Education Policy Program

Archives: Education Policy Program Policy Papers

Making the Hours Count

  • By
  • Alex Holt,
  • New America Foundation
August 6, 2014
With growing public interest in how states and localities provide access to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, policymakers are increasingly being forced to confront the numerous, contradictory ways in which children’s learning opportunities are measured. Labels like “half-day” and “full-day” have become widely embraced by state and local governments offering pre-K and kindergarten, but these terms have come to take on widely varying meanings.

Common Core Goes To College

  • By
  • Lindsey Tepe,
  • New America Foundation
July 21, 2014

Each year, hundreds of thousands of American students graduate from high school and enter college without being adequately prepared to succeed there. This is partly the result of misaligned high school standards and higher education expectations. There are real, sobering consequences: millions of students have fallen short of earning a college degree.

Beyond Subprime Learning

  • By
  • Laura Bornfreund,
  • Lisa Guernsey,
  • Clare McCann,
  • Conor Williams,
  • New America Foundation
July 15, 2014

Education policymakers must put more focus on teaching and learning in the early years and continue that work up through third grade, according to Beyond “Subprime Learning”: Accelerating Progress in Early Education, a new report from New America’s Early Education Initiative.

The Case Against Exit Exams

  • By
  • Anne Hyslop,
  • New America Foundation
July 15, 2014
In the 2013-14 school year, twenty-four states required students to be proficient on standardized tests in order to graduate from high school. But starting next year, and in the years to come, states will launch more rigorous, college- and career-ready assessments aligned to the Common Core. As they do so, they should revisit the stakes on these tests for students and consider eliminating, or modifying, their exit exam policies.

Federal Funding for Students with Disabilities

  • By
  • Clare McCann,
  • New America Foundation
June 27, 2014

In Federal Funding for Students with Disabilities: The Evolution of Federal Special Education Finance in the U.S., New America provides a history of special education financing in the U.S., and highlights the latest shift in the mission of the IDEA funding formula: a change from providing dollars directly based on the number of special education students, to ensuring the federal government provides sufficient resources for those students without encouraging the over-identifi

Building a New AAU

  • By
  • Kevin Carey,
  • New America Foundation
June 2, 2014
Criteria used to select members of America’s most influential higher education organization are encouraging colleges to adopt policies of exclusion, harming the cause of higher learning by closing down learning opportunities and raising college prices, according to a new policy brief released today by New America.

The paper, entitled Building a New AAU: The Case for Redefining Higher Education Excellence, can be downloaded here.

Building an AOTC Movement

  • By
  • Stephen Burd,
  • Rachel Fishman,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2014
Today, too many families fail to claim higher education tax benefits for which they are eligible. For example, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that one in seven taxpayers—or 1.5 million tax filers—who were eligible for either the Tuition and Fees Deduction or the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) in 2009 failed to claim those benefits. Another 237,000 of these filers made a “suboptimal choice,” choosing a tax break that did not “maximize their potential benefits.”

Envisioning a Digital Age Architecture for Early Education

  • By
  • Lisa Guernsey,
  • New America Foundation
March 26, 2014

The young children of today will soon grow into the middle-schoolers of the next decade, the high school graduates of the late 2020s, and the citizens and workforce of the future.

The Graduate Student Debt Review

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
March 25, 2014

A New America analysis of recently available Department of Education data reveals that much of America’s student debt problem may be a result of expensive graduate and professional degrees—not unaffordable undergraduate educations. In fact, around 40 percent of recent federal loan disbursements are for graduate student debt, suggesting that a large chunk of the ubiquitous “$1 trillion in outstanding federal student debt” number is, in fact, graduate debt.

Time To Improve

  • By
  • Melissa Tooley,
  • Laura Bornfreund,
  • New America Foundation
March 24, 2014
While educator preparation has always been important, it is now more important than ever. Currently, there are more first year teachers in the United States than teachers of any other experience level—and at many schools, most of the teachers have only been teaching for a few years. Meanwhile, the skills and responsibilities expected of educators are expanding, as higher standards and new technologies are implemented to improve student learning. 
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