Media Support Archive

  • September 21, 2015: Governing

    Making the Most of Common Core

    By Joshua Starr and Elaine Weiss

    As many states and districts receive results from Common Core-aligned assessments for the firsts time this fall, they are likely to focus on how high or low scores are and what districts and schools should do in response. Those conversations will be much more produtive, however, if they are framed by questions about how well schools, districts, and states are meeting student needs across a range of metrics, and how to improve them all.

  • June 17, 2015: First Focus

    Educare: A Model for Early Childhood Policymaking

    By Elaine Weiss and Karen Howard

    As cities in states as politically diverse as New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Texas and Washington seek to expand their preschool programs with an eye toward universal access, early childhood education continues to gain traction in policy discussions. At the same time, ... Policymakers must address factors far beyond classrooms and schools, improving the family and home circumstances in which our children spend the early years when growth and development is most critical. ... Educare – an intensive birth-to-five early childhood system [] offers lessons that can guide early childhood policymaking at this critical juncture.

  • December 1, 2014: U.S. News and World Report

    Stop Counting on Education "Miracles"

    By Elaine Weiss

    It should be clear, on its face, that “miracles” have no place in education policy. Websters defines a miracle as “an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God.” No one seeking to improve education would rely on God or on “an unusual or wonderful event,” right? Wrong. High-profile policymakers not only have proclaimed to have produced or witnessed “miracles,” but have suggested that these other-worldly happenings ought to be the basis for widespread policy change. We have subsequently watched as each proved to be less than miraculous and, often, a disaster.

  • October 1, 2014: Huffington Post

    Pre-K's Potential as Part of a Comprehensive Pro-Children Strategy

    By Timothy Bartik and Elaine Weiss

    Both state governments and the federal government need to step up our investments in high-quality pre-K. As they do so, looking to Boston can help demonstrate the wisdom of investing in teacher training and curriculum support, and in ensuring access for all children. It can also demonstrate why the most effective pre-K programs will be part of a comprehensive strategy for America's children.

  • August 11, 2014: Huffington Post

    Failure of D.C. Education Reform Initiatives Revealed

    By Elaine Weiss and Danyoung Kim

    This year's release of District of Columbia Public Schools standardized test scores came with much less fanfare than in 2013 -- growth in "proficiency" is smaller, and district leaders were recently called out for lack of transparency ... using averages to hide growing gaps. Ironically, given NCLB's goal of illuminating race- and income-based gaps, districts like DCPS feel pushed to create the appearance that reforms have worked by hiding growing disparities....Transparency, paired with comprehensive, whole-child strategies that can help produce meaningful gains for all students, would represent the real reform we have long sought.

  • July 28, 2014: Huffington Post

    Blowing our Diversity Advantage

    By Elaine Weiss and Rick Kahlenberg

    As we mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we are glad to see renewed interest in the issue of segregation, but discouraged about our societal failure to tackle it. Perhaps the saddest aspect of this segregation is the waste of a precious American resource, one that could offer our children an important advantage over their peers in many other countries: diversity.

  • July 10, 2014: Washington Post

    Critics of DC Education Policies Question Test Score Gains

    By Emma Brown

    A group of education advocates is calling on the District to release more information about students’ performance on city tests, arguing that the limited data released in years past has overstated city schools’ progress. Elaine Weiss of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education — a group that has been critical of education policies that have taken root in the District, such as charter schools and test-based accountability — wrote in an analysis to be released Thursday that “lack of transparency, combined with cherry-picking specific numbers” has enabled the city to “paint a false picture of progress,” particularly among poor and African American students.

  • July 2, 2014: Huffington Post

    Deserving of Celebration: Public Education Done Right

    By Elaine Weiss

    Too often, news on the education front is all gloom and doom. Achievement gaps are stubborn, and current education reforms don't seem to be making schools better. In communities across the country, however, teachers, parents, communities, and local leaders are doing great things in and with public schools. As we celebrate America's independence, and the bicentennial of Francis Scott Key's penning of the Star Spangled Banner, let's also celebrate examples of comprehensive approaches to education that are doing it right and seeing great results.

  • June 10, 2014: Bill Moyers

    "Fiscal crisis" or physical crisis in Philadelphia's Public Schools?

    By Elisabeth Hoyson and Elaine Weiss

    As low-income districts experience ever-greater struggles to meet their students’ needs on dwindling budgets, their schools are targets of “reforms” fundamentally different from those serving higher-income students. And, as my own teaching trajectory reflects, these attempted “fixes” can actually exacerbate inequities.

  • May 21, 2014: EPI Blog

    Beyond Pre-Kindergarten: Evidence and State-Level Action

    By Robert Lynch

    A new policy guide from  the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (BBA) and the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Campaign shows how to build high-quality early support systems for children that strengthen communities and families, promote and sustain early education, and enable children to thrive. It also covers ways to resolve one of our nation’s most intractable problems: the academic achievement gap.

  • May 7, 2014: Bill Moyers

    Lessons for K-!2 from Pre-K Classrooms

    By Elaine Weiss and Julia Dadds

    After 30 years of standards-and-accountability “reforms,” we are beginning to question whether the pendulum has swung too far. Over those same decades, however, evidence continues to affirm the wisdom of investing early in children’s lives. If we could somehow apply lessons we have learned in the birth-to-five arena to K-12 policy, we might attain the breakthroughs we have sought. Spoiler alert: worms play an important role.

  • 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.

  • January 8, 2014: Huffington Post

    Can Bill de Blasio Implement a Broader, Bolder Approach to New York City Education?

    By Michael Rebell and Elaine Weiss

    Much has been made of the emphasis that New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has put on the poverty and inequality that plague the city, and how that contrasts with the position of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Perhaps the biggest difference is that, although both list education as a top priority, de Blasio has made it clear that he recognizes the role that poverty and inequality play in achievement gaps.

  • December 18, 2013: Huffington Post

    Deconstructing PISA: Implications for Education Reform and Fighting Poverty

    By Elaine Weiss and Thomas Payzant

    Every three years, American policymakers eagerly anticipate the release of PISA scores. The 2013 headline is basically that the United States continues to fall right in the middle of the pack, which ED calls "stagnating." However, average scores may obscure and confuse more than they inform. Luckily, this year, three states received individual PISA rankings -- as if they were independent countries. This can help us connect the dots between those disparities and scores.

  • December 16, 2013: Cleveland Plain Dealer

    Improve education in Cleveland by treating problem, not symtoms

    By Elaine Weiss and Piet van Lier

    In Ohio, as elsewhere, policymakers focus on symptoms, rather than underlying causes or solutions. Ohio’s new grading system, for example, casts a harsh light on many schools, but identifies neither reasons nor fixes. Schools statewide expect ratings to fall again with next year’s Common Core implementation. While advocates make a compelling case for these more coherent, rigorous standards, connecting them to high-stakes testing undermines their potential.

  • December 6, 2013: Huffington Post

    The New Public: Engaging Student Culture in Schools and Naming Our Reality

    By Christian Castaign and Elaine Weiss

    BBA intern and Grinnell University student Christian Castaign praises The New Public for taking on issues of poverty, diversity, and student voice and culture that are too often missing from education policy discussions.

  • November 21, 2013: Huffington Post Education

    Lessons We Can Learn from White Suburban Moms and the Common Core

    By Elaine Weiss

    Secretary Duncan's glib dismissal of opposition to the Common Core among "suburban white moms" has provided fodder for people on both sides of the education reform debate. Opponents see this incident as further proof that the secretary will notlisten to anyone who disagrees with him. Common Core supporters assert that low scores in higher-income schools serve as a much-needed wake-up call that not only urban, but many suburban schools, are failing. Both arguments obscure the more complex realities that should guide education policy.

