How a proposal for flexible funding can help families close the enrichment gap

January 31, 2019

By Travis Pillow and Ashley Jochim

In education policy debates, we often talk about inequality as if it was primarily driven by learning that happens—or doesn’t happen—in schools.

But out-of-school learning matters too. Sports and recreational programs can cultivate teamwork, passion, and grit. Music and art lessons can help develop tolerance and empathy. Museum and theater trips can boost academic achievement and enhance wellbeing. Tutors and out-of-school academic programs can teach basic and advanced skills.

Perhaps the strongest testament to the value of these outside experiences is the amount of money affluent families spend on them: The wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. householdsspend $9,000 annually on enrichment for their children. And this “enrichment gap” appears to be growing, with affluent families tripling their investments since the 1970s.

We believe it’s time for state, federal, and local policymakers to look for ways to close this gap. We propose offering lower-income families with an allowance to customize enrichment experiences based on their children’s needs and interests. (Last year, our proposal to create these accounts, offered in response to Pathway 2 Tomorrow’s call for innovative education policy proposals, was one of 24 chosen for further development.) Versions of this idea have been floated before. Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute has called attention to the enrichment gap and proposed a unique form of voucher to close it. Florida lawmakers created a reading scholarship program that offers supplemental vouchers aimed specifically at reading enhancements.

While the concept of enrichment allowances is relatively straightforward to propose, and has the potential to bridge some of the ideological and substantive divides that currently hamstring education policy debates, translating it into practice raises some complex issues.

First, where should the money come from?

There are several potential sources of support. Currently, the federal government spends roughly $1.2 billion on an after-school program that does not appear to be fulfilling its potential. In 2015, Mark Dynarski notedthat rigorous studies show after-school programs do not meaningfully improve academic outcomes and may actually worsen student behavior. Dynarski suggested folding the 21st Century Community Learning Centersprogram into existing childcare programs, since that is how many families take advantage of the program. Since then, more ideologically conservative voices, including the Trump administration, have called for eliminating the program, but members of Congress from both parties haven’t gone along with that idea.

However, a recent RAND report found out-of-school programs often yield measurable benefits for participating children, though the benefits often are not captured by conventional academic measures. There may be an opportunity to maximize these benefits by putting program funds to new uses, rather than eliminating them.

Right now, the 21st Century program spends about $720 per student to support out-of-school enrichment for 1.7 million students, though the Department of Education acknowledges these estimates may not be reliable, and attendance is sporadic for many families. Our proposal offers an alternative. When states receive grants from the program, Congress could offer a choice: Provide funding for after-school centers, as they currently do, or offer a per-pupil share of funding to families—an allowance they can use to create customized enrichment experiences for their children.

A voucher of $720 per student would not cover the full cost of many summer enrichment or after-school programs for a full year. But it likely would help induce states or schools to repurpose some of their existing funding streams to create enrichment scholarship programs for parents. For example, Jacksonville, Florida, spends about $550 for a slot in a summer camp, and $3,000 for a slot in a yearlong after-school program. Students with low standardized test scores in reading can now apply for scholarships worth approximately $500.

The federal funding could help encourage the city to merge these funding streams to support parent-controlled accounts, with lower-income families qualifying for progressively larger funding amounts. Funding could also support the supply side of enrichment by expanding community amenities, like parks, museums, and recreation centers, which are often concentrated in areas where fewer economically disadvantaged families live.

Some families currently sending their children to 21st Century Community Learning Centers may have other free or low-cost after-school options, and wish to use their allowances on summer programs, or music lessons and trips to the symphony. Other families with transportation challenges might use the allowance to get their children to and from enrichment activities. The idea would be to encourage state and local investments that would ensure low-income families have the flexibility to choose among a wide range of out-of-school learning experiences—just like wealthy families do.

This flexibility is important. The research literature shows summer programs can improve academic outcomes for disadvantaged students, but overall results are mixed, and these programs are most effective when students attend regularly. Some families might want to take advantage of such programs. Others might not be able to send their children to school-based summer programs, but might see benefits in lower-cost, home-based reading programs. And they might want to supplement those programs with other activities aimed at cultivating their children’s non-academic interests.

It will also be important to provide parents with transparent information about these diverse options—and their relative effectiveness. The Supplemental Educational Services program under No Child Left Behind offers a cautionary tale. Participating families did not have access to information about the tutoring options available to them. For enrichment accounts to work, parents will need online information portals where they can research options. These might include parent reviews, services provided (e.g., special education accommodations), and academic and non-academic outcomes, where available.

Administrators of these allowances would need to ensure that funding is spent appropriately. A trip to the museum might qualify as an expenditure; a purchase at the gift shop might not. Summer camps would need to meet staffing and safety standards to qualify for funding. Administrators of health savings accounts have had to tackle this problem, ensuring families can use their debit cards on prescriptions at the pharmacy, but not on groceries at the same store. And administrators of some education savings account programs have placed limits on spending. For example, parents who use Florida’s Gardiner Scholarship for children with special needs can only use the funding to purchase one tablet or computer in a specified time frame, and therapy providers must meet state standards before parents can use program funds for their services.

