Media & Events

Media Support

  • April 12, 2014: Bill Moyers

    No Excuse for Hungry Students

    By Kathleen Melville and Elaine Weiss

    "No excuses” policies and demands that students be tougher or grittier ring false to me. My students are already tremendously tough, unbelievably gritty. The problem is not that they need to be tougher or that I need to make fewer excuses. The problem is that they already have too many reasons to be tough — lack of food, relatives in prison, threats of eviction or deportation, parents sick or addicted, caring for younger siblings — and that adults at school rarely see the full picture. I spend fifty hours a week at school and I still don’t always see the full picture. It’s hard to imagine how policymakers, who are so distant from my students’ day-to-day realities, can claim to see them better than I can.

  • April 2, 2014: Huffington Post

    Does School Reform Have to Mean Separate and Unequal?

    By Elaine Weiss

    Making test scores too high a priority can ultimately limit students' real potential. A recent report about the success of Alice Deal Middle School in Washington DC, where low-income students enjoy a variety of enrichment options, and a charter school that rejects such enrichment, where they score a bit higher on reading and math tests, highlights that ironic reality. But it doesn't have to be that way. Just across the city line, Maryland's Montgomery County demonstrates that taking a broader perspective enhances not only test scores, but more important predictors of life success.

  • February 26, 2014: Bill Moyers

    Crunching Test Scores Isn't Enough to Educate our Kids

    By David Tansey and Elaine Weiss

    I consider myself a reform-minded teacher. I’m an advocate for using data to inform instruction and to monitor my students’ progress. But I have learned in my years of teaching — and running a club for young men at Dunbar High School — that our obsession with testable elements of the high-school experience has taken focus away from making that content meaningful, so that students might do well in school despite the hardships they face. I can thank the students in our club, the Gentlemen of Dunbar, for this lesson.

  • January 28, 2014: Tennessee Education Report

    A Broader, Bolder SCORE Report

    By Andy Spears

    Today, newly-formed education advocacy group TREE (Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence) hosted a presentation by Elaine Weiss of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education. Weiss discussed recent Tennessee education policy in the context of the drivers of educational inequality.  She pointed to research suggesting that poverty is a significant contributor to student outcomes and noted other research that suggests as much as 2/3 of student outcomes are predicted by factors outside of school.

+ media support archive

Coverage of BBA Launch

  • September 11, 2008: Slate

    The Divide

    By Paul Tough

    In contrast to education "reformers" such as Joel Klein who support increased spending on charter schools, testing, and performance-based rewards, the BBA calls for a redirection of funds towards early-childhood education, health care, and other social supports.

  • July 17, 2008: Christian Science Monitor

    Do better schools help the poor?

    By Walt Gardner

    Data suggests that better schools do not address the problem of under achievement.  Instead, resources should be directed towards a broader, bolder approach, incorporating childcare, parental support, and community involvement.

+ more BBA Launch Coverage


  • Screening Event: Rich Hill: Three Boys in Small Town America

    Join BBA, EPI, and AASA for a film screening event exploring the impact of child, family, and concentrated poverty on school and community well-being. The Sundance award-winning documentary Rich Hill tracks a year in the lives of three youth and their families in a small Missouri town. Their struggles illustrate the challenges of housing instability, food insecurity, and stresses related to living in poverty that students like them across the country bring to school every day. Click here to rsvp.

+ announcement archive

Bill Moyers Bog Series: Breaking the Education-Poverty Link

One critical factor missing from education policy is educator voice! How has education reform gone so wrong? One reason is lack of input from teachers, principals, and superintendents -- those who work in classrooms and schools every day. BBA seeks to change that. This year-long series spotlights stellar educators from rural, suburban, and urban districts  across the country who tell their own stories about facing poverty and addressing it head-on.

April 15: Philadelphia public schools teacher Kathleen Melville and Elaine Weiss refute the notion that "no excuses" is the proper response to widespread student hunger and poverty.


February 26: District of Columbia Public Schools high school teacher David Tansey and Elaine Weiss point out that Crunching Test Scores Isn't Enough to Educate Our Kids

January 23: Former Boston Public Schools superintendent and BBA co-chair Thomas Payzant and Elaine Weiss write about Deconstructing PISA: Implications for Education Reform and Fighting Poverty


Film Screening Series

BBA and EPI are hosting a series of education film screenings. Below are "toolkits" for each film with everything you need to host your own screening.

Ready for Kindergarten (February 27, 2014)

The New Public (November 7, 2013)

American Winter (March 14, 2013)

Past Events

ECE Webinar: Domains of Brain Development and Early Childhood Brain Science with Todd Grindal
Part I | Part II

ECE Webinar: Economic Benefits of Early Childhood Investments, K-12 Impacts with Robert G. Lynch

ECE Webinar: Paid Early Childhood Caregivers and Educators with Robert C. Pianta

Investing in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Workforce: How we improve investments in early childhood care and education through a variety of policy changes.

David Kirp: Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future

School Turnaround Strategies: Is the National School Turnaround Effort Really Organizing Schools For Improvement?

Comprehensive Strategies: Federal Funding for a Broader Bolder Approach to Education: How ESEA and pending legislation promote (limit) Comprehensive Strategies

The Impact of Poverty on Education: Diverse Scholarly Perspectives, A Joint BBA/SCOPE Education Policy Briefing

Broader, BOLDER Approach to Education

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Press inquires should be directed to:
Economic Policy Institute, Media Relations Department
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