  • November 11, 2013: The Nation

    "The New Public on Poverty and Education

    By Greg Kaufmann and Elaine Weiss

    The negative impact of poverty on a child’s educational achievement is indisputable. Whether the metric is school grades, state assessments, the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the SAT—the scores of low-income children are far lower than those of their wealthier peers. The reasons for that gap—and how our nation should respond—is the subject of heated debate and is explored by filmmaker Jyllian Gunther in the award-winning documentary, The New Public.

  • October 26, 2013: Washington Post Answer Sheet

    The real 21st Century Problem in Public Education

    By Elaine Weiss

    What if we have actually been teaching the right skills in U.S. schools all along – math and reading, science and civics, along with creativity, perseverance, and team-building? ... What if, rather than raising standards, and testing students more, the biggest change we need to address is that of our student body? The October 2013 Southern Education Foundation study indicates clearly that poverty, which has long been the biggest obstacle to educational achievement, is more important than ever. It is our true 21st century problem.

  • October 22, 2013: In These Times

    Race to the Bottom?

    By Andrew Elrod

    On October 3, school districts across the country let the Race to the Top application deadline fly by, leaving unclaimed tens of millions of dollars in grants from the Obama administration’s signature education program. The Newark, N.J. district did not apply, nor did school districts in Portland, Ore. and Topeka, Kan., to name just a few. ... The waning application numbers seem in keeping with growing dislike of the existing reform programs among district education leaders, who make the decision about whether to apply for the district-level funding.

  • October 14, 2013: Huffington Post

    Ravitch's "Reign" vs. Rhee's "Radical": Fact vs. Fiction

    By Elaine Weiss

    As Andrew Delbanco all but says in the New York Times Review of Books, the biggest difference between education scholar Diane Ravitch's new book, Reign of Error, and former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's book, Radical, is that the first is based on extensive facts, the second heavily on fiction. Rhee uses her book to promote herself and her agenda, which she fervently insists will close achievement gaps with no basis in either scholarly or historical fact. Ravitch, in contrast, offers a comprehensive, evidence-based critique of the education reforms advanced in Radical and proposals that scholars note will substantially improve education.

  • October 7, 2013: New Orleans Imperative

    The New Orleans Imperative

    By Ray Sanders

    BBA National Coordinator spoke with New Orleans Imperative host Ray Sanders about BBA's two 2013 reports, Market-Oriented Reforms' Rhetoric Trumps Reality, and Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Educational Improvement.

  • October 3, 2013: Huffington Post

    DC-CAS Gains: Grounds for Caution, not Champagne

    By Elaine Weiss

    In June, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced that, according to the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS), more students are proficient in math and reading than ever before. Moreover, gains from last year extend to African-American and low-income students. That is wonderful news. D.C. students, especially minority and low-income students, have historically been left out of gains. They deserve better, and we all hope they have gotten it. At the same time, this should have been a moment for caution, rather than unfettered celebration.

  • September 23, 2013: Huffington Post

    I Would Be Mad, Too

    By Elaine Weiss

    Unfortunately, the degree to which the policy agenda advanced by Race to the Top has driven educators to take unprecedented actions against their own leaders is not unique in Tennessee. Indeed, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan should have anticipated problems. Specifically, placing so much emphasis on student test scores in teacher, principal, and school evaluations, with potentially severe consequences, leads to problematic and even destructive state actions.

  • September 12, 2013: Politico

    Race to the Top for education a flop, report finds

    By Nirvi Shah

    Three years in, Race to the Top hasn’t spurred states to address what really is behind students’ poor academic performance: poverty and the associated lack of opportunities that accompany it, said Elaine Weiss, national coordinator of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education. Her group advocates for a more targeted focus on poverty over the current slate of education reforms involving testing and accountability.

  • June 27, 2013: Huffington Post

    Connecting the Dots: Inequity and Education and the Need for Community

    By Elaine Weiss and Martin J. Blank

    A problem that extends far beyond schools requires remedies that also reach much further. Districts that recognize this are partnering with a range of community institutions to provide opportunities and supports that meet schools' and students' specific needs. When the whole community focuses on supporting the whole child and the whole school, amazing things can happen.

  • June 17, 2013: Huffington Post

    Another Casualty of Excessive Testing: Great Teachers

    By Elaine Weiss

    Signs that standardized tests are overused and misused continue to emerge. Those on the front lines of the testing battles, however, have had a hard time being heard. Teachers who object to being judged on the basis of their students' test scores are labeled as weak or unwilling to be held accountable. A pattern has emerged recently, however, that makes it harder to dismiss them. Across the country, strong teachers are sacrificing their jobs -- their life's work -- to protect themselves and their students from reforms gone terribly wrong.

  • June 4, 2013: Huffington Post

    An Easy Reach Across the Aisle on Education

    By Helen F. Ladd

    The Obama administration deserves praise for its recent strong support for greater investments in early childhood education. With reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind in its current incarnation) stalled in Congress, and the many valid concerns about narrow test-based initiatives that do nothing to address the challenges of children from disadvantaged families, this new direction is a welcome change. In addition, it has the potential be a winner because it should gain the support of both Republicans and Democrats.

  • June 3, 2013: The Answer Sheet

    How school reform preserves the ‘status quo’ — and what real change would look like

    By Arthur H. Camins

    The pillars of current education reform are more likely to preserve rather than change the status quo. Further, there are alternative policies that are more likely to mediate educational inequity, creating real rather than illusory movement. None of the pillars of reform will address either of these conditions at scale.  ... they are still essentially maintaining the status quo, creating the illusion of movement, without fundamental change.

  • May 8, 2013: Greater Greater Washington

    Test Score Data Has Appropriate Uses and Limitations

    By Elaine Weiss

    Steve Glazerman recently suggested in a blog on Greater Greater Washington that using NAEP to expose reformers' exaggerated claims, as BBA recently did, constitutes "misnaepery." Check out BBA explanation of NAEP's superiority (and other reasons that Glazerman is wrong).

  • April 22, 2013: Huffington Post

    Can We Move Past Market-oriented "Reforms" to Policies That Actually Work?

    By Elaine Weiss

    It has been a decade since reformers promised a swift solution to America's most challenging education problems. Instead of results, we have gotten rhetoric, and our children have fallen further behind. It is time we adopt policy solutions that match the depth and complexity of the problems and address them head on.

  • April 15, 2013: Huffington Post

    Missing the Point on Cheating -- The Incentives Problem is far Bigger

    By Elaine Weiss

    Recent coverage of the arrest of former Atlanta superintendent Beverly Hall misses a larger pattern. Cheating is just one of many responses to heightened pressure in recent years to deliver the impossible: substantially increased test scores, in short order. Yes, district-level cheating problems have risen in tandem with this pressure, but so have other forms of gaming the system, all of which pose similar detriments to students. A new report from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education documents the widespread nature of this problem.

  • April 14, 2013: Washington Post Answer Sheet

    Study: School reform in 3 major cities brings few benefits, some harm

    By Valerie Strauss

    Many people paying attention to corporate-based school reform in recent years will not be surprised by this, but a new study on the effects of this movement in Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago concludes that little has been accomplished and some harm has been done to students, especially the underprivileged.