Getting the right practices and guidelines in place will require thoughtful experimentation. Local pilot programs would allow state and local governments to figure out appropriate safeguards before taking programs to scale.

Other worthwhile policies might increase the chances for success of these pilot programs. Cities and school districts should consider what programs, providers, and opportunities already exist in their communities, and whether all families have equitable access. School system leaders should assess the proliferation of online platforms designed to help families navigate enrichment opportunities, and evaluate gaps in the information available. Some families might need in-person assistance, expanding “navigator” services to cover enrichment and out-of-school learning—something organizations like ReSchool Colorado are trying.

We believe our proposal can help bridge some existing divides in education politics by giving families more choices and addressing a potent source of inequality in education. Giving parents more equitable access to out-of-school learning can also help teachers, who see the importance of what happens beyond the bell, and know that schools cannot give students all the skills they need over the course of 180 days without help during the other 185.

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Commentary: In Our Changing Economy, We Need New Flexible Education Systems to Usher In an Age of Agility for Tomorrow’s Workforce

January 23, 2019

By Cheryl Oldham and Tim Taylor and Tom Vander Ark

Recently, Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future (P2T) announced the winners of its $100,000 Innovation Award for bold, transformative education solutions. One theme that emerged from among the 240 stakeholders who submitted proposals involves disrupting the traditional education pathway — redesigning the intersection between education and workforce preparation cohesively, across all segments of education, to be agile and responsive to communities and prepare students to succeed in a time of changing economic demands.

This theme directly aligns with what we at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, America Succeeds, and Getting Smart have termed the Age of Agility, a commitment to forging a system that is agile and adaptable, to capitalize on progress for all students, and to developing new ways to prepare them to be successful in an ever-changing world.

In the fall of 2017, America Succeeds released a report, Age of Agility: Education Pathways for the Future of Work, to call attention to the seismic shifts underway in education-to-employment pathways. As a society, we are in the early stages of a rapidly accelerating revolution that is bringing automation, artificial intelligence, and technology into parts of the workforce that have, until now, escaped this latest wave of disruptive change. Professional services such as bookkeeping, radiology, and legal aid are quickly joining the list of impacted industries we are more familiar with, like manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and logistics.

As the report says, “The bottom line is straightforward: if students and workers must be agile and adaptable to succeed in this new world, then the same holds true for the education system that prepares them.” In many cases, that means calling for a radical transformation of education-to-employment pathways.

Nine months ago, America Succeeds and the Chamber Foundation partnered with P2T on its effort while undertaking one of our own: the Age of Agility Tour. We undertook a multi-city listening tour to hear from business, education, and policy leaders on the ground and learn how crowdsourced innovative solutions are aimed at closing the growing skills gap within their states. The tour launched in 2018 with an event in Arizona, then continued to Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Illinois, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Arkansas, and New Jersey. The tour is wrapping up with a final Washington, D.C., event, in partnership with Getting Smart, on Jan. 24.

The goal of each summit has been to inspire attendees with new models and promising practices to prepare students for the future locally, while encouraging participation in the broader discussion about scaling these educational opportunities to all students. So far, more than 1,000 attendees and five governors’ offices have participated in the tour, eager to confront the challenges and champion the solutions presented.

We are seeing similar pushes and pulls on the current education system, and suggestions for places to focus on moving forward, from both our summits and the proposals submitted by P2T stakeholders. Ideas surfaced through P2T present a variety of innovative action plans around disrupting traditional education pathways, and the alignment and partnership with other organizations offers the most intriguing opportunities for significant impact in the future.

The most significant momentum is building around the idea of redesigning the intersection between education and workforce preparation across the education system. Flexibility is critical for learners, educators, and the system’s structures to adapt and respond to the changing needs of communities and the modern, global economy. The education system has to be framed with the agility to prepare students for the world of the future.

Across the national tour, we often share this quote from Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google: “We need to be preparing kids for jobs that don’t exist and to use technologies, sciences, and methods that we haven’t even discovered yet, to solve problems we haven’t identified.”

While there is still much work to do on building consensus for the strategies and tactics to create an agile education system, the urgency of addressing this issue is hard to ignore. States, communities, companies, and millions of workers are already starting to feel the impacts of this latest workforce revolution. Policymakers from both sides of the aisle are confronting economic uncertainty and a desire to protect jobs — and our community has a rare opportunity to ensure that these conversations and concerns are linked to efforts to modernize education.

Cheryl Oldham is senior vice president, Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Tim Taylor is president and co-founder of America Succeeds. Tom Vander Ark is chief executive officer of Getting Smart.

View the Original Post in The 74 here.

 

From 240 Winning Proposals From Around the Country, 4 Key Themes Emerge for Building a Pathway 2 Tomorrow

By, Hanna Skandera

January 10, 2019

With a new year, new opportunities present themselves. This week, Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future announced its new $100,000 Innovation Award as part of its $430,000 investment in 24 locally responsive education solutions, spanning 17 states and the District of Columbia. With the support of over 75 partner organizations, P2T solicited proposals from around the country and garnered 240 bold education solutions from all types of stakeholders — parents, entrepreneurs, researchers and education leaders — from rural, suburban and urban communities in 39 states.

