Publications and Reports

CTAC’s reports focus on cutting edge issues in education and community development. Our research and evaluation studies inform practice and guide policy decision-making at local, state and national levels.

Levers for Change: Pathways for State-to-District Assistance in Underperforming School Districts

When school districts fail their responsibilities to educate students, state departments of education have to step up and be the responsible party. But do the state agencies have the knowledge and capacity to do what the districts have not done? This CTAC report shows that the most critical lessons from years of state-to-district interventions are in the effective use of three levers for change. State interventions at the district level have educational, organizational, and political dimensions, but these interventions are largely approached from just a one dimensional perspective—educational. Unless the organizational and political dimensions are addressed concurrently with the educational dimension, successful state-to-district interventions will continue to be elusive for the states. This report was commissioned by the Center for American Progress.

Myths and Realities: The Impact of the State Takeover on Students and Schools in Newark

This CTAC report addresses the national need for a longitudinal study of the impact of a state takeover of a major urban district. It involves interviewing more than 200 individuals, examining survey responses from nearly 10,000 teachers, parents, students and administrators, and analyzing extensive student and school performance data. The culminating report describes the process that led to the state takeover, delineates the core elements of reform, and details strategies that states should adopt if they are contemplating school district takeovers.