Capitol Hill Briefing

Posted on

May 23, 2013
Hi, Everyone –

Last week was a busy one for us up in Bowling Green, KY. You may or may not know that we are located in 2 places, Bowling Green and Atlanta, GA. Here in Atlanta we love our time up in Bowling Green, there’s just a bit of culture shock going from a city of over 4 million to a town of just under 60,000.


Speaking of travel, I would like to share with you all a recent trip that I made to Washington D.C. We are members of a Coalition in the District that works to educate Capitol Hill on various issues surrounding learning conditions in Education. Coincidentally, the group is called the Conditions for Learning Coalition.


We have been having a series of briefings for Capitol Hill staffers and I had the pleasure  of leading one. To be brutally honest, I was so nervous the day before that I only ended up getting an hour or two of sleep. At least I can still read OK when I’m in front of people zooming on coffee, no sleep and nerves. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point.


Anyway, we expounded on the virtues of data collection and student surveys (what else?) and had a wonderful panel of experts to back up our assertions.


Accurately assessing school safety and the learning environment is an essential first step in promoting student and school success.  A true picture of student safety and health requires measurement tools that are valid and reliable and focus on a key set of factors that reflect student behaviors and achievement.  This briefing takes a look at tools used to collect student data, methods for interpreting the data, and strategies to effectively use the data to guide school policies and practices.  Expert researchers offer an overview of their efforts to provide educators with the data support needed to drive effective decision-making.


What we can show here is that we are working hard to make sure that Democrats and Republicans take data collection in schools seriously. We have an obligation to make sure that decisions are based on data and not on emotions when dealing with school programming.


I say this in the video but I need to say it again here. It’s a no-brainer that before you spend millions of dollars in a school on programming, you first spend a few thousand to make sure you are picking the right programming. Jack Pollard, PhD, mentioned to me once that the cost of surveying the entire state of Alabama was less than re-surfacing a 300-400 foot stretch of two-lane road. Wow.


Speakers at the briefing in order:

  • Jon Terry, President, Conditions for Learning Coalition
  • Jay Gleaton, CEO, ISA/Pride Surveys
  • Jack Pollard, Ph.D., ISA/Pride Surveys (Ret.)
  • Allan Porowski, Fellow, ICF International
  • Jean Ajamie, Director of School Safety and Prevention, Arizona Department of Education



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