WorldCat Identities

Mathis, William J.

Works: 32 works in 54 publications in 1 language and 355 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Editor, Author
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by William J Mathis
The Obama education blueprint : researchers examine the evidence( Book )

3 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 175 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Learning from the federal market-based reforms : lessons for ESSA by William J Mathis( )

5 editions published in 2016 in English and held by 119 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Accelerating change : Vermont education, 1965-1995 by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 10 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Vermont's Act 60 : comprehensive school finance reform : effects in the first year of full implementation by William J Mathis( Book )

3 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Vermont's Act 60 received national attention not only because of the controversy surrounding the sharing pool (or recapture provision) but also because of its "potential for being the most equitable system in the country." For fiscal years 1998 to 2001, tax rates have become more equitable, and a direct relationship has appeared between spending level and tax rate at the town level. Tax burdens have also become more equitable on a town-to-town and individual basis. Education spending equity is occurring, though at a relatively slower pace than tax equity. Educational achievement equity is emerging when state test data are used as a measure. Issues are discussed include whether or not the sharing pool should be maintained and whether the recapture provision should be modified. Other issues are monetary gifts as a means of obtaining exemption from recapture, small schools, whether money should move with the child, and the need to reduce bureaucratic complexity. An important question is whether the legislature will weaken the provisions of the act and cause greater inequities or improve the deficiencies in the formula so that it can work more effectively. The paper ends with six charts illustrating financial trends for fiscal years 1998 to 2001. (Contains 11 endnotes and 9 tables and charts.) (rt)
Vermont's Act 60 Early Effects of Comprehensive School Finance Reform by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A unanimous 1997 state Supreme Court decision declaring Vermont's educational funding system unconstitutional prompted the legislature to pass Act 60 establishing state block grants and a guaranteed tax-yield system. Act 60 is working to provide equity in tax burdens and in tax rates. A variety of transitional features have helped to buffer wealthier towns from immediate, substantial local property-tax increases required to provide poorer towns with nearly-equivalent educational funding. The preliminary data indicate differences in spending are diminishing. A 1999 study by Lorna Jimerson indicates that historically poor schools are now making investments in maintenance and repairs. Act 60 requires a state-testing program, demands implementation of standards, provides technical assistance, and relies on direct state intervention when necessary. The Jimerson study found that districts were actively pursuing data-driven instructional improvement efforts. Earlier efforts to circumvent the capture of local tax revenue for funding equalization by raising private funds have been abandoned by all but a few schools, even as the legislature considers capping such gifts. Many districts object to funding caps on statewide support for special education, and relaxation of the caps, with additional monitoring, appears forthcoming. A projected 24 percent increase in health-insurance premiums may absorb a substantial portion of the equalization in funding. Recommendations for harmonizing property value assessments are currently being implemented. To address the vulnerability of small schools under per-student funding plans, the state provides an extra-student count multiplier for schools with fewer than 20 students per grade level. (TEJ)
NCLB's ultimate restructuring alternatives : do they improve the quality of education? by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Across the nation, the final stage of school restructuring is being reached by an inexorably increasing number of schools. Under the No Child Left Behind law, if a school does not make its adequate yearly progress targets after four previous years of being "in need of improvement," it must implement a fundamental restructuring plan. The restructuring options are as follows: (1) turn the school operations over to the state, (2) turn the operations over to a private company, (3) reopen as a charter school, or (4) reconstitute the school by replacing some or all of the teachers, staff and administrators. There is a fifth alternative of applying "any other" fundamental school restructuring, an option now receiving new attention. It is essential that we know how these restructuring options work in practice -- particularly as the law is now due for reauthorization. This brief reviews the independent research on the ultimate sanctions and provides recommendations designed to enhance school improvement. [Funding for this brief was provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.]
Equity and Adequacy Challenges in Rural Schools and Communities by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 2003 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A meeting of education finance scholars discussed finance issues relevant to rural schools and communities. This paper summarizes major themes that emerged during the meeting. Notions of efficiency and economies of scale have contributed to widespread consolidation of rural schools and school districts. The value of community is not easily measured and has often been excluded from consolidation decisions. In addition, actual savings from consolidation are often smaller than predicted. Other themes included teacher salaries and other difficulties in recruiting rural teachers; negative impacts of No Child Left Behind, vouchers, and charter schools on rural school finance; impacts of poverty and lack of services in isolated areas; inability of rural districts to absorb special education costs; handling of sparsity factors, transportation costs, and declining enrollments in state aid formulas; cost of living adjustments; obsolete and dilapidated rural facilities; expansion of technology use in rural schools; and the continuing brain drain from rural areas. No Child Left Behind insists that all children learn to the same level without addressing rural inequalities in out-of-school conditions that affect opportunity to learn. Such inequalities could become categorical weights in state funding formulas, but such formulas generally are politically driven and inadequate to rural needs. Equity is inseparable from adequacy. Professional judgement approaches that separate remote and rural districts into their own unique "market basket" hold the best promise for determining adequacy. (Sv)
The Implementation and Early Findings from a Professional Development and Performance Based Teacher Compensation System by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Following a national trend, school board members, administrators, and teachers in Brandon, Vermont, have developed a model for a standards-based evaluation and compensation system for teachers that does not link test scores to teacher pay. The model was developed over a period of 4 years, a necessary amount of time to establish guiding principles, affirm commitment from administrators and teachers, and translate a plan into acceptable contract language. Under the new standards-based environment, teachers present a professional portfolio, which mirrors the state's relicensing criteria, to a "moveover" committee made up of board members, administrators, and peers. The portfolio includes evaluations, evidence of meeting state standards, and a professional growth plan. All new teachers are compensated through the new system; senior teachers can choose the new system or the traditional salary system based on longevity and graduate credits. The new compensation system is managed by the personnel officer in each school. After the first year in place, the portfolio presentation was refined because teachers needed guidance in writing reflective narratives. After 2 years, early implementation, though not seamless, has been smooth because of the consistency of the moveover committees and the mature leadership of school board members, administrators, and teachers. (Wfa)
Linking School Goals and Learning Standards to Teacher Evaluation and Compensation by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 2001 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

