The Discussion Isn’t Over…

January 09, 2013 posted by Eric Lerum

By now you've probably heard about the StudentsFirst State Policy Report Card we released on Monday. The discussion isn't over!

Today, we're co-hosting a panel with the Fordham Institute and AEI Education, where we will dive into the StudentsFirst State Policy Report Cards and discuss how they fit into the national conversation around education reform. Mike Petrilli, Executive Vice President from the Fordham Institute, will be moderating – he knows a thing or two about national education reports, so I think he'll be ready with some big picture questions. I’ll be presenting our overall findings and interesting trends. Rick Hess, "education policy maven" from AEI, will be there to challenge our thinking and our approach. Rounding out this wonk-fest, Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow from the Center for American Progress, will provide his perspective on what it all means.

We're going to be joined by two real-deal state commissioners who can talk about what it actually takes to create, implement, and sustain meaningful education reform. Dr. Eric Smith, former state commissioner and pioneer leader behind much of Florida's success over the past several years, and Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Luna, whose leadership of reforms in the Gem State earned him national attention and a continuing local battle over student-centered reforms. These are the true experts, and I can't wait to hear their take on how they see state education policy stacking up in 2013.

So if you're in DC, I hope you'll join us in person at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, you can RSVP here: http://www.studentsfirst.org/page/s/sprc-2013-fordham-rsvp. And if not, then watch it live online at StudentsFirst.org/SFsprc and join the discussion live on Twitter by following #SFsprc. Looking forward to the continued discussion and moving our country forward in creating a world-class education system that prioritizes student interests.

Check out what others are saying about the State Policy Report Card:

New York Times: "In a report issued Monday, StudentsFirst ranks states based on how closely they follow the group's platform, looking at policies related not only to tenure and evaluations but also to pensions and the governance of school districts. The group uses the classic academic grading system, awarding states A to F ratings." (New York Times: 12 States Get Failing Grades on Public School Policies From Advocacy Group; January 7, 2013)

Matthew Yglesias, Slate: "There’s A Lot to Like" With State Policy Report Card. "Michelle Rhee is a controversial figure and anything her advocacy organization, Students First, does is going to attract a lot of derision but having had the chance to play around with their "report card" on state policy I think there's a lot to like here... The Students First perspective more wisely dings states that make it too hard to open charters but also dings states (like, say, Arizona) that do much too little to hold charter schools accountable for performance." (Matthew Yglesias, Slate: Michelle Rhee's Students First Says Education Policy Is Basically Horrible Everywhere; January 7, 2013)

Maine Gov. LePage: Report Card "Warrants Careful Consideration," "Exactly the Type of Subjects We Should be Measuring and Improving." "Maine Gov. Paul LePage was provided a preview of the StudentsFirst report card. He issued a statement Friday saying the study looked at "exactly the type of subjects we should be measuring and improving." LePage, who has pushed several educational reform proposals and has said private schools are superior to public schools, said the StudentsFirst report "warrants careful consideration. Until we put students first, we will continue to drown in status quo." (Portland Press Herald: School policies ranking: Maine barely passes; January 7, 2013)

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: Report "Confirms" Louisiana's "Commitment to Put a Great Teacher in Every Classroom." "This report confirms that Louisiana is now leading the nation in education reform because of our commitment to put a great teacher in every classroom and give every child the opportunity to get a great education. Our reforms are working - parents finally have more choices, student scores are up, and teachers are being rewarded for their hard work. Our work is not done yet, but we are in the midst of a great turnaround in Louisiana's education system that will ensure all of our sons and daughters have the skills to succeed in the 21st century workforce." (KNOE: Louisiana first in pro-student education policies; January 7, 2013)

Eric Lerum is the Vice President of National Policy. Follow him on Twitter @ericlerum.

Topics: School Governance