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Students must be prepared for both college and career — not one over the other.

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As a nation, we need every student reading and doing math on grade level. Annual assessment data on student academic performance is critical to inform parents, educators, and the public about how our schools are performing, and it helps to identify where research-based interventions are needed to ensure that all students can be successful.

Annual, comparable, statewide assessments also give state and district leaders and policymakers the ability to focus resources on problem areas, find strategies that work, and reward results. Without this information, decision-makers are forced to spend taxpayer money based on guesses and then hope for the best. Objective, comparable data and timely, transparent reporting of data will rightly keep the focus rightly on student success within the education system.

The Bush Institute has created a resource, the State of Our Cities report, that provides a starting point for understanding and using available data from multiple sources.  Find information about your city’s school district or your local school with these easy-to-use report cards and turn data into action. The tool also includes data from our Global Report Card, which allows city scores with global competitors.

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State of Our Cities: Profiles of Education Performance Around the Nation provides comparable education data on more than 100 cities across the country and allows users to make comparisons at the state, national, and global level so that mayors, policymakers, and the public can engage more vigorously in education decision-making in their local communities.

The data describes indicators including: a high-quality education for every student; supported pathways to college and career; early childhood education that prepares students for the classroom; and effective educators and principals.

State of Our Cities is the updated and enhanced version of the Mayors’ Report Card on Education, which covered education metrics for 33 cities and was first released in January 2015 at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting.  While education data has been collected and aggregated at the state level, the Mayors’ Report Card was the first time that data was collected and aggregated at the city level.

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“Educators, parents, policymakers, and importantly, our mayors, need access to objective, comparable data so that they can make decisions to support the success of all students in their communities.” – Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institution.

Download fact sheet

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“I don’t think you can solve a problem if you can’t diagnose it, and I don’t think it is fair for parents or students not to be informed of how their schools perform relative to other schools and how their children perform relative to other children.” – President George W. Bush

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“To build a more hopeful America, we must help our children reach as far as their vision and character can take them." - Mrs. Laura W. Bush

Support Our Work

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Mayors' Report Card on Education

Though education data is frequently collected and aggregated at the state level, data is rarely synthesized across cities. The Mayors’ Report Card, based on key topics in education and compiled by the Bush Institute’s Education Reform Initiative, looks at 33 cities across the Nation and presents the information for policy-makers and parents in an easy-to-use and illustrated format.

View the Mayors' Report Card

A Progressive Concern: Productivity in Education

The authors concentrate on financial resources available to schools, how to improve fiscal equity, and how schools can use resources in smarter ways. They explain why political progressives should assist in - and even lead - efforts to bring the idea of managing performance with measurable outcomes to public schools.

Read About Productivity in Education

The Phantom Menace: Policies that Protect Districts from Declining or Low Enrollments, Drive Up Spending, and Inhibit Adaptation

This paper examines how current funding practices lead to inefficiencies, particularly through the funding of “phantom students.” The authors explain current accounting procedures in K-12 education, propose ways to make them more precise, and discuss how ending these practices would reduce costs and encourage districts to innovate.

Read the Paper

Teacher Effectiveness Research and the Evolution of U.S. Teacher Policy

Teacher quality is the largest factor contributing to student achievement in schools, but teacher characteristics such as education level and certification status are poor proxies for teacher quality. This paper explains the weak relationship between teacher effectiveness and how teacher compensation currently is determined. The author discusses policies designed to act on the differences that exist between teachers, and concludes with possible pathways for improving teacher quality.

Read the Research

Teacher Effectiveness Research and the Evolution of U.S. Teacher Policy

Teacher quality is the largest factor contributing to student achievement in schools, but teacher characteristics such as education level and certification status are poor proxies for teacher quality. This paper explains the weak relationship between teacher effectiveness and how teacher compensation currently is determined. The author discusses policies designed to act on the differences that exist between teachers, and concludes with possible pathways for improving teacher quality.

Read the Research

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educationreform@bushcenter.org

Media inquiries: 
media@bushcenter.org

Social Media

Education Reform: Twitter

Bush Center: Twitter | Facebook

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