Making Democracy Work

Education Study

Should the Federal Government play a role in public education?

Welcome to our Web page.

What Role Should Federal Government have in U.S. public schools?

It is clear that the federal government is planning an increasing role in public schools, and that the League needs be part of the discussion. We are uniquely qualified to take action from an unbiased, well researched, nonpartisan position with the strength of members in every state behind our advocacy.

The League is proposing a 2009-2011 study of the role of the federal government in public education. To read more go to the Study of the Federal Government Role.

The League has, at the national level, advocated with existing Social Policy Positions in areas related to education issues: for desegregation, against public funding of private schools, and against discrimination by sex.

To read more about League action at the federal level go to the LWVUS Web site

Also, the State Leagues' Education Positions Matrix provides a matrix of information for all states. For some computers the Excel formatted matrix is downloaded.

Finally, on Saturday, March 13, the Obama administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which would ask states to adopt college- and career-ready standards and reward schools for producing dramatic gains in student achievement. The proposal challenges the nation to embrace educational standards that would put America on a path to global leadership.

Other Web sites for background information on education--this list will be updated periodically and suggestions are most welcome:

The National School Boards Association is a not-for-profit Federation of state associations of school boards across the United States.

Education Week is a weekly subscription magazine and online source for a broad range of articles. Some of the articles are offered free online, and free trial subscriptions are also available.

Rand Corporation offers publications for sale and free pdf files for download on a broad variety of current education issues. You can also sign on to their elist for weekly updates on what's going on at the Rand Corporation.

U.S. Department of Education for the complete text of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

PEW conducts research and publishes articles in many areas including education issues from pre-school through college.

Fordham University, National Center for Schools and Community has many free articles on current education issues.

Columbia University Teachers College offers free articles, podcasts and e-list. One very good document, published March 2006: Opportunity Knocks: Applying Lessons from the Education Adequacy Movement to Reform the No Child Left Behind Act.

Harvard Family Research Project has free articles: "Complimentary Learning" Linking families, schools, and communities to support success in school and in life; "Family Involvement" promoting strategies to support family involvement in children's learning and development; "Out-of-School Time" Supporting the accessibility of out-of-school programs and initiatives; and more.

ies What Works Clearing House is a new Web page from the U.S, Dept. of Education listing recent studies from a variety of sources.

Stanford University national studies about charter schools. As charter schools play an increasingly central role in education reform agendas across the United States, it becomes more important to have current and comprehensible analysis about how well they do educating their students. Thanks to progress in student data systems and regular student achievement testing, it is possible to examine student learning in charter schools and compare it to the experience the students would have had in the traditional public schools (TPS) they would otherwise have attended. This report presents a longitudinal student‐level analysis of charter school impacts on more than 70 percent of the students in charter schools in the United States. The scope of the study makes it the first national assessment of charter school impacts.

Public School Insights. From the Learning First Alliance an association or 18 education associations claiming 10 million members. The site includes, blogs, success stories, and resource materials for educators.

Learning First Alliance. The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of 18 national education associations dedicated to improving student learning in America's public schools.

Center on reinventing Public Education. The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) was founded in 1993 at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. In 2008, CRPE changed its affiliation to the University of Washington Bothell.

Foundation for Child Development The Foundation for Child Development (FCD) is a national, private philanthropy dedicated to the principle that all families should have the social and material resources to raise their children to be healthy, educated and productive members of their communities.

The Foundation seeks to understand children, particularly the disadvantaged, and to promote their well-being. We believe that families, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses and government at all levels share complementary responsibilities in the critical task of raising new generations.


"Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage" by Lisabeth Schorr is a comprehensive evaluation of social programs in the United States that have been highly effective at ameliorating the life outcomes of our nations most at risk children. Although the book is almost two decades old, the depth of Schorr's review is still applicable to the lives of present-day youth.

"Teaching for Freedom", Myths of Education" and "To Teach" by Bill Ayers. William Ayers writes, as a teacher, parent, student and observer, of the children he has known and of the things that actually happen in the classroom. His collection of vignettes should interest those involved in, or concerned with, the art of teaching