Is curriculum infrastructure?

My recent piece in The 74 led to an opportuntiy to discuss how we can treat curriculum as infrastructure on the Melissa and Lori Love Literacy podcast. To read a summary of our conversation, head over to Ahead of the Heard.

By Alex Spurrier

June 21, 2021

Curriculum isn’t infrastructure, but we ought to treat it as such

There’s been a lot of talk about what is and isn’t “infrastructre.” I’m not sure that curriculum is infrastructure, but we ought to act like it is: Curriculum should serve as a foundational organizing force in student learning, informing instruction, assessment and professional development. Well-structured, strong curricula provide educators with instructional materials and resources to cover a clear scope and sequence of the knowledge and skills students are expected to master.

By Alex Spurrier

May 24, 2021

Did School System Retirements Spike in 2020?

My Bellwether colleague Chad Aldeman and I took a look at teacher retirement data pre- and post-pandemic in seven states. While some feared a massive wave of retirements, it does not appear to be materializing: After attempting to canvass all 50 states and Washington, D.C., we were able to get retirement data for Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. While this is not a random sample, it does capture about 865,000 active workers, including teachers and other education employees.

By Alex Spurrier

November 1, 2020

Refocusing the Priorities of Accountability

Today, we released the final brief in Bellwether’s summer series on the past, present, and future of school accountability. It takes a look at how policymakers might improve accountability systems by clarifying their priorities: This is a critical moment for standards-based accountability policy. State summative testing and accountability systems were suspended for the 2019-20 school year and some states are indicating they’d like to continue that moratorium through the 2020-21 school year.

By Alex Spurrier

August 23, 2020

Why Joe Biden shouldn’t give up on public charter schools or standardized testing

My Bellwether colleague Chad Aldeman and I have a piece in the Washington Post arguing that Joe Biden ought not ignore the evidence on charter schools or assessments as he develops his presidential platform: In other words, Biden’s platform committee is not only mischaracterizing the evidence in these two areas. It is doing so in a way that would damage the students and families that Biden, and Democratic voters, say they want to serve.

By Alex Spurrier

August 17, 2020