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The Power of Numbers
As the fight continues to reform education to improve outcomes for all students, there are two things we all agree on: the importance of helping struggling students succeed and making sure that high-performing students remain challenged.
In a recent article on Real Clear Education’s website, Hanna Skandera, Secretary of Public Education at New Mexico’s Department of Public Education and chair of the George W. Bush Institute’s Education Reform Advisory Committee, is interviewed about the recent improvement in student outcomes in New Mexico.
“We made the commitment to high standards for students and educators,” Skandera said. “We already did a lot of that hard work. We’re in a place now where we’re not only seeing real progress but we can set those aggressive goals and measure how students are doing.”
In another article authored by Mark Dynarski, Education Reform Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, Dynarski discusses how researchers are struggling to understand the reason for rising high school graduation numbers in the U.S. mainly due to a lack of research. He also reiterates the importance of evidence-based practices in work to improve high school graduation numbers.
Although the two articles vary in focus, they both demonstrate the power of valid and comparable data to help us identify obstacles and then move efficiently to effective interventions to improve student outcomes.
Anne Wicks serves as the Director of Education Reform at the Bush Institute. In this role, she develops and oversees the policy, research, and engagement work of the Education Reform team. She also serves the Director of Leadership Programs, which includes coordinating strategy and support for the Bush Institute’s four cohort-based leadership programs.
Before joining the Bush Institute, Wicks served for five years as Associate Dean for External Relations at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education. In addition to leading a team with revenue, communications, and engagement goals, she supported Dean Karen Symms Gallagher on a variety of special projects including the launch and early growth of Ednovate Charter Schools. She currently serves as the chair of PMC Support, a supporting organization for Ednovate Schools. Over her career, she has held management and resource development roles at organizations including Teach for America, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, and Stanford University. Anne holds a B.A in American Studies and a M.A. in Education from Stanford University (during which she taught 8th grade social studies), as well as a M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. A former captain of Stanford's women's volleyball team, Anne was part of three national championship teams, two as a player and one as an assistant coach.Full Bio
Accountability Systems Need to be Simple Enough for Parents and the Public to Understand and Act Upon
What we need is a constant balancing of fairness and simplicity. This should be a primary goal for states like Texas now that the new Every Student Succeeds Act gives them more responsibility for holding schools accountable for their results.
Keep Testing Alive -- But Right-Size Assessments
Lessons Learned from The A Word: Accountability-The Dirty Word of Today's Education Reform
No Child Left Behind’s Legacy – and What School Accountability Means Today
In an essay published this week on The 74, a national education news site, Holly Kuzmich, the Bush Institute’s executive director, provides an insider’s look at the creation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Kuzmich, who worked on the landmark legislation that President Bush signed into law 16 years ago this month, also describes the bipartisan bill’s legacy. Anne Wicks, the Bush Institute’s education reform director, and William McKenzie, the Bush Institute’s editorial director, describe as well on The 74 what school accountability means today – and how it can be improved. Their essay includes lessons learned from The A Word: Accountability—The Dirty Word of Today’s Education Reform, a new Bush Institute series of interviews with respected education leaders.