It is possible to tie teacher compensation to professional growth, without reference to standardized test scores. Tying pay to students' achievement scores does not account for the different levels of students, and teacher testing does not separate good teachers from bad. In Rutland Northeast, Vermont, each school has its own locally elected school board with complete budget and personnel authority. The cultural climate of Vermont discourages the confrontational and formalized processes often seen in other settings. However, putting the details into contract language acceptable to all took 4 years and required leadership maturity, tenacity, and continuity. The salary matrix remained in a traditional format with salary steps granted for years of service and graduate credits or degrees. What has changed is the new option of presenting an annual plan for professional growth and a portfolio, with evaluations and observations, for approval to move from column to column in the salary schedule. Indications of professional growth can include enrichment, workshops, national certification, and curriculum improvement. Using this method is a choice, but one cannot afterward change back to the old system. In the first year of implementation, about 6 percent of teachers submitted portfolios to qualify under the new system. In successful programs, salary advancement is not limited to the few, professional development is broadly defined, and curricular and instructional leadership is rewarded. Also, sufficient development and implementation is needed, perhaps 4 or 5 years. The maturity and capability of teachers, principals, and boards is essential. A plan should fit the context, history, and traditions of the schools. (Author/rkj)
Statewide Educational Reform New Jersey's "Thorough and Efficient" Mandate by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 1977 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The New Jersey Constitution requires that all students receive a "thorough and efficient" education. In Robinson v. Cahill, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that the state funding system and program monitoring systems were inadequate and ordered the legislature to correct these deficiencies. As a result, New Jersey has recently implemented a comprehensive financial and program accountability system for all school districts. This paper reviews the monitoring program for school finances, educational programs, minimum standards, and assessment and evaluation of all educational goals. How this new system interacts with federal programs, state compensatory education, program budgeting, and school organization is also discussed. In conclusion, the author offers a preliminary assessment of the new system, based on early results during its first year of operation. (Author/JG)
Finance Reform in Vermont The Legislature Responds to the Brigham Supreme Court Decision by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 1998 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In Brigham et al. v. State of Vermont (1997), the Vermont Supreme Court struck down the previous state-funding system and directed the legislature to come up with a new system that would eliminate the inequities among the local school districts. An analysis of this decision and its consequences is offered here. The paper recaps the funding system prior to 1997 and describes how the previous finance system relied too heavily on local property taxes. As state aid dropped, per pupil expenditures varied widely, ranging from $2,961 to $7,726. This inequity prompted the Brigham case and led to a massive restructuring of educational finance in the form of the Equal Education Opportunities Act. The state drew on a statewide property tax, block grants, an income-sensitive property tax, new taxes, and other programs to fund these financial changes. With the funding in place, the legislature stipulated that local control was the best way to allocate the resources. This emphasis on local control was leavened by a state-curriculum framework, new assessment standards, standardized achievement tests, local goal-setting and action plans, and state standards and yearly progress reports. In the first year of the program, poor towns moderately increased their spending and richer towns cut their budgets, indicators of increasing financial equity. (Contains 15 references.) (RJM)
Interest Group Influences in Advancing and Inhibiting Educational Finance Reform: The Politics of Equity in Vermont's Act 60 by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper analyzes educational-finance reform in Vermont, which culminated in the passage of Act 60, a comprehensive education and tax reform measure, and the subsequent political furor the act engendered. It outlines the pre-reform background focusing on early civil-society organizations and the unique political landscape in Vermont. The article describes the political actors in the reform debate, such as the League of Women Voters and The Vermont Natural Resources Council, and the various legislative movements these groups championed. Details of failed reform efforts and the many facets of political maneuvering are provided. After elements of bipartisan support of various reform packages fell apart, deliberative discourse fell to the side and political regrouping began in earnest. Corrections through the courts were then sought by financial reformers, and a family sued the state to obtain financial equity among school districts. The resultant victory and the passage of the reform legislation, Act 60, and subsequent backlash are described. The reform process resulted in watershed transformations of political thought and culture in Vermont. Most importantly, the notion of a statewide responsibility for the education of all children was firmly established, supported by a statewide property tax; and the entrenched idea of an inequitable financial share in education was eradicated. (Contains 32 references and notes.) (Rjm)
No Child Left Behind: What Are the Costs? Will We Realize Any Benefits? by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This commentary offers an analysis of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The paper purports that the most serious problems in the U.S. education system stem from a lack of resources, particularly at the secondary level. This lack of resources leads to a large disparity in student academic achievement within the United States. International test data show that the United States has the greatest inequities between the highest and lowest scoring students of any nation. The paper goes on to discuss the costs of implementing NCLB, focusing on actual needs versus actual costs and highlighting cost studies from 10 states. The paper continues with a discussion of the promised benefits of NCLB, stating that if the educational system is not adequately funded, there is little hope of actual benefit. It asserts that NCLB will likely increase dropouts, narrow the curriculum, and increasingly label schools as failing even as National Assessment scores and graduation rates reach all-time highs. The analysis concludes with a list of five requirements for the United States to attain the goal of educating all children. (Contains 43 endnotes, most of which are references.) (WFA)
The impact of the adequate yearly progress requirement of the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act on schools in the Great Lakes region by Edward W Wiley( Book )

