Policy Issues

Survey: Teacher Quality, Not Testing, the Best Way to Improve Education

According to the latest education survey conducted by PDK and Gallup, 97 percent of public school parents believe that teachers offer the best hope for improving the quality of schools. Only 19 percent put first priority on using test results to make changes.

Report: States Lack Consistent Standards for Literacy Teacher Preparation

Only 18 states require elementary teacher candidates to complete specific courses in literacy education, according to a report from the International Literacy Association.

NASFAA Names Winner of Big Idea Policy Proposal Contest

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has selected the winner of its inaugural "Big Idea" policy proposal competition.

New Mexico Teacher Eval Criteria Rejiggered for Some

Instructors in New Mexico who teach subjects with no standard testing attached to them may no longer have to worry about being evaluated based on improvements in the high-stakes test scores of students in their district.

Minnesota ED Renegotiates Pearson Contract in Face of Testing Outages

A testing provider has had to reduce the value of its contract and kick in some free services for shoddy server performance during a major assessment period in Minnesota.

Federal Student Loan Repayments for Teachers May Get Reboot

A new bipartisan bill in Congress would streamline loan repayment for teachers in high-need schools.

One-Size-Fits-All Financial Aid Form Has To Go

Concerned that a bill from two United States senators proposing the use of as few as two questions to determine financial eligibility for college will gain traction, a national organization of financial aid professionals has presented an alternative for simplifying the process of applying for financial aid.

National Student Financial Aid Profile Finds Dramatic Increase in Need

As Congress debates reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a national organization of financial aid professionals has issued its latest "National Student Aid Profile" to help policymakers understand what they're making decisions about.

Survey: Professors and Employers Find High School Grads Unready for College or Work

A new study found that in two-year colleges, only 4 percent of instructors found students "most generally able to do what is expected." The number was slightly higher in four-year schools: 12 percent. The rest reported that students had arrived to higher ed with at least some gaps in preparation.

Report Recommends Changes to Educator Preparation Programs

All students, particularly those with disabilities, would benefit from stronger licensure standards for teachers and principals, identification of key skills for new teachers and more rigorous educator preparation programs, according to a new report from the University of Florida and the Council of Chief State School Officers.