  • April 10, 2013: Huffington Post

    Another Casualty of Chicago School Closures

    By Elaine Weiss

    The Children's Literacy Initiative may make a real difference, especially if its enrichment can expand beyond the few CPS students whose teachers and classrooms currently receive its benefits. If schools just beginning to implement it are closed, however, CLI will have a hard time demonstrating its potential and expanding. Moreover, CLI and other promising initiatives cannot attain sustained district buy-in until "CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett gets past the current school closings issue and takes a closer look at curriculum and instruction."

  • March 28, 2013: Hufffington Post

    Closing Schools Despite the Data

    By Elaine Weiss and Kevin Kumashiro

    Mayors and reformers would have us believe that school closures, like the 54 recently announced in Chicago, will save districts money while improving outcomes for students who are moved out of "failing" schools. The problem is, districts have been closing schools for many years -- in Chicago, for over a decade -- and it's clear that they won't accomplish these goals. In fact, the opposite has happened.

  • March 12, 2013: Washington Post Answer Sheet

    The Sequester's Impact on Hunger and School Achievement

    By Elaine Weiss

    Two new documentaries coming out this month make chillingly clear the horrific impact the sequester will have on poor families, especially those with school children, who are already struggling to cope with the recession and the decades of wage stagnation and poverty that preceded it. Both films -- A Place at the Table and American Winter -- also make clear the direct, but perhaps not intuitive, connection between living in poverty and the odds of school, and thus life, success.

  • February 25, 2013: Huffington Post

    Jennifer Howard's Review of "Radical" -- More Rave Than Review

    By Elaine Weiss

    The level of controversy Michelle Rhee has engendered as a school reformer contrasts sharply with largely unskeptical reviews of her new book, Radical: Fighting to Put Students First. That holds true even in Washington, D.C.Indeed, Jennifer Howard's Washington Post review is technically neutral, but, in reality, credulous and fairly laudatory. Given Rhee's major impact not only on DCPS schools, but increasingly on schools and districts across the country, a more in-depth exploration is merited.

  • February 14, 2013: Huffington Post

    Investment in the Middle Class: Obama's Biggest Boost to Education?

    By Elaine Weiss

    President Obama's first State of the Union address after his reelection established two important education policies as high priorities for his second term: incentives for high schools to incorporate real-world job training, and universal pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-olds. Both address critical holes in current education policy, and both would improve the prospects for low-income and all students. His broader jobs and labor proposals, however, may represent even more important boosts to improved educational outcomes.

  • February 6, 2013: Huffington Post

    Afterschool and Summer Enrichment: Getting the Policy Attention They Richly Deserve

    By Elaine Weiss

    As Jim Kohlmoos of the National Association of State Boards of Education, noted at the release of Expanding Minds and Opportunities, the amount, longevity, and rigor of the data no longer permit doubt as the to the positive impact of high-quality afterschool and summer programs. The evidence from studies across a range of program models, participant ages, cities, and outcome goals is solid. And while it is clearer now than ever that such programs can narrow achievement gaps, particularly by improving academic achievement of high-needs students, their other benefits are even more significant and further-reaching.

  • February 1, 2013: The Nation, This Week in Poverty

    Time to Take on Concentrated Poverty and Education

    By Elaine Weiss and Greg Kaufmann

    Nation poverty reporter Greg Kaufmann and BBA coordinator Elaine Weiss write, "Researchers know a lot about how various factors associated with income level affect a child’s learning... but we rarely discuss the impact of concentrated poverty—and of racial and socioeconomic segregation—on student achievement. ... It's time that we stop ignoring it."

  • January 23, 2013: Huffington Post

    Turning Promising Signals into Better Policies in Obama's Second Term

    By Elaine Weiss

    The weeks leading up to President Obama's second inauguration brought some good, if tentative, news on the education policy front. Early childhood education has received serious attention and pledges of substantial new investment. Skepticism is rising regarding the number and inappropriate use of standardized tests, and courts in several states are trying to make education more equitable. At the same time, the narrow "reforms" that have been front and center through Obama's first term may be fading a bit.

  • January 16, 2013: Huffington Post

    Where are our graduate schools of "educational public health"?

    By Elaine Weiss and Eric Colburn

    A lot of one's education -- arguably, most of it -- happens outside of school. Estimates suggest that 60 percent of educational achievement is driven by out-of-school factors, with in-school factors contributing only 20 percent, at most. Though teachers can't help but address this reality every day, most current policy discussion ignores it, to our collective detriment. This is parallel to discussions of health, where medicine gets much of the attention that public health deserves; we need to change both.

  • January 10, 2013: Washington Post Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss

    A call to Obama to focus on early childhood education

    By Elaine Weiss and Cassie Schwerner

    Schott Foundation senior VP Cassie Schwerner and Elaine Weiss write:

    Dear President Obama,
    The next four years present a host of both opportunities and challenges. As you set priorities for that second term, we hope that you will devote real effort to a small but critically important policy issue that would address several of our most pressing problems: early childhood care and education.

  • January 8, 2013: BBA

    For our Babies – A Cultural Agenda

    By Glen Harvey and Ron Lally

    This blog, co-authored by Glen Harvey, CEO of WestEd and Ron Lally, Co-Director, WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies, is the third in a short series of pieces on early childhood education authored for the Broader Bolder Approach to Education. As our country looks toward Inauguration Day, it's worth noting that both Democratic and Republican national party platforms addressed early childhood education in the recent campaign. Why is that?

  • January 8, 2013: Huffington Post

    A Broader Bolder Approach to the Common Core Engages the Whole Child and All Children

    By Elaine Weiss, Howard Adelman, and Linda Taylor

    This blog is co-authored by Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, co-directors of the national Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA.

    As more states move to implement the Common Core State Standards, we should applaud the movement's potential benefits, but also recognize its limitations. Like many other school improvement plans, the Common Core largely ignores barriers to learning and teaching, thus impeding teachers' capacity to effectively engage all students.

  • December 20, 2012: The Nation

    A Broader, Bolder Christmas: Top Ten “Gifts” for Under the (Education Policy) Tree

    By Greg Kaufmann and Elaine Weiss

    BBA and Nation poverty reporter Greg Kaufmann jointly offer ten wishes to improve low-income students' prospects for happy, healthy educations. They range from a roof over every student's head to well-resourced schools staffed with qualified teachers in appropriately-sized classrooms. Health clinics, enticing school breakfasts, enriching after-school activities, and high-quality early childhood care and education help round out the list, which calls, too, for societal-level supports so parents can provide their children with what they need to thrive.

  • December 18, 2012: Huffington Post

    A Smart Investment: Skilled Early Childhood Workforce

    By Elaine Weiss and Rob Grunewald

    At a time of fiscal uncertainty and the need to reexamine our public investment priorities, investments by government and public-private partnerships in the early childhood education workforce are a smart choice.

    This blog, co-authored by Rob Grunewald of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is the second in a series that explains the benefits of a comprehensive approach to early childhood.

  • December 7, 2012: Book Review

    Review of Paul Tough's, How Children Succeed

    By Evelyn Frankford

    In this note for BBA, Health policy consultant Evelyn Frankford reviews Paul Tough’s recent book, How Children Succeed, which has helped to elevate the importance of so-called “soft”  or “non-cognitive” skills as critical to school and life success. While Frankford appreciates Tough’s acknowledgement of poverty’s role and importance, she worries that his emphasis on individual, rather than systemic, or societal drivers, may lead to limited policy solutions that fall short of the Broader Bolder Approach we need.

