This volume of Review of Research in Education is devoted to research on "policy tools" that could be used to promote improvements in education. The volume comprises chapters on standards and assessments—tools that have formed the core of a "standards-based" approach to education policy that has been central in discussions of education policy in the past two decades. Chapters also address two areas—professional development and educational technology—that have been featured in policy discussions but do not neatly fit the notion of "tools". Policymakers have invested heavily in both these areas, presumably with the thought that additional resources would be used to produce improved outcomes. In comparison with standards and assessments, however, these two "tools" are more oriented toward increasing the capacity of the system than toward pushing the system in a particular direction.
Jane Hannaway and Nicola Woodroffe
Chapter 1: Policy Instruments in Education
Chapter 2: Assessment as a Policy Tool
Karen K. Wixson, Elizabeth Dutro, and Ruth G. Athan
Chapter 3: The Challenge of Developing Content Standards
Michael S. Knapp
Chapter 4: Professional Development as a Policy Pathway
Barbara Means, Jeremy Roschelle, William Penuel, Nora Sabelli, and Geneva Haertel
Chapter 5: Technology’s Contribution to Teaching and Policy: Efficiency, Standardization, or Transformation?
Henry M. Levin and Clive R. Belfield
Chapter 6: The Marketplace in Education