What’s Missing from School Reform—And How to Change It

Smiling teacher, class of young boys listening

August 29, 2019

  • Education
  • Policy and Public Understanding

The topic of school reform is a complex one, shaped by heartfelt debates and outright disagreements. The work of improving the quality of our public education system navigates pivotal challenges that impact students and teachers nationwide: how to make the best use of resources, how to provide every child a quality education regardless of race or class and how to ensure teachers have the knowledge and supports they deserve to prepare students for future success while engaging them in the joy of learning.

To unpack some of these critical issues, our Director of Policy and Public Understanding, Heather Harding, published three blog posts on school reform through Education Week, an independent news source covering K-12 education. Below, we’ve included overviews of Heather’s thought pieces and links to the posts in full.

Why Racial Equity and Social Justice Have a Role in School Reform
There are some who toss around the idea that school reformers today have veered from fundamental principles of reform in the name of political correctness. Heather challenges this view, arguing instead that grounding school reform in a commitment to justice—a charge to end the rampant racism and classism in our education system—is essential to ensuring that a quality education is accessible to all students.

Why the Teaching Profession Matters More than Ever
Too often, individual teacher support and professional development needs get overlooked in the conversation about K-12 funding priorities. To change this, school reformers must work on educating the public about the complex and intellectually demanding work of the teaching profession.

Two Teachers’ Perspectives on Instructional Coaching
Heather interviewed two teachers about the impact professional coaches can have on teachers and their schools. The teachers, who also serve as instructional coaches, discussed the highlights and challenges of their coaching experiences, as well as their perspectives on the viability of coaching programs moving forward. 

Heather Harding serves as the Director of Policy and Public and Understanding at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. In this role, Heather oversees a national education portfolio that builds a winning narrative about educational equity and advance policies that enable an education system that delivers excellence to all.