Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

What Revisions to Federal Education Policies Mean for State Efforts to Improve Schools

Professor Susan Moffitt co-authored a policy brief on federal education policies. 

June 6, 2017 Scholars Strategic Network

"With the recent reversal of key accountability provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act, federal education policy is at a crossroad. Since 2002, federal aid dollars have come with significant strings attached. To get such funds, states must sanction low-performing schools – and more recently, teachers – following a ladder of remedial steps that can lead to school closures and teacher firings. But with the recent changes to the Every Student Succeeds Act, Congress now allows states to rethink accountability procedures. Many scholars and policymakers worry that the end of accountability enforcement may lead to falling student test scores, so they recommend that states maintain strict sanctions for low performers. In contrast, our work suggests that states should take another path – by focusing on programs and policies that encourage high-quality classroom instruction."

Read the full policy brief on Scholars Strategic Network