September 7, 2016

16 for 2016: 16 Education Policy Ideas for the Next President

By Andrew J. Rotherham | Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

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Education is not getting much attention on the presidential campaign trail, but that doesn’t mean the next administration won’t face a variety of opportunities and challenges in the education sector.

In fact, the relative silence is misleading. Given the changes and competing pressures buffeting America’s education system, leaders in the Department of Education will have their hands full with vexing problems and new and emerging issues. Here is just a sampling of the issues policymakers will face:


  • Improving access to early childhood education

  • Expanding choice and school options for parents

  • Addressing student loans and higher education accountability

  • Making competitive grant programs more effective

  • Tapping technological innovations to help students and teachers

  • Ensuring healthy food for kids in school

16 for 2016

16 for 2016: 16 Education Policy Ideas for the Next President offers a set of innovative, provocative, and forward-looking policy ideas addressing different aspects of the education world from thinkers and doers with a range of backgrounds and experiences. To build it, Bellwether Education Partners convened experts, talked with teachers and leaders in the field, and listened to a range of ideas.


The contributors are Democrats, Republicans, and political independents, and the ideas span the ideological spectrum. The authors are a blend of high-profile advocates and analysts, practitioners and policy wonks, education insiders and people whose work only tangentially touches education, and familiar voices along with fresh ones. Featured authors include higher education experts Andrew P. Kelly and Michael Dannenberg, celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, education journalist RiShawn Biddle, entrepreneur Victor Reinoso, innovator Alex Hernandez, alternative school leader and former Reagan administration official Gary Jones, Olympic gold medalist Steve Mesler, Bellwether analysts, and more from inside, around, and outside the education sector. What they share is a commitment to trying new things and making the education system more effective for the people it is designed to serve: students.


This diversity of thought means that at least some recommendations will appeal to the next administration regardless of who wins the election or leads the next president’s education efforts. The collection of policy ideas covers parental empowerment, food and nutrition, human trafficking, early childhood education, career and technical education, school choice, alternative education, and much more.


Click here to read the report — you’ll find links to the following chapters in the table of contents:


1. Seed More Autonomous Public Schools

2. Transform School Hiring
3. Bring the Blockchain to Education
4. Share the Risk on Student Loans
5. Get Schools in the Fight Against Child Sex Trafficking
6. Scale Great Mentoring to Reach More Kids
7. Network Early Childhood Education Providers
8. Give Good Food to Kids
    – Local Food for Local Schools
    – Put Quality Ahead of Cost in School Lunches
9. Make Competitive Grants Work
10. Build Charter Schools Like Affordable Housing
11. Connect Career and Technical Education to Real Post-Secondary Opportunity
12. Provide Sector-Agnostic Federal Support for Schools
13. Expand Accountability in Higher Education
14. Create Real Second Chances for At-Risk Youth 
15. Give Education Power to Families
    – A Limited Right of Action
    – Parent-Powered Schools
16. Democratize Data


Click here to read the full collection or use the viewer below to zoom in and read the report in your browser.

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