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Morning Shots

Closing Time

During my orientation at CER, Outreach Coordinator Tyler Losey informed me that I would be doing real work that mattered for the organization. Of course, I did end up taking on some of the administrative tasks such as stuffing envelopes, labeling, and scanning documents; however, I hardly ever felt like such work was meaningless. CER’s mission is to bridge the gap between policy and practice, and everything that I have done, including intense research and effective event planning, speaks to that very mission.

I am astonished at how much I have learned from my internship—so much more than I ever expected to. I will leave this organization with the ability to research so efficiently that I could find my next employer the names of all charter schools in the New England area that have received approval to open up for the coming school year in the span of just one hour. I know where to look for certain information, what sources to trust, and how to organize my information in a presentable way.

I was taught how to write briefly and matter-of-factly, but also informatively. Using the Media Bullpen as my medium for practice, I have written summaries and critiques for articles in just about three sentences total. Getting a message across in a manner like this makes it much easier for my audience to not only remember tidbits from my analysis, but to also gain my perspective regarding a certain topic much quicker than going through a long article trying to find what may be the most important point.

I have stepped out of my comfort zone and have even dabbled a little bit in designing an info-graphic for CER’s Instagram. Through this experience, I learned that it is okay to try new things and make mistakes while experimenting. All I

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Breaking Down Teacher Quality

The recent legal challenges in both California and New York have brought teacher quality issues to the forefront of the American consciousness in unprecedented fashion.

In California, Vergara v. California spread through the media like wildfire due to the one-two punch of Judge Rolf M. Treu’s strong ruling along with the particularly egregious teacher employment practices that have ensnared the Golden State.

Now the stage is set in New York, where two separate but aligning lawsuits have been filed challenging some of the same tenets in Vergara, such as a lax tenure system and ‘last-in-first-out’ retention policies.

To break it all down, Fordham’s Michael Petrilli and AEI’s Michael McShane discussed what these lawsuits involve, and their implications.

Credit where it’s due: Petrilli and McShane engaged in an extensive, thought-out conversation, breaking down the issues and defining what’s exactly at stake in these legal challenges. If anyone were looking for a refresher, they’d find it here.

If the vitriolic attacks on Campbell Brown and other proponents of reform are any judge, substantive conversation can often get lost in the Twitterverse.

Petrilli said to have “never actually heard,” the teacher unions mount a credible defense for ‘last-in-first-out’ as the sole determinant for retaining teachers in times of economic downturn. The discussion then branched out to what policies such as tenure are actually trying to accomplish, and what’s going to create good teachers in the classroom.

One primary source of agreement came on the point that the conversation should be more about the policies in question. That’s what happened in Vergara, but has yet to be fully realized in New York.

New York students and teachers deserve a system that rewards success. Job security for America’s most important profession cannot be a rubber-stamp process, where 97 percent of eligible teachers in New York City,

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The Summer Comes To An End

I can’t believe how much I have gained from this experience as an intern at The Center for Education Reform (CER). I originally came into the internship with the expectation of getting informed about the charter school movement, among other things, and I had no idea that this internship would go way beyond that expectation. Not only do I fully understand the discussion surrounding charter schools, but also I can speak of experiences hearing from CEO’s and founders of charter school networks,and I can recognize the names of charter school authorizers across the country. Beyond charter schools, I have learned about, tax-credits, school choice, STEM education, the “summer slide”, online learning, and teacher evaluation.

One of my favorite aspects about this internship was that I had the opportunity to read about the current issues surrounding education reform, and then hear from and speak with the leaders in the movement. After reading about the changes in education policy, I had the opportunity, along with my fellow interns, to actually meet with Katherine Haley, the policy advisor to the Speaker of the House. She spoke with us about her experiences on Capitol Hill, and the successes she has had over the years.

Interning at The Center for Education Reform got me talking to everyone about education. Throughout the summer I have found myself mentioning studies about education, or sharing links to articles that I read. After my internship, I have even been successful in signing-up my friends and family for CER’s weekly Newswire.

I am excited about how much I have learned over the past ten weeks and seeing where it will bring me in the future. I have enjoyed the support from each staff member and working alongside the other interns. I am very thankful to have had such

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