Improvement, Incentives, and EdSector

Multi-day, online, interactive education events seem to be all the rage lately.  This week, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills kicked off a two-week cybersummit on 21st century skills.  Not to be outdone, the folks over at Education Sector are hosting a three-day online discussion on No Child Left Behind and incentives.
Never one to shy away from the issues, Education Sector is billing the event through the following frame:
“NCLB requires states to establish annual performance targets and hold schools accountable for improving student performance. Currently, great attention rests on motivating school improvement through negative incentives. But NCLB also requires that states establish rewards for schools demonstrating excellence, a part of the law that has been largely ignored. The Department of Education’s $5 billion in “Race to the Top” and innovation funds has reignited a discussion of the role of positive incentives in motivating and supporting school reform efforts. With this boost in funding, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a chance to reward what he refers to as “islands of excellence” in school achievement and build on those proven success stories.” 
The EdSector forum is particularly interesting in light of this week’s announcement on the intent to establish common, or national, education standards (and the lack of an announcement of the measurement and accountability surrounding the latest push).  EdSector’s Andy Rotherham will host Sir Michael Barber of McKinsey & Company (the folks who recently brought us the economic impact of the achievement gap study), Sandy Kress (the godfather of modern accountability measures), and Dominic Brewer, professor at the University of Southern California.
Interested parties can participate in the discussion here.  EdSector is providing plenty of opportunity for those who want to be a part of the solution or those who want to just learn more about the issue to offer their comments, questions, and opinions, to this blue ribbon panel.  It’s worth checking out.

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