Charter schools part of US education overhaul, notes “The Economist”

The result has been a dramatic acceleration of reforms in America’s public schools, at least on paper. All but five of the 50 states have adopted the common core. All but eight now allow charter schools. Thanks to No Child Left Behind, they all now track and publish the performance of individual schools and intervene at the feeblest ones. Most states also have some sort of evaluation system for teachers.

Many states have gone beyond the changes demanded by the federal government. Seventeen now offer vouchers for use in private schools to some students or give tax breaks to people who donate to scholarship funds. Thirty-eight are experimenting with new pay structures for teachers or principals, often with a performance-related element. Thirty-seven had applied for RTT [Race to the Top]-like grants to boost attendance at and quality of pre-schools, even before Mr Obama announced a push to improve and expand early-childhood education last month. From nurseries to technical colleges, in short, America is subjecting its schools to a vigorous shake-up.

“Value-added remodelling: America’s schools are getting their biggest overhaul in living memory”, The Economist, March 16, 2013.

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