Center for School Transformation


Since the 1970s, American students have averaged the same flabby test scores, while federal and state spending and regulations have increased madly in an attempt to boost them. Average per-pupil spending has risen about 300% during that time period. Public school enrollment has increased about 10% since 1970, while public school employment has doubled. 

Everyone knows we must try something better and different, and fast. The Heartland Institute's Education Issue Suite not only aggregates decades of the latest school reform news and research, but reaches behind the scenes to bring you experts analyzing which of these expanding options actually do expand the options for students and their families. No other think tank or publication instigates and investigates education reform this way. Browse by daily for the best and latest in student-centered education policy.

Fight Back Against Common Core

The Heartland Institute has been at the forefront of pushing back on Common Core education standards — a Washington-led scheme to take away the long-held control of curriculum from states, school boards, teachers, and parents. Our effort is led by Ben Boychuk, project manager for education reform, and Heather Kays, research fellow for education policy and managing editor  and managing editor of School Reform News.

Visit Heartland’s “Fight the Common Core” page for more information, and click here to order copies of the 20-page booklet The Common Core: A Bad Choice for America.

The Parent Trigger

The Parent Trigger might just be the most powerful education reform policy since Milton Friedman advocated the school voucher. The policy limits government intervention and hands power back to those in the best position to make decisions for children: their parents. Learn more at Heartland's site,


  • Common Core

    Approximately two-thirds of the public do not know about the Common Core mandates for tests and curriculum, but they comprise one of the most comprehensive K-12 efforts. Common Core is essentially the successor to No Child Left Behind, the most comprehensive education law in the nation and the central driver of U.S. education pre-Common Core.
  • Taxpayer Savings Grants

    Originally proposed in Texas in 2011, Taxpayer Savings Grants would reimburse parents for tuition paid for enrollment of children at private schools of their choice in the amount of actual tuition or 60 percent of the state’s average per-pupil maintenance and operations expenditure, whichever is less. Students entering kindergarten or enrolled in a public school for at least one year would be eligible. The Heartland Institute estimates about 6% of public school students would be moved to private schools, saving the state approximately $1 billion a year.
  • School Vouchers

    Giving public funds to consumers in the form of vouchers is not a radical idea. Existing voucher programs include food stamps, low-income housing vouchers, the GI Bill and Pell Grants for college students. There can be little doubt that the schools parents would choose under a school choice program would be different from those currently funded with tax dollars.