Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act offers a new chance to improve education

Today, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) director of education policy studies Rick Hess, along with Raegen Miller and Cindy Brown of the Center for American Progress, released recommendations for fixing key provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)--federal funding targeted at our nation’s neediest students.

These three experts, from public policy organizations that span the ideological spectrum, recommend the following changes to Title I: 

  • Title I should simplify the manner in which states and districts demonstrate that federal Title I dollars supplement, and do not supplant, state and local investment in schools.
  • Require districts that receive Title I funds to report annually all school-level expenditures--including all dollars devoted to teacher salaries--to the Department of Education to promote transparency about how those Title I dollars are being used.
  • To receive Title I funds, states must be required to disclose per pupil spending at the state-, district-, and school-level alongside the test-based metrics that are commonly used on school report cards.
  • School districts should be given increased flexibility to negotiate contracts with external companies that provide supplemental education services such as tutoring.
  • Alternative (outside) providers should be allowed to perform duties traditionally performed by state education agencies – such as turning around a struggling school -- if they are better equipped for the task, and willing to commit to meeting higher performance targets. Funding would be contingent on the results.


Frederick (Rick) M. Hess
is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is available for interviews and can be reached through jenna.talbot@aei.org (202.862.5809).


For help reaching any AEI scholars and for all other media requests, please contact Jesse Blumenthal at
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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess
  • An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include "Cage-Busting Leadership," "Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age," "The Same Thing Over and Over," "Education Unbound," "Common Sense School Reform," "Revolution at the Margins," and "Spinning Wheels." He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." Hess's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.


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  • Email: rhess@aei.org
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    Name: Sarah DuPre
    Phone: 202-862-7160
    Email: Sarah.DuPre@aei.org

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