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Education Forum

In the months leading up to and immediately following the release of the EdFunders original three research papers, this website hosted a series of online discussion forums that were immensely enlightening and provided an opportunity for many to weigh in via Twitter. The items below showcase those online discussions.

Our “Listening Sessions” aimed to provide an opportunity for practitioners to come together and talk frankly about how they are meeting the challenges they face daily and to inform funders and policymakers about their perceptions, needs and insights from the ground. 

Implementing Common Core: Is NYC On the Right Track?

Is New York City on track to ensure that the new Common Core standards will address academic achievement gaps and build skills like problem solving and persistence that also are crucial to college and career readiness? What steps should the next administration take to ensure this happens?

Read responses from Richard Stopol, Priscilla WohlstetterJose Vilson, Wendy Lecker, Stephen Lazar, Ariel Sacks and Shael Polawkow-Suransky.

Assessing College and Career Readiness

Are we using the right indicators to assess college and career readiness in New York? What other or additional measures should be used?  

  • What competencies other than academic skills should the system measure? How?
  • Is algebra 2 a good proxy for determining college and career readiness or an artifact that should be replaced by a measure that has more meaning for adults in the 21st century?
  • What kinds of measures would be most appropriate for ELLs?

Read responses from Linda Rosen, David Conley, Cass Conrad, Bob Moses, Claire Sylvan, Anthony Carnevale, and Janice Bloom & Lori Chajet.

Beating the Odds: Early Childhood Education & Literacy Skills

Across the country, data suggests that sizable racial and ethnic differences in standardized test scores are present on the first day of kindergarten—and in New York City public schools. Our research suggests those inequalities don’t decrease over time. How can NYC change the odds and narrow those differences so that more children succeed in school?

Expanding early childhood education is a heavy expense.  Is this the investment that is worth it? From where could the funds for it come? What strategies should the next administration institute to ensure that children at every level and every grade are given opportunities and supports to improve their reading and improve their chances of academic success?

Read responses from Ron Fairchild, Dr. W. Steven Barnett, Michael Rebell, Catherine Snow, Jon Snyder, David Deming and Hank Levin.

 

 

A Tale of Two School Systems - Ensuring College and Career Readiness for All

At the Education Funders Research Initiative launch, the panel considered state and national data that identify family income as the factor most strongly correlated with college persistence and graduation. What can the next administration do to help low performing schools in low-income neighborhoods prepare their students for success in college similar to that of students from high-income neighborhoods?

School Size - Does It Matter?

Many of the new small schools are having more success in preparing students for high school graduation and college and 21st century careers than traditional zoned schools. But these schools often lack what adults today recall as the highlights of their high school days: extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, and debate; teachers with a wide range of expertise.

If students at small schools are seeing improved outcomes, what does that mean for traditional large schools?   How can large zoned high schools keep a place for themselves in the city’s ambitious school system? Equally, how can small schools provide the wide spectrum of activities that enrich students’ lives and create community? Read responses from Constancia Warren,James Kemple, Rebecca Unterman, Deirdre DeAngelis-D'Alessio, Shael Polakow-Suransky, JD Hoye and Joe Luft.

A key element of education reform in NYC over the past decade has been the expansion of school choice- and it’s been remarkably successful at shifting students to better-performing schools.  But an education marketplace isn’t without consequences.  It’s tougher to navigate.  There are fewer seats available at good schools than poor ones.  And it has led to increased academic stratification in our schools. 

How can we improve the system of school choice to better promote high achievement – leading to college and career readiness – by all? Read responses from Lori Nathanson, James Merriman, Jeff Henig, Aaron Pallas, and Saskia Thompson.

Stubborn Achievement Gaps Persist

New York City has made tremendous strides in one key element of college readiness: high school graduation. Graduation rates have risen dramatically across the board.  Yet, persistent achievement gaps clearly remain.

What immediate steps should the next administration take to narrow the achievement gap in New York City? What long term strategies should it pursue? Read responses from Michael PetrilliPedro Noguera, Michael Casserly, Charles Payne and David Tipson

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