Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leading Policy Experts Agree on Core Ingredients for Education Reform

Seattle, WA - While the media often focus on the differences that divide Americans who want to improve their schools, we may be missing a larger story: a growing, bipartisan movement is bringing together leading thinkers and advocates who cross the ideological spectrum. The basic formula for education has remained remarkably consistent over the last few years despite political changes across the country.

"Schools in High Gear: Reforms That Work When They Work Together" is a new paper authored by experts from five national organizations that serve as policy partners for the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network: the Center for American Progress, the Center on Reinventing Public Education (with contributions from Paul Hill and Robin Lake), Education Sector, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

In a collection of essays, some of the leading minds in education explain why core ideas are crucial to the formula for education reform, how those ideas evolved, and why they continued to be sharpened through the interplay with other goals. The topics and authors are:

  • Raising standards and measuring results: Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Ensuring equity: Center for American Progress' Ulrich Boser, senior fellow; and Cynthia G. (Cindy) Brown, vice president for Education Policy
  • Improving teacher quality and effectiveness: Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)
  • Advancing quality charters and other parent choice options: Michael J. Petrilli, vice-president for Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Encouraging innovation: Robin Lake, associate director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE)
  • Increasing accountability for school performance: Bill Tucker, managing director of Education Sector
  • Fostering fiscal transparency: Paul Hill, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education

PIE Network Executive Director Suzanne Tacheny Kubach introduces the essays, explaining that while policy goals are often promoted in the abstract as stand-alone issues, they work best when implemented in conjunction with other change strategies.

"Schools in High Gear: Reforms That Work When They Work Together" marks the first time all five of the network's policy partners have co-authored a publication. While these leading institutions straddle the ideological spectrum, they agree that the key ingredients for education reform only work when they work together.

The PIE Network connects 25 advocacy groups working in 18 states. Its mission is to build, support, and promote a network of education reform advocacy organizations working to improve K-12 education in their states so that every child graduates world-ready.

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