3 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This study finds that nearly every school in the Great Lakes states is threatened to fail the Adequate Yearly Progress (ayp) requirements mandated by the federal "No Child Left Behind" (nclb) Act. Nclb holds schools and districts accountable for student achievement on state standardized tests and schools that do not make ayp face sanctions. A school or district can avoid sanctions one of two ways: produce test scores that meet ayp annual objectives set by the state, or by making sufficient improvement over the previous year's test scores to take advantage of "Safe Harbor" status. The goals of nclb are deceptively simple: All schools and districts receiving funds for socially and economically deprived children (Title I) must bring all students up to state standards by 2014. The implementation is considerably more complex. The most critical and controversial aspects of nclb are school accountability policies and ayp requirements. This study examines the implementation of those policies in the Great Lakes states, and projects the percentage of schools that will make or fail to make ayp, and those that could be Safe Harbor eligible: (1) Illinois is projected, under the best case scenario, to have more than 96 percent of schools fail ayp with 29 percent of schools potentially Safe Harbor eligible in 2014; (2) Indiana is projected to have 80 to 85 percent of schools eventually fail ayp in 2014, according to the most realistic scenarios; (3) Michigan is projected to have nearly 50 percent of schools fail to make ayp in 2014, but remain Safe Harbor eligible according to the most forgiving scenario. Still, nearly all of these schools could fail to make ayp outright under the remaining scenarios; (4) Minnesota is projected to have 81 percent of its schools failing ayp in 2014 but 27 percent of schools could be Safe Harbor eligible. Schools are projected to fail at a consistent rate as the ayp requirements increase annually; (5) Ohio is projected to have a relatively high percentage of schools make ayp approximately 85 percent) until 2011, at which point the percentage of schools making ayp drops dramatically to a low point of 12 percent of schools making ayp; and (6) Wisconsin is projected to experience the biggest impact in the later years (2011-2014) when 84 percent schools are projected to fail ayp, but 34 percent of schools could be Safe Harbor eligible. In general, approximately 85 percent of schools in the Great Lakes states are projected to fail ayp in 2014 under the most optimistic scenarios. Under more realistic circumstances, the overall failure rate is projected to be at or above 95 percent. In summation, the authors question the sustainability of the ayp requirements. Furthermore, they caution that schools are not capable of closing the achievement gap without resolving the social problems that underlie this gap. They point out that adequate funding for remediation and social infrastructure is essential to meeting the stated goals of nclb. The projections for the Great Lakes states are applicable to the nation as a whole and are a warning about the sustainability of nclb, as the ayp requirements are currently constructed. The entire country faces tremendous failure rates, even under a conservative estimate with several forgiving assumptions. (Contains 1 table, 13 figures and 84 notes and references.) [For "The Impact of the Adequate Yearly Progress Requirement of the Federal 'No Child Left Behind' Act on Schools in the Great Lakes Region. Executive Summary," see ed531288.]
New Jersey Minimum Basic Skills Program by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 1977 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The New Jersey department of education has implemented a minimum standards program to assure that all students have the individual opportunities they require for mastering the basic skills. The 1976-77 program is transitional and is used to build toward full implementation in the 1977-78 school year. In full operation, the state tests will be administered in May of each year in grades 3, 6, 9, and 11. Students who are below mastery will be provided individualized remedial or supplemental instruction. Study efforts in graduation requirements, communication and life skills, and anchoring procedures have also been initiated. The program also will implement program guidelines in order to assist local districts in providing the highest quality of basic skills programs. (Author)
