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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government



Teacher Shortage Areas Across the Country

In a presentation to the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers program, Rockefeller Institute President Jim Malatras surveyed the Institute’s ongoing state-by-state research on teacher supply and demand. Teacher labor markets are local — one district may have an oversupply while a neighboring district has a surplus; local data, therefore, is required to understand and address shortages. With the mission of “lifting up the teaching profession so we can have high-quality teachers in every classroom,” the Institute’s research, conducted in partnership with the Extra Yard for Teachers program, aims to provide actionable, localized data on the teacher workforce.
Jim Malatras, January 2018

Phase One Analysis of the Teacher Workforce in South Dakota

The Rockefeller Institute's preliminary study of the teacher workforce in South Dakota reveals a high degree of variation even within this relatively small and homogenous state. Conducted in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers program, the report lays the groundwork for building a detailed, local understanding of teacher employment trends that policymakers can use to begin addressing potential problems. It also points to the importance of this kind of granular data in the national effort to understand and mitigate a potential looming teacher shortage, as teacher labor markets can vary greatly from district to district, and even school to school.
Thomas Gais, Jim Malatras, Alan Wagner, Young Joo Park, November 2017

A Background on Potential Teacher Shortages in the United States

In the aftermath of the Great Recession teachers faced a weak job market with significant competition for a limited number of jobs, but some have argued that changing economic conditions may mean a large-scale teacher shortage is pending nationally. A new report by Rockefeller Institute researchers Jim Malatras, Thomas Gais, and Alan Wagner examines the overall factors driving changes in the K-12 teacher workforce across the nation, with a focus on the local nature of the education job market. An overview of potential problems faced nationally, this report sets the stage for more in-depth analysis and focus on policies to address any coming teaching shortages.
Jim Malatras, Thomas Gais, and Alan Wagner, July 2017

Applied Work-Based Learning at the State University of New York: Situating SUNY Works and Studying Effects

This report analyzes information on applied learning initiatives in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, South Dakota as well as in Australia, Finland, Germany, and Switzerland. It also presents initial findings from a pilot study aimed at measuring the effects of work-based applied learning experiences on students’ academic success. The pilot study, carried out at one SUNY campus, suggests that internships were associated with better retention and graduation rates.
Alan Wagner, Ruirui Sun, Katie Zuber, and Patricia Strach, April 2016

Supplementary Report on Assessing Labor Market Outcomes: A Pilot Study

The supplement to the main report, above, explores the feasibility of using linked academic and employment/wage records to assess the effects of internships on students’ employment outcomes. Although Institute researchers identify limitations in such assessments, they conclude that analyses using administrative wage record data can be used to inform changes in internships at program, campus, and system levels.
Alan Wagner, Ruirui Sun, Katie Zuber, and Patricia Strach, April 2016

State Governments Leverage Higher Education in International Engagement

In an illuminating new report, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Jason Lane and colleagues Taya Owens and Patrick Ziegler analyze the emerging role that states play in promoting the internationalization of higher education institutions. Through these efforts, the researchers suggest, colleges and universities engaged in international activity strengthen economic development and public diplomacy.
Jason E. Lane, Taya L. Owens, and Patrick Ziegler, June 2014

Federal, State & Local Education Finances

Financing for K-12 education is strained in several ways, as noted in this slide presentation. Property tax revenues are weakening, making the local tax less of a cushion against reduced state assistance. State revenues are volatile and less predictable than local taxes have traditionally been, and resources for education compete with other needs, such as health care. And the population of schoolchildren is increasing in states with lower fiscal capacities, smaller state budgets and harder-hit economies. Higher education spending, on the other hand, is growing — not through government appropriations but through greater reliance on tuition payments and is thus impacted by many factors, including federal loans and grants, interest rates, personal income and unemployment. As state differences in K-12 financing grow and higher education funding becomes more privatized, federal funding and policies may become more important. Yet federal funding for all levels of education is vulnerable — to the possibility of political inaction and automatic spending cuts, for instance.
Thomas Gais and Lucy Dadayan, May 22, 2012

Multinational Colleges and Universities:
Leading, Governing, and Managing International Branch Campuses

This volume, part of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Higher Education, examines the unique challenges that administrative leaders and faculty of international branch campuses face in the development of global higher education.
Edited by Jason E. Lane and Kevin Kinser, Wiley, Fall 2011

Reconsidering Privatization in Cross-Border Engagements:
The Sometimes Public Nature of Private Activity

This paper examines the concept of privatization through cross-border educational initiatives, and argues that the public and private nature of cross-border higher education can only be fully understood when considering the relationship with both the home and host countries. The analysis is based on comparisons of how governments in Qatar and the Malaysian state of Sarawak use foreign education providers to support government goals, and how those seemingly public purposes throw some traditional concepts of privatization into question.
Jason E. Lane and Kevin Kinser, Higher Education Policy, July 2011

