TransformEd identifies and promotes policies that support students in developing the mindsets, skills and habits (MESH) they need to succeed in college, career, and life. Our policy approach is steeped in the emerging body of compelling research on the importance of MESH competencies as well as our on-the-ground experience as the lead advisor to the California Office to Reform Education (districts that have chosen to integrate MESH into their school accountability system) and the facilitator of the Boston Charter Research Collaborative. Through our relationships with leading researchers, policymakers, and education leaders, TransformEd is uniquely positioned to weave research, practice, and policy together to advance the MESH field.
We currently have two Working Papers in development to inform district, state, and federal policy related to MESH:
- Working Paper 1 – The Case for Action: Our first working paper synthesizes the compelling evidence that non-cognitive or MESH competencies support students’ academic, career, and life success. This paper calls for the integration of non-cognitive competencies into our shared definition of college and career readiness and the broader education policy agenda.
- Working Paper 2 – State of Practice: Our second working paper draws from multiple sources including a new survey of teachers, principals, and district administrators across the US to shed light on the current state of schools’ investment of time and money in developing students’ non-cognitive skills. This paper discusses the widespread but highly variable work that is already being done to build students’ non-cognitive competencies in classrooms across the nation and highlights the need for policy to support and guide current and further investments in the field.
Ready to Be Counted?: Incorporating Non-Cognitive Competencies into Education Policy
On March 31, 2015, Transforming Education presented at the Brookings Institution event entitled Ready to Be Counted? Incorporating Noncognitive Skills into Education Policy. Over 700 attendees joined us in person or via live webcast. The event highlighted evidence about the importance of non-cognitive skills and examined case studies of two education systems that have made systematic efforts to incorporate these skills into practice at scale. Panelists came from the Brookings Institution, CORE Districts, KIPP, D.C. Public Schools, and U.S. Department of Education.
The event speakers were: Marty West, Associate Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy; Chris Gabrieli, Co-Founder and Chairman of TransformEd and Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Rick Miller, Executive Director of the CORE Districts; and Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation.
Expert commentators included: Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of the DC Public Schools; John King, Senior Advisor Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education; and Grover “Russ” Whitehurst, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy.