of CPRE Policy Briefs is based on the report which was written with assistance from Paula White and Janice Patterson.
PublicationPrograms for Young Children: State Policy Options(1987-10-01) University of Pennsylvania
Young Children Face the States: Issues and Options for Early Childhood Programs by W. Norton Grubb is summarized in this policy brief. The report discusses the many decisions state policymakers must make as they seek to respond to needs of today's parents and children. It also describes the historical conflicts that persist within the early childhood movement and the status of early childhood education policy across the country.
PublicationKeeping College Affordable: A Proposal From Two Economists(1992-05-01) University of Pennsylvania
In order to broaden discussion about higher education finance, this policy brief outlines a proposal for a major change in federal financial aid, state tuition, and state financial aid policies. The proposal is drawn from the book Keeping College Affordable: Government and Educational Opportunity by Michael S. McPherson and Morton Owen Schapiro.
PublicationState Education Reform in the 1980s(1989-11-01) University of Pennsylvania
To shed light on these questions, in 1986 the Center for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) began a five-year study of the implementation and effects of state education reforms in six states chosen for their diverse approaches to reform: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
Some findings from the first three years of this research were published by CPRE in a report, The Progress of Reform: An appraisal of State Education Initiatives, written by William A. Firestone, Susan H. Fuhrman and Michael W. Kirst. In writing the report, the authors relied to a great extent on research conducted by their colleagues on specific reform policies in the six states and others. They also drew from other reports and studies on the status of reform and from structured conversations with national association representatives and reform leaders in other states.
This issue of CPRE Policy Brigs contains material from the report which provides an interim assessment of the 1980s reforms
PublicationSchool Finance Reform: The Role of the Courts(1993-02-01) University of Pennsylvania
This issue of CPRE Finance Briefs evaluates the statues of seven fundamental problems of school finance litigation and reform, presents the three-part remedy, justifies the remedy as good policy, and concludes with a look ahead to the emerging concept of "program equity."
PublicationDeveloping Content Standards: Creating a Process for Change(1993-10-01) University of Pennsylvania
Education leaders at every level of the system are developing standards to specify what students should know and be able to do in key subject areas. Local and state groups, professional organizations, and consortia of states and districts are constructing standards. This brief outlines some lessons suggested by past and current efforts to develop ambitious standards. It draws on studies by CPRE researchers of standards-setting processes in five states: Vermont, Kentucky, New York, California, and South Carolina; and three national curriculum standards projects.
PublicationTracking Student Achievement in Science and Math: The Promise of State Assessment Programs(1995-06-01) University of Pennsylvania
This issue of CPRE Policy Briefs examines the capacity of state assessment systems to track the effects of the SSIs on student performance in mathematics and science. It also identifies some of the major issues state policymakers are facing as they attempt to re-align their state assessment systems of meet the changing goals for public education.
PublicationState and Districts and Comprehensive School Reform(1998-05-01) University of Pennsylvania
In this policy brief, we discuss implications of the use of school-level reform designs for state and local policymakers. The more schools choose such reforms, the more is being learned about the importance of the state and local roles in facilitating appropriate matches between designs and schools and in supporting design-based improvement over time.
In the Fall of 1997, Congress authorized competitive grants to provide up to $50,000 per year per school for the use of comprehensive reform models. Beginning in July, 1998, Title I schools will be eligible for $120 million of the funds provided; non-Title I schools may compete for $25 million. The Comprehensive School Reform Development Program (CSRD), also known as the â Obey-Porterâ program for its Congressional sponsors, provides funds for states to use in competitive grants to local school districts that submit applications specifying which schools will participate and the reform programs they will implement. States and localities must demonstrate their ability to select â only high quality, welldefined, and well-documented comprehensive school reform programs,â provide technical assistance and support, and evaluate the effects (U.S. Department of Education, 1998).
In discussing implications for the state and local role, we draw on lessons from the experience of designers and educators working with New American Schools (e.g., Odden, 1997a; Odden, 1997b) and on emerging findings from current CPRE studies of capacity-building interventions and their scale up. We also draw on findings about successful school-based reform that are relevant whether or not schools are working with a national reform network. Home-grown reform models also need state and local support, and they would be eligible for assistance under the CSRD program as long as they employed research-based components that have been replicated successfully; were comprehensive and supported by stakeholders; used technical assistance from an entity, such as a university, with experience in providing support to comprehensive school reforms; and were carefully evaluated against measurable goals.
PublicationSchool-Based Management: Strategies for Success(1993) University of Pennsylvania
This issue of CPRE Finance Briefs offers a new definition of school-based management and describes strategies for decentralizing management to improve the design of SBM plans. The design strategies focus on the four components of control: power, knowledge, information, and rewards.
Research on the private sector shows large-scale change, such as decentralization, cannot be simply installed. Rather it unfolds over time through a gradual learning process. Therefore, the transition to SBM is best approached by establishing structures and processes that enable groups of people to discuss new directions, try new approaches, and learn from them. The second part of this finance brief offers strategies for managing the change to school-based management.
PublicationRepeating Grades in School: Current Practice and Research Evidence(1990) University of Pennsylvania
Retaining students in grade is often used as a means to raise educational standards. Many believe that repeating a grade is an effective remedy for students who have failed to master basic skills. Therefore, grade retention is relatively prevalent in this nation.
However, research on student retention indicates that it does not work as intended to assure mastery of skills, avoid failure at higher grade levels and lower dropout rates. This issue of CPRE Policy Briefs is based on material in a recently published book, Flunking Grades: Research and Policies on Retention (London: Falmer, 1989). The book's editors, Lorrie A. Shepard and Mary Lee Smith, address a series of questions abut the practice of grade retention and the research evidence.