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.
EducationCounsel, in partnership with Policy Studies Associates and the Wallace Foundation, co-authored this publication to support district leaders in evaluating various federal programs…
This case analysis provides an overview of the federal district court opinion in SFFA v. UNC, which has been appealed, along with practical policy takeaways associated with the court’s decision.
Are there widespread teacher shortages in U.S. public education? Recent headlines suggest there are. But a closer look at school staffing trends in recent years yields a different story, one with important consequences for education policymakers. This report analyzes pre-pandemic teacher supply and demand trends, identifies new staffing questions raised by the Covid crisis, and offers policy recommendations to help states and school districts address schools’ true human capital needs to ensure that all students-especially those too often marginalized and underserved-are taught by effective educators.
In this third entry in a series about how we must prioritize adopting a learning system approach at all levels of the pk-12 education system, we explore how our learning system framework played out in our sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We identify both gaps — missed opportunities to advance a learning system and systemic shortcomings that deepened the challenges our schools faced — and bright spots — existing and new efforts where learning system approaches supported more effective action. Drawing on those lessons, we argue the pandemic has strengthened the case for a learning system approach, adding urgency to our recommendations for early action. This new brief also shares resources and examples to help educators do this hard but essential work.
As districts continue to deal with the repercussions of the lingering coronavirus crisis, they have teacher vacancies to fill, a perennial problem complicated by the pandemic. This report, from FutureEd and EdCounsel, profiles the District of Columbia’s highly successful response to the problem. DCPS uses a multi-step process for vetting candidates, a state-of-the-art web portal, and data analysis to help schools select top applicants as early as possible in the annual hiring cycle, resulting in more effective and more diverse new hires.
This guidance is intended to help districts understand some of the options they have to use federal funds provided under multiple sections of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Investment in early learning as an effective strategy is supported by research from the science of learning and development that shows that early childhood is a critical time for brain development. The quantity and quality of interactions children have with adults at this stage determines the foundation upon which all other educational experiences will build.
On April 28, President Joe Biden unveiled his American Families Plan, which is his third proposal to support recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The American Families Plan would provide an estimated $1.8 trillion over ten years and builds upon the president’s previously proposed $2.5 trillion American Jobs Plan, which is focused on the nation’s infrastructure, and the already-enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Complementing the American Jobs Plan proposed investments in early childhood, K-12, and higher education facilities, the American Families Plan proposes additional significant investments in child care and early childhood education, educator preparation and support, as well as higher education access and support.
Secretary Riley reflects on successful strategies to transform schools in rural communities. Read more.
By Elysa Cash and Danielle Ewen
In response to the increased needs of families, children, and educators across the country, public education has experienced a significant influx of federal funding throughout the pandemic. In addition to funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the support from schools and communities, leaders building birth-to-third grade systems should know of the flexibility of the federal programs already in place.
By Davida McDonald
Wyoming has developed a statewide Early Childhood Strategic Plan that directs families, early childhood and K-12 educators and administrators, communities, and state officials to collaborate to thoughtfully connect children’s relationships, environments, and experiences during early childhood. The plan also directs Wyoming to execute effective and supportive policies and practices that recognize the essential need to support young children and families before, during, and after times of transition, especially the transition into the first year of elementary school.
Earlier this year, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, the federal government’s third major COVID-19 relief bill. The law provides nearly $2 trillion to support the nation’s efforts to reopen and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Included is more than $126 billion for K-12 schools and additional funding for early childhood and higher education.
These are historic levels of K-12 funding, far surpassing the amounts in previous pandemic relief bills, and they go well beyond annual federal K-12 education investments. Moreover, the relief package could have an impact well into the future, as districts and states are allowed to spend their allotments through September 2024—enabling them to identify and develop solutions that meet immediate needs and seed long-term, evidence-based shifts to better promote equity and improved outcomes.
The following was written by Adwoa Obeng, a rising senior at George Washington University. The EducationCounsel team was fortunate to have Adwoa as our summer intern, during which she supported several core projects and activities. Adwoa has a deep passion for equity in education, especially for students of color and young girls. The blog reflects her experience and her recommendations for how to improve the experiences of young girls of color.
Girls are often told they can be anything they want to be, but what is rarely said is that what they look like matters greatly. African American girls are one of the most at-risk student groups in the United States, and often face substantial barriers to reaching their full potential. In Michigan, a 15-year-old African American girl was incarcerated during the COVID-19 pandemic because she violated her probation by not completing her schoolwork. In Sacramento, a 9-year-old African American girl was suspended and kicked out of her virtual classroom because she was asking too many questions via the chat section. This treatment is not isolated or limited to the classroom. In the 2017-2018 school year, African American girls were four times more likely to be expelled, four times more likely to be suspended from school, and five times more likely to be arrested than Caucasian girls.
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