FutureEd is an Independent, Solution-oriented Voice for American Education.


Dear Colleagues,
 
With the school year fast coming to a close, we wanted to share some of our recent work.
 
Few people have a clearer sense of teacher evaluation reform, what's working and what isn't, than Brown University professor Matthew Kraft.
 
In our wide-ranging interview with him, he pulls no punches. He says the federal government "weaponized" test-based measures for assessing teachers, and he faults unions for failing to guarantee the "effectiveness of their members." Read the  transcript here.
 
The conversation on teacher evaluation comes amid protests in several states demanding higher pay for teachers. These walkouts led to raises for teachers, but significant improvements for the nation's educators will only come when we transform public school teaching from low-standards, low-status work into a performance-based profession, as I wrote in an opinion piece for Education Post.
The spring also brought the 35th anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk, a report that galvanized support for a fundamentally new mission for public education. I wrote a piece for Education Week about the audacious ambition of that report and its impact through the years.
 
One of our contributors, Hilde Kahn, worries that in our focus on helping struggling students, the nation has neglected another important priority, getting more students from underserved groups into advanced academic programs. Kahn shares a strategy for closing this excellence gap.
 
With states getting ready to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act in the fall, we published a piece by Marguerite Roza, head of the Edunomics lab and a FutureEd senior fellow, about ESSA's weighted student formula pilot , designed to give school districts more flexibility in spending federal dollars. Meanwhile, districts are still waiting for U.S. Education Department guidance on how to count the federal dollars they spend on low-income students, our research director Raegen Miller points out.
 
Editorial director Phyllis Jordan and research associate Paige Marley took a deep dive into the states' ESSA accountability rubrics and found a distinctly academic bent to what has been billed as the "nonacademic" side of the law's measurement mandate. 

We showcased our own non-academic side with pieces from senior fellow Michael Goldstein about how teachers respond to mental health problems among students and from Georgetown University colleague Candace Webb on how schools can help students gain access to health coverage .
 
You can find the latest comings and goings among education leaders in the Trump administration, the think tank world, higher education, philanthropy, and major reform organizations at  The Churn . 
 
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and visit us at www.future-ed.org; we are eager to continue the conversation.
 
Happy Memorial Day.
 
Thanks and best wishes,
 
Tom
 
Thomas Toch
Director, FutureEd
McCourt School of Public Policy
Georgetown University
ttoch@future-ed.org
@thomas_toch



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