October 13, 2020


October 12, 2020

Edujob: President and CEO of Knowledge Alliance and Senior Advisor to Penn Hill Group

Here’s a really interesting edujob: CEO of the Knowledge Alliance and a Senior Advisor at the influential DC-based Penn Hill Group. Highlights:

Knowledge Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on learning and applying what works to dramatically improve K–12 public education. As an association comprised of leading education organizations from across the nation, we advocate for the greater use of research-based knowledge in education policy and practice at the federal, state, and local levels. Knowledge Alliance member organizations are dedicated to solving some of the biggest problems facing our schools today through the development and use of high-quality, relevant research, analytics, measurement, and technical support.

The Knowledge Alliance President/CEO works closely with an executive committee made up of members from the board of directors to craft and execute on a work plan designed to increase federal support for a robust, comprehensive system of support that helps states, districts and schools provide evidence-based teaching and learning environments that improve results for all students. The President/CEO has primary responsibility for leading the Alliance’s advocacy work, managing a membership board with diverse perspectives, and building a national presence for the Alliance and its mission. Penn Hill Group provides both policy and administrative support for the President/CEO.

Penn Hill Group is a leading bipartisan consulting and government relations firm focused on helping clients advance federal education and workforce policy. In this role, the individual is responsible for working closely with the leadership team at Penn Hill Group to provide senior-level support for a limited number of clients on education and workforce issues that include strategic advice, writing, research, policy and lobbying.

More information on the role here. Interested individuals should send a letter of interest and current resume to KAJobs@pennhillgroup.com by COB on October 23, 2020


October 11, 2020

Are We Getting Reopening Wrong?

Alan Gottlieb looks at outdoor school. A not-inspiring aspect of the politicized reopening debate has been the lack of imagination from school leaders about and lack of support from policymakers for ways to operate schools. Instead we’ve had a debate whether or not to have school at all.

Emily Oster reports on more evidence that we may have also looked at schools the wrong way in the context of reopening. School opening is not the risk to communities, rather community behavior is the risk to schools being able to open. In other words, if you want school then wear a mask and be willing to forgo some other activities.


October 9, 2020


October 8, 2020

Reopening Backlash – Kaya Henderson’s Next Adventure, Political Demographics, More…

Couple of articles driving some chatter:

If you missed it this Alec MacGillis’ article on reopening it is worth reading – and emblematic of a pretty hot debate.

This from Jon Chait.

Years from now, when we look back at the coronavirus pandemic, it is very possible that the most damaging element we will identify is its catastrophic effect upon public education. The devastation will be social and economic, permanently degrading the skill base of the workforce and robbing a generation of children, especially low-income students, of any chance to enter the middle class. And the question we will have to ask is whether the tragedy was truly necessary…

…One survey found parents of children in private or charter schools were 50 percent more likely to say they were “very satisfied” with their children’s schooling during quarantine, and also lower levels of reported learning loss. Politics, far more than science, shaped school district decision-making,” finds a new study by political scientists Michael Hartney and Leslie Finger, “Mass partisanship and teacher union strength best explain how school boards approached reopening.

The challenges of reopening and operating are real but it seems hard to miss a few things:

– It’s very local and situational and yet the debate is unproductively nationalized and politicized

– There have been a lot of kids in school now for a while in a lot of places without a big circus, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate everywhere but there are lessons to learn

– Plenty exceptions to this (good and bad in both parts of the sector) but on average charter networks seem to have pivoted more effectively than districts. Superintendents privately say the same thing. Lots of reasons but one does seem to be the ability to be agile. Yet charter supporters are in such a defensive crouch this, like a lot of nuances in this situation, is lost in the noise.

538 analysis on Black Americans and electoral politics.

Kaya Henderson and Roland Fryer have a new venture and it looks interesting and timely. Here’s Kaya in her own words.


October 7, 2020

Edujobs @ Educate Texas

Two edujobs open at Educate Texas, one Dallas based and one in Austin.

Educate Texas (EdTX), an initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), is a catalyst for large-scale statewide educational systems change. EdTX partners with public and private entities to achieve the goal of strengthening the public and higher education system in Texas so that every student is prepared for educational and workforce success by earning a college degree, certificate, or technical credential.

Managing Director Higher Education: The Managing Director is responsible for the development of Educate Texas’s higher education and workforce efforts to increase postsecondary readiness, access and success for all students by building partnerships, leading innovation, and scaling practices and policies.

Senior Director Advoacy and Policy: The Senior Director is responsible for managing the overall development and delivery of EdTX’s state advocacy and policy agenda for K-12 and higher education.



CRT And Schools, 2020 Election Outcome Paradox, Free College Is Free? More…

Coming attractions. Deep dive in The 74 on the debate that’s broken out about teaching history, roughly 1619 v. 1776 v. President Trump.

Here’s WSJ’s Jason Riley on Critical Race Theory and here’s David E. DeMatthews and Terri N. Watson of UT-Austin and City College on the same from the other side. Pretty different takes and a debate that seems likely to break out in a big way after the election, regardless of the outcome, per accounts like this – and will impact schools.

Also on the election and education, something of a paradox might be shaping up. A really big Democratic year overall, but progressive ballot initiatives around education fail – taxes in CA and AZ, affirmative action in CA, and a conservative pushback on sex ed in WA wins.

Here’s some analysis on the costs and benefits of Joe Biden’s free college plan. Costs up front, pays for itself over time.  And Bush Institute on the future of assessment.


October 6, 2020


October 5, 2020