We've updated Budget Hold'em for Districts

As a school system leader, you are focused on improving student outcomes. But during budget season, you may be asked to just tweak last year's line items or pay for new initiatives. How can you fund more of what ignites student learning?

Budget Hold'em for Districts is an interactive exercise that challenges district leadership teams to move beyond "across-the-board" cuts, and toward investments that accelerate learning for all students, balanced with thoughtful trade-offs to reach a budget target. It brings together different departments to see the budget as a whole. Hold'em has been played more than 10,000 times, online or in person. 

We've updated the tool to enable deeper conversations. Changes include:
  • Estimates of student impact: This allows players to discuss "return on investment" of various strategies
  • A new design for easier, more engaging play
  • The "Double Down" option suggests strategies that work well together
  • Links to ERS tools and publications on resource allocation
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The online self-assessment helped bring focus to strategic planning

As a new superintendent three years ago, Shawn Wightman of Marysville, MI, wanted to deeply understand his district's strengths and challenges. Along with gathering data and listening to stakeholders, his leadership team took the Resource Check self-assessment, which helped them compare their district's use of resources to best practices from around the country. Those conversations became the basis of the district's strategic plan. Wightman describes the process in this month's School Administrator magazine from AASA.
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Bridging the Divide
How charter-district collaboration can benefit stu dents citywide

According to a new report from The Center on Reinventing Public Education, declining enrollment in traditional districts makes it essential for districts and charters to collaborate to serve all students . In CRPE's blog The Lens, ERS' Karen Hawley Miles explores how districts must also reorganize resources and adopt strategic school designs to transform instruction. In The 74, Jonathan Travers and Joe McKown discuss how building a "shared fact base" can help the two sectors work together.  

ERS is Growing!
The 2017 new hire cohort gets to work

Every September when our district partners go back to school, we welcome a new cohort . They spend their first two weeks immersed in the ERS mission, culture, and values, and learn the analytical skills and content knowledge relevant to our work. If you are interested in becoming part of our 2018 cohort, join us for an informational webinar on October 16th at 6 pm to learn about open positions and working at ERS.

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What We're Reading... 

Dy Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond, The Learning Policy Institute
Because our children deserve more than a few great schools.

Ensuring college and career readiness for all students, especially lower-income students and students of color, requires redesigning school systems to enable new ways of organizing schools for student and teacher learning. School System 20/20 is our vision for transforming school systems so every school succeeds for every student, because of the system - not in spite of it.



Education Resource Strategies (ERS is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming how urban school systems organize resources - people, time, and money - so that every school succeeds for every student.

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