  • November 21, 2012: Huffington Post

    Education Begins Before School

    By Dana Friedman and Elaine Weiss

    This blog is co-authored by Dana Friedman, founder and president of the Early Years Institute. The blog is the first in a series of BBA blogs on early childhood education that explain the benefits of a comprehensive approach to early childhood and highlight effective efforts in specific states.

  • November 18, 2012: Education Week Bridging Differences blog

    Keeping Equity at the Center of Reform

    By Pedro Noguera

    We have got to make a commitment to equity in education a central component of whatever we they do. It is remarkable that despite all the rhetoric about education being the civil rights issue of the 21st century, our leaders make no mention of the need for equity in educational opportunities, or conversely, the need to address the profound inequity, that characterizes so much of American education today.

  • November 13, 2012: Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

    Legacies of the Civil Rights Era: Accountability and Attention to Poverty (John Spencer)

    By Larry Cuban

    As we reflect on the election, and both presidential candidates’ commitments to enact policies that would narrow stubborn achievement gaps, this blog by John Spencer makes clear why a Broader Bolder Approach, rather than narrow “reform” strategies, represent the philosophy of the civil rights movement.

  • October 15, 2012: Huffington Post

    Grading Schools or Grading Ourselves?

    By Elaine Weiss

    We have been increasingly occupied in recent years with giving grades to schools and those who work in them ... A recent report, however, suggests that this is misguided. We ought to be grading ourselves as a nation and as a society. First Focus and Save the Children have done so, and found us severely lacking.

  • October 2, 2012: Huffington Post

    The Toxic Toll of Child Poverty

    By Elaine Weiss

    In many large urban school districts, three in four students or more are poor. Cutting school nurses and social workers, substituting test-prep for afterschool enrichment, and making classes so large that teachers cannot have individual time with students, are the worst education policy choices we could make. If there was ever a moment in education policy that called for a Broader Bolder Approach to Education, hard science and social science have come together in agreement that it is now.

  • September 24, 2012: Huffington Post

    Lessons from Arne Duncan's Back-to-School Bus Tour

    By Martin Blank

    As Secretary Arne Duncan travels the country on his Back-to-School bus tour, he has refocused his attention on the community schools strategy as a vehicle for implementing a Broader Bolder Approach to Education.

  • September 14, 2012:

    Chicago Teachers Go to Bat - and Take a Hit -- for Their Students

    By Elaine Weiss and Kevin Kumashiro

    "At schools across the city, 29,000 Chicago teachers and education professionals are on strike -- demanding both a fair union contract and a radically different vision of school reform than that propagated by nearly the entire nation's political class." The mainstream media has largely missed the import of teachers' reasons for their brave action, say BBA national coordinator Elaine Weiss and UIC professor Kevin Kumashiro in Huff Post blog, Teachers Go to Bat - and Take a Hit - for Their Students.

  • August 30, 2012: HuffPost

    Investing in Children's After-School Hours

    By Jodi Grant and Elaine Weiss

    For some reason, too many budget-writers seem to see afterschool and summer learning programs as add-ons, something that's nice to have when we can afford them, but not something we can pay for when times are tight. They're exactly wrong.

  • August 6, 2012: Huffington Post

    Bumps in the Road? Or Signs of Derailment?

    By Elaine Weiss & Noelle Ellerson

    The recent "bumps" in Tennessee on the teacher evaluation components of Race to the Top (RttT) efforts can either simply bruise education reform efforts or they can serve to inform it. RttT implementation provides lessons about reliability, capacity, and time, among others, which leaders must learn from as more states and districts implement RttT or similar reform measures.

  • July 25, 2012: Washington Post

    The Hard Bigotry of Poverty: Why Ignoring It Will Doom School Reform

    By Brock Cohen

    Teacher and student advocate in the LA Unified School district, Brock Cohen presents a compelling and insightful call to better acknowledge and address the role of poverty in student learning: "Claiming that poverty is no excuse for student failure trivializes the damage caused by years of actions and inactions that have widened the gaps between rich and poor communities. Good schools aren’t molded through harsh sanctions, private takeovers, or even soaring rhetoric. They emerge from healthy, stable communities. That is, they emerge from a commitment to justice."

  • July 11, 2012: Huffington Post

    Budgets and Children: A Total Disconnect

    By Elaine Weiss

    Two reports - one by the American Association of School Superintendents (AASA) and the second by First Focus, the Brookings Institution, and the Urban Institute - reveal clear evidence of a need to invest more in children -- especially low-income and minority children and younger children -- and Congress' insistence on ignoring it.

  • June 27, 2012: Jackson Free Press

    Students Deserve Better Than a Quick Fix

    By Derrick Johnson

    Rather than face NCLB punishments, the state of Mississippi has chosen to apply for waivers, which essentially leads to little to no change in educational policy. By continuing the state's focus exclusively on outcomes without addressing the problems and growing inequities of inputs, teacher effectiveness can only be harmed and reforms undermined. Instead, what is needed is "comprehensive, system-wide improvements".

  • June 25, 2012: Washington Post

    Is teacher churn undermining real education reform in D.C.?

    By Mark Simon

    When good teachers are getting pushed out under the reforms designed to let go of ineffective teachers, one has to question the design. Under overly simplistic evaluation processes, some terrific teachers are being laid off, undermining reform and harming students even further.

  • June 15, 2012: Huffington Post

    Addressing School Segregation All Year Round

    By Richard D. Kahlenberg

    Each year in May, educators celebrate the anniversary of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision on Brown v. Board of Education and reflect on the current status of integration in schools, an important matter as research shows the negative impact of segregated schools on students. Socioeconomic integration serves as a tool for raising performance rates of low-income and minority students as research suggests that low-income students attending socioeconomically integrated schools perform better than low-income students attending high-poverty schools even when the latter receive more per-pupil school spending.

  • June 13, 2012: The Hechinger Report

    Millions spent on improving teachers, but little done to make sure it’s working

    By Beth Fertig and Sarah Garland

    Millions are invested into professional development, yet we know very little about how reliable the benefits from on-the-job training for teachers truly are. With so many provider options, more research should be done on assessing the quality of these programs and their actual effects on student learning.

  • May 4, 2012: Huffington Post

    Time to Make High Quality Early Education a Legal Right

    By David Sciarra

    States need to reconsider their reductions in early education funding, programs which have been proven effective in reducing the income-based achievement gap.  Preschool ought to be universal.

  • April 25, 2012: Huffington Post

    A New Take on 'No Excuses' -- Tackling Poverty to Provide Meaningful Opportunity

    By John H. Jackson

    So long as “no excuses” reformers stubbornly refuse to employ effective, evidence-based strategies to alleviate impediments posed by unequal out-of-school conditions such as access to health care, early learning and afterschool opportunities, the serious impediments posed by hunger, poor health, and lack of enrichment will continue to be excused, and income-based achievement gaps will inevitably persist.

  • April 20, 2012: The Century Foundation

    The New Brookings Report on Economic Segregation

    By Richard Kahlenberg

    Where housing integration policies mix low-income and higher-income students in schools, thereby deconcentrating poverty, achievement gaps are lower.

  • April 10, 2012: Huffington Post

    Back to the Basics, Indeed: A Brief Overview of Education Research

    By Elaine Weiss

    Elaine Weiss agrees with Pedro Noguera that more evidence and less rhetoric would better serve at-risk children’s interests and educational needs.

  • April 9, 2012: The Atlantic

    Picking Up the Pieces of No Child Left Behind

    By Randi Weingarten

    Data shows NCLB has failed to bring equality in academic achievement.   It has focused too much on testing and not enough of development and intervention for struggling students.