Despite this diversity of geography and voices represented in the submitted proposals, four clear themes emerged that are informing our path forward.

1 – Disrupt the Traditional Education Pathway

Within the numerous proposals submitted to P2T, and in policy conversations across the country, there is a clear push to blend K-12 and higher education and/or workforce preparation opportunities to blur the traditional system lines. There is a recognition that our siloed systems are failing to consistently deliver on the promise of college and career readiness for all students. Winning proposals from the Austin Chamber of Commerce, “Opportunity Austin: College and Career Readiness and Placement,” and YouthForce NOLA, “Real-World Skills for Real-Life Success,” are just two examples of efforts to prepare students for the successful pursuit of and placement in high-wage, high-demand career pathways or postsecondary education.

2 – Put Each Learner at the Center of His or Her Education

Personalized learning, education of the whole child and new instructional models focused on high-quality curriculum are emerging — and at least one of these is featured at nearly every major education gathering. Within the P2T proposals were numerous solutions for all learners along the continuum of education and a newfound focus on orienting the return on investment not solely toward core academic subjects, but on preparation of students as productive, contributing citizens. As an example, within this theme, the winning proposal from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy utilizes a curriculum tool to enable leaders to make the best curricular decisions in English language arts for the students they serve by mapping knowledge domains and providing critical analysis and reports to identify potential gaps.

3 – Elevate the Education Profession

We have seen a surge in conversation, policy and action that highlights how important teachers are when it comes to student success — whether in terms of salary pay, teacher voice in shaping policy or preparation and professional development — and the imperative to keep teachers front and center in education transformation cannot be overlooked. As teacher shortages continue — and, in many regions, worsen — the need to re-envision the role and stature of educators must be deliberate and aligned with the value we know they bring to the classroom. For example, a winning proposal by The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, “Neuroteach Global,” provides an innovative approach to professional development through a series of micro-learning experiences, using technology to revolutionize how educators develop their understanding of the science of learning and their ability to translate research into action.

4 – Leveraging Resources and Relationships

Failure over the last few decades to include those most affected when it comes to policy and practice has been clearly recognized. Numerous proposals captured this mandate and went even further in pushing for a broader tent. For example, P2T’s Innovation Award co-winners, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence’s Student Voice Team and the Iowa Department of Education, illustrate the authentic engagement of students as partners in education policymaking.

In addition to these themes, a few noteworthy observations emerged within the 240 P2T proposals. First, an increase in the public and private sectors working together to initiate more entrepreneurial ideas and solve problems. And, second, a shift away from quality control (Do you have a diploma?) to quality assurance (How can you assure me you can do the job?). These are important trends to acknowledge as we continue to look for new ways to deliver on education’s promise. While we cannot abandon the foundational work of the past 20 to 30 years — a call for higher standards, greater transparency and accountability, and increased equity and opportunity via choice — we cannot ignore the need for our system to be agile and adaptable, and proactively develop new ways to prepare the next generation in an ever-changing world.

As we look ahead, we should continue to challenge ourselves to chart a path that is locally and regionally responsive, doesn’t abandon the necessary and courageous work of the last few decades, and is relentlessly committed to building and delivering a better education for future generations. We all know education transformation is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work. It requires a commitment to work together and courage to see it through. These themes and the game-changing ideas represented in P2T proposals and emerging across our country are by no means a silver bullet; however, they can provide a framework for moving forward, for doubling down on our commitment to deliver on education’s promise.

In 2019, P2T and its partners will support the winning ideas, transforming them from three-page proposals into scalable impact plans. Through partnership, these ideas will be shared and matched with leaders, communities, states and regions for implementation across the country.

Hanna Skandera is founder of the P2T initiative, editor-in-chief at The Line and a former New Mexico secretary of education.

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From The74: New National Initiative Pathway 2 Tomorrow Bestows $100,000 Innovation Award to Two Groups Promoting Student Voice in Iowa & Kentucky

By, Kate Stringer, posted January 8, 2019

When Kay Augustine first heard about an opportunity to pitch local, innovative education ideas from underrepresented voices, her first thought went to the students in her home state of Iowa. Augustine, a project director for the Iowa Department of Education’s School Climate Transformation Grant, wasn’t sure if student voices qualified for this initiative, so she asked the organization spearheading it, Pathway 2 Tomorrow, if a student-centered proposal was OK.

Not only was it OK, but the Pathway 2 Tomorrow committee picked Augustine’s proposal and another from a student voice group in Kentucky to share its first $100,000 innovation award.

Pathway 2 Tomorrow, led by former New Mexico secretary of education Hanna Skandera, was created last year to find and cultivate local education ideas from people who don’t always get a chance to share them. The Iowa Department of Education and the Kentucky Prichard Committee Student Voice Team will each receive $50,000 and will eventually collaborate in their efforts to elevate student voice.

