Great teachers and great schools have the ability to transform the living standard of Americans. Over the past century, investments in education have boosted the productivity and earnings of American workers, forged a path out of poverty for many families, and developed a productive and innovative workforce. However, those gains have stagnated and even declined in recent years. Despite one of the highest rates of per-pupil spending among industrialized countries, the United States ranks as mediocre on most measures of student achievement.
On September 27, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a forum to highlight new policy ideas and perspectives on how to improve student performance in K-12 education. The Hamilton Project released a new strategy paper and three new policy proposals by outside experts focusing on the use of incentives in education, opportunities for organizational changes to improve performance, and a new approach to accountability for teachers and students. The program concluded with a discussion on the path forward in education reform with Teach for America Founder and CEO Wendy Kopp and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, moderated by David Leonhardt, D.C. bureau chief of the New York Times.
Following each panel, the participants took questions from the audience.
Improving Student Outcomes: Restoring America’s Education Potential – Michael Greenstone, Adam Looney, and Paige Shevlin
The Power and Pitfalls of Education Incentives – Bradley M. Allan and Roland Fryer
New Assessments for Improved Accountability – Derek Neal
Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments – Jonah Rockoff and Brian Jacob
Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Professor of Education Policy
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.