Productivity is clearly a priority in state education agencies (SEA). The first two volumes of The SEA of the Future made the case for a "productivity mindset" in our country's state education agencies. Authors in these volumes argued that SEAs must fight against focusing exclusively on regulatory compliance to find more ways to provide local autonomy and consistently measure, assess, and hold themselves, their districts, and schools accountable for both performance and costs. Though these essays sharply challenged the traditional work of SEAs, state leaders responded enthusiastically, saying, "Yes. Where do we start?"
In this third volume of the series, we introduce the "productivity infrastructure." The productivity infrastructure constitutes the building blocks for an SEA committed to supporting productivity, innovation, and performance -- from the state chief to the classroom. These building blocks include:
* Policies to expand the flexibility of district and school leaders and allow them to make choices about resource use.
* State funding arrangements that fund students, not programs.
* Information systems that allow district and school leaders to accurately assess the productivity of policies and practices.
The essays in this volume offer a rich discussion of each of these elements.