Top 10 Education Policy Program Hits from 2019

See what big education policy news you may have missed this year.
Blog Post
Dec. 17, 2019

In 2019, the Education Policy Program explored many topics ranging from early learning, to elementary and secondary education, to higher education and workforce development. We constantly conduct research and policy analysis about the country's education system in order to make it more equitable. As we approach the end of the year, take a tour with us and see what you may have missed from our top content in education policy!

#10: What it Looks Like to Promote Young Children's Growth and Discovery

In this dynamic resource page for early learning, Lisa Guernsey and our Early & Elementary Education team provide resources for early education leaders on promoting young children's growth and discovery. This project is informed by the learning sciences and inspired by the Ideal Learning Principles published by the Trust for Learning.

#9: Closing the Evidence Gap

In this report, our Higher Education team’s Clare McCann wrote about how data and transparency for things the U.S. Education Department spends tax dollars on is NOT at the standard it should be. Too few students are graduating from college and reaping the financial benefits that a higher education bestows, despite increasing numbers of those students taking on debt to enroll in college. This report explains the impetus for change and identifies solutions for policymakers in evidence-based policymaking.

#8: Paving the Way for Latinx Teachers

In this report, Roxanne Garza wrote about increasing educator diversity by improving the pipeline for Latinx teachers. This report—one of the first focused solely on pathways into teaching for Latinx individuals—explores how Latinx teachers typically enter the profession and the barriers they face along the way. Three profiles highlight Latinx-focused pathways into teaching that are attempting to reduce those barriers, reflects on key findings, and offers recommendations for policymakers and practitioners.

#7: "Elephants in the Room: Workforce Respect and Equity" EdCentral Blog

Our Early & Elementary Education team had a series of articles in EdCentral about "Moving Beyond False Choices for Early Childhood Educators". This article made EPP's Top 10 for 2019. In it are suggestions on discussions and decisions regarding professionalizing ECE and how it should be accompanied by a set of guiding principles. In particular, two are identified as priorities: respect for the ECE workforce and an intentional focus on equity.

#6: Negotiated Rulemaking 2019

The Higher Education team covered the U.S. Department of Education's "negotiated rulemaking" efforts—or "Neg Reg"—aimed at making it easier for predatory colleges to get away with poor practices. As the Department seeks to promote innovation by stripping regulations related to quality assurance and accountability, this report provides information about the Department's 2019 Neg Reg, including background papers on the key issues, data, and more.

#5: Equipping Individuals for Life Beyond Bars

In this report, the Higher Education team's Monique Ositelu released a groundbreaking report on the benefits, but lack, of education and job-training programs in prisons. This report finds that although there is a gap between incarcerated adults and the general public in both literacy and numeracy skills, completion of a postsecondary credential and participation in job training ameliorates the gap.

#4: English Learners with Disabilities: Shining a Light on Dual-Identified Students

Nearly 5 million students are English learners. Within this group, nearly 15% also qualify for special education. These “dual-identified” students need extra supports, but how do we ensure they get them? This report, written by Janie Carnock and Elena Silva, provides an overview of the separate but intersecting federal policies that govern the identification of and services provided to English learners and students with disabilities. It highlights key opportunities to serve ELs with disabilities more equitably by helping policymakers, advocates, and practitioners take more strategic action on behalf of these students.

#3: Varying Degrees 2019

Next is our popular survey data on what people think about higher education in America. This report—called Varying Degrees—is your go-to for seeing what Democrats and Republicans think of college affordability, access, and more. Americans’ opinions about higher education are complex. Understanding this complexity is important for learning how to talk about the value of educational pathways after high school and crafting thoughtful policy solutions to meet the needs of today’s students.

#2: Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) Application Announcement

This year, we picked grantees for our pivotal Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) initiative for youth apprenticeship. As many in the country are moving towards the learn and earn model for high school students, our Center on Education and Skills believes that youth apprenticeship should be a widely accessible option for young people to gain the foundational skills, experience, and credentials they need to thrive in a rapidly changing economy.

#1: Culturally-Responsive Teaching

Our #1 content for 2019 was our Culturally Responsive Teaching report by Jenny Muñiz, which looked at all 50 states and how they prepare teachers to be culturally responsive. Our research finds that while all states already incorporate some aspects of culturally responsive teaching within their professional teaching standards, the majority of states do not yet provide a description of culturally responsive teaching that is clear or comprehensive enough to support teachers in developing and strengthening their CRT practice throughout their careers.

Thank you for following our work this year, in past years, and for the years to come. If you don't want to miss content like this next year, you can subscribe to EdCentral to receive weekly updates on the latest in Education Policy or follow us on Twitter at @NewAmericaEd