This will be my last post as policy director of Education Sector. On Monday, I’ll start work as director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation. While it’s an exciting opportunity to join a fantastic organization, leaving a place I helped create seven years ago is bittersweet. I’ve never worked with a more talented, committed, and warm-hearted group of people. They are, in the best sense of the word, family.
Writing for the Quick & the ED has always been one of my favorite parts of the job, even as I haven’t been able to do it as often lately, what with the demands of column-writing, tweeting, and a two-year-old at home. My friend Sara Mead was my co-conspirator in getting the blog off the ground (she named it) back when we were working in temporary office space on Pennsylvania Avenue. I’m pretty sure nobody noticed anything I wrote until I started recapping Season Four of The Wire, on the admittedly-tenuous theory that it was also about school reform. The lesson: give people an excuse to read about pop culture during the day when they’re supposed to be working, and they will come.
I’m not the first person to leave Education Sector, of course–both of our co-founders moved on a few years ago, and I know it raised questions among about the future of the organization. But Andy and Tom, in their wisdom, designed a place that didn’t depend on any one person to succeed. The theory behind Education Sector, then and now, is pretty simple. Education is phenomenally important to the health, prosperity, and integrity of our society. Ideas matter–the way people understand education affects how they act on behalf of students in profound ways. An organization grounded in a commitment to evidence and rigorous thinking that works extremely hard to communicate its ideas as effectively as possible will make the world a better place. I believe the need for such an organization has only grown, and Education Sector can and will continue to deliver on that promise. Although I won’t be an Education Sector writer anymore, I will continue to be an avid reader, and I hope you will be, too.