Getting to 2014 (and Beyond): The Choices and Challenges Ahead

A Collection of Essays on School Reform

Also from ES | June 28, 2012
Photo of a warning sign that reads 'changes ahead' Source: iStock

For years, policymakers and educators have ping-ponged from one silver-bullet solution to the next to address our nation’s public education challenges. One might say we lack an embedded culture of continuous improvement and refinement. Most schools still operate under a framework established by NCLB more than 10 years ago: mediocre standards, low-quality assessments, blunt and rigid accountability systems, and a teaching force where quality is measured by inputs mostly unrelated to student learning. Sparked by NCLB’s “impossible and illogical” deadline for student proficiency by 2014, policymakers and educators now have a chance to rebuild this framework, says Education Sector’s Anne Hyslop. And they're doing so by committing to an array of challenging, yet transformative reforms.

In March 2012, Education Sector hosted a panel discussion that explored the challenges of implementing so many of these education reforms—such as new Common Core standards, new assessments, new accountability systems, new teacher evaluations, new data systems, and for some states, Race to the Top—all at once. One big dilemma the panel agreed on was the need to communicate clearly about all the reforms and ensure the public understands that implementing these reforms must be done concurrently. Now, in an updated collection of essays, “Getting to 2014 (and Beyond): The Choices and Challenges Ahead,” experts discuss these potential collisions and provide a framework for policymakers to think about the choices ahead, as well as strategies and solutions to unexpected conflicts.

Essay Selections Include:

  • "Getting to 2014 (and Beyond): An Introduction" By Anne Hyslop
  • "Getting Accountability and Implementation Right" By Michael Cohen
  • "Doing It All: Raising Graduation Rates and Standards" By Robert Balfanz
  • "The Missing Question: What College Are You Ready For?" By Kevin Carey
  • "College and Career Success for Low-Income Youth" By Joel Vargas
  • "Taking the Long-Term View on Teacher Evaluation" By Bill Tucker
  • "Leaping Forward Without Holding Schools Back" By Bryan C. Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel
  • "Whither Technology?" By Douglas Levin and Geoffrey Fletcher
  • "Getting Results With Limited Resources" By Allan Odden
  • "As Fast as We Can, As Slow as We Must" By Benjamin Boer