Student Achievement

A Resource on School Choice, Teacher Certification, and More

By Sean Cavanagh — November 21, 2011 1 min read

The Institute of Education Sciences, the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, has updated an online resource it manages on state policy, adding new information on “open-enrollment” policies for schools.

That resource is IES’s straightforwardly-named “Website on State Education Reforms,” which also offers state-by-state policy info on teacher quality, testing, data systems, school finance, and measures of academic progress. It’s a simple, yet very useful, starting point for anybody interested in comparing ed policies across states.

For instance, if you want to see how one state’s teacher-certification exams stack up against another’s—in areas like testing basic skills, or subject-specific content—it’s here.

Curious about state graduation requirements, state exit exams, and the efforts states make to help students pass those exams? They’re housed at the site, too.

And if you’re wondering about whether a state’s public-school choice policies are relatively open, or restrictive, IES’ database was recently updated to include more of that information. Many states claim to have 46 states open enrollment policies, but the limits those states place on whether districts have to accept students from outside their area vary greatly. (See my recent story on Michigan’s debate over open enrollment, to get a sense of the volatility of the issue.)

The site draws primarily from data collected by organizations outside the federal government. State ed-policy wonks, enjoy.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.