States Lag on School Innovation

Maya T. Prabhu, States Lag on School Innovation, eSchool News, Nov. 10, 2009, available at

To reform the American education system, states and districts need more flexibility, better accountability, more capacity, and a stronger reform environment, according to a report card released by a coalition of concerned organizations.

The report, “Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Innovation,” was issued by members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress, and Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute. It is billed as a call for action in response to how poorly states fared on key indicators of educational innovation.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who gave the keynote address at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Education and Workforce Summit Nov. 9, agreed that states and districts have the authority to reform education, saluting the researchers for focusing on state performance.

“The authority for reform is at the state level,” he said. “And the ability to drive change is at the local level.”

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