ERNed Media -February/March 2020


March 21, 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 Analyzed the Equity of Schools’ Per-Pupil Spending

In our latest of a series of briefs analyzing per-pupil spending based on reporting required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ERN’s Chief Policy Officer Charles Barone and Policy Analyst Nicholas Munyan-Penney assess per-pupil, within-district spending in Illinois. The two biggest takeaways from the findings were: variability in funding among schools with similar concentrations of low income and nonwhite students and a largely mixed record of equitable funding. Read more about their findings here.

North Carolina’s Personalized Assessment Tool

In an ongoing series analyzing state approaches to the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) pilot program under ESSA, we examine North Carolina’s Personalized Assessment Tool (NCPAT) which expands its current approach to year-long, interim through-assessments. NCPAT is admirable but much less radical than New Hampshire’s IADA pilot, which we covered in a previous brief, in that it focuses not on content but on timing and sequencing. Read more about why the team nonetheless cautions other states against hastily adopting the NCPAT here.


Campaigns End, Ideas Live On

As The New York Times’ David Leonhardt wrote with regard to Mike Bloomberg’s college plan, “whatever else you [thought] of his campaign, his higher education plan [was] arguably the most progressive of any candidate.” That plan, like others, was influenced in part by the thinking of our Director of Strategic Initiatives for Policy, Michael Dannenberg who has challenged candidates to make college “cheaper, fairer, and better.” Read more about our ideas in that regard herehere, and here

(Note: We’ve provided policy recommendations to nearly every 2020 campaign, as well as a host of Democratic and Republican elected officials over the years interested in supporting increased resources, innovation, and accountability in public education from pre-school to and through college.)

Watchdog Work

Following last month’s report that showed seven prestigious Ohio colleges not doing their fair share when it comes to enrolling talented students from working-class and low-income families, a new petition is up calling on one of those schools, the public Miami University of Ohio, to double its diversity over the next five years. Help share the petition here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT — Black Student Loan Debt

If you haven’t already, check out a provocative Tweet Storm from Michael Dannenberg offering his summary analysis of the central causes underlying the crisis for Black student loan borrowers. Join the conversation by commenting or retweeting via the above link and be part of the movement calling on education leaders and policymakers to address the phenomenon substantially via the Higher Education Act reauthorization and beyond.