“To me, these proposals clearly articulate the value of student voice and action,” Skandera said. “I think we’ve always said students matter, but I think we’re getting past the ‘Hey, we should have a student council’ to ‘Wait a minute, how do we actually empower our students to impact at scale their own education and the policy that shapes their education?’”

The winners will work with coaches from national education organizations that have partnered with Pathway 2 Tomorrow to give advice for shaping their ideas. They will also showcase their proposals in some way, such as a paper or presentation, to share what they’ve learned with others working on student voice.

In Kentucky, the Student Voice Team is run by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, an advocacy nonprofit focused on improving education in the state. The organization will use the award to create a think tank that will train students in identifying and solving education problems they and their peers face. It will also help more students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, become involved in the group.

The committee already has a strong start: Over the past six years, the Student Voice Team has grown to involve 100 students across the state who conduct their own research on education, lead legislative campaigns, and write op-eds about issues like school safety. Recently, the team interviewed students to learn more about the challenges they faced in getting to and through college. Their work culminated in a book called Ready or Not. The students also helped lead a successful policy effort to fully fund Kentucky college scholarships for low-income students.

“Young people cannot wait until they turn 18 to pay attention to public life, because others are making decisions that will directly affect their lives right now,” said Rachel Belin, the team’s founding director. “To me, the Pathway award is recognizing student voice as a potential game-changer in our public schools.”

In Iowa, the award will be used to give students a greater voice in their school climate. The state’s Department of Education has made improving school climate a priority by administering annual student surveys that include in-person follow-up conversations to better understand the students’ responses. Not all schools are able to have these follow-up discussions, though, so Augustine will use the award to help all schools participate.

“The visibility, credibility of having student voice [recognized] as a key part of education innovation from the national level with these partnership organizations, it just thrills me,” Augustine said. “I’ve been so impressed by the capability, sincerity, and passion of students when they are empowered to help make a difference.”

Student voice has been an emerging issue for a number of years, but it gained traction after the Parkland shooting nearly a year ago sparked a nationwide student walkout protesting gun violence. Young voter turnout was 10 percentage points higher in the 2018 midterm election than in 2014, showing increased interest in civic engagement.

Pathway 2 Tomorrow received 240 proposals from 39 states. In addition to the two winners of the $100,000 award, 22 organizations won $15,000 grants for their innovative ideas. All will receive coaching from national partner organizations and eventually share their ideas with policymakers and other education leaders.

Skandera also hopes the initiative can bring bipartisanship to education, an issue that is often politically divisive.

“Our country seems relatively divided at this point, not just on education, but across the board,” she said. “We need a space where we can come together and cast a vision that’s in the best interest of our kids and our communities.”

Link to Story

Pathway 2 Tomorrow Names $100,000 Innovation Award Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA
303-238-3011/ jane@jkdjane.com

Pathway 2 Tomorrow Names $100,000 Innovation Award Recipients

JANUARY 8, 2018 — Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future (http://p2tomorrow.org/) announces its $100,000 Innovation Award winners. The Innovation Award Committee selected two proposals addressing the authentic engagement of students as partners in education policymaking. The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team and the Iowa Department of Education will share the award capturing students for impact in their communities and across the country.

“These two proposals provide a roadmap for building authentic student ownership in decision making and school transformation,” said Hanna Skandera, former New Mexico Secretary of Education and P2T visionary. “While we have always said that students matter and that we have a desire to incorporate their perspectives, these proposals provide game-changing impact for scale.”

Members of the Innovation Award Selection Committee included:

  • Jeremy Anderson – President, Education Commission of the States
  • Michael Crow – President, Arizona State University
  • Carol D’Amico – Executive Vice President, Strada Education Network
  • Deborah Quazzo – Managing Partner, GSV Acceleration
  • Ben Wallerstein – CEO and Co-Founder, Whiteboard Advisors
  • John White – State Superintendent of Education, State of Louisiana

There is a considerable amount of discussion right now about the powerful role students can play in their education journey. These proposals present clear and tested models for student ownership. Developed by Kentucky students and incubated by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, one proposal focuses on the importance of involving students in education research, policy, and advocacy through a Student Voice Think Tank. The Iowa Department of Education incorporates student perspectives in the school transformation process. Both proposals recognize that when students are active participants in their educational experience the impacts can be life-long and positive.

“Students are the subjects and recipients of education policymaking but are seldom agents in crafting those efforts,” said Rachel Belin of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team. Kay Augustine of the Iowa Department of Education adds, “Schools and communities are becoming more aware of the passion and power of student voice. However, their voices are not yet a systemic part of the dialogue when it comes to school transformation. There is an untapped resource with potential, energy, and capacity to assist in clearly identifying issues and possible strategies to address them through the voices of the students themselves.”

“We know from experience that as primary stakeholders in our education system, students can be far more than just consumers of it; they can be dynamic co-creators too. The P2T award further validates this idea and the hundreds of Kentucky youth who have been partnering with the Prichard Committee and testing models of what meaningful student engagement in education improvement efforts can look like over several years now,” said Rachel Belin, Director of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team

P2T matches responsive and agile education policy solutions with state and community needs. Through its Call for Proposals to transform education, P2T received 240 ideas across 39 states representing all geographical regions with ideas to propel education initiatives at the state and local levels, including policy makers, entrepreneurs, educators, parents, researchers, advocates, nonprofit and business leaders. Of those, only 24 proposals were selected to receive a $15,000 award to expand on their idea and be considered for the Innovation Award.

