Abigail Swisher

Program Associate, Education Policy Program

Abigail Swisher is a program associate with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the PreK-12 team, where her work focuses primarily on college- and career-ready policies, with specific attention on both assessment and the transition from high school to higher education. Prior to joining New America, Swisher taught elementary school science and engineering in Granville County, North Carolina. 

Swisher holds a certificate in middle grades education through East Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Goucher College.

All Work

Can ESSA Help Youth Apprenticeship Move Forward?

ESSA opens the door for states to improve career readiness. Whether states move forward depends on them.

Poor Shaming—But This Time in the School Cafeteria

New Mexico's recent legislative action against lunch shaming shows how states can stop schools from shaming students living in poverty.

Low-Income, Minority Students Lag in High School Grad Rates

Abigail Swisher was quoted by the Associated Press on the benefit of dual enrollment for underprivileged groups of students.

A Well-Intended Bad Idea: Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Chicago High Schools

Rahm Emanuel's plan for Chicago Public Schools could push a new generation of grads off track to graduation or into the arms of for-profits

Implications for PreK-12 Education in Trump’s "America First" Budget

The broad priorities for PreK-12 education center around school choice.

A Look Under the Hood of Student Tests

A new report sheds light on a little-discussed element of K-12 testing: psychometric design.

Preparing Rural Students for College and Career

A recent convening highlighted the challenges and opportunities of setting up rural students for postsecondary success.

Explainer: Why Test Glitches Are a Much Bigger Problem Than You Think

Abigail Swisher wrote for the 74 Million about technical and procurement problems with state K-12 assessments.

“Don’t Take Their Word For It”: Waiting for Evidence on the New SAT & ACT

A growing number of states have adopted the SAT or ACT for high school accountability without waiting for evidence on the new exams.

Alaska to the U.S. Department of Education: We’ll Take Your Money, But Not Your Oversight

Alaska is poised to enact HB156, a K-12 assessment law that stands to put the federal Department of Ed between a rock and a hard place.

Test Prep Doesn't Have to Be a Waste of Time

A new study from TeachPlus suggests what author Abigail Swisher already knew--that test prep doesn't have to be a waste of time.

Arizona Assessment Law is Troubling News for Students

Arizona’s governor signed into law a bill that will allow districts to opt-out of using the state’s exam, and instead select their own test.