About Policy Studies in Education

For over 40 years, we have provided consulting services and technical assistance to schools, local and state boards of education, state education departments, state legislatures, federal education agencies, foundations, professional education associations, and public and private colleges. We have conducted more than 500 data-based studies and program design projects in more than 40 states and abroad. These projects have spanned an array of topics, including curriculum and test development, program development and evaluation, parent advocacy, policy formulation and analysis, administrative organization, and school finance.

In addition, we have trained thousands of school board members and tens of thousands of teachers and administrators across the U.S., often sponsored by state associations (such as the Texas Association of School Boards) or by national organizations (such as the Danforth Foundation, American Association of School Administrators, and National School Boards Association). 

Here is just a sample of the projects we have carried out:

Provided Technical Assistance to Innovative New York City Public Schools. We supported the design and operation of City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, a groundbreaking Early College high school that used a trimester schedule to accelerate high school completion to just three years for all students. We also worked with eight small high schools sponsored by the National Academy Foundation and catalogued innovative practices of middle schools and high schools for the New York City Department of Education.

Developed Curricula and Testing Programs in Districtwide Reform Efforts. We have created K–12 curriculum objectives in all school subjects in urban, suburban, and rural school districts across the U.S.—often with matching assessments—in order to improve student learning districtwide. Our staff members have worked with thousands of teachers to put together local curricula tailored to local circumstances in more than 15 states.

Engaged Parents in Their Children’s Education. We have developed products for use by parents in helping to teach their children and to monitor their school district’s curriculum, such as parent checklists of the curriculum objectives taught by the teachers and parent handbooks, which include easy-to-use activities that help children learn at home. These have been used with great success by parents in a wide range of school districts in California, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Connecticut, and New York.
 We have also trained parents to serve on local school councils, designed to give parents, teachers, and administrators the authority to make important educational decisions for their schools.

Developed Policies for Local School Boards. We have worked with school board members and school district administrators to develop policies across a range of topics from instruction to community involvement to personnel to business and financial operations. Revised policies and a new system of policy making have improved the functioning of school districts we have worked with in Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, California, Kansas, Texas, and Connecticut. In addition, we have trained thousands of individual school board members from most states, in conjunction with the National School Boards Association and various state associations, with a special focus on the role of school board members in curriculum and testing decisions.

Developed State Curriculum and Testing Products. We have developed K–12 objectives banks customized to individual state’s curriculum standards, used by over 125 local school districts in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Connecticut as a basis for creating their own local curricula. We have also created practice tests matched to individual state’s exams, used by over 200 local school districts in New York, Ohio, and Michigan to prepare elementary, middle, and high school students for state exams in English, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Conducted Marketing Studies for Colleges. In conjunction with the College Board, we have designed and conducted marketing studies to look at the supply of and the demand for college programs, especially those targeting adult students returning to college. We have worked with over 250 public and private, two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions in most states to improve college courses and services for students.

Conducted Program Evaluations. We have designed and carried out independent evaluations of a wide variety of education programs for local school districts, state education departments, and federal education agencies, including these: small learning communities, serving high schools in the greater New Orleans area; Very Special Arts Festivals, serving handicapped children nationwide; internship programs in New York, Maryland, and Rhode Island; and over 25 career education programs, serving K–12 students in school districts nationwide.

Conducted Educational Goals Surveys. In conjunction with the National School Boards Association, we developed and conducted the Educational Goals Survey in school districts across the U. S., including in New York, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, Mississippi, Connecticut, and Ohio. We surveyed high school students, school staff, local residents, and recent high school graduates about what the school district should be prioritizing within its educational program.