Big Ideas for Education

Reaching All Students with Excellent STEM Teachers

Written by on November 6, 2014. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, More Topics, More Topics Features, Recruit, Select, and Keep Education Talent, Teacher and Leader Compensation, Teachers and Leaders, Teachers and Leaders Features

Reaching All Students with Excellent STEM Teachers

STEM cover thumbnailIn the U.S., STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—face urgent needs for great STEM teachers and well-educated students. An Opportunity Culture can help by extending the reach of excellent STEM teachers already in our schools and creating a teaching profession that attracts and retains these teachers through higher pay, within regular budgets, and multiple advancement opportunities. The Education Leaders’ Brief summarizes the grim facts about STEM employment and learning in the U.S. today, emerging efforts to stem the shortage of skilled teachers, and how an Opportunity Culture can help. The companion slide deck provides more statistics and graphics to explain the huge need for more and better STEM teachers; how to attract and retain great STEM teachers; and how to extend the reach of the excellent STEM teachers we already have, paying them much more within regular budgets, and giving them opportunities to lead and develop peers on the job.

Leaping Forward Without Holding Schools Back

Written by publicimpact on March 29, 2012. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, More Topics Features

Leaping Forward Without Holding Schools Back

global logoIn this collection of essays, Education Sector asked commentators to address a set of dilemmas facing the nation in the current reform moment.  Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel tackled one: will the Common Core and new teacher evaluation systems strangle innovation?  These reforms, they argue, would have been perfectly timed for 1962, with fifty years ahead of seat-time based grade levels and a one-teacher-one-classroom staffing model.  But what about now, when the combination of new staffing models and digital learning has huge potential to transform everything?  Will the Common Core and individual teacher evaluation hold us back exactly when we could be surging ahead?  Not necessarily, the Hassels argue.  But to sidestep that trap, states need to think of the new systems as iterations, not final destinations; leave space for innovation in new schools; and create much more powerful incentives for excellence.  See essay # IV in the collection, here.

Opportunity at the Top

Written by publicimpact on May 4, 2010. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Opportunity Culture for America's Teachers, Teacher and Leader Compensation, Teachers and Leaders Features

Opportunity at the Top: How America’s Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great

OpportunityTHUMB80Even if current reform efforts to recruit more great teachers and dismiss low performers were wildly successful, nearly two-thirds of children still would not have great teachers. But if we add high-performer retention and reach extension, 87 percent of classes could be taught by gap-closing, bar-raising teachers—in a mere half decade. This outcome is within our reach—but only if we vastly expand the opportunities for top teachers. Read more…

 

3X for All: Extending the Reach of Education’s Best

Written by publicimpact on April 23, 2010. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Teachers and Leaders Features

3X for All: Extending the Reach of Education’s Best

Instead of just trying to recruit more great teachers, what if we could reach dramatically more children with the great teachers we already have? This report explores ways we could redesign teachers’ roles and use technology to give millions more students access to the best teachers. Read more…

 

Going Exponential: Growing the Charter School Sector’s Best

Written by publicimpact on February 15, 2011. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Charter Management Organizations, Charter School Features, State and Federal Charter School Policy

Going Exponential: Growing the Charter School Sector’s Best

Going-Exponential_2011-1The supply of seats in the nation’s best charter schools is not growing rapidly enough to serve the millions of low-income children who need better schools.  Based on lessons from the fastest growing organizations in other sectors, this report for the Progressive Policy Institute provides breakthrough solutions for growing the best charter schools and charter management organizations. With specific advice for charter sector leaders, policymakers and philanthropists, Going Exponential offers strategies that could enable every child living in poverty to have access to schools as good as today’s top ten percent charter schools by 2025. Recommendations address the major barriers limiting growth of the sector’s best, such as scarcity of excellent school leaders, funding for growth, and motivation of charter leaders to grow while maintaining excellence.