  • April 1, 2012: Huffington Post

    The For Our Babies National Campaign Is Live

    By J. Ronald Lally

    The recently launched For Our Babies campaign advocates for essential resources for expectant mothers and infants in order to improve developmental, educational, and ultimately societal outcomes.  Health care and support for pregnant mothers, paid parental leave, infant health screenings, and access to quality infant and toddler care are investments which can prove to be cost effective in the long term.

  • March 30, 2012: American Journalism Review

    Flunking the Test

    By Paul Farhi

    Washington Post senior contributing writer Paul Farhi sets out how good a job American public schools are actually doing, contrasting that reality with the "failure" picture painted by the majority of journalists who lack on-the-ground understanding of what goes on in schools.

  • March 30, 2012: Commercial Appeal

    Early childhood education is goal of Excel By 5

    By Henry Bailey

    Excel By 5 in Hernando, Mississippi is a preschool program which seeks to reduce academic disparities before kindergarten through a collaboration with local businesses, charities, libraries, and health centers.  It provides resources for parents as well as children by community collaboration.

  • March 28, 2012: The Answer Sheet

    Researchers blast Chicago teacher evaluation reform

    By Valerie Strauss

    The latest research on value-added assesment and evaluation based on test scores suggests Chicago should reconsider its current plan to jusge effectiveness from standardized tests.

  • March 26, 2012: NY Times

    Judged a Failure by the Data, a School Succeeds Where It Counts

    By Michael Powell

    Considered a transfer school for students with little high school credit and poor achievement, Bushwick Community High School faces closure for low graduation rates despite praise by students.  This is another case of the limitations of data.

  • March 23, 2012: Huffington Post

    Education Is a 'Both-And' Issue

    By Martin J. Blank

    Despite Paul Peterson's attack on the Broader, Bolder Approach, the organization and its partners advocate for both effective teachers and out of school support for low-income children.  These goals are achieveable through a community schools approach to education reform.

  • March 20, 2012: Huffington Post

    Maybe it's Time to Ask the Teachers?

    By Linda Darling-Hammond

    A recent MetLife survey finds increasing job dissatisfaction for teachers as growing bureaucratic hurdles, layoffs and school cuts, and the challenges of overcoming child poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity stifle people's passion for education.  There is a need to professionalize the occupation, grant teachers greater say in school improvement, and foster community partnerships that bring services to children and ensure school readiness.

  • March 17, 2012: Go Local Worcester

    122 Children at Sullivan Middle School are Homeless

    By Ashley Klann

    As homelessness around the country including Worcester, MA increases, communities and public schools need to take action to provide resources to students struggling with the effects of displacement.

  • March 16, 2012: The Answer Sheet

    A new poverty-doesn’t-really-matter-much argument

    By Valeries Strauss

    Valerie Strauss parries another attack against those groups trying to underline the impact of poverty on educational outcomes.  Groups such as the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education believe that reforms to in-school structures are necessary to boost student achievement, but addressing the effects of poverty on student achievement is crucial and often ignored by education reformers.

  • March 9, 2012: Huffington Post

    Superintendents, the Correct Answer Is "D -- All of the Above"

    By Elaine Weiss

    Education reform policies should not choose just one strategy to improve academic outcomes of low-income children such as improving teacher effectiveness, expanding early education opportunities, or creating new after-school and summer enrichment programs.  Policymakers and communities should invest in all of the above initiatives.

  • March 6, 2012: Education Week

    Growing Gaps Bring Focus on Poverty's Role in Schooling

    By Lesli A. Maxwell

    Income inequality affects the educational outcomes of young students from a variety of angles.  Wealthier parents have more time and money to invest in their child's development out of school.  Several groups have organized to redirect the focus of education reform policies towards poverty and out-of-school factors driving the achievement gap.

  • March 4, 2012: The Bellingham Herald

    Richland schools, organizations fight effects of poverty on students

    By Ty Beaver

    An influx of low-income families in Richland public schools has led to an increase in the achievement gap but inspired community-wide efforts to bring resources to these children.  These students, facing such challenges as homelessness and food insecurity, are disadvantaged academically before they even start class.

  • February 26, 2012: The Answer Sheet

    School health clinics face obstacles — and how Arne Duncan could help

    By Richard Rothstein

    A child's health plays a crucial role in his or her readiness to learn.  School-based health clinics can help address the poor health outcomes which afflict low-income students so as to improve their educational achievements.  Yet, policy has not appropriated sufficient funding to bring health services to schools and available funding is often unaccessible.

  • February 25, 2012: NY Times

    In Teacher Ratings, Good Test Scores Are Sometimes Not Good Enough

    By Sharon Otterman and Robert Gebeloff

    In New York City recently released teacher evaluations reveal how poorly test scores work to assess teacher effectiveness.

  • February 24, 2012: Huffintgon Post

    Reinvigorating the American Dream: A Broader Bolder Approach to Tackling the Achievement Gap

    By Peter Edelman

    Widening ncome-based achievement gaps in the US cannot be addressed by reforming teacher accountability systems.  But it's not too late; policymakers can improve educational outcomes by addressing out-of-school factors such as food insecurity, insufficient afterschool and sumer programming, and poor early educational opportunities.

  • February 23, 2012: The Quick & The Ed

    Gates on Shaming NYC Teachers

    By Elena Silva

    Philanthropist Bill Gates sides against NYC's recent decision to make the names on value-added teacher evaluations public saying it will not improve student outcomes.  Moreover, he believes evaluations require more than value-added measures to be accurate and useful.

  • February 16, 2012: Huffington Post

    Thinking Outside the Box to Boost Teacher Effectiveness

    By Martin J. Blank

    Teacher bonus programs have fallen short in improving educational outcomes and NCLB testing has threatened both broader curricula and teacher effectiveness.  Community schools can address the deficiencies in current education reforms, helping teachers improve student outcomes through comprehensive health, nutritional, and out of school programs.

  • February 10, 2012: The Daily Beast

    Obama Grants Waivers to NCLB and Makes a Bad Situation Worse

    By Diane Ravitch

    The NCLB waiver policy adopted by the Obama adminstration is an inadequate response to the program's failures.  What is needed instead is for Congress to reauthorize the law with an emphasis on supporting the most troubled public schools with adequate resources to guarantee all children an opportunity.

  • February 9, 2012: NY Times

    Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say

    By Sabrina Tavernise

    While racial achievement gaps have narrowed over the years, class-based disparities have grown by 40% since the 1960s.

  • February 3, 2012: Education Week

    Evaluate Teachers and Doctors the Same Way

    By Walt Gardner

    Just as a multitude of factors affect a patient's health beyond a doctor's control from living conditions to lifestyle choices, teacher's face the same issues regarding a child's educational outcomes.  Teacher evaluations need to take into account the difficulties or advantages of educating children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, varying parental involvement, and disparate access to early education and out-of-school enrichment programs.

  • February 1, 2012: Living in Dialogue, Education Week

    America, Stop Making Excuses for Inequality

    By John Kuhn

    Poverty is not an excuse for poor educational outcomes, it is a cause.  Labeling poverty as such is excusing inequality.  Current policies do little to nothing to address disparities in school funding and out-of-school resources.

  • February 1, 2012: Huffington Post

    U.S. Schools Have a Poverty Crisis, Not an Education Crisis

    By Michael Rebell and Jessica Wolf

    Poverty is the primary issue facing education. Poor academic performance can be addressed by providing resources such as health services, early childhood education, out-of-school programing, and family engagement.

