Think Twice Weekly Report

MARCH 23, 2024 - April 5, 2024

The Think Twice Weekly Report compiles public education-related policy reports, research and articles of interest to policymakers, educators and stakeholders. This list is not exhaustive but is meant to highlight recent reports that may be used to support or undermine the work of our subscribers in supporting public schools. We encourage you to take a moment to scan these reports and determine if they may be used by policy makers to assist or erode your mission.

Policy Reports

Charter Schools

Source: Fordham Institute
Date: 3/26/2024
Did the emergence of Ohio charter schools help or harm students who remained in district schools?

"For more than twenty-five years, public charter schools have served Ohio families and communities by providing quality educational options beyond the local school district. But it's no secret that we've also had a long-standing debate over whether increasing school choice impacts students who remain in traditional districts.


In important-and sometimes impassioned-discussions such as these, rigorous research is critical to ground conversations in facts and evidence.


Our latest report offers an analysis of the rapid scale-up of Ohio charter schools during the late 1990s and early 2000s. It finds that charters slightly boosted the graduation and attendance rates of traditional district students, while having no significant impacts on their state exam scores.


These results follow a body of research from various locales showing that expanding educational choice-whether via public charter schools or private schools-consistently yields neutral to slightly positive impacts on traditional districts."

Education and the Workplace

Source: Center for American Progress
Date: 4/4/2024
K-12 Work-Based Learning Opportunities: A 50-State Scan of 2023 Legislative Action

As work-based learning models grow in popularity, it is important for policymakers to work with educators and industry leaders in developing equitable, high-quality programs. This report analyzes state legislation passed in the 2023 session related to work-based learning in K-12 schools and offers recommendations for policymakers to consider.

Education and the Workplace

Source: Manhattan Institute
Date: 4/4/2024
Bridging Educational Gaps, Building Brighter Futures Paid High School Work-Study Programs

"In the wake of the pandemic, there is thus a pressing need-as well as an opportunity-to find new, innovative approaches for recovering dropouts and retaining those at risk of dropping out.


Paid high school work-study programs are a promising way to help provide opportunities to our most vulnerable teenagers and young adults. Before graduating from high school, students enrolled in work-study programs are employed in paid jobs to gain valuable, marketable skills while often receiving their first wages and being kept safe. Work-study programs make high school relevant, thus helping to prevent dropouts and to reclaim those who have already left."

School Choice

Source: EdChoice
Date: 3/27/2024
The State of the American Student: Fall 2023

"This policy brief discusses "switchers" and "non-switchers" in the context of choice programs with broad eligibility (universal and near-universal choice programs). Switchers are students who would have enrolled in a public school without any financial assistance from a choice program. Non-switchers are students who would have enrolled in a nonpublic school even without any financial assistance from a choice program. Switchers generate fiscal benefits for taxpayers when they leave public schools."

School Finance and Funding

Source: Bluegrass Institute
Date: 4/1/2024
Less local bang for more bucks: A Review of Facts and Trends in Jefferson County Public Schools

"Funding and performance trends at the local level mirror even more starkly what's happening statewide, according to a new Bluegrass Institute policy point.


According to "Less local bang for more bucks: A Review of Facts and Trends in Jefferson County Public Schools," per-pupil funding in Kentucky's largest school district was not only a whopping $23,561 but it had significantly increased over the previous year's $19,280. The policy point is the latest in a continuing series of data dives by Bluegrass Institute Scholar John Garen, Ph.D., revealing a dramatic and near-continuous rise in overall funding since 1990, yet very little improvement in educational outcomes, resulting in a large deterioration in the effectiveness of K-12 funding."

Student Achievement / School Reform

Source: CRPE
Date: 4/4/2024
The State of the American Student: Fall 2023

"As we reported in our inaugural State of the American Student report in September 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic and related school closures led to unprecedented academic setbacks for American students. They exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and accelerated the mental health crisis for young people. This second edition provides basic data on the overall system, but focuses especially on students who are nearing graduation, or have already graduated, from high school. The traditional pathways to college and career were already not working for too many of these students. The pandemic made everything worse."

Teacher Employment and Retention

Source: CRPE
Date: 3/28/2024
"So hard, but so rewarding:" How school system leaders are scaling up strategic school staffing models

"Innovative staffing models are promising, but challenging to scale up. What does the work of leading strategic staffing involve, and what could make scaling up easier?


This report digs deep into the many challenges system leaders face when scaling up innovative staffing solutions. These leaders are trying to address longstanding teacher shortages and retention challenges by rethinking everything, including who they hire and how they design the job, provide support, build trust, and uproot old assumptions about the teaching role. The early results are promising: these leaders report fewer vacancies, higher staff satisfaction, and improved student learning experiences."

Reports Reviewed

GLC seeks to ensure that policy briefs impacting education reform are based on sound, credible academic research. Below are reviews conducted with GLC support.

K-12 School Choice Calculator

Source: Reason Foundation and EdChoice
Reviewed by: Bruce Baker, University of Miami

Bruce Baker, professor and chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Miami, describes these factors in his review of the K-12 School Choice Calculator, which is provided online by the Reason Foundation and EdChoice's Fiscal Research and Education Center. Baker explains that there is one overarching problem that state policymakers have long faced in trying to make sense of competing claims about the fiscal bottom line for vouchers: How are they to estimate which percentage of voucher users will be students leaving public versus staying in private schools? The new calculator does not, and cannot, answer that question.

What We're Reading

Research and articles that we want to highlight for subscribers as potential resources:

Examining School-Level Teacher Turnover Trends from 2021 to 2023: A New Angle on a Pervasive Issue


Building a positive and inviting school climate in which every student is known requires sustained effort and strong relationships. Teacher turnover makes that work harder. On average, 23 percent of teachers left their school-or a teaching role-in the 2022-23 school year. This is higher than pre-pandemic turnover in the sample, which was about 18 percent in the 2019-20 school year, but lower than the 2021-22 school year's peak of 26 percent. (This analysis was originally published in May 2023 and was significantly updated in March 2024 to reflect new data.)

Preaching-and Teaching-What They Practice: Discrimination

By: Donald Cohen, ITPI

Voucher-funded schools can-and do-teach whatever they want to whomever they want.

The State Superintendent at the Forefront of the GOP's Education Crusade

By: Juan Perex, Politico

Ryan Walters, Oklahoma's millennial superintendent, is trying to remake public education by injecting religion into schools.

Supreme Court ruling could give school board members more freedom to block critics on social media

By: Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat

The key question is: Are they authorized to speak on behalf of the government and are they exercising that authority in their posts?

New state AI policies released: Signs point to inconsistency and fragmentation

By: Bree Dusseault, CRPE

A year ago, the AI conversation centered on plagiarism and bans. Now, most guidance focuses more on urging educators to accept AI and use the technology to enhance teacher effectiveness....AI recommendations, policies, and access to training for educators are, by and large, ambiguous and underdeveloped.