Over the next year, P2T and its Partners will drive progress on the critical areas that emerged from the Call for Proposals, inclusive of the solutions selected for expansion, to leverage broader impact in states and communities across the country.

For more details on P2T and the winners, visit http://p2tomorrow.org/

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Summaries of Proposals Awarded $15,000

The following 24 proposals received $15,000 stipends to refine and expand their ideas for impact.

Organization Submitter Proposal Title Location Proposal Summary
AdvancED / Measured Progress Holly King Redefining the Measurement of Early Childhood Program Quality and Child Outcomes Arizona, Georgia & New Hampshire This proposal seeks to identify a common set of indicators observed in high-quality early childhood programs that correlate to long-term academic and workplace success outcomes. This would enable early childhood programs to be consistent in accurately targeting meaningful elements of quality and actions for improvement.
Austin Chamber of Commerce Drew Scheberle Opportunity Austin: College and Career Readiness and Placement Texas Austin’s Opportunity for All goal to accomplish near universal readiness and placement of area high school graduates either into post-secondary education or the high-performance workplace.
Bellwether Education Partners Lina Bankert CAP (College Access & Persistence) and Gown: Building Ecosystem Connections to Increase Postsecondary Degree Attainment District of Columbia A deep-dive study of a state or region to highlight where in the pipeline students are most likely to fall through the cracks, followed by a playbook of recommendations to address systemic opportunities. Consideration of both K-12 and postsecondary lenses.
BloomBoard Jason C. Lange Competency-Based Educator Licensure through Micro-Credentials California & Pennsylvania This proposal will develop a policy paper on the lessons learned about using micro-credentials in the licensure context for educators.
Center on Reinventing Public Education Ashley Jochim & Travis Pillow Out-of-School Enrichment Accounts Washington An enrichment-allowance program where parents whose children qualify based on income or other risk factors (e.g. foster care) would be able to receive a monetary allocation, administered by a third party (a nonprofit or a government agency) to access out‑of‑school enrichment opportunities.
Center on Reinventing Public Education Travis Pillow & Sean Gill Real estate trusts for school facilities Washington This proposal describes the creation of real estate trusts to manage real estate holdings and make space available for schools, clinics, childcare centers, and other community organizations. This trust would centralize how schools (traditional and charter) obtain real estate by using a third party to assess the school’s need for space and match that need with available space that has been acquired within the respective jurisdiction.
Education Reform Now Michael Dannenberg Building a “Fast Track” to College District of Columbia This proposal is to develop for students academically prepared at the end of 11th grade two new pathways to fast track to college. Pathway (1) offers a 4+3 model of high school to and through college (4 years of high school & 3 years of college), whereas Pathway (2) offers a 3+4 model (3 years of high school & 4 years of college). In both cases, savings would be generated that could reform traditional 12th grade courses.
Education Strategy Group

 

Ryan Reyna Stop Remediation Before It Starts District of Columbia This proposal seeks to redesign the 12th grade year utilizing “transition” courses that provide opportunities to catch up on knowledge/skills not yet mastered. These courses would be co-developed by K-12 and higher education educators to ensure they meet the required level of rigor to succeed in entry-level college courses.
GoGetter Jared Wise GoGetter Online Skilled Trades Community California This proposal seeks to increase the supply of workers in skilled trades by recruiting young people to these careers, and build a more effective online connection tool between individual students and workers, businesses looking for employees to hire, and organizations which provide services to these individuals and businesses.
Graduation Alliance Rebekah Richards Pay-for-Performance Statewide Dropout Recovery Programs to Re-engage Opportunity Youth Indiana & Ohio This proposal outlines a “Pay-for-Performance” dropout recovery program with an open process to identify statewide providers who would receive compensation based on students completing accredited courses, earning diplomas and certificates, and job placement.
Health and Education Alliance of Louisiana (HEAL) Connie Bellone Coordinated Care for the Whole Child – Sustainability Model Louisiana The proposal aims to expand its “Coordinated Care for the Whole Child Program,” a program designed to remove the physical, mental and social health barriers to learning, to more schools in Louisiana. The proposal includes leveraging the use of Medicaid dollars to support service provision.
Independent Consultant Avni Gupta-Kagan Simultaneously Redefining the Role of Schools and Social Workers South Carolina This proposal seeks to redefine the role and responsibilities specific to school social workers, so that schools both address the effects of poverty and support student learning simultaneously.
IntegrateNYC Sarah Zapiler Student-Generated Enrollment Algorithm for Increased Integration New York This proposal seeks to engage students in reforming the enrollment process through an equitable high school enrollment algorithm to produce sustainable integration in NYC.
Iowa Department of Education Kay Augustine Elevating the Voice of Those We are Called to Serve – System Design with Youth Engagement and Voice Iowa This proposal seeks to design and implement a sustainable integration of student engagement and voice into a multi-tiered system of supports and continuous school improvement.
Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy

