Special Education

In 1975, Congress passed an early version of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which requires all public schools to accept and educate children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. This historic law recognizes our obligation to educate all children. Read More

Education Workforce

Recent research suggests that high-quality teachers are the single most important factor in securing a good education. A student can take several years to make up for lost educational gains after one year in a classroom with a poor-quality instructor. If we want to improve public education, we need to focus on recruiting and retaining strong teachers, especially in high-need schools and critical subject areas such as science, math, and special education. Read More

Early Education and Child Care

Pre-school children who receive early education are more prepared for school than other children the same age who havent been in school. Programs like Head Start ensure that all children, regardless of the income bracket of their parents, have the chance to be in school during the earliest years of development. Read More

No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind Act was designed to hold states and school districts accountable for academic outcomes and to close the achievement gap among students. These are good goals. Disaggregating the test scores makes it easier for us to see the achievement gaps between groups of students in our schools. No Child Left Behind also has highlighted the importance of teacher quality. But NCLB has also created problems. Students, teachers, parents, and administrators are frustrated with unintended consequences of the law. Perhaps the easiest to recognize is the focus on test scores, which often limits flexibility in the classroom. The law has never been fully funded. Read More

College Affordability

Paying for college is harder than it used to be. Over the last five years, the combined cost of tuition, fees, and room and board at four-year public colleges and universities increased by 42 percent. Students and families are struggling to pay these costs. College graduates should be leaving school with unlimited possibilities before them, but these choices are increasingly limited by student loan debt, and our nation is in danger of losing a generation of public servants. Read More