New First Focus report looks at the costs of pre-k or childcare on the private market relative to income and typical household expenditures for families at different income levels. We've long known that childcare or preschool is a major expenditure for the lowest income households--bigger even than rent or housing for many families--but it's also the second biggest cost for middle-class families and can put a major strain on family budgets. The report also flags some interesting differences in types of preschool or childcare used by families at different income levels.Important issues to think about in debates over universal ...


Over the past seven years, New Orleans has experienced a dramatic transformation of the city's public educational system, which has been closely watched nationally as a test of new approaches to organizing and delivering public education. As the Executive Director of Teach for America of Greater New Orleans, Kira Orange Jones has been closely involved in supporting that transformation. In 2011, she ran for and won election to the Louisiana State Board of Education, representing the 2nd BESE District, which includes most of New Orleans. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Kira Orange Jones first came to Louisiana ...


Smart post from Matt Yglesias on school segregation and the basic math of our nation's changing child demographics. Since the end of de jure racial segregation, analysis of progress (or, more frequently, lack thereof) in reducing de facto segregation has tended to focus on the percentage of racial and ethnic minority students attending "majority minority" schools. But as the demographic composition of our nation's students has shifted, non-Hispanic white students make up a smaller percentage of children enrolled in our schools, and are in fact a minority of children under aged 5. This basic demographic math will lead to a ...


For those concerned about the future of education reform in the United States, Los Angeles is a critical city to watch. Our nation's second largest school district faces significant education challenges, including a high drop-out rate, student achievement levels well below national and large-city averages on the NAEP TUDA assessment, a diverse and high-need student population, and a fractious political climate. Yet there are also promising initiatives underway to improve Los Angeles' lowest-performing schools, and an emerging coalition of both powerful leaders and grassroots parents and families is emerging to improve education in the city. As Director of Education Programs ...


If there's one thing that everyone in education can agree on, it's the importance and tremendous value of high-quality teachers. But our current education system does little to provide opportunities for excellent teachers to make their voices heard, to grow as leaders and professionals, or extend their impacts beyond the classroom to shape the larger education field. That's why I'm excited to feature Rabiah Harris in this year's list of leaders shaping the next generation of education. She is an exceptional middle school science teacher who has worked in a variety of district and charter settings, most recently E.L. ...


Talent matters. That seems like an obvious statement, but for much of its history our public education system failed to identify, prioritize, or value talent in a meaningful way. No organization has done more to shed light on this failure--or to try to change it--than TNTP. Their seminal 2009 report The Widget Effect highlighted the ways in which our education system ignores differences in teacher performance and quality, and the consequences of that for students. TNTP also works with school districts to redesign their approaches to human capital to prioritize effective teaching and improve outcomes for students. As a Vice ...


Urban schools have long been the focus of education reform efforts, because of the shockingly poor outcomes that many large city school systems have produced. Yet a growing number of cities across the country--New Orleans; Washington, D.C.; Denver; and Indianapolis, to name a few--have become models of new approaches to public education that combine vibrant charter sectors, district-level reforms, and a rich network of external human capital and support organizations to drive improved results for students. In these cities, improving education is no longer simply about the school district, but is an "it takes a city" effort in which ...


Educators, parents, and policymakers increasingly recognize the critical importance of developing students' skills and knowledge in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields--both for national economic competitiveness and for the individual opportunities that skills in these fields open up to students. Yet international assessments show that U.S. students lag behind their international peers in science and math, and many schools are ill-equipped to prepare students for a world of increasingly rapid technological innovation. Andrew Coy is working to change that. As Executive Director of the Baltimore-based Digital Harbor Foundation, he works to connect students with opportunities to use and ...


Managing student behavior is one of the biggest challenges teachers face. Further, how schools choose to deal with student behavior can have a significant impact on children's character and social-emotional development. ClassDojo is a technology-based classroom tool that was designed to help teachers improve classroom behavior and share information on student behavior with parents and administrators. Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, two education technology entrepreneurs with experience as teachers, launched ClassDojo in 2011 and have seen it grow to reach more than one million users. Sam was born in the United Kingdom and lived in Wales and Abu Dhabi before ...


Parents are children's most important teachers and advocates. But parent voices--particularly the voices of parents of underserved students--are often absent from public debates about education reform, and many parents feel powerless to change a system that persistently fails to serve their children. Sharhonda Bossier is working to change that. As the Deputy Director of Families for Excellent Schools, she leads and supports that organization's work to organize and mobilize families in support of aggressive education reform. Raised in the Watts area of Los Angeles, she earned her Bachelor's degree and Master's in education from the University of California Santa Cruz ...


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