Education is a powerful force for advancing opportunity, prosperity, and growth. It is also a key predictor of future earnings and a significant determinant of a range of other measures of well-being. Following the recent enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), many observers have agreed that forward-thinking policies are needed to build upon that legislation and further advance equal opportunity for all students. On March 28, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a policy forum exploring options for strengthening student learning through innovation and flexibility, with a focus on three new Hamilton Project papers.
Innovations in technology hold great promise for application in education, and yet new educational technologies have yet to fundamentally advance student outcomes in K-12. In this policy memo, authors Aaron Chatterji and Benjamin Jones argue that the lack of rigorous evaluation currently available for educational technology tools must be addressed and articulate general principles that should guide the evaluation of educational technology. These evaluations have the promise to fill in critical information gaps and leverage the potential of new technologies to improve learning. They also present a case study of a new platform, EDUSTAR, conceived by the authors and implemented with a national nonprofit organization.
On September 27th, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a forum to discuss new approaches to promoting attainment and achievement in K-12 education. The event included featured remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, highlighting recent progress on education reform, the difficult work still ahead, and the need for innovation to help advance reform efforts.
Education technologies hold promise for personalized learning and for building basic skills, but a fundamental obstacle remains: the effectiveness of learning technologies is rarely known. Building on the Common Core State Standards and increasing access to broadband internet, Aaron K. Chatterji of Duke University and Benjamin Jones of Northwestern University propose the establishment of a new third-party ratings organization to overcome this challenge.