ERNed Media -January/February 2020


March 10, 2020

Education Reform Now’s monthly policy newsletter

Check out the latest and greatest from our policy shop to expand what works and change what’s broken in the public education system so that it better serves all students, especially low-income students and students of color. 


ERN Releases Statement on President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

Yesterday, ERN Chief Policy Officer Charles Barone released a statement in response to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts for fiscal year 2019. “We’ve long suspected that Trump and his Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, have little interest in promoting public school choice and are committed only to privatizing education and crony capitalism. This budget undoubtedly proves that theory,” Barone writes. You can read the full statement here.

Related, Barone also wrote a blog reflecting on the Trump Administration’s total abandonment of public charter schools, drawing a clear distinction between the public school choice supported by Democrats and the private school choice supported by Trump and DeVos.

Congress Needs a More Ambitious Agenda  

to Transform and Diversify the Teaching Force

Congress isn’t going big when it comes to teachers. As part of the pending Higher Education Act reauthorization process, it should go much further than it has thus far to incorporate policies that help to better compensate teachers, improve educator and school leader preparation, and diversify the teaching force. Find out how.

K-12 Corner

New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment 

for Competency Education

In a new series examining state approaches to the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) pilot program under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), we examine how New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) departs radically from systems that rely on standardized, statewide annual assessments. Read more about why the team cautions other states against adopting their model here. Stay tuned for the next installment in the series later this month.

Analyzing the Equity of Schools’ Per-Pupil Spending

In the latest of a series of briefs analyzing states’ within-district, per-pupil spending reports required by ESSA, we unpack the two biggest takeaways coming out of Ohio: random variability in the funding of schools with similar demographics, and under-funding of middle schools. Read more about their findings here


Interested in learning more about what we’re doing to ensure fairer education for children in K-12 education? Contact ERN’s Chief Policy Officer, Charles Barone, at


Unpacking the Black Student Loan Default Crisis

New and deeply troubling data on the Black student loan default rate led our Michael Dannenberg to put forth a Tweet Storm summary of what he sees as the main causes driving the crisis. Ample discussion followed on-line. Retweet or comment through the link above and help us further the conversation.

Challenging Ohio’s Best Colleges

 Our higher ed policy team reports on seven Ohio colleges not doing their fair share to support socioeconomic mobility (Case Western Reserve University, Kenyon College, Miami University, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, the College of Wooster, and the University of Dayton) and contrasts a series of schools in and out of Ohio that are improving (Denison, Franklin & Marshall, Northwestern, Princeton). Widespread coverage in the Cleveland Plain DealerThe Cincinnati EnquirerABC 6Local 12NBC4i, the Dayton Daily NewsWVXUWHIO 7 and WOSU suggest there’s an appetite for more.

When Financial Planners Make College More Costly

Let us count the ways typical advice from leading financial planners like CNBC star “Downtown Josh Brown” is based on faulty premises if not outright wrong when it comes to college cost, saving, and planning. Read more here.


Want to learn more about our work in ensuring equity in the higher education sphere? Contact ERN’s Director of Strategic Initiatives for Policy, Michael Dannenberg, at


In 2016, Senator Chris Coons—a strong advocate for increased equity in education—urged U.S. News & World Report to incorporate a social mobility component into its ranking system, and last year, his work paid off. USNWR now features this metric, which affects schools’ positioning, and will continue to do so in the future, increasing transparency for understanding various schools’ equitability metrics.