Education Funding

New Initiative By Brookings Is Under Way

By Laura Greifner — April 11, 2006 2 min read

A new economic-policy initiative launched by the Brookings Institution last week includes specific suggestions for improving K-12 education, such as changing teacher hiring and retention practices, and setting up scholarships for low-income students to attend summer school.

The Brookings Institution, a research and policy organization based in Washington, started the initiative, called the Hamilton Project, to promote and discuss ideas from economic- and public-policy experts that are intended to help bolster the U.S. economy.

At last week’s unveiling of the initiative, economists presented papers on three topics: teacher hiring and retention practices, summer school scholarships for low-income students, and retirement savings for low- and middle-income adults.

“Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job” is available from the Brookings Institute. Also, read “Summer Opportunity Scholarships (SOS): A Proposal to Narrow the Skills Gap.”

The first education paper highlighted as part of the initiative, “Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job,” was written by Robert Gordon, a senior vice president at the Center for American Progress, along with Thomas J. Kane, a professor of education and economics at Harvard University, and Douglas O. Staiger, a professor of economics at Dartmouth University.

It argues that changing standard practices in teacher hiring and retention would have a positive effect on student achievement while also encouraging talented people to become educators. More specifically, the paper proposes downplaying certification as a measurement of teacher quality and using student-achievement data—as well as evaluations by principals, parents, and other teachers—to determine teacher effectiveness.

Summer Learning

The second education paper presented, “Summer Opportunity Scholarships (SOS): A Proposal to Narrow the Skills Gap,” was written by Molly E. Fifer, a graduate researcher at Princeton University, and Alan B. Krueger, a professor of economics and public policy at Princeton. It suggests that the skills gap between students from low- and high-income families is aggravated during the three-month summer vacation.

Ms. Fifer and Mr. Krueger propose establishing “summer opportunity scholarships,” a $4 billion-a-year program that would allow low-income students in grades K-5 to participate in a six-week summer school program focused on reading and math skills.

“I think the proposal recognizes the role that summer learning loss plays in the achievement gap,” Ronald A. Fairchild, the executive director of the Center for Summer Learning, based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in an interview.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 12, 2006 edition of Education Week as New Initiative By Brookings Is Under Way

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District

Read Next

Education Funding Concern About Unspent COVID-19 School Aid Continues as Congress Moves Toward More Relief
A congressional analysis has spurred discontent about how fast money will be spent, but some warn against over-simplifying the situation.
5 min read
Thermometers, gloves, and cleaning swabs sit on a table at the entrance to the Frederickson KinderCare daycare center, in Tacoma, Wash on May 27, 2020.
Thermometers, gloves, and cleaning swabs sit on a table at the entrance to the Frederickson KinderCare daycare center, in Tacoma, Wash on May 27, 2020. As a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, workers and children have their temperatures checked every day before they enter the building.
Ted S. Warren/AP
Education Funding Opinion What's It Take for Philanthropy to Help Rural Schools?
Place-based philanthropy has enormous potential to revitalize rural communities. The trick is, it’s tough to get this sort of approach right.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Education Funding Summer School, Extended Learning a Priority in $129 Billion COVID-19 Relief Bill
The reconciliation bill from House Democrats is an early attempt at what's shaping up to be a new federal aid package for education.
5 min read
A staff member holds the door open for kids on the first day of school at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
A staff member holds the door open for kids on the first day of school at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
Mikala Compton/Herald-Zeitung via AP
Education Funding Details of Biden's Education Relief Pitch Prioritize Smaller Classes, Avoiding Layoffs
The administration's breakdown of COVID-19 needs also includes $50 billion for social distancing and $29 billion for learning recovery.
5 min read
Image of the White House seal
Bet Noire/Getty