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WPS Concurrent Conversations
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2014 WPS
Concurrent Conversations
Briefing Materials

In preparation for the Washington Policy Seminar (WPS), we want you to have an opportunity to dig deeper into the equity conversation at the national level as well as seven complex education issues – the resolution of which will help to close opportunity gaps and have a positive impact on educational outcomes for all children-- that will be discussed in small group concurrent conversations. View the WPS agenda.
We hope that you will review the briefing materials below, collect your thinking – and, perhaps, generate some questions you want answered. The briefing materials are divided into two sections:
 Conversation Topic - The Politics of the Common Core 
The Politics of the Common Core

The Common Core State Standards aim to raise student achievement by standardizing what's taught in schools across the United States, but have sparked controversy among educators, parents and politicians. In this Special Report,
A Guide to Common Core, U.S. News & World Report offers insight and analysis about the issues.


Check out the interactive Common Core map to learn about the states that have:  Adopted Common Core standards, not adopted Common Core standards, or have taken a break from implementation. You can view the interactive map here

Flying under the radar? Analyzing Common Core media coverage
Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane, American Enterprise Institute 

An analysis of media coverage of the Common Core State Standards Initiative shows the effort largely flew under the radar until recently.  As media coverage increased and the public became more educated about the Common Core, the controversy surrounding it has intensified. The American Enterprise Institute discusses media coverage of the common core, its implications and here.  

 Conversation Topic - Quality Teachers & Quality Leaders: Preparing Them/Keeping  Them 

Evaluating and Supporting Effective Teaching 
Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University with the Assistance of Channa Cook, Ann Jaquith, and Madlene Hamilton 

Teacher evaluation in the United States needs an overhaul. Existing systems rarely help teachers improve or clearly distinguish those who are succeeding from those who are struggling. Criteria and methods for evaluating teachers vary substantially and there is little agreement about the best way to ensure that all students have high quality teachers. The Standford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education created a comprehensive study of the criteria and methods to evaluating teachers and student in an effective way. The comprehensive study can be viewed here. 

Actions Matter-Equity Principles for School Leaders
Lynda Tredway, Coordinator, Principals Leadership Institute  

In this short synopsis, the Oakland Leadership Taskforce discussed educational equity in connection with school leadership. From the study, it was found that principals who are explicit about the equity issue and clear about the next steps, whether the issue was micro or macro, are more likely to disrupt historical inequities and provide access and opportunity to learn for all students. The brief of overview of the study can be found here.

Practical Guide to Designing Comprehensive Teacher Evaluation Systems
Laura Goe, Ph.D., Educational Testing Service, Lynn Holdheide, Senior TA Consultant, American Institutes for Research, and Tricia Miller, Ph.D., 

The Greater Teachers and Leaders Center at American Institutes of Research presents a similar guide on teacher evaluation and techniques to better to improve the overall evaluation system. The study includes development and implementation of teacher evaluation plans at the state level and suggestions for further implementation. For more insight on effective teacher evaluation methods, the study can be seen here. 

 Conversation Topic- Reforming Postsecondary Education/Jumpstarting Social Mobility  
Reforming Post-secondary Education Policy to Jumpstart Social Mobility
Andrew Kelly, Director, Center on Higher Education Reform, American Enterprise Institute 

To expand affordable post-secondary opportunity without breaking the bank, policymakers must embrace innovation and competition. The article presented by the American Enterprise Institute discusses the way in which we as educators can improve policies placed by the federal government that limit
how effectively college can impact social mobility. This insightful article will help participants focus on how to effectively influence the federal government in the pursuit of bettering post-secondary education.The article can be found here. 



 Conversation Topic - School Choice: It's More Than Charters 
Comprehensive School Choice Policy

Josh Cunningham
, Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

Legislatures around the country have enacted various forms of school choice.  Although many school choice methods are available—including open enrollment policies and magnet schools—the most prominent public school choice policy is charter schools.  This guide is a resource for understanding the types of school choice options states are considering and enacting, including the effects of using multiple forms of choice.

 Conversation Topic - Connecting Schools to Community & to Parents: Schools Cannot Do It Alone 
Achieving Ambitious Educational Outcomes through School and Community Partnerships

Lisa J. Walker, S. Kwesi Rollins, Martin J. Blank, and Reuben Jacobson

In June 2013, the Institute for Educational Leadership and Chapin Hall, with generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, convened a group of people to reflect on the role of partnerships in advancing educational opportunities for children and youth in this country. This comprehensive summary discusses the role of community schools, key strategies, and implications. Minutes of the meeting can be found here.   

Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy
Coalition for Community Schools

This report builds on both practice and research to describe the what, why, and how of system-wide expansion of community schools. The guide is written for a wide audience and for communities at different points in planning for, implementing, and sustaining a community schools strategy
. Learn more

Making the Grade: Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Supports
Child Trends 
Integrated student supports (ISS) is one promising approach for promoting academic success that is taking hold in communities across the country. But what are integrated student supports, and are they effective at improving educational outcomes? See more.

 Conversation Topic - America's Early Learning Agenda: Pre-School for All  
The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success  
Kids Count, Annie E. Casey Foundation

This KIDS COUNT policy report details how a child’s early development from birth through age 8 is essential to making an effective transition into elementary school and for long-term academic achievement. To prepare all of America’s children to succeed, this document sets forth broad policy recommendations.  It also features data on early childhood development for every state, the District of Columbia and the nation. You can view the Annie E. Casey Foundation report here. 

Early Learning 

The White House, Early Learning

Expanding access to high quality early childhood education is among the smartest investments that we can make. Research has shown that the early years in a child’s life—when the human brain is forming—represent a critically important window of opportunity to develop a child’s full potential and shape key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child’s success in school and in life. Learn more about the President’s early learning initiatives.

 Conversation Topic - Connecting Education & Workforce  

Separate and Unequal

Center on Education and Workforce, Georgetown University

The higher education system is more and more complicit as a passive agent in the systematic reproduction of white racial privilege across generations. This report analyzes enrollment trends at 4,400 post-secondary institutions by race in the past 15 years.  Read
Separate and Unequal.

Education & Economic Development
Anthony Carnevale, Director and Research Professor, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

In this conversation Anthony Carnevale discusses the connection between economic development and education. The conversation gives an overview of employment and education trends from 1946-1973, current trends in education, and the issues facing students as they navigate a broken economic and educational system. An excerpt from the conversation can be found here.

Failure to Launch 
Center on Education and Workforce, Georgetown University

Failure to Launch
includes an analysis of labor force participation, employment, and earnings for young adults in their 20s and older adults in their 50s, 60s, and 70s between 1980 and 2012.  Download the report.


2014 Washington Policy Seminar
Plenary Sessions Briefing Materials

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