Fill out the brief form below for access to the free report.
Sandy Kress on how states can help school districts become more productive
The George W. Bush Institute has commissioned a series of scholarly papers examining the productivity of school districts. In short, how much bang are they getting for the bucks that taxpayers invest in them? You can find the papers at www.bushcenter.org.
One of the authors is Sandy Kress, a former head of the Dallas school board and a fellow at the George W. Bush Institute. He and two education researchers have written a paper looking at just how efficiently – or inefficiently – Texas schools operate.
This is more than a theoretical concern. The Texas Constitution requires legislators to “establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of free public schools.”
In this video, Kress addresses how well the state is meeting that goal. He also discusses incentives the state could create to help districts operate more efficiently.
For districts, this is not some academic challenge. Resources for education are shrinking at the same time requirements for students are expanding. They have no choice but to become more productive. Of course, in the end, that will benefit students, educators and taxpayers.
William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.
Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.
Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.
Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.
McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.Full Bio
Accountability Systems Need to be Simple Enough for Parents and the Public to Understand and Act Upon
What we need is a constant balancing of fairness and simplicity. This should be a primary goal for states like Texas now that the new Every Student Succeeds Act gives them more responsibility for holding schools accountable for their results.
Keep Testing Alive -- But Right-Size Assessments
Lessons Learned from The A Word: Accountability-The Dirty Word of Today's Education Reform
No Child Left Behind’s Legacy – and What School Accountability Means Today
In an essay published this week on The 74, a national education news site, Holly Kuzmich, the Bush Institute’s executive director, provides an insider’s look at the creation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Kuzmich, who worked on the landmark legislation that President Bush signed into law 16 years ago this month, also describes the bipartisan bill’s legacy. Anne Wicks, the Bush Institute’s education reform director, and William McKenzie, the Bush Institute’s editorial director, describe as well on The 74 what school accountability means today – and how it can be improved. Their essay includes lessons learned from The A Word: Accountability—The Dirty Word of Today’s Education Reform, a new Bush Institute series of interviews with respected education leaders.