Author

Andy Smarick

    Author Website: http://bellwethereducation.org/people/team/#smarick


    Author Bio:
    Andy Smarick is a Partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. He works in Bellwether’s Thought Leadership practice. His book, The Urban School System of the Future, was released in 2012, and his work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, and National Affairs.


Articles

Diplomatic Mission

President Obama’s path to performance pay

Winter 2011 / Vol. 11, No. 1

Toothless Reform?

If the feds get tough, Race to the Top might work

Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Wave of the Future

Why charter schools should replace failing urban schools

Winter 2008 / Vol. 8, No. 1

The Turnaround Fallacy

Stop trying to fix failing schools. Close them and start fresh.

Winter 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 1

Blog Posts/Multimedia

A Student of School Reform on the Maryland State Board of Education

I suspect one of the toughest parts of this job will be projecting a sense of urgency about necessary reforms while heralding the very good things taking place

05/18/2015

Baltimore and the Societal Factors Influencing Our Schools

I’ve spent a good bit of time looking into a wide range of issues associated with the tough conditions faced by millions of city kids and what we might do to offer these boys and girls better opportunities.

05/04/2015

School Closures, Student Learning, and the New System of Schools

There are ways to far better serve millions of low-income kids than the turnaround- and district-focused strategies of the last several generations.

04/29/2015

Education Reform’s Women — and the Credit and Opportunities They Deserve

When the history of this era’s urban-education reform movement is written, four big policy innovations are sure to get attention: the nation’s first voucher program, first charter law, first mayor-controlled charter authorizer, and first “extraordinary authority” unit (the RSD).

04/28/2015

A Test of Education Reform

I’m a strong supporter of assessments and accountability, and I wouldn’t opt out, but I think it’s unfair to discount the views of those who disagree.

04/22/2015

The Great Achievements of the Every Child Achieves Act

The bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill crafted by Senators Alexander and Murray represents a very smart compromise on the key issue of accountability

04/15/2015

Choice, Accountability, and Charter Performance

If you’re at all interested in school choice, you really should read a trio of recent reports.

04/06/2015

Time For a New Non-District Charter Authorizer in D.C.

Washington, D.C. could offer America’s cities an invaluable new example of an all-charter approach.

04/01/2015

The Complications of Educational Returns in Rural America

Idaho finds itself in a chicken-egg situation. Improve educational attainment without improved employment opportunities inside Idaho and the state might risk investing in a strategy that merely exports talented young Idahoans.

03/30/2015

New Systems of Schools and Common Enrollment

If cities simply add more choice schools in the absence of changes to the enrollment process, parents can struggle to find information on schools, be forced to fill out widely varying school applications, and then receive a staggered barrage of acceptance and rejection notices.

03/25/2015

Innovation, Technology, and Rural Schools

Rural superintendent don’t consider teacher recruitment and retention among their biggest challenges…and mixing rural schooling and technology is more complicated than you might think.

03/24/2015

The Limits of Equity

Some reforms may exacerbate inequality because they don’t help every last needy student. But pursuing equity above all else could jeopardize the gains of some very needy kids.

03/20/2015

School Choice Technocrats Wanted

As the traditional urban school district is slowly replaced by a system marked by an array of nongovernmental school providers, new policies (undergirded by a new understanding of the government’s role in public schooling) are needed.

03/06/2015

The State-Led ESEA Compromise

A compromise around the idea of accountability for results would require the right to agree to include explicit performance targets and the left to agree to give states greater flexibility in tackling challenges.

02/26/2015

ESEA Testing Proposals in One Picture

NCLB assessments appear safer than I would’ve guessed sixty days ago.

02/19/2015

Teacher Evaluations: Uncle Sam, Exit Stage Left

The work of teaching is so extraordinarily complex and teachers are so tightly woven into the fabric of school communities that any attempt by faraway federal officials to tinker with evaluation systems is a fool’s errand

02/11/2015

Obama’s Year-Seven Budget

Given today’s political conditions, President Obama’s education request is actually quite savvy. It retreats where necessary, digs in where possible, and has an eye on history.

