This election season has been long on drama and vitriol and woefully short on substantive policy ideas. And K-12 education might win the “Most Ignored Major Policy Issue” superlative in the yearbook of the 2016 campaign. Isolated references to charter schools and feel-good statements about teachers aside, neither Clinton nor Trump has proposed a comprehensive vision for our nation’s public schools. This lack of attention belies the importance and need for an education vision: Although the current administration presided over the passage of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), the devil is in the details, and the critical work of its implementation will be left to the next administration. But we’d be hard pressed to identify what policies might emerge come January.
We’re here to help.
Bellwether has compiled a collection called 16 for 2016: 16 Education Policy Ideas for the Next President. We solicited ideas from a range of authors across the ideological spectrum, both inside and outside the education sector. You are almost guaranteed to love some of these ideas, and probably hate some too, and that’s the point. No matter who prevails in November, the new presidential administration will need to set an ambitious education agenda. And with this collection, we are priming the pump for whichever candidate is sitting in the Oval Office in January.
In this volume, you’ll find:
- Bellwether Partner Sara Mead suggesting we put $1 billion in new money towards creating new school models.
- Celebrity chef and food policy advocate Tom Colicchio explaining how we can make school lunches healthier.
- Entrepreneur and Bellwether adviser Victor Reinoso telling us how the technology behind Bitcoin could benefit education.
- Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Mesler and Leigh Parise advocating for high-quality mentoring programs that reach more students.
- Bellwether Associate Partner Chad Aldeman pushing for improvements in school hiring practices to strengthen teacher pipelines and get the right people in the right classrooms.
- Education thought leader RiShawn Biddle advocating empowering parents to direct their children’s education.
- Bellwether Senior Analyst Ashley LiBetti Mitchel recommending networked learning communities for Head Start providers to drive program improvement and innovation.
- Alternative school leader Courtney Gaskins telling us how to give schools better tools to combat child sex trafficking.
- Former U.S. Department of Education official and Senate aide, Michael Dannenberg offering a higher education accountability system designed to address the dropout factories that take money from students and deliver nothing in return.
These are just a sample of the proposals you’ll find in 16 for 2016. Other chapters address federal grant accountability, student loan debt, farm-to-school programs, expansion of high quality private schools, and more.
Check it out, and feel free to leave feedback in the comments or tweet to us at @bellwethered.
If the candidates aren’t going to talk about education, let’s force the issue and light the path forward for the next administration to address critical challenges and key opportunities for our nation’s education system.