Tightening Up Title I

Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act of 1965 is the largest school program operated by the Department of Education. Title I began as an antipoverty program whose funds were meant to ameliorate the educational disadvantages of growing up in concentrated poverty. This goal has evolved into a broader responsibility around equity—closing achievement gaps. And Title I has become the pivot point for an education reform movement aiming to bolster U.S. economic competitiveness by promoting higher overall levels of academic achievement.

Through statutes, regulations, and guidance, Title I guides school districts’ and state educational agencies’ behavior. There are undoubtedly ways to align incentives embodied by the program to serve better the complex purpose of Title I.

Please join us for a conference featuring seven new papers that examine fiscal requirements and other provisions around the expenditure of and accounting for Title I funds. The papers draw on existing evidence to develop recommendations for policymakers.

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Panel 1: Fiscal Requirements



  • David DeSchryver, Vice President of Education Policy, Whiteboard Advisors
  • Tony Smith, Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District

Moderator: Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Education Policy, Center for American Progress

Panel 2: Set-Asides, Caps, and Capacity



  • James Guthrie, Senior Fellow and Director of Education Policy Studies, George W. Bush Institute
  • Paul Manna, Associate Professor, Department of Government & the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, College of William & Mary

Moderator: Raegen Miller, Associate Director for Education Policy, Center for American Progress

Panel 3: Accountability, Strategy, and Efficiency



  • Dianne Piche, Senior Counsel, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Amber Winkler, Research Director, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Moderator: Frederick Hess, Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Discussion: Themes of the Day & Reauthorization


  • Carmel Martin, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy, U.S. Department of Education
  • Celia Sims, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Senator Richard Burr

Moderators: Cynthia Brown and Frederick Hess


Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC , 20005

Additional information

Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m.; lunch, 12:30 p.m.