Tough Choices or Tough Times State Consortium Publications

Tough Choices or Tough Times Executive Summary
The Executive Summary of Tough Choices or Tough Times by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce explains how the dynamics of the global economy will lead to a steady decline in the American standard of living if this country does not undertake the first thorough overhaul of its education system in a century.

Analysis of Teacher Retirement System Issues
February 2007
An explanation of the methodology used to compare teacher retirement systems across states in order to create an estimate of the difference between what is currently contributed and what is proposed in the Skills Commission report when the recommendations of the report might be fully implemented.

Rethinking and Redesigning Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: What Contemporary Research and Theory Has to Offer
November 2006
This essay attempts  to  provide  an argument  in  support  of  some  of  the  critical changes advocated in the “New Report”. The argument is based on an accumulating body of theory and research on learning and knowing that has profound implications for how to transact key aspects of the educational process.

A Survey of College Students about Classroom Teaching as a Career
November 2006
This survey examined the attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of teachers and top students with regard to a career in professional teaching. Two separate random national samples of teachers were interviewed in this survey – those with five years or less of classroom experience and those with fifteen years or more in the classroom.

Comparative Governance, Administration and Finance for Elementary and Secondary Education in Selected Countries
This paper, commissioned by NCEE, considers educational developments in seven nations–Australia, Denmark, England, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden–with particular attention to structural arrangements that lie at the heart of efforts to achieve change in public education on the scale described in Tough Choices or Tough Times.

State and Local Workforce Systems: An Overview
October 2006
This paper focuses on programs authorized under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA)–designed as the nation’s primary public workforce investment system through which all other services and programs maybe accessed. The paper highlights just some of the many promising practices initiated across the country in support of a comprehensive, effective U.S. workforce investment system, as well as identifying system challenges.

Improving Teacher Training Provision
June 2006
This report provides the political history of the challenges faced by the government in improving teacher training provision in England from 1990 to 2005. It discusses three phases in the improvement of both teacher supply and teacher training in England: The reforms of the Conservative Government of 1988-1994, the creation of the Teacher Training Agency in 1994, and the reforms of the Teacher Training Agency from 2000-2005.

High Performance & Success in Education
April 2006
This paper analyzes the key indicators that might explain high performance and success in education in Flemish Belgium (Flanders) and the Netherlands. The report compares the results in education as a whole, and mathematics in particular, of both European countries with the results in the USA, as shown in the PISA-research.

New Foreign Immigrant Workers and the Labor Market in the U.S.
February 2006
Building on previous research work on immigrant labor force developments by the Center for Labor Market Studies, this research paper is designed to provide insight into the contributions of new immigrant workers to the labor force and employment growth and their impact on native born workers.

Overview of Education Ministries in Selected Countries
February 2006
This paper provides a brief overview of Education Ministries in Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. For each country the paper describes the lead education authority and its relationship to other levels of government, the major responsibilities that agency is tasked with, the budget and staffing level of the Ministry, its role in curriculum and assessment, and school evaluations.

High Performance & Success in Education
January 2006
This research paper is designed to assess the nation’s progress in achieving a number of the key educational and labor market goals of the Commission on the Skills of the  American Workforce. Progress or the lack thereof  in reducing school dropout problems, improving the academic competencies of America’s high school students, and boosting employment and real wage opportunities for teens an young adults will be critically examined and assessed.

Early Childhood Education: Lessons from the States and Abroad
July 2005
This report analyzes preschool practices within the United States and compares them to those of internationally competitive nations with a focus on attendance and access, funding and government involvement, and program quality and innovation.

Sources of Innovation & Creativity
July 2005
This report presents a comprehensive summary of current research and theory on the sources of innovation and creativity, both in individuals and organizations, concluding with recommendations for how education systems can best foster these attributes in students with a view to informing US workforce development efforts within the context of the new global economy.

International Education Tests: An Overview
April 2005
A brief overview of international education assessments the world wide including participation by country/economy and results.

Case studies of the workforce-economic development systems in 5 states

North Carolina
Washington State

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