The Education Policy Program uses original research and policy analysis to solve the nation’s critical education problems, serving as a trusted source of objective analysis and innovative ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large.

Better Policies for Dual Language Learners

Education Policy

State policymakers and advocates from Minnesota, California, and New York joined district administrators and researchers from these and other states to provide convening participants with updates from the cutting edge of DLL reforms.

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in the news | February 23, 2015| Education Policy

Colleges appeal to Congress to cut regulations they say drive up costs

“I don’t think it’s surprising that a report written by industry for industry would say, ‘Thanks for the money now leave us alone,’” said Amy Laitinen, a former Education Department policy advisor who now serves as deputy director for higher education at the nonpartisan think tank the New America Foundation. “They didn’t even try to include a token student-protection voice. This is just so slanted.”

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in the news | February 20, 2015| Education Policy

One vision of tomorrow’s college: Cheap, and you get an education, not a degree

In “The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere,” Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, a public-policy think tank in Washington, lays out a provocative history of how the university system got to this point and one vision of the revolution that’s beginning because of digital innovation. Riverhead will publish the book March 3.

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in the news | February 20, 2015| Education Policy

A student loan blind spot

Wealthy graduate students, not undergraduates, will reap a larger share of the loan-forgiveness benefits under this program because they can borrow a lot more. The government limits how much undergraduates can borrow to as little as $5,500 a year and cuts them off after $31,000 in total. Graduate students, on the other hand, can take out federal loans for the entire cost of their educations with no annual or lifetime limit. Loans to grad students are already the fastest-growing category of federal student borrowing, the Education Department reports, and of those who take out more than $20,500 per year, half are repaying through the income-based program.

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in the news | February 18, 2015| Education Policy

Joe Dunman: The University of Louisville must be held accountable

In his forthcoming book, “The End of College,” New America Foundation director Kevin Carey describes the furious expansion of George Washington University under the guidance of former president Stephen Trachtenberg. Founded in 1821, GWU by the late 1980s was little more than a modest commuter school languishing in the shadow of a bigger, more prestigious neighbor, Georgetown.

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in the news | February 17, 2015| Education Policy

Yes, And: A Response to “Community College Online”

I had that response to Rachel Fishman’s new report for the New America Foundation, “Community College Online.” Yes, and. It offers plenty to build on. Given that those of us in the trenches are improvising responses to a rapidly-changing setting, I’ll take that. Fishman notes the demographics of community college students in setting the context. When educational policies have been established largely on the model of the eighteen year old, full time student, getting the student profile right matters. On my own campus, for example, the IPEDS cohort (first-time, full-time, degree-seeking) is less than twenty percent of the student body. And that’s before accounting for the number who work twenty or more hours a week for pay. When policies are made with that small cohort in mind, the great many who don’t fit the cohort often find themselves at a disadvantage.

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in the news | February 17, 2015| Education Policy

D.C. Thinks State Control Over Education Is A Given. Here's Why That's Wrong

Conor P. Williams

Last week, the Department of Education announced that the American high school graduation rate hit a new record high of 81 percent in 2012-2013. But the Schott Foundation simultaneously released a report showing that only 59 percent of African-American males graduated from high school that year. African-Americans in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina all graduated African-American males at rates lagging that deplorably low national average.

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in the news | February 12, 2015| Education Policy

Are English Learners Neglected in Early Education?

Conor P. Williams

Surprisingly though, when policies surrounding early education are discussed - as they increasingly are - there is limited focus on young children who are expanding their vocabularies in general, while learning to do so in more than one language, said Conor Williams, a senior researcher at New America Education Policy Program.

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in the news | February 07, 2015| Education Policy

Obama student loan push behind $22 billion write-down

Evan Hill

Jason Delisle, the director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation, favors income-based repayment, and his think tank has suggested making it the default for borrowers. But “the problem is that the program helps many more people than you and I — and most people — would think ...

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in the news | February 03, 2015| Education Policy

Testing Burden on ELLs Needs Easing, Federal Officials Say

Conor P. Williams

When students with low English proficiency take math exams, they may not understand the test directions—one example of a language barrier that keeps them from demonstrating their skills. By definition, ELLs are "not yet actually ready to access math and English-language content," said Conor P. Williams, a senior researcher for the Washington-based New America Foundation.

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in the news | February 02, 2015| Education Policy

Union to Teachers: Say ‘Right ZIP Code,’ Not ‘Rich’

Conor P. Williams

A few weeks ago, the Southern Education Foundation published a brief showing that the growing gap between America’s rich and poor is on display more clearly than ever in American schools. This year, a majority of American public school students qualified as low-income. This is an embarrassment. And it should be central to our national education conversations. But not everyone feels that way. According to an internal National Education Association (NEA) document recommending changes to the NEA’s public messaging, its teachers should steer clear of the word “inequality” altogether.