General Audience Articles

Is your Child’s School Effective? Don’t Rely On NCLB to Tell You. Paul Peterson, Martin West . Education Next, 6(4), 76-80. 2006.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the federal school-accountability law, is widely held to have accomplished one good thing: require states to publish test-score results in math and reading for each school in grades 3 through 8 and again in grade 10. The results appear to be telling parents whether their child’s school is doing a better job than the one across town, in the neighboring city, or across the state. But accountability works only if the yardstick used to measure performance is reasonably accurate. Unfortunately, the yardstick required by the federal law is not.

Johnny Can Read… in Some States. Frederick Hess, Paul E. Peterson. Education Next, 5(3), 52-53. 2005.

Johnny can’t read … in South Carolina. But if his folks move to Texas, he’ll be reading up a storm. What’s going on?

It turns out that in complying with the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), some states have decided to be a whole lot more generous than others in determining whether students are proficient at math and reading. While NCLB required all states to have accountability systems in place, it did not say specifically how much students should know at the end of 4th or any other grade.

Consolidate Districts, Not Schools. Paul Peterson. Reforming Education in Arkansas, Recommendations from the Koret Task Force. Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, California. 2005.
The New Politics of Federalism. Paul Peterson. Spectrum, 78(2), 5-7. 2005.
A conflict of Interest: District Regulation of School Choice and Supplemental Services. Paul PetersonIn John Chubb, Ed.. Within Our Reach: Strengthening No Child Left Behind. Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, California. 2005.
The Theory and Practice of School Choice. Paul PetersonIn M. Wynne, H. Rosenblum, and R. Formaini, Eds.. The Legacy of Milton and Rose Friedman's Free to Choose: Economic Liberalism at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Dallas Texas. 2004.
A Choice Between Public and Private Schools: What Next for School Vouchers?. Paul Peterson. Spectrum: The Journal for State Government, 5-8. Fall 2003.
What Next for School Vouchers?. Paul Peterson. Dice Report, Journal for Institutional Comparisons, 1(4), 57-61. Winter 2003.
A Call for Citywide Voucher Demonstration Project. Paul PetersonIn School Vouchers: Settled Questions, Continuing Disputes. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 16-24. 2002.
Victory for Vouchers?. Paul Peterson. Commentary, 46-50. 2002.
Who Chooses? Who Uses? Participation in a National School Voucher Program. Paul Peterson, David E. Campbell, Martin R. WestIn Paul T. Hill, Ed.. Choice with Equity: An Assessment by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. Hoover Institution Press. 2002.

Among the most controversial issues in the heated public debate over school vouchers is the question of which families are most likely to leave the public sector and enroll their children in private schools if given the opportunity. Critics assert that the parents most likely to opt for vouchers will be those who are already most involved in their children’s education—which, on average, will mean the parents of the most motivated and gifted students.

While America Slept. Paul PetersonIn Dennis L. Dresain et al. American Government In a Changed World: The Effects of September 11, 2001. 2002.
Choice and Competition in K-12 Education. Paul PetersonIn John D. Donahue and Joseph S. Nye Jr., Eds.. Governance Amid Bigger, Better Markets. Brookings Institution Press. 2001.
The Interests of the Limited City. Paul PetersonIn Dennis R. Judd and Paul Kantor, Eds.. The Politics of Urban America - A reader. Longman. 2001.
School Choice Experiments in Urban Education. Paul PetersonIN Margaret C. Wang and Herbert J. Walberg, Eds.. School Choice or Best Systems: What Improves Education?. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2001.