Education Resource Strategies’ Executive Director Karen Hawley Miles has joined a group of educators, innovators, and business, labor, and non-profit leaders in the New York Education Reform Commission, newly created by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The commission is charged with identifying opportunities for the future success of the state’s schools and students, who currently rank 38th in high school graduation rates despite the highest per pupil spending in the country.
Recognizing teaching quality as a crucial lever in improving student performance, the commission will examine ways in which New York can improve teacher recruitment, evaluation, incentives systems, and performance. The group will look at issues endemic in high-risk rural and urban communities and target family engagement and more effective use of technology. Also key to the commission’s work will be analysis of state and district funding patterns to schools and programs to better understand current successes as well as the barriers to improvement. “There are a lot of opportunities for New York and other states to restructure policies, legislation, and funding for better student outcomes even during these tough economic times,” said Karen Hawley Miles. “We look forward to sharing our work around teaching, school funding, and turnaround with the NY Education Reform Commission and learning from this group of experts. We're excited to collaborate in creating school systems that make the most of taxpayer dollars.”
Tight state budgets and low student achievement are pushing states from California to Florida to look closely at their roles in educational funding and reform. Education Resource Strategies’ current work at the state level includes a partnership with the state of Georgia and the non-profit organization Educate Texas. Also, in 2011, ERS and EducationCounsel co-published Restructuring Resources for High Performing Schools: A Primer for State Policymakers urging states to use this moment of combined reform and financial pressure to set the right policies and conditions for change at the local level.