Vermont Finance Reform: The Implementation of a Block Grant and Guaranteed Yield System by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This report examines tax reform in Vermont. A unanimous state supreme court decision in 1997 ruled that the state's educational finance system was unconstitutional. In response to this ruling, the legislature passed a new statewide property-tax system with two tiers: a block grant of $5,010 per pupil and a guaranteed yield for spending above the block grant. The paper explores the recapture provision of the law, where the state fills in any financial shortage due to lack of local fiscal capacity or recaptures excess revenue and redistributes it through the education fund. It discusses the tax-burden cap of 2 percent of income and discusses how this cap applies to the block grant and statewide property tax. The report then turns to the controversy generated by the new spending plan and how citizens of the wealthier towns in the state have protested against the plan. Issues include litigation and the claim that the state did not have authority to tax locals. A statewide property tax as a possible solution to the controversy is being explored by some as a solution to many problems, such as those presented by communities that circumvent the recapture provision in the law. (Rjm)
How to Analyze Your State's Education Funding System. a Workbook from the Rural School and Community Trust Policy Program by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 2001 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This booklet aims to help concerned citizens change laws and school funding systems to improve equity and adequacy for rural education programs. It will help readers gather the information they need, evaluate its meaning, put it in context, establish networks with others, and work with their legislatures and courts to solve the problems. Chapter 1 is about finding and accessing a state's "equity network." It explains why networks are important and how to find a state's network, build and expand the network, find resource people, and access a compendium of public school finance programs in the United States and Canada. Chapter 2 explains how to gather and organize preliminary information. It covers current funding information on each state, constitutional guarantees and legal background, and reports and research on states' equity and adequacy. Chapter 3 describes how to analyze a state's equity and equality. Topics covered include collecting needed information, basic concepts of equality, key definitions, measuring equity, matching resources to needs, and applying equity principles. Chapter 4 discusses educational adequacy, including adequacy and constitutional entitlements, defining adequacy, when to use adequacy criteria, and the advantages and disadvantages of adequacy approaches. Chapter 5 examines ways to change the system. Topics include legal strategies, political or legislative remedies, public information campaigns, and how to maintain the remedy. Appendices present a flow chart for analyzing state financing systems, authors of state descriptions of educational finance systems, and an annotated index to resources and references with 44 entries. (Td)
The Equity, Adequacy and Educational Effects of a Property Tax Redistribution Finance System Vermont's Act 60 by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Vermont's Act 60 is arguably the most equitable school funding system in the nation. However, it is also one of the most controversial. The disputes are primarily focused on the recapture provision that sends excess revenues from property-rich towns to the state's education trust fund. After a 4-year implementation period, the system is now in its second year of full operation. This evaluation addresses the equity effects and the associated educational achievement trends since this reform was implemented. It also discusses the adequacy issues being brought to the forefront as a result of the February 1997 Supreme Court decision ("Brigham versus the State of Vermont") and the reforms. The major findings include equality of tax rates, equality of tax burden, variation in tax rate and spending between towns, and general improvement in state test scores. While controversies remain as well as strong efforts to repeal the recapture portion of the state funding system, Vermont's Act 60 reforms have provided tax-rate and tax-burden equity. Education spending levels have become more equitable and educational test scores have improved across the board with the biggest gains being for the traditionally lowest scoring towns. (Contains 18 endnotes and 5 tables.) (RT)
Shall Public Funds Be Used To Directly Support Religious Schools? The Chittenden, Vermont Case by William J Mathis( Book )

