Looking to Build a Strong Foundation of Education Knowledge?


You’re inspired, you’re passionate, you’ve just received your invitation for an in-depth interview and you’re ready to sell your experience about why you’re going to make an exceptional Fellow, but… BUT you’re not really sure why Betsy DeVos was a controversial choice for Secretary of Education, the argument between charter school vs traditional public school vs school vouchers alludes you, and you once thought Common Core was a pilates ab workout.

That’s OKAY. We don’t expect our Fellows to be education experts - that’s partially why we exist.

As a recruiting manager for Education Pioneers, I often have candidates ask me, what should I be reading? Where can I keep up with the latest education news, policy, and changes?

There are a ton of resources out there that might feel overwhelming. However, there are resources you can peruse to begin to build a strong foundation of educational knowledge. Here’s a roadmap to help you wade through the noise and get you started on your educational leadership journey.

The US Department of Education

Straight from the horse’s mouth to your ears (or eyes). If you desire to learn about Common Core, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), current federal rulings, or find education-related data and research it’s best to go straight to the source. ‘Nough said.


Education Week

An excellent resource for the top news in education. The only drawback is a subscription is necessary to read the full content, but you can sign up for free newsletters.


Code Switch

This is one of my favorite podcasts. The programming at Education Pioneers centers around the opportunity gap and how race and socioeconomics play huge factors in our children’s education, so this podcast is a great resource to better understand the conversation. I highly recommend these episodes: “A Year of Love and Struggle in a New High School,” “‘They Can’t Just Be Average,’ Lifting Students Up Without Lowering the Bar,” “To Fall Or Not To Fall, The Fierce Debate Over High Standards,” and “Reflections on a Year at Ron Brown High.”



A nonprofit news outlet that reports on education from the lens of providing all students with an excellent education from all sides of every issue. In addition to national news, Chalkbeat specifically covers Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, Newark, New York, and Tennessee. (Overlapping Education Pioneers locations: Chicago, Denver, Memphis, Nashville, Newark, and New York.)


The 74 Million

A bipartisan news outlet that leads investigative reporting into educational issues. It covers education and politics across the US and is a great daily read if you’re looking for a daily dose of education information. They also have a daily newsletter called The Topsheet for some easy national headlines.


Next week, I’ll share some location-specific resources that can help you learn more about the different education landscapes across some Education Pioneers’ sites. Stay tuned!

Jamie Smith McCarthy is the Manager, Regional Recruitment (Boston, New York, Chicago) based out of the Boston office, where she engages with talented Education Pioneers candidates to build a robust education movement. Before becoming a recruiter, Jamie spent four years teaching high school English in low-income areas to some of the most deserving and brightest students. 


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