02/04/2015

Optimistic Predictions Notwithstanding, Common Core Faces Brutal 2015

Common Core proponents need an updated advocacy playbook. The political terrain of 2010 and 2015 are very, very different.

01/16/2015

Ten Things To Know About Secretary Duncan’s ESEA Reauthorization Speech

It’s pretty clear that the coming reauthorization debate is going to focus on accountability. But in addition to early childhood and more funding, Duncan also talked about educator evaluation, teacher preparation and support, and more.

01/13/2015

State Chiefs Speak on ESEA

State education chiefs may have helped turn the tide against what appeared to be a mounting anti-assessment, anti-accountability wave.

01/12/2015

Homeostasis and the End of Today’s Era of Reform?

Three signs of homeostasis—a reversion to the old tried-and-true way of doing things.

12/15/2014

Implementing Teacher Evaluation in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Education has produced a report on the status of its new teacher evaluation efforts.

12/04/2014

Strong Charter Accountability in D.C.

In Washington, D.C., more kids are in high-performing charters, the number of high-performing charters is growing, and the number of struggling charters is shrinking. But why?

12/02/2014

D.C.’s Outstanding and Improving Charter School Sector

Test scores in D.C. offer reason to believe that chartering—if done smartly—can replace the district system for delivering public education in America’s cities.

11/24/2014

Ten Things To Know About The 2014 Elections

My admittedly late thoughts on last night’s results.

11/05/2014

The Shock of the New

The greatest friction between contemporary education reform and conservatism is the former’s obsession with “new” and the latter’s deep skepticism of it.

10/29/2014

Is Uncle Sam Ed Reform’s Biggest Liability?

Many of today’s most prominent reforms are quite popular, but it looks like folks are perturbed by a meddlesome Uncle Sam

10/22/2014

Ten Things To Know About The CCSSO-CGCS Testing Plan

The organization of state superintendents and the organization of big urban school districts will work together to audit the number and types of tests administered and develop new systems that are leaner and more integrated.

10/20/2014

A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

Before we retreat to the pre-NCLB era of grade-span testing or revert to some other testing-light position, let’s at least recall some of the benefits of annual testing of all kids.

10/16/2014

Ed Reform’s Blind Spot: Catholic Schools and Social Capital

By ignoring the closure of urban Catholic schools, we have not only allowed high-quality seats to disappear, we’ve also allowed the further deterioration of the threadbare social fabric of fraying communities.

10/13/2014

District School Authorizers and Next-Generation Accountability

Two important events provide the outlines for a new approach to state-level accountability.

10/02/2014

A Lion in Winter and a Coming of Age

Over the last month or so, there’ve been a number of notable stories highlighting the passing of the torch from urban districts to urban chartering.

09/22/2014

Where Does Government Education Research Really Come From?

When Congress convenes in lame-duck status between November and January, taking up the future of NCES would be timely.

09/19/2014

Common Core and the Era of Good Behavior

The moderating of the debate over the Common Core seems to be mirroring the field’s increased focus on implementation.

09/12/2014

Smart Markets, Diverse Options, and Burke’s Caution

Mike McShane’s new book Education and Opportunity offers a sophisticated view of public school markets, how to understand them, use their strength, and appreciate their limitations.

09/11/2014

Ferguson, Reparations, and Institutional Roots

The most convincing argument against conservatism is that by defending longstanding institutions it ends up protecting longstanding injustices.

09/05/2014

Stuck in the Middle with State-Level Reform

There is a yawning gap between the stirring language in state constitutions promising great primary and secondary schools and the nitty-gritty work of actually living up to that responsibility.

08/22/2014

Energized Retrenchment: The Coming Conservative K-12 Approach?

The new conservative approach attempts to advance positive change, not through massive new federal programs or fanciful technical solutions but via traditional, experience-informed means.

08/13/2014

Change and Preservation in Education Reform

Education reform has never thoughtfully discussed, much less enumerated, what ought to be conserved.

08/08/2014
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