2 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper examines the increased activity in Vermont among proponents of educational vouchers for religious schools. It focuses on the "Chittenden" case, in which parents sued for tuition support to pay for their children's education at a local Roman Catholic high school. The report describes how the Roman Catholic Church and various political groups are calling for public monies to be used for funding religious education. Proponents of religious vouchers argue that education is a private good whose control is strictly in the hands of parents and students. Those opposed to religious vouchers ultimately rely on the First Amendment's establishment clause and, in Vermont's case, the state constitution, which prohibits the forced support of a religion. Opponents argue that the various cases that allow limited public funds, such as for special education, were for narrow purposes and the effect was not supportive of religion. The article looks at the arguments presented to the Vermont Supreme Court and the various issues presented by both sides of the religious voucher debate. It concludes that the broader issue becomes whether the state and the nation should continue to have "common schools", and it questions an educational system that is fragmented along religious, social, economic, and racial lines. (Contains 14 references.) (RJM)
The Use of Basic Skills and Socioeconomic Data in Determining StateCompensatory Funding Entitlements by William J Mathis( Book )

1 edition published in 1978 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this report, revisions made by the New Jersey State Board of Education to its administrative code in order to implement provisions of the law providing an additional cost factor for the state compensatory education fund are described. Methods utilized by Federal and State governments for targeting resources are discussed. Including socioeconomic funding, test-based funding, and a combination of these approaches. The combination approach used in New Jersey is detailed, along with the formula used for determination of estimated State compensatory education enrollment levels. (Wi)
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The Obama education blueprint : researchers examine the evidence
English (37)