(in collaboration with Chiefs for Change)

Ashley Berner & David Steiner Mapping the Knowledge Domains in ELA Curricula Maryland Analyze an ELA curriculum by “mapping” the knowledge domains that are implicit in the selection of the texts to be read. The analysis and reports provide critical resources that enable leaders to make the best ELA curricular decisions for the students they serve.
Learning Heroes

 

Bibb Hubbard, Cindi Williams and Erica Felker Equipping Parents in Understanding Grade Level Mastery District of Columbia The proposal seeks to “road test” in a local setting the Readiness Check, an interactive tool that gives parents a “gut check” on how their child has mastered the foundational skills needed for success as they progress from grade to grade.
Louisiana Community & Technical College System Emily Campbell, René Cintrón, Tarie Roberson & Amber Blair Addressing Barriers for Adult Students Louisiana The proposal captures their program, WorkReady U, as part of a system of public community and technical colleges coordinating to offer a series of state and institutional policies to solve social and economic challenges.
mindSpark Learning Shannon Myers STEMpath Colorado The proposal would create a graduate-level teacher certification program in STEM (e.g. computer science), starting in Colorado. This certification program would combine coursework and industry externships.
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools Lauren Rhim A Blueprint for Educating Students with Disabilities in Portfolio School Districts New York The proposal outlines a vision for a robust and multi-pronged blueprint to educate students with disabilities well in portfolio districts.
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Gus Reyes Preparing Hispanic children for success on their journey in early childhood education California This proposal seeks to build a resource for Hispanic families on how to engage with the early childhood system and what to expect to help children get ready for academic success.
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Rachel Belin Student Voice Think Tank Kentucky This proposal seeks to institutionalize and expand a unique student-led education research model pioneered by the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team.
The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning Glenn Whitman

 

Neuroteach Global Maryland This proposal seeks to design and launch a professional development tool using technology to revolutionize how educators develop their understanding of the Science of Learning and their ability to translate research into actions through virtual micro-learning experiences.
University Ventures Ryan Craig & Cassidy Leventhal Closing the skills gap through last-mile training New York To address the technological skills gap, the proposal aims to open up Pell Grant eligibility to “Last-Mile” training programs. Last-Mile Training takes a Design Thinking approach to the skills gap: designing backwards from good entry-level jobs rather than forward from high school.
YouthForce NOLA Cate Swinburn YouthForce NOLA: Real-World Skills for Real-Life Success Louisiana An education, business, and civil collaborative that prepares New Orleans public school students for the successful pursuit of high-wage, high-demand career pathways.

 

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Pathway 2 Tomorrow Awards 24 Proposals with $15,000

Contact: Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA
303-238-3011/ jane@jkdjane.com

Pathway 2 Tomorrow Awards 24 Proposals with $15,000

Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future (P2T) has awarded 24 recipients across 17 states and the District of Columbia with $15,000 stipends for innovative ideas to transform education outcomes in the U.S.

“Through P2T’s Call for Proposals, it is clear that individuals from across the country are committed to improving our education systems and seek to build upon the foundation to push existing boundaries and reach new ones,” said Hanna Skandera, former New Mexico secretary of education and P2T visionary. “We are confident that these game-changing ideas will impact students, schools and communities across the country. We’re thrilled to be working with these individuals to refine and expand on the proposed solutions and report on their impact.”

The goal of the Call for Proposals was to hear locally responsive ideas with the potential to transform our education system at the state and local levels. These proposals rose to the top through a rigorous review process. Over 2 months, P2T received 240 submissions across 39 states representing all geographical regions. Proposals came from policymakers, entrepreneurs, educators, parents, researchers, advocates, nonprofits and business leaders. Submitted proposal topics ranged from closing the skills gap, teacher recruitment and preparation, personalized learning, higher education debt relief, and more.

The submitted proposals were reviewed by more than 30 cross-professional leaders. The selected proposals demonstrated established need, were research-informed, innovative, encompassed a clear path to implementation and anticipated significant results.

“We represent a group of people who are working every day on improving education for our nation’s students, and P2T has helped us uncover these locally responsive solutions,” stated the reviewers, who wrote an Open Letter following their review experience.

One of the 24 awarded proposals will receive the Innovation Award of $100,000. P2T will announce the recipient later this month.

LIST OF WINNERS

The following 24 proposals received $15,000 stipends to refine and expand their ideas for impact. For more details on the proposals, please click here.

