Thoughts from PIE
Last week, I was at the meeting of Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) in Nashville. Representatives from over 20 states with active education reform efforts spent few days talking about their work and learning from each other. It’s the type of multi state collaborative work that happens so rarely in education. Too often, we spend time re-inventing the wheel when all we really need to do is borrow someone else’s wheel and decorate the rims. In states such as Illinois, Colorado, Florida, New York and Delaware, lawmakers have passed pioneering legislation to reform areas such as teacher evaluation and tenure. The take-away from this is that change is possible even in states with strong statewide unions and collective bargaining. Interestingly, most of these states are now wrestling with issues of implementation in the areas of collective bargaining, school turnaround, etc. While these states moved forward with the types of policy changes that are student-centered, Sacramento held the line or diverted itself into areas such as the parent trigger with less potential for broad-based change. The hope is that the increasing evidence and pressure from the good work other states will begin to penetrate the noggins of our leaders. There was a time when California was a reform leader. It’s far past time for that “time” to come again.
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