  • February 1, 2012: Huffington Post

    The Problem With School Accountability Systems

    By Tom Payzant

    The dominant school accountability systems fail to improve student outcomes and endanger our education system by encouraging narrowing curriculum to tested materials, cheating, and the glossing over of other subjects important to a child's development.  These assessments demand improvements without guiding or nurturing important synergy amongst those involved in a child's education from parent to superintendent. 

  • January 30, 2012: Living in Dialogue, Education Week

    John Kuhn on Education Funding in Texas: There is a Hole in the Bucket

    By Anthony Cody

    Unequal access to school funding draws another battle line in the fight over education reform as schools in low-income Texas neighborhoods receive less resources per student in their efforts to achieve the same goals as better-funded schools in wealtheir neighborhoods.

  • January 24, 2012: Huffington Post

    Afterschool Programs in Peril

    By Jodi Grant

    Afterschool programs serve to complement a child's knowledge base beyond school subject matter as well as improve academic outcomes such as attendance, study habits, behavior, and grades.  Such programs need to be expanded to the millions of children without any available afterschool initiatives.

  • January 5, 2012: Bangor Daily News

    Maine companies create investment group to fund early childhood education efforts

    By Seth Koenig

    With research suggesting that 85% of a child's core mental development occurs before age three, even businesses see the benefits of investing in early childhood education.

  • January 5, 2012: Learning First Alliance

    Moving Beyond Political Rhetoric in International Comparisons

    By Anne O'Brien

    Amongst all the rhetoric on maintaining international competetiveness few discussions go beyond improving accountability and school choice, ignoring the policies of top-performing countries which focus little or not at all on these issues.

  • December 18, 2011: Twin Cities Daily Planet

    The three stages of education reform

    By Michael Diedrich

    In terms of education reform, most communities find themselves either ignoring the existence of achievement gaps or trying to topple the system with ineffective policies such as test-based accountability.

  • December 15, 2011: NY Times

    Teachers union leads effort that aims to turn around West Virginia school system

    By Lyndsey Layton

    The McDowell Initiative in West Virginia promises to address a lack of resources and other out of school obstacles to educational success through community partnerships.

  • December 12, 2011: The Australian

    Education reform 'simplistic'

    By Justine Ferrari

    Education reformers in Australia point to the same issues as back home; high-stakes accountability ignores the complexities underlying inequality.

  • December 12, 2011: Answer Sheet

    A superintendent calls school reformers’ bluff

    By John Kuhn

    A Texas superintendent calls into question the motives of reforms advocating for high-stakes accountability rather than addressing the societal issue of poverty.  Education reform should focus on social inequality and on developing a system which ensures equality for children.

  • December 11, 2011: NY Times

    Class Matters. Why Won’t We Admit It?

    By Helen Ladd and Edward Fiske

    The correlation between poverty and poor educational outcomes is proven; yet policy ignores the issues to focus on in-school factors.  It is time for policymakers to stop ignoring inequality by expanding early education, nutrition, and summer programs to low-income children.

  • December 9, 2011: Salon

    What real education reform looks like

    By David Sirota

    The issue of education reform comes down to poverty and inadequate policies not unions.

  • December 7, 2011: Washington Post

    D.C. schools have largest black-white achievement gap in federal study

    By Lyndsey Layton

    Across the country, the narrowing of achievement gaps that NCLB promised have failed to materialize, and with the laregst black-white achievement gap, Washington, DC is perhaps among the starkest examples of why treating poverty as an "excuse" is a mistake. 

  • December 4, 2011: NY Times

    Why School Choice Fails

    By Natalie Hopkinson

    A Washington D.C. mother and author describes how reform policies aimed at school choice such as closing struggling schools and offering vouchers and charter school options have crippled community-based education while providing more resources to schools in wealthier neighborhoods.  Despite the evident failures of these polciies, they continue to grow in popularity with policymakers.

  • December 3, 2011: NY Times

    The Economy Is Painful in Skokie, Even in High School

    By James Warren

    Conversations with students from Skokie, IL reveal how the struggle for educational success goes beyond school walls such as balancing helping support one's family and schoolwork, dealing the with issues of homelessness, learning English, and hunger.

  • December 3, 2011: NY Times

    Plan to Close or Restructure 21 Chicago Schools Draws Quick Reaction

    By Rebecca Vevea

    Newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues the same policies of closing struggling schools and "turning around" others without discussion on poverty and other factors which need to be addressed

  • December 2, 2011: Huffington Post

    Bolder, Broader Strategy to Ending Poverty's Influence on Education

    By Pedro Noguera

    BBA co-chair Pedro Noguera highlights the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education's efforts to correct school reform in New Jersey with a focus on early education, project-based learning, and stronger school relationships with the community.

  • November 29, 2011: Huffington Post

    We Must Do More Than Merely Avoid the NCLB Train Wreck

    By Pedro Noguera

    BBA co-chair Pedro Noguera explains why NCLB waivers do not go far enough to address the issues with education reform legislation and advocates a more holistic approach which does not ignore the effects of poverty.

  • November 28, 2011: New York Times

    Principals Protest Role of Testing in Evaluations

    By Michael Winerip

    658 principals from New York are protesting the current use of test scores to evaluate teachers and principals citing their unreliability, limited scope, and lack of adequate trials.  The existing system of accountability "degrades" professionals in the field of education.

  • November 24, 2011: New York Times

    In New York, Mexicans Lag in Education

    By Kirk Semple

    The poor outcomes of Mexican Americans in New York highlight the problems facing disadvantaged and English language learning students across the country, but also those unique to illegal immigrants.

  • November 16, 2011: Ed Week

    A Steppingstone to Better Teacher Evaluation

    By Terry Grier

    Houston schools try out a new peer-review teacher evaluation system with success providing a more comprehensive and informative accountability structure.

  • November 13, 2011: The Star-Ledger

    Early childhood education key to success for poor children

    By Julie O'Connor

    Early Childhood education addresses many issues related to poverty, especially language gaps.

  • November 9, 2011: The Baltimore Sun

    Grasmick: Early childhood education played a key role in boosting student test scores

    By Nancy S. Grasmick

    Maryland's former state superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick reports that early childhood education initiatives have led to 81% of Maryland's five-year olds entering school prepared.

  • November 8, 2011: Huffington Post

    The Global Search for Education: The 20%

    By C.M. Rubin and Diane Ravitch

    Our 20% child poverty rate explains how the achievement gap begins before children enter the classroom.

  • November 6, 2011: School Finance 101

    When VAMs Fail: Evaluating Ohio’s School Performance Measures

    By Bruce Baker

    Researcher provides more evidence against the usefulness of value-added measurements by analyzing the biases underlying Ohio's VAM system.

  • October 30, 2011: Answer Sheet

    New data Bill Gates, other ed reformers should care about

    By Anthony Cody

    Bill Gates has missed the data on how poverty affects educational outcomes.

  • October 27, 2011: Kappan Magazine

    A broader and bolder approach uses education to break the cycle of poverty

    By Pedro A. Noguera

    Making bold assertions that all children can achieve while doing nothing to address the challenges they face is neither fair nor sound public policy.

  • October 24, 2011:

    Solving the Nation's Dropout Crisis

    By Russell W. Rumberger

    Persistent high school drop-out rates suggest reform efforts should focus on more comprehensive strategies such as developing a curriculum which extends beyond narrow college-preparatory models, adopting incentives to educate all students rather than encouraging transfers, building long-run school capacity, desegregating schools, and strengthening the role of families and communities.  

