Mayors' Report Card on Education
Early in 2014, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings approached the Bush Institute with a unique, challenging idea: Create a scorecard for mayors to use in evaluating their cities' major school district.
No such national scorecard existed, at least not one that uses several comparable data points. Accepting the mayor’s request, the Bush Institute, along with the Collaborative Communications Group, set out to prepare this report.
The result is the Mayor’s Report Card on Education, which is being presented today at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Bush Institute is committed to advancing the accountability of our nation’s campuses, which starts with making sure schools have a rich amount of data. Schools can’t know how to improve the achievement of their students without knowing where those students are progressing and where they are falling behind.
In this report, you will see data that shows graduation rates, ACT scores, trend-lines on National Assessment of Educational Progress exams, average teacher salaries and early childhood availability. This report card includes information for each of the 33 cities analyzed.
The data can show mayors how they can engage their school districts. It also can help them talk with each other about improving public education.
At the same time, we hope this report card illustrates for parents, educators and policymakers how they can advance the schools within their communities. The information presented here is only a starting point. Yet it can point the way for the leaders, citizens and taxpayers of major American cities.
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SHAPING THE FUTURE
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Accountability Matters for All Students
Accountability doesn’t just matter for low-performing students and schools. It matters to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and succeed.
The Catalyst: Growing the Middle Class with Skills
We hear plenty these days about factory jobs being lost, but what about equipping workers for jobs that require such modern skills as using a computer on the plant floor? The New York Times and the Hechinger Report each recently ran stories on this challenge. The Times noted that "Yet rarely discussed in the political debate over lost jobs are the academic skills needed for today's factory-floor positions, and the pathways through education that lead to them." Perhaps, but the pages of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute are filled with proposals for gaining those skills. Anne Humphrey, director of the Bush Institute's Education Reform Initiative, explains in her Catalyst essay that high schools need to think of graduation as the starting line for students, not the finish line. For one thing, high school graduation may not translate into mastery of key subjects. Here’s how Humphrey puts it: What is a diploma worth if so many students
State of Our Cities: Hispanic reading scores show some progress but not enough for success beyond high school
The progress of Hispanic students is really crucial for the progress of big states like Texas and California but also for a growing number of states. Their mastery of key subjects like math and reading will determine not only their own economic mobility but also the economic vitality and future leadership of cities like Dallas.
In Case You Missed It: Bush Institute's Education Reform Director on the State of Dallas Education
This week, the Bush Center hosted “Educated City,” an Engage program that partnered with the Dallas Festival of Ideas to explore the future of education in Dallas. The program included conversations with Mayor Mike Rawlings along with other community and school leaders and parents. The Bush Institute’s Education Reform Director, Anne Wicks Humphrey, kicked off the evening with a fascinating presentation on the current state of education in the city. She highlighted how the Bush Institute's State of Our Cities tool can be used to compare Dallas to cities around the nation, as well as countries around the world, to better understand where local students are excelling and where challenges exist. You can watch her remarks as well as the rest of the program below. And check out data on more than 100 cities around the country using State of Our Cities at bushcenter.org/StateofOurCities.