19 Feb Education Reform Gets Jumpstart in Economic Recovery Package
The bipartisan organization Hope Street Group today released an updated analysis (.pdf) of the reform proposals in the recovery package – many of which mirror the group’s 2008 policy recommendations, and which have the potential to help build an education system that can power a thriving economy.
“If we want a strong and healthy economy, we need a 21st-century education system,” said executive director Monique Nadeau, a former Wall Street investment banker who took over the reins at Hope Street in 2007. “The way we will promote long-term prosperity for all Americans is by closing the skills gap that is hampering our ability to compete globally.”
The reforms will set the stage for long-term improvements in standards, accountability systems, and teacher effectiveness when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is reauthorized. Reform funding, including the first-ever $5 billion Incentive Fund has the potential to create a ‘race to the top’ among states vying for the money, she said.
“States that are stepping up to the challenge of providing their students a world-class education should be rewarded,” Ms. Nadeau said. “These funds offer a unique opportunity to support successful programs and share results in a way that can produce a real sea change in our education system.”
Hope Street Group Education Director Jocelyn Pickford, a former teacher who also worked at the U.S. Education Department, emphasized that the education community will need to partner with a broad coalition to implement reform.
“Educators cannot do this work in isolation,” she said. “Successfully implementing systemic change will require an engaged and committed reform community of all stakeholders — teachers, business leaders, parents, policy makers – engaging in an open dialogue about how to best help our nation’s students. As part of this effort, Hope Street Group will engage a bipartisan coalition to analyze successful outcomes of the ARRA and work to bring the state and local level perspective to the national conversation.”