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The Charter School Movement Needs Greater Accountability

August 24, 2015 BY: Amy Dean TOPICS: Education, A Smarter Charter

Charter schools enroll more than 2.5 million students across America, but many of these publicly funded schools lack accountability. TCF fellow Amy Dean highlights growing corruption and waste among these privately run schools—and the need for reform—in a new article:

If charter schools are to become a permanent and respected part of public education in America, their champions will need to clean up their sector and let the sunshine in.

Read Dean's discussion of the need for more accountability in America's charter schools in Al Jazeera America.

Tags: reform, education policy, charter schools

Five Things Successful Turnaround Schools Have in Common

August 18, 2015 BY: Greg Anrig TOPICS: Education

The Obama administration's SIG program is in danger of being defunded by Congress. TCF senior fellow Greg Anrig discusses why the program should not be scrapped and outlines five key commonalities among the most successful turnaround SIG schools.

Because many critics maintain that transforming dysfunctional public schools in high-poverty, racially isolated settings simply can't be done, much greater attention should be paid to the success stories as guideposts for learning how to make them more common. After conducting a federal experiment as ambitious and unprecedented as the big funding increase for SIGs, zooming in on what worked is a much more productive response than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That's especially true because among the SIG schools that showed the strongest results, there are many shared characteristics—characteristics that are also shared by non-SIG schools that show consistent improvement over time.

Read Anrig's full article at EdWeek.

Tags: schools, school improvement, obama administration, obama administration, education policy, education funding

Why Proponents of Racial Diversity in Colleges Should Also Support Economic Diversity

August 11, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Kimberly Quick TOPICS: Education, Ensuring Fairness in College Admissions

The case against race-based admissions will be heard a second time by the Supreme Court to determine if the tactic is a viable strategy to create diversity on campuses.


Louisville 10th worst for high black poverty areas

The Century Foundation's recent report, Architecture of Segregation, was featured in a number of external articles, including one in the Louisville, Kentucky-based The Courier Journal. The articles author, Phillip M. Bailey says that Louisville's housing inequality and poverty rates are high and that zoning laws and development rules make it difficult to fix such racial and economic housing barriers.

Hinko said that Jefferson County residents “have to have true choice” on where they want to live. “I’m not saying this change to the land code will solve everything, but it’s one piece and a point of intervention to say we offer affordable choices everywhere.”

Read the full article featured in Courier Journal.

Poverty Has Nearly Doubled Since 2000 In America

Journalist Max Willens of International Business Times has written an article that heavily cites The Century Foundation's new report on concentrated poverty and neighborhood segregation. Willens suggests that given the renewed protest civil-rights movements in America, the country needs a period of dire rebirth. He quotes Jargowsky, saying:

“It is unfortunate that well-meaning people who are reading the news and consuming the coverage of the events in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere are not getting the full picture,” Jargowsky writes. “They are seeing places like Ferguson up close, but they are not seeing the larger set of forces that created Ferguson.”

Read Willens's full article.

Tags: racism, income inequality, housing segregation, concentrated poverty

Some Questions About This American Life’s School Integration Story

This week's episode of This American Life on NPR focuses on the continuing issue of desegregation in schools—a problem that seems to be a major contributor to income inequality. Education expert, Alexander Russo, points out that despite the merits of discussing such an important topic, there remain several unanswered questions regarding "the problem we all live with." Russo points out Rick Kahlenberg's commentary featured in the show, in which he says, "School integration efforts aren’t entirely dead."

"Does the show, which first aired on Friday and has been available online since last night, describe school integration as too much of a silver bullet? Is the comparison between integration and other school improvement efforts fair and complete? Does the narrative that integration is almost a taboo subject in education policy discussions ring true?"

Read Russo's full article here from Washington Monthly.

Tags: school integration, npr, desegregation




Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.

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