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February 2015
Dear Colleague,

2015 marks a decade for ERS. It also marks 10 years of accelerated change throughout education--from steps to attract, reward, and develop great teachers, to new school designs that enable personalization of learning, to more equity in funding for needy students. The tide is turning toward the strategic use of resources in school systems.


We are still far from our goal of ensuring that every school succeeds for every student. But we are Getting There, which is the theme of our 10th anniversary year. To celebrate, we've created an interactive timeline which shows milestones from districts, states, reform organizations, and more, alongside ERS' work. You can read more on this below, as well as find the top publications of 2014 and a new paper focused on how states can use data they already have to help districts with strategic decisions.


Getting There is not just about ERS. It celebrates the work of thousands of leaders who are proving that it is not just about how much you have, but how well you use it. We are profoundly grateful to work alongside you as we boldly pursue our big vision.


To keeping up the pace for another 10 years.

Karen Hawley Miles
Executive Director
This interactive timeline shows ERS' work alongside many of the important milestones that districts, states, the federal government, and peer organizations have achieved in their quest to use data more effectively, target resources where they're needed, and move toward system transformation. You can search it by theme and contribute your own milestones.
At this moment, states collect lots of data for compliance and accountability purposes -- student achievement data as well as data on people, time, and money. They are sitting on a veritable goldmine of information, and this paper argues that they can collect, analyze, and return data to districts in a way that helps them make better decisions for students.

Top Publications of 2014

From student-based budgeting to Boston's action on teacher hiring, to return-on-investment in education, the most popular blogs and reports on ERS' site in 2014 spanned a diverse range of topics. Our top publication was downloaded over 400 times. See what you may have missed!


Smarter School Spending

Do you need to improve student outcomes with limited dollars? That's the main question of Smarter School Spending for Student Success, a new website that provides free processes and tools to help districts align their resources to their goals. The initiative was funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and developed in conjunction with the Government Finance Officers Association's Best Practices in School Budgeting, in collaboration with four demonstration districts and technical assistance providers from Parthenon, KSA-Plus Communications, Boston Consulting Group, District Management Council, and McKinsey & Company. Several of ERS' tools are included.

Check out the tools �

WHAT YOU TOLD US...Innovations in Education Survey #3
In the last ERS News, we asked how states can best support districts to use their resources strategically and meet student needs. The top answers were:
  • Increase flexibility and remove barriers
  • Promote equity and adequacy of resources for the neediest students
  • Provide support for implementing new strategies
Innovations in Education Survey #4: 
What reform of the past 10 years has most positively influenced education? Take our two-question survey.


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

Education Resource Strategies
480 Pleasant St, Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472  T: 617.607.8000