March 18, 2013—In this post that appeared in the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Ohio Gadfly Daily, Public Impact’s Bryan C. Hassel reflects on the lessons learned from Public Impact’s recent study Searching for Excellence: A Five-City, Cross-State Comparison of Charter School Quality, produced in collaboration with the Fordham Institute. The study compared the performance of charter schools in five cities with that of other schools in their districts. Although the charters outperformed their home districts, in all five cities the sector included a wide range of schools, from very high-performing to very low-performing. A simulation showed that by closing or replacing low-performing charter schools while expanding or replicating high-performing ones, cities could dramatically improve charter school quality in only a few years.
February 13, 2013 – Public Impact’s Joe Ableidinger and Bryan C. Hassel wrote this latest installment of Tom Vander Ark’s Smart Cities series, which details where innovations in learning are happening. Hassel and Ableidinger profile the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust), an organization that is connecting “Smart Cities” by helping city-based organizations support the emergence of high-quality blended learning. CEE-Trust is “a network of city-based foundations, non-profits, and mayor’s offices that work together to support education innovation and reform”. The network facilitates collaboration through blended learning working groups and workshops, and by documenting effective practices and lessons learned in member cities.
October 26, 2012 – In this abridged version of the Commentary that appeared in Education Week, Celine Coggins of Teach Plus joins Public Impact’s Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel to discuss why schools and policymakers must expand the impact of excellent teachers, now. With new information demonstrating the great variation in teacher effectiveness and the availability of better teacher-evaluation systems, schools have increasingly accurate data to identify which teachers are exceptional. Plus, recent reports have shown that early-career teachers want more opportunities for leadership and professional growth in the classroom. School reform efforts that do not acknowledge these two crucial trends are bound to fall short. Read the full Education Next blog post to learn how schools can create an Opportunity Culture that embraces excellence and opportunity for students and teachers alike.
September 17, 2012 – In this post for Education Next, Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan Hassel focus on the new District Race to the Top criteria requiring all applicants to meet an “Absolute Priority” for learning personalization that includes “expand[ing] student access to the most effective educators” and increasing all educators’ effectiveness. Districts that want to achieve this, they say, should focus on three things—recognizing the excellent teachers already in classrooms, committing to models that reach the most students possible with excellent teachers in charge, and baking accountability and the time to lead and develop peers into the school recipe.
In this blog post for the Innosight Institute (now the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation), Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel argue that “schools – and nations – that excel in the digital age will be those that use digital tools both to make teaching more manageable for the average teacher, and to give massively more students access to excellent teachers.” While digital learning can help solid teachers become more effective, one of its greatest promises is to enable top teachers – those whose students already achieve well over a year’s worth of growth – to educate more students by freeing up their time, allowing them to teach students who are not physically present, and capturing their teaching prowess by recording videos or helping develop smart learning software.
August 16, 2012 – Public Impact’s Bryan Hassel teams up with Celine Coggins of Teach Plus in this Commentary for Education Week. They argue that school reform efforts that do not expand the impact—and number—of excellent teachers are bound to fall short. Schools must extend the reach of excellent teachers to more students, couple teacher collaboration with teacher leadership, and empower top teachers to shape school culture. Meanwhile, policymakers must clear away the policies that holds great teachers back and boost the national will to put an excellent teacher in every classroom.
July 30, 2012 – In this Education Next post, Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel explain the findings of Public Impact’s recent financial analyses aimed at determining how much more schools could pay teachers—within budget—just by putting excellent teachers in charge of more students’ learning. The analyses found that schools could free funds to pay excellent teachers in teaching roles up to 40 percent more and teacher-leaders up to about 130 percent more, within current budgets and without increasing class sizes. In some variations, schools can pay all teachers more, while further rewarding the best.