View our resources for: Policy Solutions

Toward A Next-Generation School Accountability System

When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became law in 2015, it granted states unprecedented authority to innovate and create new accountability systems. In this brief we outline our vision for what a next-generation state accountability system could look like....
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Our GSD List for 2016

Happy New Year from Education First! We hope you had a restful, joyous and peaceful holiday season. Now that the champagne bottles have been recycled, we are focused on what the future holds for students, educators and school systems in...
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Why Better Assessments Results in Better Teaching

In my second year of teaching, a mentor asked me a seemingly simple question: “How do you know what your students have learned?” I showed her my gradebook, which listed the assignments, quizzes and projects my students completed. “I see...
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Fewer and Better Local Assessments

It’s time for a more strategic approach to assessment. Schools, school districts and charter management organizations (CMOs) need to take a fresh look at what is measured: which assessments we give, when and why, and how the data are used....
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Race to the Top: Following Through on What We Started

With the Obama administration’s signature education initiative, Race to the Top, officially concluded, states and districts should resist the temptation to try new reforms and should focus on improving implementation of the initiatives adopted to increase student success and close...
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Following Through On What We’ve Started

Race to the Top directed billions of dollars to states in order to put in place college and career ready standards, educator evaluations, data systems and school turnaround strategies. Yet after five years, the work of implementing and sustaining these...
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High Quality Assessment Project

Over three years, Education First has supported grantmaking and technical assistance to a network of grantee local and state advocacy organizations as they engaged in the critical tasks of educating state boards, legislators governors and the media; identifying and supporting teacher advocates; and engaging parents as new tests are adopted and administered and as score reports are released.

Core to College

Education First facilitated a network of state grantees improving alignment between K-12 and higher education on the Common Core and new assessments.