Importing Private Higher Education: International Branch Campuses

To fulfill public policy goals related to economic development and building higher education capacity, some governments are turning to international branch campuses (IBCs) run by private institutions based in other countries. IBCs represent a new and relatively unexplored expansion of private higher education, and compared to the total number of private higher education institutions worldwide, the number of IBCs is still minuscule. But their potential to affect the evolution of higher education in developing nations is substantial. This study uses two exploratory case studies (Malaysia and Dubai) to investigate the relationship between the government, public policy and IBCs. Both countries are in regions known for active government involvement in the planning and development of the private education sector.
Jason E. Lane, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, July 2011

How SUNY Matters: Economic Impacts of the State University of New York

A comprehensive statewide study by the Rockefeller Institute and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute finds the State University of New York is positioned to be the critical force in building an innovation economy for New York. Its economic impact equates to $5 for every $1 of state support. It has a diverse array of economic development activities already in place across its 64 campuses — and a growing potential to do more.
Rockefeller Institute of Government and University at Buffalo Regional Institute, June 2011

A New Paradigm for Economic Development

Universities and higher-education systems across the country are taking leading roles in their states’ economic development efforts — and this Institute report says that trend seems likely to strengthen as the nation moves into the era of an “innovation economy.” The study found that higher education’s increasingly important role builds on, but goes well beyond, the research strengths of universities – incorporating efforts as wide-ranging as job training, business consulting, housing rehabilitation and even securing seed money for new businesses.
David F. Shaffer and David J. Wright, March 2010

An Agenda for Education Reform in New York

In a thoughtful and provocative presentation outlining his vision for education reform, New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner said the current practice of designing curricula to meet a predetermined, standardized outcome "is actually backwards." What the state — and country — needs, he said, is a thoughtful conversation over the question, "What is an educated citizen?" If curricula are developed with that aim in mind, and teachers are properly trained to teach the curricula, then the desired outcome is more likely to be reached, Steiner continued. He called for a balance among curriculum development, teacher training and educational assessments to improve schools.
A Public Policy Forum — Feb. 24, 2010

Nonresident Tuition and Fees at SUNY

Increases in nonresident tuition and fees do not always yield gains in total revenues for universities, and may reduce out-of-state enrollments enough to offset new income from such students, education scholars conclude in this Institute study.
Craig W. Abbey and Allison Armour-Garb, Feb. 22, 2010

Spending Is Up, and So Are Interstate Disparities in States’
K-12 Education Revenues

States are spending more on schools, but differences in education funding have also been growing since the 2001 recession. The current economic downturn — as well as federal stimulus funds — could widen those gaps, according to this Institute report. The result could be a growing mismatch between funding levels and student need.
Allison Armour-Garb, Lucy Dadayan, and Thomas Gais, Nov. 4, 2009

Should "value-added" models be used to evaluate teachers?

States are developing education data systems that can match teachers to students, and track students’ test scores from year to year. These systems may lay the groundwork for evaluating teachers based on the academic progress of their students, using standardized tests to gauge student progress, teachers’ unions have noted with concern. Such “value-added” evaluation models are intuitively appealing because they attempt to get at a central question: How much are teachers contributing to their students’ progress? But controversy surrounds the use of the data for decisions involving such issues as tenure or merit pay. In a “Point/Counterpoint” discussion in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Douglas N. Harris of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Heather C. Hill of the Harvard Graduate School of Education debate the merits of value-added teacher evaluation models. As a guest editor for the Point/Counterpoint feature, the Rockefeller Institute’s Allison Armour-Garb provides background on the issue. The complete article is available through the Journal, with a fee for non-subscribers.
Allison Armour-Garb, Fall 2009

Not Your Mom and Pop's Charter School

As more American students attend charter schools, educators are gleaning important lessons for addressing lingering challenges, said experts at a June 10 Institute Forum. Speakers were Chester E. Finn Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Stanford University, and Douglas Lemov of Uncommon Schools.
A Public Policy Forum — June 10, 2009

Education in New York: Today and Tomorrow

The next round of education reform — including establishment of new national standards — will be driven by the states, with New York among those leading the way, State Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills told educators, legislators and researchers at this Institute event. He predicted that the $4.4 billion in federal stimulus money intended to reward states that have taken the lead in pursuing federal reform priorities will be won by consortia rather than individual states. Mills' talk also covered a range of other current education topics, including standards, outcomes, financing, technology and more.
A Public Policy Forum —May 4, 2009

Charter Schools in New York and the Nation

The current status and future prospects for the nation's charter schools were the topics of this public policy forum. Presenting the latest facts and findings was Jonas S. Chartock, executive director of the State University of New York's Charter Schools Institute. SUNY is the state's largest charter school authorizer, with 63 charter schools approved for operation to date.
A Public Policy Forum —March 11, 2009

The Sole Supervisory District of Sullivan County: A Study of Potential Educational Reorganization of the Sullivan County BOCES

The Sullivan County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) should merge with neighboring Orange-Ulster BOCES to improve the educational and management services provided to students and school districts, a Rockefeller Institute report for the state Education Department finds. A merger would provide Sullivan County BOCES with access to enhanced resources and expertise, with resulting benefits offsetting the challenges posed by combining the two organizations, the study concludes.
The Rockefeller Institute of Government, January 2009