Center for Educational Excellence

The Center for Educational Excellence strives to implement reforms that create greater incentives for schools to respect parents and students as customers; encourage continuous quality improvement, parental involvement, and respect for teachers as professionals; and use taxpayers’ resources more efficiently.




Research Items

NOVEMBER 20, 2014 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

A Smarter Way to Fund Students

Imagine writing a large check for a new car and finding out a year later that it fails safety tests, won’t pass inspection, and needs thousands in repairs. You’d probably be demanding answers from the dealership. If the only solution they offered was the exact same car but for more money—would you take it? That’s essentially the deal Pennsylvanians are being offered on public education—disappointing results from a broken system that they’re t

NOVEMBER 10, 2014 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Is Second Worst Good Enough for York Students?

The second lowest-performing school district in Pennsylvania is asking for more time to improve but refusing recommended reforms. Unfortunately, more time is not something students and families in York City can afford.

OCTOBER 24, 2014 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Can Your Family Bear the Burden of Tax Increases?

Can you afford to lose the equivalent of a mortgage payment? How about four? Given a possible 188 percent increase in the state income tax rate to pay for Tom Wolf’s education spending plans, these questions could be in Pennsylvanians' futures.

OCTOBER 16, 2014 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

How PFT Fails Philadelphia Students, Teachers & the Poor

October 16, 2014, PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Academic failure, school violence, and broken dreams: This is the failed legacy that years of Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers' leadership has left Philadelphia’s students and teachers—and all for political gain.

OCTOBER 15, 2014 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

How PFT Fails Phila. Students & Teachers Revealed at Union Rally Tomorrow

At tomorrow’s union rally in Philadelphia, Commonwealth Foundation will be distributing informational fliers to inform teachers and the public about how leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is failing teachers and students and standing in the way of tens of millions of dollars getting to classrooms.

OCTOBER 13, 2014 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

York Schools Rank 499th of 500 in Achievement, Change is Overdue

October 13, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—New research from the Commonwealth Foundation reveals that for years York City students have suffered in some of Pennsylvania’s worst-achieving public schools—second to last in the state to be exact. That’s despite a steady rise in funding amounting to a 33 percent increase over ten years.

OCTOBER 8, 2014 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Assessing the Cost of Tom Wolf's Spending and Tax Proposals

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf has proposed several new spending initiatives and tax code changes, though specific details remain lacking. To give Pennsylvanians a better idea of the impact of these proposals, we conducted an analysis of his two major education funding proposals. We also analyze his personal income tax proposal, the increase in the income tax rate required to pay for his spending plans, and the impact on taxpayers.

OCTOBER 8, 2014 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Analysis: Wolf's "Fresh Start" Plan Requires Huge Tax Increases

October 8, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—A new analysis of gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf’s “Fresh Start” plan reveals that Wolf’s spending and tax proposals—$4.6 billion in new spending on education alone—would result in a potential 121% increase to the state income tax rate, bringing it to a whopping 6.8 percent. That’s almost an additional $600

OCTOBER 6, 2014 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Lawmakers Vote Today - Educate Students at a Fraction of the Cost

October 6, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Today, the state House will consider strengthening educational choice and opportunity for Pennsylvania students. Pending legislation would make it easier for businesses to contribute to two tax credit programs, making highly sought after scholarships more readily available for families across the state.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 | Commentary by JAMES PAUL

Overcoming the Philadelphia School Crisis

Think there's a problem with Philadelphia's schools? You're not alone. More than half of Philadelphia voters said their schools deserved a D or an F grade in a poll released last month. These problems won't be solved simply with increased funding - that remedy has already been tried. It's time for a new approach.

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Who are We?

The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.