PACE Report Offers Recession-Proof Policy Recommendations

“Changing California’s education system will require more money, but the absence of resources does not preclude policy changes that can make a difference for kids. This is the way forward.” So begins David Plank, Executive Director of Policy Analysis for California Education ( PACE ), when asked to explain the impetus behind PACE’s most recent report. The report, released in April and titled “Reforming Education in California: A Guide for Candidates and Citizens,” makes clear policy recommendations in anticipation of California’s state-wide political races. “This report points the way for...

The Impact of IMPACT: Defining, Evaluating, and Supporting Effective Teachers in DC

Teacher evaluation is nothing new or radical. In fact, schools and districts have a long history of evaluating teachers. However, in practice teacher evaluation plays out as one big irony. While the majority of teachers receive “satisfactory” evaluation ratings, an increasing number of schools are labeled “failures.” There is something wrong with this reality. Education Pioneers Alumni Brian Pick (’07 DC Metro Area), Tim O’Brien (’08 DC Metro Area), and others at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) are addressing this incongruity and working to improve teacher effectiveness through...

Systems, Culture, Talent: The Movement to Transform Education into a Data-Driven Sector

There is a movement underfoot to evolve the use of data in education. The transformation will enable practitioners, policy-makers and leaders to use data to drive decisions everywhere from the classroom, to the board room, to the halls of the legislature. The push, heavily motivated by federal funding initiatives such as the $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, and major education reform philanthropies, seeks to accelerate the rate of improvements in education and the number of United States students succeeding in school, career and life. Recently, the Annual Progress Report on State Data...

Education: The Base of My Pyramid

Mironda Ross ('10 Houston) spent six years increasing productivity and decreasing costs as a business analyst for Protective Life Insurance Company and American Iron Pipe Company prior to entering business school. At first glance, she is not your typical candidate for a role in education. But within a resume chock full of accomplishments and academic accolades, you see a committed volunteer and community change agent. Beyond her work in the classroom and office, Ross tutored 8th graders in math and increased partnerships by 300% as President of the National Council of Negro Women for the...

A Means to Make a Difference

Jesse Hahnel has worked with foster youth since the beginning of his career. As a teacher in low-performing schools in Washington DC and New York City, Jesse saw first-hand the positive effects a vocal adult had on a child’s success in school. He also noticed the sparse number of adult education advocates for youth in the foster care system. After graduating from Stanford Law School in 2008, Jesse worked with foster children and foster youth in Oakland to learn what was happening on the ground and to identify their unmet needs. Not long into his work with Oakland-area foster children, Jesse...

Be Personal, Be Passionate, Dare Greatly: 3 Themes from the 2013 Analyst Fellowship National Convening

This November, I attended the Analyst Fellowship National Convening in San Francisco, along with 84 of my peers, Education Pioneers staff, and guest speakers. The event included three days of enlightening keynote addresses, opportunities for networking and professional development, informal interactions between Fellows, and even an improv session - but more on that later. I took away so much from this experience, but three main themes emerged for me throughout: working in education is personal; passion is palpable; and "daring greatly" is welcome. 1. Working in Education is Personal Everyone...

Alumni Profile: Christopher Ruszkowski, Chief Officer, Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Unit, Delaware DOE

There's incredibly meaningful work happening across the country to transform American public schools for all students. Just ask Christopher Ruszkowski. "It's happening in big cities like the Bay Area, D.C., New Orleans, Denver and Houston," he said. "It is and can also be happening in smaller cities and rural area like Wilmington, Albuquerque, Nashville and the Rio Grande Valley. To bring educational equity to scale, we need to do a better job of telling the story of the great work we're all doing together across the country."

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