Organization Submitter Proposal Title
AdvancED / Measured Progress Holly King Redefining the Measurement of Early Childhood Program Quality and Child Outcomes
Austin Chamber of Commerce Drew Scheberle Opportunity Austin: College and Career Readiness and Placement
Bellwether Education Partners Lina Bankert CAP (College Access & Persistence) and Gown: Building Ecosystem Connections to Increase Postsecondary Degree Attainment
BloomBoard Jason C. Lange Competency-Based Educator Licensure through Micro-Credentials
Center on Reinventing Public Education Ashley Jochim & Travis Pillow Out-of-School Enrichment Accounts
Center on Reinventing Public Education Travis Pillow & Sean Gill Real estate trusts for school facilities
Education Reform Now Michael Dannenberg Building a “Fast Track” to College
Education Strategy Group Ryan Reyna Stop Remediation Before It Starts
GoGetter Jared Wise GoGetter Online Skilled Trades Community
Graduation Alliance Rebekah Richards Pay-for-Performance Statewide Dropout Recovery Programs to Re-engage Opportunity Youth
Health and Education Alliance of Louisiana (HEAL) Connie Bellone Coordinated Care for the Whole Child – Sustainability Model
Independent Consultant Avni Gupta-Kagan Simultaneously Redefining the Role of Schools and Social Workers
IntegrateNYC Sarah Zapiler Student-Generated Enrollment Algorithm for Increased Integration
Iowa Department of Education Kay Augustine Elevating the Voice of Those We are Called to Serve – System Design with Youth Engagement and Voice
Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy

(in collaboration with Chiefs for Change)

Ashley Berner & David Steiner Mapping the Knowledge Domains in ELA Curricula
Learning Heroes Bibb Hubbard, Cindi Williams and Erica Felker Equipping Parents in Understanding Grade Level Mastery
Louisiana Community & Technical College System Emily Campbell, René Cintrón, Tarie Roberson & Amber Blair Addressing Barriers for Adult Students
mindSpark Learning Shannon Myers STEMpath
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools Lauren Rhim A Blueprint for Educating Students with Disabilities in Portfolio School Districts
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Gus Reyes Preparing Hispanic children for success on their journey in early childhood education
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Rachel Belin Student Voice Think Tank
The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning Glenn Whitman Neuroteach Global
University Ventures Ryan Craig & Cassidy Leventhal Closing the skills gap through last-mile training
YouthForce NOLA Cate Swinburn YouthForce NOLA: Real-World Skills for Real-Life Success

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An Open Letter: A Vital Opportunity of Re-Emergence for Education

October 29, 2018

This month, we had the honor of serving on the review panel to evaluate proposals for Pathway 2 Tomorrow’s Call for Proposals. The experience was powerful and reaffirmed what we all know about our education landscape today. Civil discourse is often lacking, but what we experienced was meaningful and illustrative of what is possible. We are a diverse set of leaders who are in no way abandoning our foundation but believe we need to cast a positive vision for education for future generations. The P2T review process was grounded in the belief that different perspectives coming together would refine our thinking so the ideas behind the proposals transform into actions to positively impact the path forward.

We are at a pivotal moment in education. As divides become more apparent, Pathway 2 Tomorrow (P2T) is inspiring fresh thinking and connecting an increasingly siloed landscape. Through P2T, individuals from all experiences and perspectives are committed to improving our education system and preparing our children for meaningful careers while maintaining high expectations for all.

As P2T prepares to announce the selected proposals — and winners of a $15,000 stipend to refine and expand on their solution — it is important that we emphasize that the purpose of P2T extends beyond the awards themselves. It represents one avenue to once again make education relevant in the fabric of our communities and the importance of pulling together to leverage the relevance into impact.

P2T, to date, has demonstrated the value of bringing people together and leveraging our unique convictions to achieve further progress. It has reminded us of what’s possible for our country when we engage in respectful discourse and work toward a common goal. P2T has acquired over 100 partners and supporters — from all regions, roles, and political inclinations – agreeing that we must shift our approach and commit to a newfound, locally responsive direction. P2T garnered 240 ideas from 33 states, representing both urban and rural communities, and many perspectives – parents, entrepreneurs, elite researchers and education leaders.

The act of bringing a diverse set of individuals together was intentional and positioned each proposal for robust review through various lenses. The conversations were lively, the debates were respectful and the outcomes are valuable. While we represent a group of people who are working every day on improving education for our nation’s students, we often don’t know of the promising initiatives that are currently underway all over our country. P2T has helped us uncover these locally responsive solutions.

Both higher education and K–12 leaders must come together, in collaboration with private sector partners, to make aligned, substantive changes to our overall education system. These systemic, and likely disruptive, shifts must improve the skills of graduates, tying strategies to economic and workforce demands, and inform opportunities for further innovation. We must change how we think about education and teach our children to think critically and problem solve on their own through student-centered and personalized approaches. We must reimagine the roles of educators and advocates to position education as a desirable career – training, supporting, and rewarding educators is a key component of progress. We will continue to steward our current coalitions, while recognizing that the tent must be broadened to encompass our students and families and to leverage the resources and relationships of the larger community for maximum impact.

The momentum we’ve built can continue to bridge the divides. Our way forward builds upon the foundational principles of autonomy, accountability, equity, and choice, while calling for more audacious ideas — to disrupt the status quo and transform the existing system — and for courageous leaders to accelerate progress and coalesce the next phase of the education movement. The process of idea generation and the themes that emerged from P2T’s Call for Proposals clearly indicate that education remains a priority in the minds of Americans, and individuals at all levels are committed to finding solutions to guide the next phase. A new wave of relevancy is upon us, but it is contingent upon many voices and perspectives working in alignment again. The solutions will come, but only if we can leverage our commitment and inspire the commitment of others.

