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research studies database
Research Studies provide concise, bulleted Findings, Policy Implications, and Recommendations on key issues, such as:

  • High school rigor and exit exams
  • Better serving English language learners
  • Boosting reading and math achievement
  • College entry and completion
  • Reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates
  • And many more!  (Go to the database.)

progress of education reform
progress of ed reformThe Progress of Education Reform addresses the hottest education issue and provides information in a concise and easy-to-read format based on the most recent studies and reports.

ECS Document Collections
ECS regularly issues useful compilations, summaries and/or comparisons of state policies—enacted or pending—on a wide variety of education topics, listed on the right. For a list of our most current documents, please see our What's New page.

Please use the links below to download PDFs that include all the documents for a given year.

If you'd like to order a print copy, contact the ECS Distribution Center at 303.299.3692 or jivey@ecs.org.

Reprint Permission
ECS is pleased to have other organizations or individuals share its materials with their constituents. To request permission to excerpt part of our publications either in print
or electronically, please e-mail ecs@ecs.org, subject: Reprint Permission. State the full name of the document, and supply detail about how the permission will be used (audience, quantity, etc).  A response will be provided within 24 hours.

 

 

ECS Policy Analysis Topics:

(Note: Not all topics have an ECS document associated with them. If you are looking for information on a specific topic, you can use our search function.)

Scheduling/School Calendar

Number of Instructional Days/Hours in the School Year PDF - An updated 50-state look at the minimum number of instructional days and/or hours in a school year and the start dates prescribed by law. While the majority of states require 180 days per year, the minimum hours necessary to count as an instructional day varies greatly. the minimum number of instructional days and/or hours in a school year and the start dates prescribed by law. While the majority of states require 180 days per year, the minimum hours necessary to count as an instructional day varies greatly. (Marga Mikulecky, ECS, March 2013) ...

Number of Instructional Days/Hours in the School Year PDF - This ECS StateNote answers: How long is the school year? When does school begin? How long does a day need to be to count as a “full day” of instruction? (Melodye Bush, Molly Ryan and Stephanie Rose, Education Commission of the States, August 2011)...

Learning Time in America : Trends to Reform the American School Calendar - This report reviews the debate on and the policies concerning learning time in America's public schools. Included in the appendix is a review of state policies on instructional time. The report was written in conjunction with A State Policymaker’s Guide to Expanding Learning Time, a brief that offers examples of state statutes and initiatives that alter learning time expectations....

What Savings are Produced by Moving to a Four-Day School Week? PDF - Because of the economic downturn more districts than ever are moving to a four-day school week, but the question still exists — what cost savings, if any, will this move produce? Making use of national and local spending data, this report shows what savings a district might realistically expect to realize when moving to a four-day week. (Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, May 2011)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar--Week - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Four-Day School Week PDF - As school districts nationwide struggle with funding cuts, the four-day school week has gained momentum as one way to save money. This ECS StateNote examines measures in the states that authorize eliminating one instructional day per week from the school calendar. (Molly Ryan, Education Commission of the States, November 2009)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Summer Learning - Moving from the Periphery to the Core PDF - For a long time, the issue of summer learning has waited in the wings, like a fully prepared understudy, ready to jump in and take the stage should the star need a back-up. Recently, though, summer learning has moved into the spotlight — and at the same time, the script is changing. Instead of memorizing and mimicking the star’s lines, summer learning is writing its own script. Transcending the punitive and remedial model of summer school, summer learning’s new form is an artful blend of core academic learning, hands-on activities, 21st Century skills, arts, sports and meaningful relationships. (June 2009) ...

Cost Per-Day for Extended School Year MS Word PDF - Extending the school year has become a topic of interest to many state and federal policymakers. Prior to deciding to extend the school year it is important for policymakers to understand the associated costs. This ECS StateNote gives a rough estimate of the total cost and the instructional cost of school operation in each state. (Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, February 2008)...

Minimum Number of Minutes/Hours in a High School Day MS Word PDF - This ECS StateNote provides a 50-state review of required instructional time in a typical high school day. (Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, November 2007)...

What Cannot Count Toward Official Instructional Time? MS Word PDF - State policymakers typically set the minimum number of instructional days or hours (pupil-teacher contact days). However, fewer states explicitly address whether certain non-teaching activities that fall within the school day count toward that minimum number. This ECS StateNote presents a scan of state laws in search of such provisions. (Kathy Christie and Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, October 2007)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar--Day/Class Length - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar--Extended Day Programs - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar--Summer School - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar--Year - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar--Year Round - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Scheduling/School Calendar - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Scheduling: Year-Round School MS Word - OLDIE BUT GOODY. Year-round schooling is an alternative method of providing education, often implemented in schools or school districts that are experiencing rapid increases in student population. Whatever the reasons for switching to a year-round schedule, it is important that policymakers, administrators, teachers, parents and students understand the concept and effects of year-round schooling, specifically with regards to levels of student achievement. (Todd Ziebarth, Education Commission of the States, June 1997)...

Online Databases
Roll over each database for a description.

p-3 archived databases
kindergarten artscan
k-12 choice
charter highly qualified requirements for special ed
choice-open enrollment NCLB
citizen-ed NCLB snaps
dual kindergarten
high school leadership
K-12 Paraprofessionals: Explore our findings for Title I Instructional Paraprofessional qualifications and certification requirements, paraprofessional professional development programs and state assessments for paraprofessionals.
school accountability literacy
service-learning teacher certification
postsecondary teacher comp
Postsecondary Teacher Professional Development
  teacher prep
  special-ed teacher certification
  dual
 
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