Try, Try Again

Written by publicimpact on September 6, 2009. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Success Strategies

Try, Try Again

trytryagain[pdf] Tripling The Number of Fixed Failing Schools Without Getting Any Better at Fixing Schools. How? By shortening the time that passes before recognizing failure and retrying major change. Most initial efforts to fix failing schools will fail (just like 70% or more major change efforts and start-ups across sectors fall short). But if policymakers commit to faster “retry rates” – one or two years – the cumulative success rate in failing schools can be much higher.

Rapid retry won’t be easy: we’ll need strong “leading indicators” that show which efforts are on-track, and a ready supply of leaders and school operators to step in when initial efforts fail. But the payoff would be dramatically higher rates of success in fixing failing schools. Read more in our Try, Try Again slide deck. (pdf)

Re-Slicing the Teacher Compensation Pie

Written by publicimpact on December 16, 2009. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Teacher and Leader Compensation, Teachers and Leaders Features

Re-Slicing the Teacher Compensation Pie

Re-Slicing the Teacher PiePerformance pay, hard-to-staff incentives, and other special payments combined make up only 1% of the teacher pay “pie” nationally. With school budgets tight, the prospects of new, long-term infusions of funds for alternative forms of teacher compensation are bleak. For districts and states eager to reform teacher pay, then, the only viable, sustainable strategy is to “re-slice the teacher compensation pie”—reducing the amount of funding that goes to reward master’s degrees, experience beyond the first five or so years, and other qualifications that research suggests are unrelated to student learning. This presentation shows how re-slicing—whether modest or bold—could dramatically increase the resources available to pay teachers for their contributions to student learning.

Shifting Risk to Create Opportunity: A Role for Performance Guarantees in Education

Written by publicimpact on August 31, 2010. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Entrepreneurship in K-12, Philanthropy in Education

Performance Guarantees in Education: Shifting Risk to Create Opportunity

PerformanceGuaranteesEducationcover[pdf]  In this report, authors Bryan Hassel and Daniela Doyle note that to improve upon the successes of entrepreneurial providers and raise student achievement, more districts and states must be willing to give new education services a chance. Districts, however, are hesitant to hand over schools and school functions to outsiders. The authors suggest that performance guarantees, similar to car warranties or a home builder’s bonded contracts, could provide an incentive for districts to experiment with new services by shifting risk from the district to the provider. The report explores a range of design issues that districts, providers, and investors could work through as they set up viable performance guarantees.

Stimulating Excellence: Unleashing the Power of Innovation in Education

Written by publicimpact on September 2, 2009. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Entrepreneurship in K-12, More Topics Features, State and Federal Charter School Policy

Stimulating Excellence: Unleashing the Power of Innovation in Education

education_entrepreneurs [pdf] A small number of highly-successful entrepreneurial ventures in education have begun to transform schools with innovative solutions that have extraordinary potential to serve students more efficiently and effectively. Yet federal, state and local policies often hinder these types of innovations. This report, written by Julie Kowal and Bryan C. Hassel and jointly released by Public Impact, the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for American Progress, and New Profit Inc., offers politically viable solutions to address these barriers. Read more…

Fund the Child: A 100% Solution

Written by publicimpact on August 31, 2009. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, School Funding

Fund the Child: A 100% Solution

Manifesto-Report-2A broad, bipartisan coalition now urges a new method of funding our public schools–one that finally ensures the students who need the most receive it, that empowers school leaders to make key decisions, and that opens the door to public school choice. It’s a 100 percent solution to the most pressing problems in public school funding–and it’s called Weighted Student Funding. Under WSF, money would follow children to the schools they attend, with more disadvantaged children generating more funding. Schools would then have increased discretion to spend funds in ways that maximize student learning. Public Impact led the research and writing behind this manifesto, released in June 2006 with dozens of signatories from across the political spectrum.

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Featured

Opportunity Culture

How a new focus on America’s best teachers could close the achievement gaps, raise the bar, and keep our nation great. Read More...

Going Exponential

How could every low-income child have access to the very best schools by 2025? Click here to find out.

Try, Try Again

Triple Your Turnaround Success Rate... Without Getting Better at Turning Around Schools. Find out how here.

3X for All

What would it take for every child to have an outstanding teacher, every year? Click here to see our report.

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