We are committed to rebuilding relationships and pushing the boundaries of education reform’s history to find new horizons. We will demand of ourselves that we move beyond our tired, sometimes jaded perspectives, and encourage the same of others. We have shown, personally, that there is value in reinventing and reigniting the fuel that working together inspires and it starts with passion, commitment, and courage. We believe that as Americans, we will pull together and harness our unique convictions for what is possible for our next generation.

Jeremy Anderson — President, Education Commission of the States
Christopher Cerf — former Superintendent, Newark Public Schools & former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Education
Whitney Chapa — Director of Strategic Initiatives, Arizona Board of Regents
Justin Cohen — Chief Operating Officer, Wayfinder Foundation
James Cryan — Founder and CEO, Rocky Mountain Prep
Barbara Damron — Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department
Scott Ellsworth — Principal and Owner, Scott Ellsworth Consulting
Dale Erquiaga — President and CEO, Communities in Schools
Alison Griffin — Senior Vice President, Whiteboard Advisors
Lindsay Jones — Interim Executive Director, National Center for Learning Disabilities
Holly Kuzmich —  Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute
Toney McNair, Jr. —  Choral Music Teacher, Indian River Middle School & 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year
Kira Orange Jones — Member, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education & Senior Vice President, Teach For America
Madeline Pumariega — Chancellor, Florida College System
Deborah Quazzo — Managing Partner, GSV Acceleration
Elizabeth Rorick —  Deputy Executive Director, National Parent Teacher Association
Jessica Solano —  Teacher Engagement Leader, Polk County Public Schools & 2017 Florida Teacher of the Year
Ben Wallerstein — CEO and Co-Founder, Whiteboard Advisors
Rebecca Watts —  Chancellor, Western Governors University Ohio
Martin West — Member, Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education & Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Jamie Woodson — Chief Executive Officer, Tennessee SCORE
Carey Wright — State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi Department of Education

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Leaders Convene This Week to Select Innovative Ideas for Educational Impact

October 1, 2018 Leaders from across the country convene this week in Denver, Colorado to select proposals for advancement as part of the Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future (P2T) Call for Proposals. The review panels consist of cross-professional leaders including educators, advocates, elected officials, and education chiefs of both K-12 and higher education systems.

“P2T has brought together some of the brightest minds to evaluate promising solutions,” said Hanna Skandera, former Secretary of Education for the State of New Mexico and founder of P2T. “The reviewers will determine the potential for truly innovative and gamechanging ideas in education to impact states and local communities.”

Proposals advanced by the review teams will receive a $15,000 stipend to refine the idea for maximum impact. Selected proposals will also be considered for the $100,000 Innovation Award. More information about Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future can be found at www.p2tomorrow.org.

Review Panel Participants:

  • Jeremy Anderson – President, Education Commission of the States
  • Bridget Burns – Executive Director, University Innovation Alliance
  • Christopher Cerf – former Superintendent, Newark Public Schools & former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Education
  • Whitney Chapa – Director of Strategic Initiatives, Arizona Board of Regents
  • Justin Cohen – Chief Operating Officer, Wayfinder Foundation
  • Soncia Coleman – Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, United Way Worldwide
  • Michael CrowPresident, Arizona State University
  • James Cryan – Founder and CEO, Rocky Mountain Prep
  • Carol D’Amico – Executive Vice President, Strada Education Network
  • Barbara Damron – Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department
  • Cristina DeJesus – President and CEO, Green Dot Public Schools California
  • Scott Ellsworth – Principal and Owner, Scott Ellsworth Consulting
  • Dale Erquiaga – President & CEO, Communities in Schools and former State Superintendent, Nevada Department of Public Instruction
  • Alison Griffin – Senior Vice President, Whiteboard Advisors
  • Lisa-Marie Haygood, National Parent Teacher Association
  • Lindsay Jones – Vice President, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Holly Kuzmich – Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute
  • Pedro Martinez – Superintendent, San Antonio Independent School District
  • Peggy McLeod – Vice President, UnidosUS
  • Toney McNair – 2017 Teacher of the Year, State of Virginia
  • Maria Moser – Senior Director of Teaching and Learning, UnidosUS
  • Kira Orange Jones — Member, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education & Senior Vice President, Teach For America
  • Madeline Pumariega – Chancellor, Florida College System
  • Deborah Quazzo – Managing Partner, GSV Acceleration
  • Elizabeth Rorick – Deputy Executive Director, National Parent Teacher Association
  • Jessica Solano – 2017 Teacher of the Year, State of Florida
  • Leslie Villegas – Associate Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
  • Ben Wallerstein – CEO and Co-Founder, Whiteboard Advisors
  • Rebecca Watts – Chancellor, Western Governors University
  • Martin West – Member, Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education & Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • John White — State Superintendent of Education, Louisiana Department of Education
  • Jamie Woodson – Executive Director, Tennessee SCORE
  • Carey Wright – State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi Department of Education

Link to PDF