EducationCounsel is a mission-based education consulting firm that combines experience in policy, strategy, law, and advocacy to drive significant improvements in the U.S. education system.
This fifth brief in the Access and Diversity Collaborative (ADC) Issue Brief series addresses the anticipated U.S. Supreme Court Fisher II decision, with guidance for institutions of higher education to consider as they prepare for that decision. It includes guidance on practical steps to prepare for the decision, an analysis of the amicus briefs filed in this round of Supreme Court litigation, and important insights from oral arguments and the parties’ briefs that can help inform institutional dialogue and action.
Given the important foundation that the earliest years of life establish for children’s long-term success, this report seeks to understand whether they are getting the support and quality experiences they need in early childhood programs and early elementary classrooms—namely, in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Using nationally representative data to examine children’s experiences in the early years of their education, this report asks two key questions. First, to what extent are children accessing high-quality early education by race and socioeconomic status? And second, once children reach elementary school, does exposure to quality classrooms with teaching practices that build on and strengthen that early foundation vary for children from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds?
By Scott Palmer, Managing Partner, EducationCounsel
This is the first in a series of blogs from the EducationCounsel team unpacking ESSA and highlighting next steps for states and local school districts.
Last week President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). As the President noted at the signing ceremony, ESSA represents an all-too-rare bipartisan effort after many years’ delay (what he called a “Christmas miracle”) and an affirmation of education as a continuing national priority. At the same time, the President’s signature only begins the next phase of work in understanding, leveraging, and implementing the law. ESSA’s ultimate impact will depend greatly on what states, districts, and advocates make of it.
For more than a decade, EducationCounsel has helped lead the College Board’s Access & Diversity Collaborative. As the Supreme Court hears “Fisher II” this week, members of the EducationCounsel team have weighed in.
This LatestCounsel post was written by Terri Taylor, Policy & Legal Advisor.
EducationCounsel has been supporting the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) to study what excellent teachers think about assessments, given the opportunity to perform a close, side-by-side analysis of the new and old tests. We were particularly interested in their thoughts about the quality and utility of the new assessments compared to the prior state tests. After all, teachers can be powerful champions for good assessment. As those closest to the process of preparing for and administering assessments, teachers have essential perspectives that parents, students, and other educators trust. Moreover, teachers can uniquely explain whether an assessment reflects good classroom practice and asks students to demonstrate what they know and can do.
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