  • October 17, 2011: Ed Week

    Creating Education Success at Home

    By Marc Tucker

    Despite one of the highest levels of education spending, America lags behind other countries. The key to improving these outcomes includes moving beyond standardized tests, greater professionalization of teachers, and investing more in the "hardest-to-educate" students, not carrot and stick policies.

  • October 16, 2011: The News Jounral

    With investment, learning gets a head start

    By Nicole Dobo

    Delaware invests in early education to reduce the achievement gap for low-income children who might not otherwise have the opportunity before kindergarten.

  • October 11, 2011: Education Week

    Testing and Cheating: A Tragicomedy

    By Ellen Balleisen

    In meting out punishment for teachers involved in the Atlanta cheating scandal, the district joins others in missing the mark: high-stakes testing is the problem.

  • October 3, 2011: The School Administrator

    The Elusive Value in ‘Value Added'

    By Elaine Weiss

    In this article targeted to school administrators, BBA National Coordinator Elaine Weiss discusses technical practical issues with value-added measures (VAM) of teacher performance. These include conflating the impact of both in-school and out-of-school factors, a bias against teachers in high-poverty schools, narrowing of curriculum, and incentives to game the system or cheat.

  • October 3, 2011: Huffington Post

    The End Is Near for American Education

    By Randy Turner

    Education reformers focused solely on in-school accountability based on standardized tests see the problems of education as limited within school walls.  However, poverty, abuse, absenteeism, and high mobility form real barriers to a student's achievement and cannot be addressed by placing the entire blame on teachers.

  • September 23, 2011: Dallas News

    20 years later, debunking the 'Texas Miracle'

    By Diane Ravitch

    Dallas, perhaps the birthplace of modern school reform, has seen failure in closing the achievement gap using merit pay based on test scores. Improvements must be made in both Dallas' schools AND society where 85% of students live in poverty to improve educational outcomes.

  • September 15, 2011: New York Times

    New York Hands Off Part of Teacher Evaluation Effort

    By Sharon Otterman

    New York City abandons value-added measures when evaluating teacher performance. Shael Polakow-Suransky, the city's chief academic officer, reports efforts to include factors such as poverty and race in the new evaluations.

  • September 15, 2011: The Economic Policy Institute Blog

    Young children and unemployment

    By John Irons

    Parental unemployment endangers the health, developmental, and educational outcomes of children.  With 10.6% of children living with at least one unemployed parent, reducing unemployment is crucial issue for more than just our economy.

  • September 14, 2011: Washington Post - The Answer Sheet

    The cause of standardized test cheating and how to stop it

    By Lisa Guisbond

    As another school is found guilty of cheating on standardized tests, policymakers stand by the defunct strategy of test-based accountability, claiming the solution is better policing. Meanwhile, the evidence is building that high-stake testing is toxic in itself and compromises the education of untested skills.

  • September 14, 2011: Washington Post - Answer Sheet

    Public education's biggest problem gets worse

    By Valerie Strauss

    While bad teachers exist and they are an important in-school factor on student outcomes, the effects of poverty on aspects of a student's life such as mental and physical health, remain most significant barriers to improving educational achievement and should be addressed as such.

  • September 12, 2011: Ed Week

    International Test Scores, Irrelevant Policies: Misleading rhetoric overlooks poverty's impact

    By Isis C. Rotberg

    Concerns with international test scores have overlooked the effects of family poverty and concentrations of poverty in schools on educational achievement.  PISA has found that socioeconomic status accounts for nearly 60% of the achievement gap in reading across OECD countries, and 80% in the U.S.

  • September 1, 2011: Huffington Post

    Message to Feds: Stop Kicking the Can Down the Road and Call AAA

    By John H. Jackson

    Investment in education is key to getting the U.S. economy back on track.  However, like other critical issues, Congress has avoided serious debates around ESEA and Race to the Top.  Duncan's waivers only allow poliicians to further dodge the issue.

  • August 25, 2011: Education Week Straight Up

    Appellate Court Gets it Wrong on NYC Teacher Data

    By Rick Hess

    AEI's Rick Hess is "increasingly nervous at how casually reading and math value-added calculations are being treated as de facto determinants of 'good teaching.'" While stopping short of condemning so-called "VAMs," Hess lays out multiple reasons to avoid their use.

  • August 22, 2011: Washington Post, the Answer Sheet

    A tale of two schools: Who's to blame for the differences?

    By Brett Rosenthal

    Brett Rosenthal, vice president at New York's South Side High School, illustrates five ways in which high- and low-performing schools differ, none of which teachers control.

  • August 19, 2011: New York Times

    Steven Brill's Report Card on School Reform

    By Sara Mosle

    Former Teach for America member Sara Mosle explains why she finds Brill's support for schools-only, anti-union "reform" policies unpersuasive, noting solid evidence that out-of-school factors matter more than teacher quality in student outcomes.

  • August 18, 2011: Reno News and Review

    Fads for the schools: Reform depends on who defines it

    By Dennis Myers

    Comparing 1998 and 2008 Time cover stories on education, Myers says both "had the same four problems... (1) easy answers, (2) villains, (3) quick fixes and (4) and all of it done on the cheap." He praises Richard Rothstein for rejecting such fads and promoting evidence-based responses to student needs.

  • August 10, 2011: Pathways

    Race to the Bottom

    By Diane Ravitch

    In this article for Pathways, Diane Ravitch explains how federal education policies spearheaded by Arne Duncan, in particular Race to the Top, impede the capacity of low-performing schools to improve and of low-income students to obtain an enriching education.

  • August 9, 2011: Learning Matters

    An Act of War

    By John Merrow

    Johh Merrow succinctly articulates both the harsh reality that NCLB waivers offered by the Department of Education simply force states to do more of the same and "what strikes me as the root of the problem: NCLB’s demands for more and more testing in reading and math."

  • August 7, 2011:

    Huge Achievement Gaps Persist in DC Schools

    Huge achievement gaps in both reading and math remain nearly five years into Rhee-Fenty "reforms" of DC public schools, with poverty dividing high-scoring Wards 3 and 4 from low-performing Wards 7 and 8 East of the Anacostia.

  • August 7, 2011: Washington Post, The Answer Sheet

    How many testing scandals do we need as a wake-up call?

    By Lisa Guisbond

    Guest writer Lisa Guisbond, a FairTest policy analyst, writes that widespread cheating scandals are not isolated incidents, but the logical response to a system focused too narrowly on testing and irrationally demanding impossible (yet not meaningful) results

  • August 1, 2011: SFGate

    Arne and Bill's Misguided Adventure: An Open Letter

    By Dr. Jim Taylor

    Taylor addresses the misguided reform efforts of Bill Gates and Arne Duncan, criticizing their dismissal of poverty on educational outcomes. Poverty, Taylor says, is not an excuse, but an explanation; one we need to recognize if we are to get reform on the right track.

  • July 27, 2011: Detroit Free Press

    Survey: Nearly 30% of State's Teachers Feel Pressure to Cheat

    By Chastity Pratt Dawsey and Kristi Tanner-White

    A survey of Michigan educators find that 30% feel pressure to cheat on standardized tests, and half of teachers in schools failing to meet federal standards say they feel pressure to cheat. 8% of teachers admitted to cheating themselves. Educators agree that high-stakes testing is at the root of this nationwide problem.

  • July 24, 2011: Washington Post (Answer Sheet)

    Why 'no excuses' makes no sense: Revisiting the Coleman report

    By Valerie Strauss

    Gary Ravani highlights various studies which point to the impact of socioeconomic factors on student outcomes, factors which teachers cannot be responsible for. A "no excuses" approach to reform that emphasizes only in-school changes falls short of what is needed to help underperforming children.

  • July 18, 2011: Washington Post

    Want to stop teachers from cheating? A history lesson from corporate America

    By Dan Ariely

    Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains how the shortcomings of test-based accountability are analogous to those in corporate incentives programs.

  • July 18, 2011: New York Times

    New York City Abandons Teacher Bonus Program

    By Sharon Otterman

    New York City discontinues merit-pay program in light of recent research showing no impact on student achievement.

  • July 12, 2011: Education Week

    Creativity Drives Programs to Prevent 'Summer Slide'

    By Nora Fleming

    Cities and school districts make summer learning programs a priority despite budget contraints through a blending of funding and community partnerships.  The successes of several programs in improving educational outcomes are outlined.

  • July 7, 2011: New York Times

    No, Seriously: No Excuses

    By Paul Tough

    Paul Tough calls out high-profile education “reformers” on both their criticisms of those like BBA who insist that the consequences of poverty be addressed in education policy, and the lackluster results of those reformers’ efforts to close the achievement gap without doing so.

  • July 3, 2011: New York Times

    A Failing School? Not to These Students

    By Michael Winerip

    School closure decisions are preordained when officials “stack the deck” by concentrating high-needs students, then bemoan low test scores. Labels of “failure” overlook the many success stories – student, teacher, and principal – inside walls like Jamaica High’s.

  • June 27, 2011: Washington Post (The Answer Sheet)

    The reform pretenders

    By Carol Corbett Burris

    Current education “reforms” dominated by high-stakes testing and market-based policies are detrimental to school improvement, and their claims of success are misleading. True reformers view both children and education holistically.

  • June 15, 2011: Education Week

    Panel Finds Few Gains from Testing Movement

    By Sarah D. Sparks

    The National Academies of Science found no positive effects on achievement from ten years of NCLB-driven test-based accountability structures, and safeguards against gaming the system have been found to be inadequate, thereby undermining learning.

  • June 13, 2011: Salon

    We need to fix the economy to fix education

    By David Sirota

    Out-of-school factors, such as job loss, have an impact on educational outcomes that is largely overlooked by reformers. Reform policies and accountability systems that ignore these factors unfairly scapegoat teachers.

  • June 5, 2011: New York Times

    Helping Teachers Help Themselves

    By Michael Winerip

    Michael Winerip spotlights Montgomery County Maryland's Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) system as a model for teacher support and evaluation that is praised, yet not promoted, by DOE.

  • May 27, 2011: Education Week

    Bolder, Broader Action: Strategies for Closing the Poverty Gap

    By Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education

    Data from Massachusetts find that two decades of reform focused on school solutions such as accountability and instructional improvement have failed to maximize student proficiency. Recognizing that, ithout addressing the educational barriers posed by poverty, the achievement gap cannot be closed, Governor Deval Patrick has enacted several policies to address these out-of-school factors. 

  • May 25, 2011: New York Times

    The Limits of School Reform

    By Joe Nocera

    New York Times education columnist Joe Nocera makes clear the limits of Joel Klein’s school-only reform policies and promotes a Broader Bolder Approach.

  • May 24, 2011: Huffington Post

    Educating for Democracy: Are We Really Serious About Education?

    By Joel Shatzky

    The article suggests with respect to the large body of evidence against test-based teacher evaluations that, if similar experts in other fields – medicine, engineering, or law – had expressed such grave concerns about a system, relevant stakeholders would have changed course.

  • May 23, 2011: Times Union

    Top teachers give new evaluation system an F

    By Casey Seiler

    The past seven New York State Teachers of the Year penned a letter “expressing ‘sadness, pain and frustration” at the new teacher evaluation regulations tailored by Governor Cuomo and approved by the Board of Regents, presenting seven real-life scenarios in which they would create perverse incentives and damage student outcomes.

  • May 23, 2011: Education Week

    Why Attention Will Return to Non-School Factors

    By Jeffrey R. Henig and S. Paul Reville

    Suggesting that although there is a refusal “in polite education reform circles” to acknowledge the impact of poverty and community factors, a combination of logic and evidence will soon change the conversation, and “a broader, less conventional conception of education will emerge as the common-sense framing for school and social reform.”

  • May 20, 2011: Washington Post

    Five Myths about America's Schools

    By Paul Farhi

    The dominant "reform" rhetoric of failing schools, malignant unions, pay-for-performance programs, charter schools, and effective teaching have spread many misunderstandings about our public school systems.

  • May 2, 2011: Texas Tribune

    Is Poverty the Key Factor in Student Outcomes?

    By Reeve Hamilton

    University of Texas physicist Michael Marder emphasizes the critical impact of poverty on student achievement, pointing out that “not one” Texas school serving high concentrations of poor children graduates students who are ready for college.

  • April 27, 2011: Washington Post (The Answer Sheet)

    How School Reform Damages Poor Children

    By Alfie Kohn via Valerie Strauss

    Current school reforms, which also ignore the impacts of socioeconomic conditions, promote a “pedagogy of poverty,” with poor children and children of color subjected to “overly directive, mind-numbing… anti-intellectual acts that pass for teaching [and] have become the gold standard.”

  • April 23, 2011: Courier-Journal

    Cincinnati’s Oyler Elementary finds winning formula to fight poverty

    By Chris Kenning

    This urban school in a highly distressed neighborhood used a broader, bolder community schools approach to address a range of student and family needs related to poverty, with a resulting dramatic increase in high school graduations and first-in-the-family college attendees.

  • March 7, 2011: YorkCounts

    Education Summit preview: Interview with Elaine Weiss

    By Dan Fink and Elaine Weiss

    BBA National Coordinator Elaine Weiss discusses education policy and the need for a broader, bolder approach with Dan Fink of YorkCounts Communications.

  • March 1, 2011: Economic Policy Institute

    A look at the health-related causes of low student achievement

    By Richard Rothstein

    Multiple health issues, from vision, hearing, and dental problems to the detrimental effects of lead exposure, fetal alcohol syndrome, and asthma, disproportionately affect the poor and contribute to the achievement gap.  Expanding health care to students who might not otherwise have access to these reources, such as through school-based centers, can narrow this gap.

  • September 5, 2008: New York Times

    24/7 School Reform

    By Paul Tough

    The in-school and out-of-school dichotomy is out of date; education encompasses both environments.  Poverty plays a major role in educational outcomes and must be addressed to narrow the achievement gap.  Comprehensive, community-based strategies are necessary for success.

  • July 14, 2008: New York Times

    New Vision for Schools Proposes Broad Role

    Randi Weingarten criticizes NCLB, in favor of a community-schools approach to school improvement.  Schools alone cannot address the achievement gap.

  • March 1, 2007: New York Times

    A Critique of Pure Reason

    By David Brooks

    Contrary to conventional discussion on school improvement, there are some factors of underachievement that schools alone cannot address. David Brooks outlines a broader, bolder approach to education.

Share the BBA Principles

Ensure access to home visiting supports and prenatal health care. Infants whose mothers receive prenatal support through the Nurse Family Partnership program are more likely to be healthy. It's time for a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education!

Expand the availability of school-based health centers. New York students with centers at school were over 50% less likely to be hospitalized for asthma than those without (10.5% versus 17%). We need a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education!

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BBA Infographic

10:1 That's Nobel economist James Heckman's estimated return to society from high-quality pre-k programs' help in boosting low-income children's cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social readiness for school and life. View the full BBA infographic to learn more.

Bolder Approach to Education Infographic

Broader, BOLDER Approach to Education

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